Congress Receives Report on Arctic Issues

Global Trade published the following article titled, “Congress Receives Report on Arctic Issues.” The article reads in part as follows,

“The Congressional Research Service, a bipartisan and well regarded agency that briefs the U.S. Congress on current issues has weighed in on the diminution of Arctic sea ice and the increase in human activities in the region, including trade and transportation.

Alaska makes the United States an Arctic country and therefore has substantial interests in the region. In January 2015, President Obama issued an executive order for enhancing coordination of national efforts in the Arctic. The United States assumed the chairmanship of the Arctic Council in April 2015 and will serve in that capacity for two years.

Arctic sea ice has reached record low levels over the past decade, focusing scientific and policy

attention on the possibility of extended ice-free seasons in the Arctic in coming decades.

“These changes have potential consequences for weather in the United States, access to mineral and biological resources in the Arctic, the economies and cultures of peoples in the region, and national security,” the CRS paper noted.

The five Arctic coastal states—the United States, Canada, Russia, Norway, and Denmark (of

which Greenland is a territory)—are in the process of preparing submissions to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf regarding the outer limits of their extended continental shelves. The Russian submission includes the underwater Lomonosov Ridge, a feature that spans a considerable distance across the Arctic Ocean.”

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