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Is this an impending war between Canada and Russia?

Russia accused of annexing the Arctic for oil reserves by Canada

By Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondent
Last Updated: 12:23AM BST 18/05/2008

Quote:The battle for "ownership" of the polar oil reserves has accelerated with the disclosure that Russia has sent a fleet of nuclear-powered ice breakers into the Arctic.

It has reinforced fears that Moscow intends to annex "unlawfully" a vast portion of the ice-covered Arctic, beneath which scientists believe up to 10 billion tons of gas and oil could be buried. Russian ambition for control of the Arctic has provoked Canada to double to $40 million (£20.5 million) funding for work to map the Arctic seabed in support its claim over the territory.

The Russian ice breakers patrol huge areas of the frozen ocean for months on end, cutting through ice up to 8ft thick. There are thought to be eight in the region, dwarfing the British and American fleets, neither of which includes nuclear-powered ships.

Canada also plans to open an army training centre for cold-weather fighting at Resolute Bay and a deep-water port on the northern tip of Baffin Island, both of which are close to the disputed region. The country's defence ministry intends to build a special fleet of patrol boats to guard the North West Passage.

The crisis has raised the spectre of Russia and the West joining in a new cold war over the Arctic unless the United Nations can resolve the dispute.

Liam Fox, the shadow defence secretary, told Telegraph: "Four of the five Arctic powers are Nato members, yet Nato seems ill-configured to be able to respond to the sort of activities we have seen from the Russians. We need to ensure Nato has the will and the capability to deter Russian activity that contravenes international laws or treaties."

Jonathan Eyal, of the Royal United Services Institute, said the dispute could simmer for years. "The message from Vladimir Putin is that Russia will no longer be shackled to treaties signed by Yeltsin when he was half drunk or when Russia was on its knees," he said. "This dispute is not only about oil reserves which might or might not exist, it is about the control of sea lanes. Russia's movements could pitch it into a serious territorial dispute with the US for the first time."

Tension in the Arctic is also being heightened by the revival of Russian Cold War-era manoeuvres. Hardly a week passes without Russian aircraft over-flying the North Pole, simulating strikes on "enemy" bases and shipping.

The crisis erupted last year when a Russian submarine crew planted a flag on the Lomonosov Ridge, a 1,240-mile stretch of seabed that Moscow says is Russian. Derided at the time as a stunt, the move focused attention on the race for the Arctic's hidden treasures.

No country owns the Arctic Ocean or the North Pole, but under the 1982 UN Law of the Sea Convention, each country with a coast has exploitation rights in a limited "exclusive economic zone". On ratification of the convention – and America has yet to ratify it – each country has 10 years to make claims extending its zone.

Russia rivals Saudi Arabia as the world's largest oil producer and is estimated to have the largest natural gas supplies. Energy earnings are funding a $189 billion (£97 billion) overhaul of its armed forces.

Link
Not IMO.

If Russia were to make a serious effort,Canada would be hard pressed to hold the territory,on the other hand,it is so inhospitable I can't see anyone maintaining much a force to hold it. Logic dictates some deal,IMO.
Palladin Wrote:Not IMO.

If Russia were to make a serious effort,Canada would be hard pressed to hold the territory,on the other hand,it is so inhospitable I can't see anyone maintaining much a force to hold it. Logic dictates some deal,IMO.
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Well, Palladin...

Global Warming (AGW or not) is changing the strategic value of those areas faster than you think.

The Russians must claim the North Pole before the ice is melting... And they realize that now. That is why they are in such a hurry...

/track_snake
You are naturally assuming that the world is continuing to warm up. If so, this is good, and is just as I have stated about things getting better. However, I still contend that it is starting to cool down again, so the ice will grow thicker, not smaller. Wink1
The Russians know AGW is a hoax Trackster,they want the Saudi Arabian sized oil deposits.
Palladin Wrote:The Russians know AGW is a hoax Trackster,they want the Saudi Arabian sized oil deposits.
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I said GW or AGW.

Not necessarily AGW...

Anyway, last year sea ice disappeared in many parts of the Arctic Ocean and the same is believed to happen this year.

This make it a new strategical value of those waters as ships can navigate there and drill rigs can be put up. So the Russians are for sure interested in the oil deposits there.

