Search Results for Tag: territorial claims
Arctic COLD War? – The Russian Perspective
A Russian research vessel accompanied by a nuclear-powered ice-breaker has set off for the Arctic on a 100 day mission to collect data to support the country’s bid to expand its continental Arctic shelf territory. There are 76 scientists on board.
I was interested to read the Russian view of the importance of the Arctic against the background of melting ice on the website of the Voice of Russia.
DateJuly 13, 2011 | 9:39 am
Drop-off at Daneborg Base
This is the runway at Daneborg, on the coast, around 25 km from Zackenberg.
There’s still a little ice on the sea here.(But all the scientific research at Z. confirms the trend of a decrease in the perennial sea-ice).
There is an old trapper station here, used nowadays with the other buildings here by the Danish military SIRIUS patrol, the one that’s famous for its dogsled activities. That goes out to patrol the coast and surrounding areas in the winter.
Denmark is keen to establish its sovereignty here on the remote north-east coast. The national park is the biggest park in the world, and there’s not much in the way of human activity up here. The territory of East Greenland was disputed by Norway early in the 20th century. These days, there’s a lot of talk of increasing military activities up here because of the growing interest in the natural resources of the Arctic, especially the supplies of oil thought to lie hidden under the ice at the moment. The parties in the Danish parliament recently agreed to create a special Arctic Task Force, combining those elements of their military units (mainly for Greenland and the Faroe Islands) specialized in Arctic activities. A Greenland home rule adviser told me he does not see this as increased militarization of the Arctic, as some fear, but just as an organisational shift, which will not include more resources. It certainly means a change in focus.There are likely to be more aircraft coming in here, at any rate.
Denmark has put forward claims to extend the continental shelf by territory around Greenland. Other Arctic states have put in their own claims. The UN commission on the Law of the Sea has to decide who owns what territory and could therefore lay claim to any oil, gas or mineral reserves found there.
Fuel for the base and Zackenberg is shipped into Daneborg, then flown on in smaller quantities.
Time to take off, and for the next stretch I have the famous POF twin otter all to myself.
This is going to be spectacular, as we are moving in from the coast a little over the icy mountains. Taking pictures in this historic plane can be challenging:
But I have a couple of windows to choose from – as long as I can reach them without loosening the belt.
I love the changing landscape and all the features you can see in the snow, flying this low:
I have many more of these ice-blog views, but will close for now with this one.
Nicely framed, huh? Courtesy of Twin Otter Pof.
Next stop, Krume Langso, the “long, curved lake”.
DateJuly 24, 2009 | 3:11 pm
"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
Fuelling the Melt of the Arctic?
The Arctic made its way into the headlines again at the end of last week, when the five Arctic coastal nations met in Greenland to discuss sovereignty over the Arctic seabed.
Denmark, Norway, Russia, Canada and the United States are the countries concerned. Wouldn’t it be great if they were negotiating on who could do the most to protect this unique and fragile area? Of course what they are actually concerned about is who will have access to natural resources – for instance the right to drill for oil once the seabed becomes more easily accessible because global warming is melting the ice.
(The airport at Alaska’s oil centre, Prudhoe Bay).
The environmental groups were not invited to the meeting. As you might expect, most of them are concerned about the rush to exploit the Arctic further as soon as possible. One suggestion is to have a treaty similar to that regulating the Antarctic, which bans military activity and mineral mining, but this was rejected by the “Arctic 5”. Greenpeace Nordic campaigner Lindsay Keenan put the bizarre situation in a nutshell when he told Reuters “they are going to use the law of the sea to carve up the raw materials, but they are ignoring the law of common sense. These are the same fossil fuels that are driving climate change in the first place”. Good point Mr. Keenan. Greenpeace points out that the world already has four times more fossil fuel reserves than it can afford to burn.
DateJune 4, 2008 | 11:08 am