Climate change turns Arctic into strategic, economic hotspot

ABC News | 8/22/2019 | Staff
erinmmarion (Posted by) Level 3
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From a helicopter, Greenland's brilliant white ice and dark mountains make the desolation seem to go on forever. And the few people who live here — its whole population wouldn't fill a football stadium — are poor, with a high rate of substance abuse and suicide.

One scientist called it the "end of the planet."

US - President - Donald - Trump - Idea

When U.S. President Donald Trump floated the idea of buying Greenland, it was met with derision, seen as an awkward and inappropriate approach of an erstwhile ally.

But it might also be an Aladdin's Cave of oil, natural gas and rare earth minerals just waiting to be tapped as the ice recedes.

Island - Rest - Arctic - Warming - Ice

The northern island and the rest of the Arctic aren't just hotter due to global warming. As melting ice opens shipping lanes and reveals incredible riches, the region is seen as a new geopolitical and economic asset, with the U.S., Russia, China and others wanting in.

"An independent Greenland could, for example, offer basing rights to either Russia or China or both," said Fen Hampson, head of the international security program at the Centre for International Governance Innovation think tank in Waterloo, Ontario, noting the desire by some there to secede as a semi-autonomous territory of Denmark.

Scenario - Implications - Northwest - Passage - Transit

"I am not saying this would happen, but it is a scenario that would have major geostrategic implications, especially if the Northwest Passage becomes a transit route for shipping, which is what is happening in the Russian Arctic."

In April, Russian President Vladimir Putin put forward an ambitious program to reaffirm his country's presence in the Arctic, including efforts to build ports and other infrastructure and expand its icebreaker fleet. Russia wants to stake its claim in the region that is believed to hold up to one-fourth of the Earth's undiscovered oil and gas.

China - Greenland - Source - Earths

China sees Greenland as a possible source of rare earths...
(Excerpt) Read more at: ABC News
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