Diplomatic Chill: Politics Trumps Science in Antarctic Treaty System

Diplomatic Chill: Politics Trumps Science in Antarctic Treaty System
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this composite image on Jan. 27, 2009.

Tension is rapidly accelerating in Antarctic affairs on a range of issues, all of them relating to sovereignty and resources. The tensions include disputes over proposals for new marine protected areas in the Southern Ocean; renewed friction between the U.K. and Argentina over their overlapping claims in Antarctica; significant numbers of countries expressing an interest in exploring Antarctic minerals, despite a ban on mineral extraction; increasing numbers of states trying to expand their Antarctic presence, signaling both heightened interests and insecurities over Antarctica’s current governance structure; and escalating conflict between anti-whaling groups and the Japanese government over whaling in the […]

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