The melting of Arctic ice has created a new frontier for shipping, energy and mineral exploration and development. As new sea lanes open, nations with a stake in the region are jockeying for position, and environmentalists are looking for ways to mitigate potential harm.
While the threat of militarization remains, the battle right now is on the economic level as countries vie for oil, gas and other minerals, including rare earth metals used to make high-tech products like cellphones. There also are disputes bubbling up with environmental groups that oppose energy exploration in the region; Russia arrested 30 crew members of a Greenpeace ship in September after a protest in the Arctic.
The Daily Circuit explores Arctic issues with an expert in energy policy.