Warming waters in the Arctic may bring devastating consequences such as: unsafe rise of sea levels, loss of habitats of many animals, alarming climate change, etc. But it may also open the path for new advantages the land can offer.
When President Barack Obama visits Alaska today, becoming the first US leader to venture above the Arctic Circle while in office, he hopes to focus attention on the effects of climate change on the area.
The Arctic Circle is very valuable. Adm Paul Zukunft of the Coast Guard says there has been clamoring about our nation’s lack of capacity to sustain any meaningful presence in the Arctic.
Part of the problem is that Polar Star circles the globe every year, helping commercial shipping in the Arctic and helping resupply scientific expeditions in the Antarctic. Russian Federation wants global Arctic Council partners to seriously think about distribution of the territories surrounding the North Pole. The country publicly announced its intentions to claim large portions of the Arctic Ocean which includes their claim on the continental shelf that extends into the sea seeing it as their territory under the Law of the Sea convention.
“As other countries in the Arctic move forward with their plans to be better prepared for what is coming in the Arctic, which is more human activity, hopefully Congress will step up and fund some of the necessary infrastructure”, said Fran Ulmer, chairwoman of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, in an interview with McClatchy and Tribune Newspapers. As for the United States, chairman of the council, they still have to ratify the measure to legitimize Russia’s claim.
Aboard the Alex Haley, the increased activity in the Arctic was obvious in the deep blue waters of the Chukchi Sea.
It contains untapped reserves of oil, gas and fish, and it could open new developments as the glaciers continue to recede. For this, there has been an increased military presence in the region, even dropping 50 paratroopers onto the North Pole.
In spite of the tremendous stakes, the Obama organization recognized in an actuality sheet about the president’s recommendation that the U.S. Coast Guard’s icebreaker armada is lacking to handle a conceivable test from Moscow. However, there is a strict level of diplomacy being kept between the nations in the region to preserve the relationship between them and to take as objective an approach to the opportunities that present themselves as possible.