In DepthArctic Policy

U.S. lays out its ambitions for leadership in the Arctic

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Science  17 Apr 2015:
Vol. 348, Issue 6232, pp. 270
DOI: 10.1126/science.348.6232.270

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Next week, the United States will become chair of the eight-nation Arctic Council, an intergovernmental forum that aims to foster cooperation on research and policy in the far north. The United States has released an ambitious, climate- and conservation-focused agenda for its 2-year chairmanship that includes pushing for more research on black carbon, which accelerates melting in the region, and on emissions of the potent greenhouse gas methane from the seabed and permafrost, as well as creating a network of marine protected areas in the Arctic and equipping Arctic villages with renewable energy sources. Environmental groups have hailed the agenda, but some observers warn against too lofty expectations for what it might mean for policy changes among the "Arctic 8."