Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

Canadians prepared to fight for Arctic: survey
by Staff Writers
Ottawa (AFP) Jan 25, 2011

Polar bear tracked in epic 9-day swim
Washington (UPI) Jan 25, 2011 - Scientists say a female polar bear embarked on swimming search for sea ice north of Alaska that lasted nine days and covered 426 miles. Scientists studying the bears around the Beaufort Sea say this endurance swim could be a result of climate change, the BBC reported Tuesday. Polar bears are known to embark on journeys between land and sea ice floes to hunt seals, but researchers say increasing sea ice melts are forcing push polar bears to swim greater distances, risking their own health and that of future generations. Researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey published the details of their study in the journal Polar Biology.

"This bear swam continuously for 232 hours and 687 km (426 miles) and through waters that were 2-6 degrees C (35 to 42 degrees F)," research zoologist George M. Durner said. "We are in awe that an animal that spends most of its time on the surface of sea ice could swim constantly for so long in water so cold," he said. "It is truly an amazing feat." Researchers say the epic journey, tracked with a GPS collar placed on the bear, came at a high cost for the animal. "This individual lost 22 percent of her body fat in two months and her yearling cub," Durner said. "This dependency on sea ice potentially makes polar bears one of the most at-risk large mammals to climate change," he said.

Canadians rank the Arctic as their top foreign policy priority and support shifting up to 3,000 troops from UN missions abroad to defend disputed claims in the far north, a survey showed Tuesday.

This view puts Canada at odds with its seven Arctic neighbors and has "ominous implications" for cooperation in the resource-rich region, the EKOS poll's authors warned.

The results, published by the University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs and the Walter & Duncan Gordon Foundation, show that while Canadians say they welcome working with other countries, a "clear majority" also wants to increase Canada's military presence in the Arctic.

Forty-three percent of Canadians said their government should pursue a firm line in defending Canadian sections of the Arctic.

This hard line was echoed by 36 percent of respondents in Iceland, 34 percent in Russia and 10 percent or less in the United States, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark.

Fifty-eight percent of Canadians also said they support a strengthened military presence in the north to protect against international threats.

"Canadians see the Arctic as our foremost foreign policy priority and one which should be resourced accordingly," said the study, noting that most respondents favor shifting military resources to the region rather than deploying them to other conflict zones.

"The Arctic is seen as a crucial ingredient to our sense of national identity but, at the same time, it is also considered an under-resourced area of critical importance to our future."

The researchers warned "there are some huge clashes between Canadian views on the Arctic and those of our Arctic neighbors."

A vast majority of Canadians, for example, insist that the famed Northwest Passage is a Canadian waterway, "but, no one else shares this view."

In addition, 49 percent of Canadians would like Ottawa to assert full sovereignty over the Beaufort Sea while 62 percent of Americans would prefer to strike a deal with Canada to carve up the disputed seabed.

"Perhaps the most noteworthy and troubling conclusion of this research is that Canada stands relatively alone on many issues," the study concluded.

Approximately 9,000 people in eight nations were surveyed in November for the study.

Commenting on the poll, Defense Minsiter Peter MacKay said the Arctic is "a very high priority for Prime Minister Stephen Harper and our government."

Canada's increased militarization of the Arctic, he added, is "in response to what Canadians expect."

The country has stepped up its military alertness along its northern frontier largely in response to Russian "testing" its boundaries with military flights skirting the border, a practice not seen since the Cold War.

The prime minister has also announced plans for a sensor net, more navy patrols, port and airport improvements, and a military training camp in the far north.

Canada's chief of defense staff, however, has downplayed the risk of armed conflict in the Arctic itself.

"There is no conventional military threat to the Arctic," General Walter Natynczyk told a Halifax defense summit in 2009. "If someone were to invade the Canadian Arctic, my first task would be to rescue them."

"The Arctic is a very harsh environment," he explained.

According to the US Geological Survey, the Arctic seabed holds up to 90 billion barrels of oil and 30 percent of the world's untapped gas resources.

Arctic nations are locked in a tight race to gather evidence to support their claims as research suggests global warming could leave the region ice free by 2030, opening up navigation and access for oil rigs to the sea floor.

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea stipulates that any coastal state can claim undersea territory 200 nautical miles from their shoreline and exploit the natural resources within that zone.

Canada and Russia claim the Lomonosov Ridge, a mountain chain running underneath the Arctic, as an extension of their continental shelf.

Canada and Denmark also both claim the deserted Arctic isle of Hans.


Related Links
Beyond the Ice Age

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Loss Of Reflectivity In The Arctic Doubles Estimate Of Climate Models
Corvallis OR (SPX) Jan 19, 2011
A new analysis of the Northern Hemisphere's "albedo feedback" over a 30-year period concludes that the region's loss of reflectivity due to snow and sea ice decline is more than double what state-of-the-art climate models estimate. The findings are important, researchers say, because they suggest that Arctic warming amplified by the loss of reflectivity could be even more significant than ... read more

Draper Commits One Million Dollars To Next Giant Leap's Moon Lander

Lunar water may have come from comets - scientists

Moon Has Earth-Like Core

The Hunt For The Lunar Core

New images of martian moon released

DLR Researchers Simulate The Martian Atmosphere

The Southern Hemisphere Of Phobos, Up Close

Chinese Astronaut Performs Well In Mars-500 Project

Solar Sail Stunner

Looking Back At Uranus

Google looks to its next decade

Astronaut Steve Bowen Joins STS-133 Crew

Slow progress in U.S.-China space efforts

China Builds Theme Park In Spaceport

Tiangong Space Station Plans Progessing

China-Made Satellite Keeps Remote Areas In Venezuela Connected

Russia's Spaceship Debris Slump Into Pacific Ocean

Russian cosmonauts complete space walk

Cosmonauts Perform 27th Russian ISS Spacewalk

ISS Resupply From Four Corners Of Globe

First Delta IV Heavy Launches From Vandenberg

Beaming Rockets Into Space

Arianespace Announces Eutelsat Contract

ATM Is Readied For Its February Launch On Ariane 5

Inclined Orbits Prevail

Inclined Orbits Prevail In Exoplanetary Systems

Planet Affects A Star's Spin

Kepler Mission Discovers Its First Rocky Planet

Virtual lab for space systems planned

'Smartphone Satellite' Developed By Surrey Space Researchers

Canada to upgrade military radars

Researchers Discover How To Tame Hammering Droplets

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement