In DepthOcean Science

Fight for the Arctic Ocean is a boon for science

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Science  21 Jun 2019:
Vol. 364, Issue 6446, pp. 1120-1121
DOI: 10.1126/science.364.6446.1120

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Summary

Last month, Canada became the third country to claim—based on extensive scientific data—that it should have sovereignty over a large swath of the Arctic Ocean, including the North Pole. Canada's bid, submitted to the United Nations's Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf on 23 May, joins competing claims from Russia and Denmark. Like theirs, it is motivated by the prospect of mineral riches: the large oil reserves believed to lie under the Arctic Ocean. And all three claims, along with dozens of similar claims in other oceans, rest on extensive seafloor mapping, which has proved to be a boon to science, whatever the outcome for individual countries.