Race to the Arctic

By Abbie Schepps

The U.S., Russia, Canada, Denmark, Norway and Iceland are all laying claim to an area of the arctic. Rich in oil and holding 30% of the Earth’s natural gas, the countries are engaged in a massive territorial dispute. The real appeal is that the melting ice, vanishing at 13% a decade, is expected to make drilling, mining and shipping easier. In order to claim a portion of the arctic, the countries are going to have to show an extension of their continental shelf, a “hugely expensive and complicated” task. Though Norway is the only nation to have its claim for a portion approved, Canada is currently scrambling to defend its territory. Canada claims this is a sovereign Canadian waterway and not an international waterway. With the arctic ice melting rapidly, there is at least an understanding that these countries are better off cooperating.