Arctic Sovereignty Conflicts
The Arctic has traditionally been viewed as an extremely cold region. The harsh climate acted as a chief deterrent to southern emerging incursions. However the rising degree of greenhouse gas emissions from industries in the south is causing environmental change. The preceding decade has carried clear evidence of depletion in the Arctic. The rapid warming of the vast economic potential of the region makes the arctic increasingly prone to environmental catastrophes, smuggling, and perilous polar tourism.
This could even result to an armed conflict among polar states in the quest to gain Arctic sovereignty (Johnston, 2002). The five polar nations are Canada, USA, Russia, Norway and Demark. The reduction of sea ice due to climate change in the region has translated the Arctic into a region of increased focus of overlapping and competing claims. These claims seek environmental safety, navigation rights and the natural economic resources of the region, including specifically oil and gas.