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Who owns the North Pole - Pt. 34 - Greenland?

As rising temperatures expose more land for exploration, prospectors are rushing to the far north in the hope of carving out a new mineral frontier. The Arctic was largely off-limits because much of the land was considered unworkable. Global warming has changed that. More and more is becoming ice-free. Increasing amount of seaborne traffic is beginning to move on the so-called Northern Sea Route which traverses the Siberian coast. There are also hopes of opening up more of the North West Passage above Canada. New mining applications are being submitted for extraction, all the way from Canada through Greenland to Finland. The South Pole is the subject of an Antarctic treaty but there is no similar arrangement for the far north. But most states around the Arctic are not keen to have their hands tied by an international agreement of this kind.

"An active growth of oil and gas exploration in the [arctic] region may become a death sentence for its environment. The natural world of thes…

Who Owns the North Pole - Part 30

The Danish government is planning to officially announce that it is to lay claim to the North Pole, according to a draft Danish-Faroese-Greenland strategy. The draft says that “The Kingdom is expected to lay claim to the continental shelf in five areas around the Faroe Islands and Greenland, including the North Pole itself”.

Several ministers have previously suggested that Denmark could lay claim to the North Pole, but if the draft is adopted, it will be the first time that Denmark’s official policy is to claim the Pole and puts Denmark on a collision course with other Arctic claimants. Territorial claims over vast stretches of the energy-rich Arctic are serious business. Conservationists aren’t pleased with the territorial ambitions, however, saying countries bordering the Arctic Ocean should focus on the region’s fragile environment and not its demarcation and development.“This is a land grab which is about getting access to resources,” saidMads Christensen, …

Who Owns the North Pole - Part 24

The Obama administration, like the Bush one before it, has identified the Arctic as an area of key strategic interest. The U.S. military anticipates the Arctic will become "ice-free" for several summer weeks by 2030, possibly as early as 2013. The U.S. Arctic is melting quickly because of accelerated climate change. The prospect of newly thawed sea lanes and a freshly accessible, resource-rich seabed has nations jockeying for position. And government and military officials are concerned the United States is not moving quickly enough to protect American interests in this vulnerable and fast-changing region. The Arctic is believed to hold nearly a quarter of the world's untapped natural resources and a new passage could shave as much as 40 percent of the time it takes for commercial shippers to travel from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

"We're not doing OK," said Lt. Cmdr. Nahshon Almandmoss "We definitely don't have the infrastructure avai…

Who owns the North Pole , Part 7

Not to be left out for this scramble for control of the Arctic regions , Danish researchers plan to set sail for the North Pole on Sunday to collect geological data, on a mission similar to the recent Russian one .

The month-long Danish expedition will study the Lomonosov Ridge. Russia believes the underwater feature is linked to its territory. Denmark , however , will investigate the ridge to see if it is geologically connected to Greenland which is a Danish territory.
The team plans to collect bathymetric, gravity and seismic data to map the seabed under the ice, according to a Danish science and technology ministry statement on the expedition.

"The preliminary investigations done so far are very promising," Denmark's minister of science, technology and innovation said "There are things suggesting that Denmark could be given the North Pole."

We will be collecting data for a possible (sovereignty) demand," expedition leader Marcussen said.

In Ottawa, the Danis…

Who Owns the North Pole Part 4

Socialist Courier is keenly following the story of which nation state will ultimately own or control the North Pole and have reported here , here and here about it . Time magazine has now shown an interest in the new developments that are following climate change and global warming in the Arctic Circle region .

Late last month, Moscow signaled its intentions to annex the entire North Pole, an area twice the size of France with Belgium and Switzerland thrown in — except all of it under water. The ice-frozen North Pole is currently a no man's land supervised by a U.N. Commission. The five Polar countries — Russia, the U.S., Canada, Norway and Denmark — each control only a 200-mile economic zone along their coasts. And none of these economic zones reach the North Pole. Under the current U.N. Maritime convention, one country's zone can be extended only if it can prove that the continental shelf into which it wishes to expand is a natural extension of its own territory, by showing t…

Who Owns the North Pole - Part 2

Further to this earlier blog on the newly discovered economic and strategic potential of a warmer Arctic region , Russian geologists now say they have data that would support a claim to about 1.2m sq km (463,000 sq miles) of energy-rich territory in the Arctic .
The Russian team, from the Oceanology Research Institute in St Petersburg, estimates that the Lomonosov ridge area in the Arctic contains oil and gas reserves of up to 10 billion tonnes. The geologists spent 45 days studying the Lomonosov underwater ridge.

The Law of the Sea Convention allows states an economic zone of 200 nautical miles, which can sometimes be expanded. To extend the zone, a state has to prove that the structure of the continental shelf is similar to the geological structure within its territory.

Needless to say , when it comes to a scramble for the natural wealth and riches of the world there are rarely no competitors and in this case Denmark are laying their claim to sovereignty to parts of the region also . S…