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Showing posts with the label Antarctica

Who Owns the South Pole - Polarisation

Antarctica and the Arctic are the focus of global hunger for untapped resources. As the Antarctic Treaty has grown in recent decades, some nations eager to join it and build bases in Antarctica appear to have long-term interest in the continent's mineral and energy resources.  The southern continent has been governed since 1961 by the Antarctic Treaty, a creation of the cold war, intended to prevent US-Soviet tensions from spilling into the region. The treaty enforces environmental regulations, allows nations to inspect each other's bases, and requires sharing of scientific data. It started with 12 nations, but now includes 28. Seven nations claim sovereignty rights to parts of Antactica.  Just as people playing the board game Monopoly profit by building a house on Park Place or Boardwalk, countries building a station and conducting research in Antarctica can obtain treaty membership and influence. Conditions in Antarctica will be tough, but rising commodity prices and improv…

China at the South Pole

China is boosting its presence in Antarctica with an eye on the icy continent’s vast untapped resources, even though it could take 35 years to start exploiting them. Antarctic Treaty members, which include China, have agreed not to exploit Antarctic resources until 2048, but there is nothing to stop them doing geographical surveys.  China already has as many permanent research stations as the U.S. in Antarctica — including the Great Wall Station on King George Island off the Antarctic Peninsula, Zhongshan (Sun Yat-Sen) Station in the east and Kunlun Station in the interior. Now the Chinese appear poised to start work on a fourth station close to the main U.S. base — McMurdo Station — in a part of Antarctica known as the Ross Dependency that is administered by New Zealand.

 Anne-Marie Brady, a political science professor at New Zealand’s Canterbury University and editor of The Polar Journal, wrote in a recently published research paper that China is clearly interested in Antarctic res…

Who Owns the SOUTH Pole

A switch from our usual pole.

  No one owns Antarctica, although a few countries persist in maintaining their frozen claims to slices of the continent for research and scientific purposes in line with the Antarctic Treaty. In reality, the international community is responsible for the region, operating through the Antarctic Treaty and its related agreements. The International Maritime Organization (IMO), the UN body responsible for regulating shipping internationally, designated the Southern Ocean as a "special area"

Many parts of Antarctica have been coming under increasing pressure as the growing global demand for sea food means the region's rich resources are increasingly targeted. There are fishing boats, both legal and illegal, including a new breed that vacuum krill from the sea. 

The United States and New Zealand put forward competing plans to create a marine protected area of 1.6 million square kilometres in the Ross Sea. Another proposal would have created a res…

Chinese in Antarctica

Further to this post on our companion blog Socialism Or Your Money Back , the BBC reports that China is building its third research station in Antarctica, shoring up its presence just weeks after the UK and Chile made renewed territorial claims. Argentina has also said it intends to present a claim to the UN.
Almost 200 construction workers are heading for the southern continent, the state-run Xinhua news agency says. They will build facilities including a space observatory, radar station and sewage discharge system.

Mineral mining is banned in Antarctica, but analysts say this is not stopping countries from jockeying for position. Competition for territorial and economic rights has heated up as melting polar ice caps have introduced the possibility of exploiting the previously inaccessible seabed. Countries have until May 2009 to ask the United Nations to consider their right to the seabed.