In anticipation of opened oil wells beneath the melting arctic, an ownership-mapping mission makes its way across the seabed

 
U.S. Coast Guard cutter Healy : Photo by NOAA

Ever since Russia planted a flag under the North Pole last year, the issue of sovereign rights under an increasingly slushy arctic has tensed. In a race to claim ownership of some of the arctic seabed, a two-ship caravan of Canadian and U.S. scientists is sailing around the Arctic Ocean right now. Their mission, which will last from September 6th to October 1st, is to measure the seabed and the continental margins in an attempt to solidify our possible rights over the far north—an area that will become accessible to oil drilling and mining as the earth warms and arctic ice melts.

PopSci reported a few months ago on a map from Durham University researchers, showing the complicated web of conflicting arctic claims. At least six nations could own part of the arctic. Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (what a mouthful), nations own the rights 200 meters out from the edge of their continental shelf—not the exposed coast, but the undersea lip of the continent. Unfortunately, there is no geophysical consensus on where those shelf edges are, hence this joint voyage.

The U.S. ship, the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Healy will use a multi-beam echo sounder to map the sea floor, sending out sound pulses, which return at different times depending on the depth. The Canadian ship, the Louis S. St. Laurent will follow doing complementary measurements of the sub-sea floor. The hope is that the whole of the arctic does not in fact belong to Russia, and that we, or Canada might own a piece of the pie as well. Go team.

 

Sovereign

n.[C]

1. 君主,元首;最高統治者

2. 主權國家

3. 英國舊時的一鎊金幣

a.

1. 最高統治者的

2. 擁有最高統治權的;具有獨立主權的

3. 最高的,至尊的;至高無上的

4. 完全的,不折不扣的

5. 極好的;極有效的

 

slushy

a.

1. 泥濘的

n

2.【俚】船上的廚子;【澳】廚子的助手

 

continental

a.

1. 洲的;大陸的

2. (常大寫)歐洲大陸的

3. 大陸性的

4. (常大寫)(美國獨立前後)北美大陸的

n.

1. (常大寫)歐洲大陸人[C]

2. (美國獨立戰爭時發行的)大陸幣[C]

3. (常大寫)(美國獨立戰爭時的)美洲軍人[C]

 

margins

n.[C]

1. ,邊沿,邊緣

2. 頁邊空白;欄外

3. 極限,限度

4. (時間,花費上保留的)餘地,餘裕

5. 差數;幅度

6. 利潤;賺頭

7. 保證金,定金

vt.

1. 加邊於;成為...的邊

2. 加旁註於

3.【商】為...付保證金

 

conflicting

a.

1.      相矛盾的;衝突的

 

consensus

n.

1. 一致

2. 合意

3. 輿論

 

 

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