Canada claims the North Pole, as do a number of other nations.
In the latest gambit in the high-stakes quest for the resource-rich, waterway-laden region — quickly becoming more strategic due to climate change — on Monday Canada’s Foreign Minister John Baird announced Canada’s intentions to lay claim to the North Pole.
While the process of navigating the UN’s diplomatic chambers is likely to take years, and many view Canada’s appeal as a long shot, Baird said the government is working with scientists on a future submission to the UN that argues that the outer limits of the country’s continental shelf include the pole.
An interesting tidbit unearthed - the US Navy predicted seasonal opening of the Arctic to non-strengthened ship traffic as far back as 2001. Whatever sceptics might think, the military takes AGW extremely seriously. They were talking about drone tech well before it became widely known.
On 17 and 18 April 2001 the Oceanographer of the Navy, the Office of Naval Research, the Arctic Research Commission, and the Naval Ice Center co-sponsored a symposium on Naval Operations in an ice-free Arctic.
Another very important change will be the expanded use of UAVs, USVs, and UUVs in the Arctic. These unmanned, relatively inexpensive vehicles can be used for a variety of missions when manned platforms would be grounded or forced to operate on the edge of the safety envelope. In addition to their usual reconnaissance role, unmanned vehicles could be used for weapons delivery platforms and as “pathfinders” to scout ice conditions.
The Canadians might well find their claims pre-empted.
Canada, in particular, has strong feelings about access to areas it considers its territorial waters and also has concerns for protecting the Arctic waters. In accordance with the provisions of UNLCOS, Canada has claimed sovereignty and jurisdiction over the Arctic Archipelago by drawing straight baselines around the outer edges of the archipelago. Under UNCLOS, all waters inward of the baseline are considered by Canada to be "internal waters". This has the practical effect of not permitting "transit passage" or "innocent passage" and requiring all vessels, aircraft and persons to comply with Canadian domestic law. The U.S. disputes this claim, particularly in regards to the status of the Northwest Passage. The U.S. claims the Northwest Passage is an "international strait" as defined under UNCLOS. This means "transit passage" is permitted and vessels, aircraft and persons do not necessarily have to comply with Canadian domestic law.
Meanwhile, November 2013 was the warmest November ever.
And in geo-engineering news - Ocean Tunnels.