“Arctic Diplomacy: Navigating Melting Ice and Rising Stakes in Polar Waters”

As disappearing ice presents new threats, from shipping to mining, the minimum extent of the ice in summer drops by about an eighth every decade. In June, scientists reported it is already too late to save the summer ice, foreshadowing a completely open Arctic Ocean for the first time since humans made the first stone tools 2.6 million years ago.

Without the ice as a natural barrier, the central Arctic Ocean – an amoeba-shaped water area spanning more than 1m sq miles (2.8m sq km) off the coasts of Canada, Russia, Greenland, Norway and the US, will become an open territory. International waters are beyond any country’s jurisdiction. However, treaties like the UN treaty on the high seas, which was agreed on 19 June – are providing new means of protecting the water column from chemicals, noise and traffic, the seabed from fossil fuel exploration and mining fisheries from overexploitation. Read More

News Credit: The Guardian Environment

Picture Credit: Paul Souders/ Getty Images

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