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"Russian" for Control of the Melted Arctic?
Chaudhary has thanked the Ice Blog for “very cool and also very hot information about ice”. Thanks for your interest Chaudhary, hope you’ll carry on reading and sending me feedback.
Keeping my eye out for the latest “cool and hot” ice info this week, I’m afraid it’s the Russians who’ve been making the most headlines. President Medvedev has told his people to draft a law marking out Russia’s borders in the Arctic. This is all part of an ongoing dispute between various countries on who can lay claim to which parts of the Arctic region. The parties have actually agreed to let the UN decide on this. Russia, Canada, The United States, Norway and Denmark (via Greenland) are the rivals for control. Interest has increased since the US Geological Survey said back in July that some 13% of the world’s undiscovered oil and 30% of its undiscovered gas lies under the Arctic seabed.
It’s a sad state of affairs, but there are actually people looking forward to further melting of the Arctic ice, which could give easier access to more oil and gas. Burning it would then “fuel” the global warming process further and reduce the pressure to increase the use of renewable energy sources.
Representatives of the five “Arctic” countries had a meeting in Greenland last week, but not a lot seems to have come out of it. That’s one of the issues I discussed with Dr. Martin Sommerkorn, WWF’s Arctic climate specialist.
You can listen to or download that longer version of the interview here.
Worrying news. At the same time, the Russians are increasing the pressure to let them exploit the region’s natural resources.
Meanwhile, the official figures on the extent of the Arctic ice confirm the continuing decline.The website of the National Snow and Ice Data Center has the latest information.
Facts and figures on the current state of the Arctic sea ice
DateSeptember 18, 2008 | 11:18 am