The dwindling Arctic ice cap has launched an international race for control of northern waters: Russia, Canada, Denmark, and even China are hustling to expand their military presence, plant flags and eye those 90 billion barrels of natural gas under the cap. Now the U.S. Navy’s getting ready for the thaw, with a strategic plan to maximize the U.S. stake up north.
The Navy’s Arctic Roadmap (.pdf), written by the recently launched Navy Task Force Climate Change (TFCC), opens with an acknowledgment that worldwide temperatures are on the rise — especially up north. “The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the globe. While significant uncertainty exists in projections for Arctic ice extent, the current scientific consensus indicates the Arctic may experience nearly ice-free summers sometime in the 2030s,” the document notes.
Then the Arctic Roadmap sets out a three-phase plan to secure U.S. interests in the Arctic. Because there’s a lot at stake under that melting cap: energy reserves, transport lanes and potential territory disputes.
(With a son at the U.S. Naval Academy this article definitely caught my eye. I wonder how much oil might be lurking under the North Pole? I fear we may soon find out. The complete article can be found at Wired.com by clicking here).