/track_snake
John L Wrote:You are naturally assuming that the world is continuing to warm up. If so, this is good, and is just as I have stated about things getting better. However, I still contend that it is starting to cool down again, so the ice will grow thicker, not smaller. Wink1
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We will see after this summer but the odds are small for anything else than the major melting of sea ice of last year since most of the ice in Arctic waters now is only 1 winter old.

/track_snake
track_snake Wrote:Anyway, last year sea ice disappeared in many parts of the Arctic Ocean and the same is believed to happen this year.

And according to NASA that had nothing to do with warming and everything to do with wind and the changing of the polar circulation. I find you disingenuous at best.
No, Al Gore said that Global Warming would cause the ice to melt, therefore if the ice melts, it must be Global Warming.

Geez - it doesn't get any simpler than that.

:lol:
Antarctica grew last year,so what?
JohnWho Wrote:No, Al Gore said that Global Warming would cause the ice to melt, therefore if the ice melts, it must be Global Warming.

Geez - it doesn't get any simpler than that.

:lol:

[Image: icon_conf45.gif]
Palladin Wrote:Antarctica grew last year,so what?
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Yes. The ice cover in Antarctica is growing. There is not much doubt of that.

But the sea ice cover in the Arctic Ocean is melting. There is not much doubt about that either. And that is the reason for the increased strategic interest from Russia for those areas.

/track_snake
Do you have a link to confirm your statement, T_S?
jt Wrote:Do you have a link to confirm your statement, T_S?
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Look here. This is sea ice cover as of May 25 2008. Only 2/3 of the area around the North Pole is ice covered, and still the summer melting hasn't begun for real. And the area up to Spitzbergen is completely free of ice. No good outlook for the summer... (if you are a polar bear, better stay on land...)

http://polar.ncep.noaa.gov/seaice/hires/nh.xml

/track_snake
Naw...

Polar bears swim up to 200 miles on their hunting forays, and just need a little land to call their own. Maybe they would solve all our problems by swimming to ANWR and eating the Porcupine Carribou.
Track_S

I checked the image you linked too. Interesting, but it is useless without comparisons to previous years. I manged to find a similar image for May 26, 07 and it seems to show pretty much the same sea ice around the north pole. So does the 2005 gif for the same day. As a matter of fact, you can find pictures for any day from 1997 to today.
ftp://polar.ncep.noaa.gov/pub/ice/nh/199...970526.gif

So, you have proved nothing yet, as far as I can see.
Wouldn't you agree that Russia can claim roughly half of the Arctic?

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/co...Arctic.svg

As I understood, the pole is some way under water and of no particular value. Russia has a lot of ports along the Arctic shores, what explains the plethora of big ice breakers at this time of year. They're no warships, though if I were a warship and one of those Goliaths comes my way, I would probably hurry off. What's quite difficult without them. :lol:

Palladin,
thanks for your commentaries concerning global warming. Why's the article talking that it's all about control of sea lanes, (such as the mentioned North-West passage), if they reckoned they stay impassably buried under eight feet of ice?
If Russia starts drilling for oil in the arctic ocean, the environmentalists will be miffed, annoyed, horrified, dispeptic, concerned or even apoplectic. So, we can relax, Greenpeace, the World Wildlife Fund et al will take care of the problem.
jt Wrote:Track_S

I checked the image you linked too. Interesting, but it is useless without comparisons to previous years. I manged to find a similar image for May 26, 07 and it seems to show pretty much the same sea ice around the north pole. So does the 2005 gif for the same day. As a matter of fact, you can find pictures for any day from 1997 to today.
ftp://polar.ncep.noaa.gov/pub/ice/nh/199...970526.gif

So, you have proved nothing yet, as far as I can see.
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Yes. But the sea ice melted more than ever (in at least the last 150 years or so) in 2007.

So summer 2008 will probably be the same...

We will see in September when the Arctic winter starts coming back ad the melting is at maximum.

/track_snake
As far as I know, there were several instances in the last 150 years where small boats make the northwest passage. Sorry, no link, but I read it in the WSJ some time ago when arctic ice melting was a new "scare topic". So, the ice did not "melt more than ever, in the last 150 years" in 2007.
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