Skip to comments.An Arctic War is Getting Closer
Posted on 08/06/2008 3:01:00 PM PDT by B-Chan
An armed conflict in the Arctic area is not far away unless USA leads the way toward a multilateral diplomatic solution. Washington has forfeited its ability to assert sovereignty in the Arctic by allowing its icebreaker fleet to atrophy, says former U. S. Coast Guard officer
Thanks to global warming, the Arctic icecap is rapidly melting, opening up access to massive natural resources and creating shipping shortcuts that could save billions of dollars a year. But there are currently no clear rules governing this economically and strategically vital region. Unless Washington leads the way toward a multilateral diplomatic solution, the Arctic could descend into armed conflict, says Scott G. Borgerson who is International Affairs Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a former Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Coast Guard in Foreign Affairs - a magazine published by The Council on Foreign Relations.
Scott G. Borgerson continues: "Global warming has given birth to a new scramble for territory and resources among the five Arctic powers. Russia was the first to stake its claim in this great Arctic gold rush, in 2001. Moscow submitted a claim to the United Nations for 460,000 square miles of resource-rich Arctic waters, an area roughly the size of the states of California, Indiana, and Texas combined. The UN rejected this ambitious annexation, but last August the Kremlin nevertheless dispatched a nuclear-powered icebreaker and two submarines to plant its flag on the North Pole's sea floor. Days later, the Russians provocatively ordered strategic bomber flights over the Arctic Ocean for the first time since the Cold War. Not to be outdone, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced funding for new Arctic naval patrol vessels, a new deep-water port, and a cold-weather training center along the Northwest Passage. Denmark and Norway, which control Greenland and the Svalbard Islands, respectively, are also anxious to establish their claims.
While the other Arctic powers are racing to carve up the region, the United States has remained largely on the sidelines. The U.S. Senate has not ratified the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the leading international treaty on maritime rights, even though President George W. Bush, environmental nongovernmental organizations, the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard service chiefs, and leading voices in the private sector support the convention. As a result, the United States cannot formally assert any rights to the untold resources off Alaska's northern coast beyond its exclusive economic zone -- such zones extend for only 200 nautical miles from each Arctic state's shore -- nor can it join the UN commission that adjudicates such claims. Worse, Washington has forfeited its ability to assert sovereignty in the Arctic by allowing its icebreaker fleet to atrophy. The United States today funds a navy as large as the next 17 in the world combined, yet it has just one seaworthy oceangoing icebreaker -- a vessel that was built more than a decade ago and that is not optimally configured for Arctic missions. Russia, by comparison, has a fleet of 18 icebreakers. And even China operates one icebreaker, despite its lack of Arctic waters. Through its own neglect, the world's sole superpower -- a country that borders the Bering Strait and possesses over 1,000 miles of Arctic coastline -- has been left out in the cold.
Washington cannot afford to stand idly by. The Arctic region is not currently governed by any comprehensive multilateral norms and regulations because it was never expected to become a navigable waterway or a site for large-scale commercial development. Decisions made by Arctic powers in the coming years will therefore profoundly shape the future of the region for decades. Without U.S. leadership to help develop diplomatic solutions to competing claims and potential conflicts, the region could erupt in an armed mad dash for its resources."
"The Ottawa Declaration of 1996 formally established the Arctic Council as a high level intergovernmental forum to provide a means for promoting cooperation, coordination and interaction among the Arctic States, with the involvement of the Arctic Indigenous communities and other Arctic inhabitants on common Arctic issues, in particular issues of sustainable development and environmental protection in the Arctic.
"Member States of the Arctic Council are Canada, Denmark (including Greenland and the Faroe Islands), Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russian Federation, Sweden, and the United States of America."
More scare ‘em with the GW propaganda crap!
Best battle scenes of the trilogy right there
“Thanks to global warming, the Arctic icecap is rapidly melting”
Where do they get this garbage? Someone please post the today vs a year ago image of the ice coverage in the Arctic. Please?
“As a result, the United States cannot formally assert any rights to the untold resources...”
