Polar Regions

Must Read

CRS: Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress

Author: Ronald O'Rourke

Many observers have noted that the loss of Arctic ice is already leading to stepped-up human activity in the high north, particularly in the form of increasing commercial traffic and development. This trend has brought forth a range of issues on the geopolitical front, from environmental protection to search-and-rescue capabilities to the delineation of national boundaries—which will determine access to natural resources. These concerns are being addressed cooperatively in both bilateral and multilateral fashion, especially under the aegis of the Arctic Council and the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea.

See more in Arctic; Climate Change; Environmental Policy

Must Read

Lloyd's: Arctic Opening: Opportunity and Risk in the High North

Authors: Charles Emmerson and Glada Lahn

The Arctic region is undergoing unprecedented and disruptive change. Its climate is changing more rapidly than anywhere else on earth. Rising temperatures are causing a retreat of sea ice and changes to seasonal length, weather patterns and ecosystems. These changes have prompted a reassessment of economic and development potential in the Arctic and are giving rise to a set of far-reaching political developments.

See more in Economic Development; Climate Change; Arctic

Must Read

Washington Times: Polar Diplomacy

Author: Paula J. Dobriansky

Paula J. Dobriansky argues that the continuing success of the Antarctic Treaty at its 50th anniversary offers policymakers a powerful diplomatic template on which to combat pressing security, economic, and environmental challenges in the region.

See more in Diplomacy and Statecraft; Antarctica

News Release

Emerging Arctic Explored in New CFR InfoGuide

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) has released a new interactive guide examining the economic opportunities and environmental risks emerging in the Arctic. Climate change, technological advances, and a growing demand for natural resources are driving a new era of development in the Arctic region. Many experts assert that Arctic summers could be free of sea ice in a matter of decades, opening the region up to hundreds of billions of dollars in investment, most notably in energy production and shipping.

See more in Arctic; Energy and Environment


American Interests in Antarctica

Author: Frank G. Klotz
National Interest

Frank G. Klotz argues that the United States has important national interests in Antarctica, and these interests must be fully understood and carefully considered, especially as the federal government looks for ways to reduce the deficit.

See more in United States; Defense Budget; Antarctica


Look North, America

Author: Captain Melissa Bert, USCG
International Herald Tribune

Captain Melissa Bert, USCG, argues that the United States will lose out economically and environmentally if it does not take advantage of resources in the Alaskan Arctic.

See more in United States; Arctic; Energy Policy


Arctic Treasure

Author: John B. Bellinger III
Foreign Policy

John B. Bellinger III says President Obama should seize the opportunity presented by Republican support for increased domestic oil and gas production to urge the Senate to approve the Law of the Sea Convention.

See more in Arctic; Energy Policy; Oil


An Arctic Circle of Friends

Authors: Scott G. Borgerson and Caitlyn Antrim
New York Times

Scott Borgerson and Caitlyn Antrim argue that the United States should show leadership on the formation of an Arctic "polar park" for international scientific research.

See more in Arctic; Climate Change


Russia's Other Front

Author: Scott G. Borgerson
Huffington Post

President Bush is right to demand an immediate end to the looting and shooting in Georgia by Russia, but he should also turn his attention to recent aggressive Russian activity in the opening Arctic, writes Scott Borgerson

See more in Russian Federation; Arctic