As global warming continues to heat our atmosphere and melt Arctic ice, boundary disputes in the region are likely to escalate as the nations bordering the region scramble to claim an estimated 90 billion barrels of oil which is currently inaccessible under the ice. A new map, unveiled today, by the UK's International Boundaries Research Unit at Durham University, shows us just where the disagreements will be. According to Martin Pratt, the program's director of research,
The map is most precise depiction yet of the limits and the future dividing lines that could be drawn across the Arctic region. The results have huge implications for policy-making as the rush to carve up the polar region continues.
What Counts as Territorial Waters?
As Reuters points out, even though the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea clearly establishes where a nation's territorial claims end (200 nautical miles from shore), disputes do arise. Russia claims it should be able to claim more because its continental shelf extends farther into the ocean than other places and therefore should be counted as 'shoreline'.
If you want a better look at what you'll be hearing about more often in the news, you can download a hi-rez version of the map.
via :: Reuters
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