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Denmark trying to claim North Pole

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Apparently Russia, Canada and Denmark are trying to see if they can lay claim to the North Pole – Denmark by virture of having Greenland is in the thick of things – seems kind of silly at first glance but with new technologies, hunger for resources and global warming opening up access in the area, it makes a lot of sense if you are greedy…

From News On Rednova

Denmark trying to build evidence for claim on North Pole!


COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Denmark is joining Russia and Canada to see if it can lay a claim to the North Pole – and whatever natural riches may lie beneath it.

The key to Denmark’s claim is Greenland, the world’s largest island and a semi-independent Danish territory, just 500 miles south of the North Pole. Researchers hope to find evidence that Greenland may be connected to a huge ridge beneath the floating Arctic ice, the country’s science and technology minister said.

If high-tech measurements can prove that Greenland is attached to the 1,240 mile underwater Lomonosov Ridge, then “maybe there is a chance that the North Pole could become Danish,” Cabinet minister Helge Sander said Friday.

Since the spring, teams of experts have used sonar, seismological instruments and Global Positioning Satellite data to survey the ridge and have drilled into the sea bed in search of natural resources.

Last year, Denmark allocated $25 million for the project, which is also surveying four other areas around Greenland. The Canadian government allocated $55.4 million for similar sea bed mapping, said Allan Boldt of the science and technology ministry.

The question Danish scientists are trying resolve is where Greenland’s continental socket ends and the ocean sea floor begins.

“We must be able to argue that it is a natural extension” of Greenland, added Trine Dahl-Jensen of the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland.

Another key to claiming ownership of the territory lies in the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, a 1986 accord that allows coastal countries an economic zone extending 230 miles from their shores.

Only countries that have ratified the convention can claim the offshore economic zones, said Allan Boldt of the science and technology ministry.

Of the countries surrounding the North Pole, Norway, Russia and Canada have signed the document, while the United States has not. Denmark’s parliament is set to ratify it before the end of the year, though an exact date has not been set, Sander said.

The North Pole is an ocean covered by ice and therefore falls under the U.N. convention.

The mapping could be a bonanza.

“It could give us access to natural resources. There could be oil and gas,” Sander said.

Neighboring Norway’s offshore oil fields make it the world’s third-largest oil exporter.

Canada and Russia, which also is likely to claim ownership of the Lomonosov Ridge, are also making similar investigations around the North Pole.

Mapping the Arctic is difficult because of moving ice floes, freezing temperatures, fog and poor visibility, said Dahl-Jensen.

“We can only work there for about a month-and-half,” she said.

On the Net:

Mapping site

UN convention

More science, space, and technology from RedNova

Copyright © 2004 The Associated Press.

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About Jason Koulouras

  • Those Danes, they just can’t make up their mind!

  • RJ

    I dated a Dane once. Her vaginal muscles could have strangled a wild boar.

  • Eric Olsen


  • Jason Koulouras

    It is unfortunate that the comments are totally unrelated to the topic at hand. It is a very serious topic and has far reaching implications.

  • Having just returned from Denmark less than 10 days ago, I can tell you that anything that could drive down the price of gasoline would be a positive boon. It cost about $90 US to fill a 12-galloon tank! Of course, most of that retail cost is actually taxes.

  • Eric Olsen

    It is an interesting and important topic and the implications are profound, but we can never really predict what aspect of our posts people will respond to – sometimes comments are just nonsense and that’s that

  • JR

    Having just returned from Denmark less than 10 days ago, I can tell you that anything that could drive down the price of gasoline would be a positive boon.

    Anything? You really mean that? ‘Cause pulling all the SUV’s off the road would drive down the price of gasoline.

  • This is what I get for speaking directly to the post and not broadly to the world.

    OK, JR- No, I do not support banning SUVs. I’m not an authoritarian of any kind. I was speaking about driving down the price of gas in Denmark, where it ranges from 7.5 to 9 Kroner per litre. (The Kroner exchanges at roughly 6Kr to 1 US dollar.) It is prohibitively expensive to drive a hybrid there, let alone an SUV. Additionally, in Denmark, the tax on any new vehicle is 180%. This means that to buy a new hybrid with a $10,000 US (60,000 Kr) sticker price has a retail price of $28,000 US (168,000 Kr). I was expressing sympathy for the commuting Danes.

    Here in the US, I have no complaint whatsoever about the $2/gal price tag, especially in light of my European travels.

  • Eric Olsen

    I remember back in the good old days – days that should never have seen the sun set – when they would pay you to take away the gas from the service station

  • Considering it is an unstable environment which is prone to react all out of proportion to tiny events, maybe the the best thing is to just leave it alone.

    Since melting of the Arctic ice-cap will have catastrophic effects on the global climate, such as altering the currents in the Atlantic ocean such as the Gulf Stream, it would be better to freeze out Denmark, or any other country from affecting the polar icecap just like Antartica.

  • Eric Olsen

    and then there’s the serious answer

  • Interesting idea Jim, protect the Arctic under International Treaty like the Anarctic.


  • N.Allan

    An Arctic Treaty is an excellent idea and there are currently discussions about such an idea. The Arctic Council is the current forum for many Arctic discussions however it does not have the teeth required to adequately protect the area. The recently released Arctic Climate Impact Assessment draws a pretty good picture of where the arctic is heading.

    Personally I think it is ridiculous to imply that banning SUV’s is authoritarian. As democratic societies we have always put limits to protect ourselves and our environment. While the US is happy to curb their freedoms to protect themselves against terrorism they hesitate to curb their freedoms to protect themselves against bigger killers such as bad air.

  • Banning is not authoritarian? What would you call it, then?

    A government that bans anything does so on its’ claimed authority, hence the term authoritarian. That the ban happens for a good cause does not mitigate that fact.