By Jennifer Loy
The Arctic Ocean is one of the few places left unexplored on Earth. Its vast frozen landmass and seas encompass all that is north of 66° 33’N, otherwise known as the Arctic Circle. It is bordered by the United States (Alaska), Canada, Denmark (Greenland), Norway, Iceland, and of course, Russia. Outside of the littoral nations, Sweden and Finland are pertinent to the area and are also members of the Arctic Council created in 1996.
The Arctic Council is the leading intergovernmental forum promoting cooperation, coordination and interaction among the Arctic States, Arctic indigenous communities and other Arctic inhabitants on common Arctic issues, in particular on issues of sustainable development and environmental protection. A major focus is the melting icecap as it not only affects the coastal nations, but the rest of the world, and its work includes global climate change studies, funding the search for natural resources, and the delineating of Arctic borders.