The Disaffected Lib: Meanwhile, In Our Vast, Undefended North…

The latest issue of Foreign Policy magazine is devoted to espionage, spying, and the magazine reports that today’s Ground Zero of spying is the Arctic. For the countries that border the Arctic Ocean—
Russia, the United States, Canada, Norway, and Denmark (through its territory of Greenland)—an accessible ocean means new opportunities. And for the states that have ...

The Disaffected Lib: Surf’s Up – On the Arctic Ocean

Well, it turns out every cloud does have a silver lining.  A major impact of climate change has been the rapid loss of Arctic sea ice.  The absence of sea ice, in turn, has led to the development of big waves which are, in their turn, contributing to the break up of the remaining sea ...

The Disaffected Lib: China Stakes Its Claim to the Arctic

It’s our fault if we don’t listen for China has been loud and clear that it considers it is entitled to a powerful, potentially military presence in the Arctic and a stake in Arctic ocean resources. To date, China’s economic ambitions in the Arctic have been largely thwarted by Arctic states wary of the country’s ...

The Disaffected Lib: Arctic Ocean Acidifying Rapidly

Oh well, we probably won’t even think about this once the oil spills begin but it turns out that cold sea water is especially absorptive of CO2.  And, that is why the Arctic Ocean is rapidly acidifying. Scientists from the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme report widespread changes in the ocean chemistry.   They conclude that ...

The Disaffected Lib: Iceland Shills for Chinese Voice in Arctic Affairs

The timing must be entirely coincidental.   Iceland just became the first European country to conclude a free trade agreement with China. The China-Iceland FTA covers trade in goods and services, investments, and various other areas. Specific provisions on investment, movability of citizens, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical trade barriers, rules of origin, customs procedures, competition ...

The Disaffected Lib: Russia’s Arctic "Nuclear Time Bomb"

K-27 She’s rusting away on the seabed barely 75 feet below the surface.  The experimental Soviet nuclear submarine K-27 is a disaster waiting to happen in Russia’s Kara Sea that adjoins the Arctic Ocean.  On just her third cruise, 7-crewmen died when the ship’s reactor malfunctioned.   Soviet authorities eventually chose to tow the sub to ...

The Disaffected Lib: Arctic Sea Ice Isn’t Just for Polar Bears

The Arctic is about more than ice and polar bears.  Much, much more. Most of us by now have become familiar with El Nino or his ugly stepsister, La Nina, that are lumped together as something called ENSO, the “southern oscillation.”   They each bring droughts and floods only in different places.  But they originate in ...