Who Owns the Riches Beneath the Ocean?

We learn as children that there is no land at the North Pole -it's the Arctic Ocean. But most of the time, it's covered with ice and polar bears. That was once upon a time, because the ice is melting and the Arctic Ocean is opening up, diminishing the polar bears' habitat, and worrying environmentalists. But some are looking at that ocean as an opportunity, as the Arctic Ocean has riches of oil and natural gas beneath it. So who has the rights to those resources? Russia claims all the area north of Siberia to the North Pole. China is investing in Canada, which has natural access to the Arctic. And the U.S. wants to keep rights to shipping lanes as a shortcut between continents. Read about the controversies to come at Smithsonian. Link

(Image credit: Keith Negley)

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