Saturday, April 7, 2012

Claims By The United States And Canada For The Northern Passage Between The Atlantic And Pacific

 Claims by the United States and Canada for the Northern passage between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans can't both be right. Since each country is the other's biggest trading partner, both countries keep the competition friendly. Nobody is backing down, though.

If you need any more evidence that climate change is already here, the existence of this passage should be a good clue. It used to be frozen year round.

The link below is to a National Geographic article from 2007 saying that a historic first had occurred that left the Northwest Passage open.

Feeling adventurous? They now have cruises to the Arctic. Here is a link to it:

The ship mentioned is called, "The Quark". 

Here is what Wikipedia has to say about international claims on the Arctic region:

"Under international law, no country currently owns the North Pole or the region of the Arctic Ocean surrounding it. The five surrounding Arctic countries, Russia, the United States (via Alaska), Canada, Norway and Denmark (via Greenland), are limited to an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of 200 nautical miles (370 km; 230 mi) adjacent to their coasts.
Upon ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), a country has a ten year period to make claims to an extended continental shelf which, if validated, gives it exclusive rights to resources on or below the seabed of that extended shelf area.Due to this, Norway (ratified the convention in 1996), Russia (ratified in 1997), Canada (ratified in 2003) and Denmark (ratified in 2004) launched projects to provide a basis for seabed claims on extended continental shelves beyond their exclusive economic zones. The United States has signed, but not yet ratified the UNCLOS.
The status of certain portions of the Arctic sea region are in dispute for various reasons. Canada, Denmark, Norway, Russia and the United States all regard parts of the Arctic seas as "national waters" (territorial waters out to 12 nautical miles (22 km)) or "internal waters". There also are disputes regarding what passages constitute "international seaways" and rights to passage along them (see Northwest Passage)."

The above is from 2005. They already know there is oil in the Arctic region as well as other minerals. They expect there are a lot more unknown natural resources there. It is pretty obvious there is a lot of potential for disputes over it all. This has already started. 

I don't believe much attention is being paid to the rights of other countries that don't have any property claims on the Arctic region. Since this area is a "weather factory", for the world, I believe other countries should have a big say about what happens there. This is regardless of whether the other countries have any particular property rights there or not.

One of the videos I watched on one of the links I supplied here was about an idea to slow down ice melting in the Arctic Polar region. This is in conflict with the wishes of the countries that are staking claims for mineral rights in the Arctic area. People who want to exploit minerals located in the Arctic region like the idea of the ice and snow going away so they can access the minerals. People who are worried about their weather might want to keep the ice and snow in the Arctic region as long as possible.

Discussion of this matter is not going to happen as long as people don't pay attention. I am not exactly CNN news here, but here is my little spit in the ocean trying to make a difference.

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