For the last 60 years, the Arctic has warmed twice as fast as the rest of the Earth, and some Asians business people are taking advantage of this fact. The thawing at the top of the globe gives access to incredible mineral wealth and drastically shorter shipping routes to the Atlantic through the now reopened Northwest Passage.
The Arctic waters not only contain fish, the US Geological Survey estimates that 30% of the world’s undiscovered reserves of natural gas, and 13% of the undiscovered oil, are there–as well as coal, iron, uranium, gold, copper, rare earths and gemstones.
Along with the Northwest Passage, there is also the Northeast Passage above Russia. Asian countries such as China, Japan and South Korea hope that it will become navigable for several months each summer. The NSR cuts the voyage from China to Europe by 4,000 miles, compared with the southern journey through the Strait of Malacca and the Suez Canal. It will be even shorter when it is possible to break through the ice that lies across the North Pole.
As might be expected, China has invested both financially and diplomatically in the Arctic. They spend more on polar research than the US does.
But unlike the US and Europe, they don’t want to SAVE the Arctic, because it’s to their (short term) advantage for it to keep melting.
In 1998, Whitley Strieber had no idea the glaciers were melting, but the Master of the Key burst into his hotel room in Toronto and told him all about it, which led to his bestselling book "Superstorm."
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