THE ACQUITTAL OF CARBON DIOXIDE
by Jeffrey A. Glassman, PhD
"Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is the product of oceanic respiration due to the well-known but under-appreciated solubility pump. Carbon dioxide rises out of warm ocean waters where it is added to the atmosphere. There it is mixed with residual and accidental CO2, and circulated, to be absorbed into the sink of the cold ocean waters. Next the thermohaline circulation carries the CO2-rich sea water deep into the ocean. A millennium later it appears at the surface in warm waters, saturated by lower pressure and higher temperature, to be exhausted back into the atmosphere. Throughout the past 420 millennia, comprising four interglacial periods, the Vostok record of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration is imprinted with, and fully characterized by, the physics of the solubility of CO2 in water, along with the lag in the deep ocean circulation.
Notwithstanding that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, atmospheric carbon dioxide has neither caused nor amplified global temperature increases. Increased carbon dioxide has been an effect of global warming, not a cause. Technically, carbon dioxide is a lagging proxy for ocean temperatures. When global temperature, and along with it, ocean temperature rises, the physics of solubility causes atmospheric CO2 to increase.
If increases in carbon dioxide, or any other greenhouse gas, could have in turn raised global temperatures, the positive feedback would have been catastrophic. While the conditions for such a catastrophe were present in the Vostok record from natural causes, the runaway event did not occur. Carbon dioxide does not accumulate in the atmosphere."
The graph above represents temperature and CO2 levels over the past 400,000 years. It is the same exact data Al Gore and the rest of the man-made global warmers refer to. The blue line is temps, the red CO2 levels. The deep valleys represent 4 separate glaciation periods. Now look very carefully at the relationship between temps and CO2 levels (the present is on the right hand side of the graph) and keep in mind that Gore claims this data is the 'proof' that CO2 has warmed the earth in the past. But does the data indeed show this? Nope. In fact, rising CO2 levels all throughout this 400,000-year period actually lagged behind temperature increases ...by an average of 800 years! So it couldn't have been CO2 that got Earth out of these past glaciations. Yet Gore dishonestly and continually claims otherwise. Furthermore, the subsequent CO2 level increases due to dissolved CO2 being released from warming oceans, never did lead to additional warming, the so-called "run-away greenhouse effect" that Al Gore and his friends keep warning us about. In short, there is little if any evidence that CO2 had once led to increased warming during the past 400,000 years. -ETL
"The above chart shows the range of global temperature through the last 500 million years. There is no statistical correlation between the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere through the last 500 million years and the temperature record in this interval. In fact, one of the highest levels of carbon dioxide concentration occurred during a major ice age that occurred about 450 million years ago [Myr]. Carbon dioxide concentrations at that time were about 15 times higher than at present." [also see 180 million years ago, same thing happened]:
So, greenhouse [effect] is all about carbon dioxide, right?
Wrong. The most important players on the greenhouse stage are water vapor and clouds. Carbon dioxide has been increased to about 0.038% of the atmosphere (possibly from about 0.028% pre-Industrial Revolution) while water in its various forms ranges from 0% to 4% of the atmosphere and its properties vary by what form it is in and even at what altitude it is found in the atmosphere.
In simple terms the bulk of Earth's greenhouse effect is due to water vapor by virtue of its abundance. Water accounts for about 90% of the Earth's greenhouse effect -- perhaps 70% is due to water vapor and about 20% due to clouds (mostly water droplets), some estimates put water as high as 95% of Earth's total tropospheric greenhouse effect (e.g., Freidenreich and Ramaswamy, 'Solar Radiation Absorption by Carbon Dioxide, Overlap with Water, and a Parameterization for General Circulation Models,' Journal of Geophysical Research 98 (1993):7255-7264).
The remaining portion comes from carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane, ozone and miscellaneous other 'minor greenhouse gases.' As an example of the relative importance of water it should be noted that changes in the relative humidity on the order of 1.3-4% are equivalent to the effect of doubling CO2.
Water Vapor Rules the Greenhouse System
Water vapor constitutes Earth's most significant greenhouse gas, accounting for about 95% of Earth's greenhouse effect (4). Interestingly, many 'facts and figures' regarding global warming completely ignore the powerful effects of water vapor in the greenhouse system, carelessly (perhaps, deliberately) overstating human impacts as much as 20-fold.
Water vapor is 99.999% of natural origin. Other atmospheric greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and miscellaneous other gases (CFC's, etc.), are also mostly of natural origin (except for the latter, which is mostly anthropogenic).
Human activities contribute slightly to greenhouse gas concentrations through farming, manufacturing, power generation, and transportation. However, these emissions are so dwarfed in comparison to emissions from natural sources we can do nothing about, that even the most costly efforts to limit human emissions would have a very small-- perhaps undetectable-- effect on global climate.
Volcanic eruptions reshape Arctic ocean floor: study
June 25, 2008 | AFP
Recent massive volcanoes have risen from the ocean floor deep under the Arctic ice cap, spewing plumes of fragmented magma into the sea, scientists who filmed the aftermath reported Wednesday.
The eruptions -- as big as the one that buried Pompei -- took place in 1999 along the Gakkel Ridge, an underwater mountain chain snaking 1,800 kilometres (1,100 miles) from the northern tip of Greenland to Siberia.
Scientists suspected even at the time that a simultaneous series of earthquakes were linked to these volcanic spasms.
But when a team led of scientists led by Robert Sohn of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts finally got a first-ever glimpse of the ocean floor 4,000 meters (13,000 feet) beneath the Arctic pack ice, they were astonished.
What they saw was unmistakable evidence of explosive eruptions rather than the gradual secretion of lava bubbling up from Earth's mantle onto the ocean floor.
From Ohio State University News, Dec 2007...
EARTH'S HEAT ADDS TO CLIMATE CHANGE TO MELT GREENLAND ICE
COLUMBUS , Ohio -- Scientists have discovered what they think may be another reason why Greenland 's ice is melting: a thin spot in Earth's crust is enabling underground magma to heat the ice.
They have found at least one hotspot in the northeast corner of Greenland -- just below a site where an ice stream was recently discovered.
The researchers don't yet know how warm the hotspot is. But if it is warm enough to melt the ice above it even a little, it could be lubricating the base of the ice sheet and enabling the ice to slide more rapidly out to sea.
Movie: "The Land That Time Forgot"
"Negotiating an underwater tunnel [beneath the ice] to gain the island's interior, those aboard U-33 are amazed to discover a tropical prehistoric world kept warm by volcanic forces. Here dinosaurs that should be long extinct live and roam, as do a curious race of humanoid savages that appear to exhibit all the various phases of Man's evolutionary development. To survive long enough to repair and replenish the U-boat, wartime enemies must put aside their differences and cooperate with one another. But not everyone is playing from the Kumbaya songbook... The Land That Time Forgot is a thoroughly old fashioned sci-fi/fantasy adventure of the type they weren't really making anymore even in 1975. A lot of this has to do with the script sticking to Burroughs' Victorian style. (His Caprona tales were first published in 1918; as late as World War II he'd still be cranking out novels in the writing style of the 19th Century.) The film's a throwback to the likes of the original King Kong and potboilers such as Unknown Island (1948) and The Land Unknown (1957), only in color."
Latest report was that cracks in the earths surface under the arctic ice were spewing forth hot gasses and lava causing the ice to melt ... as it has countless times in the past. Nothing to do with algores global warming relegion.
There would be nothing “cool” about it in reality, but a fictional story about an Arctic Campaign would be an interesting read.
“Operation Hammer of Hoth”
Looking at this by JPL, ice breakers will not be needed.
I can see a new season of “Ice Road Truckers”
In this season Hugh, Alex, Drew, and Rick is driving for KBR as they bring supplies to the troops fighting in Northern Canada against the Russian invasion.
Big deal ... we all know there is no point in drilling and that’s all those nations want to do. Let them waste their time. /tu
This link shows the daily sea ice trend:
So far, not as much melt as last year...
I say cede all of the disputed territory to Russia. Then we will be able to buy the oil from them, and producing it will lower world prices. If we keep the land, we won’t be able to drill there either if the Messiah wins in November, or ever, as long as Nan and Dingy run congress.
I know its Dan Rather, but the interview and report he did about 5 or more months ago on his HDnet news show was pretty good and is much on the mark with this article. Essentially what the Coast Guard said is that we are allowing the Canadians to take the lead here and we are partially funding this deep water port. Which will be for Coast Guard patrols and scientific research.
The Canadians are pretty gung-ho and putting a lot of resources into this. They are really taking the threat from Russian seriously. I don’t have a problem with it. Allowing them to take the lead means we can put our resources somewhere else.
As frustrated as I was with the last Grit government, I’m a huge fan of Canada and think our alliance is very strong. I know some Americans are cranky about the Canadian plan to assert more control over its far north, but I have no problem with it. I’m much more concerned about the Russians up there.
I can pretty much stop taking it seriously at this point. Also every other nation at the roof of the world is going to get it's a$$ kicked by the Russians, but then that wouldn't be dramatic for an article.
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