Research Suggests Canada Has Good Claim On Vast Chunk Of Disputed Arctic Seabed

Posted on Thursday, April 10 at 19:41 by N Say

Research suggests Canada has good claim on vast chunk of disputed Arctic seabed


Wed Apr 9, 5:19 PM


By Bob Weber, The Canadian Press

EUREKA, Nunavut - New research at remote camps on the sea ice of the Arctic Ocean suggests Canada has good evidence for its own claim to a vast chunk of the increasingly disputed seabed - a claim that could go all the way to the North Pole.

"The size of Canada's Arctic and East Coast claim is roughly equivalent to the size of the Prairie provinces," said Ruth Jackson, a scientist with the Geological Survey of Canada.

She is one of dozens of researchers at the Eureka weather station on the west coast of Ellesmere Island who are gathering data to back up the assertion.

As advanced technology makes extreme environments less forbidding and climate change continues to reduce ice cover on northern seas, countries with Arctic coastlines are becoming more interested in asserting control over the resources those seas are thought to hold. Trillions of cubic feet of natural gas and millions of barrels of oil are believed to lie under water that was once considered inaccessible.

The United Nations Convention on the Law of Sea, which Canada signed in 2003, is intended to set the rules for who controls what.

Russia has already filed its own claim to a vast chunk of the Arctic seabed, including the North Pole. That claim was dramatized when a Russian submarine boldly planted a flag on the ocean floor under the Pole.

Not so fast, say Canadian scientists who, from icebreakers and tents pitched right on the ice, have been quietly studying the Arctic sea floor for three years.

"The Arctic Ocean is an order of magnitude less understood than other oceans," said Jackson.

And Canada's part of that sea is the hardest to study, she added.


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