Article

PrintPrint EmailEmail ShareShare CiteCite
Style:MLAAPAChicagoClose

loading...

Sea Change

The Transformation of the Artic

Author: Scott G. Borgerson
October 15, 2008
TheAtlantic.com

Share

BEFORE OUR EYES, the Arctic is changing from an impenetrable wasteland into an oceanic crossroads. The polar ice cap has lost up to half its thickness near the North Pole in just the past six years and may have passed a tipping point; it is now shrinking at more than three times the rate predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change only four years ago. At the current pace, the Arctic may well be ice-free in summer by 2013.

The opening of a new waterway between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans is akin in historic significance to the opening of the Suez Canal, in 1869, or is Panamanian cousin, in 1914. With this sea change will come the rise and fall of international seaports, newfound access to nearly a quarter of the world's remaining undiscovered oil and gas reserves, and a recalibration of geo-strategic power.

View full text of article.

More on This Topic

Analysis Brief

Headed for the Exits in Iraq

Author: Greg Bruno

Despite political uncertainty and a recent uptick in violence, the United States is winding down military operations in Iraq, a drawdown ...

Analysis Brief

The Next Chapter in Iraq

Author: Greg Bruno

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and President Barack Obama struck a note of cooperation in their latest meeting. But some Western...

Backgrounder

U.S. Security Agreements and Iraq

Author: Greg Bruno

Iraqi lawmakers approved new ground rules for the U.S. troop presence, including a U.S. withdrawal by 2011. But questions about the accords'...

Podcast

The Strongest Tribe

Bing West, a correspondent for the Atlantic Monthly and a former assistant secretary of defense in the Reagan administration, says fighting...