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Until recently, the northern US border was secured by a continent-size piece of ice; however, as climate change opens up the Arctic to further exploitation and access, geopolitical uncertainties over regional dominance will arise and regional tensions will heighten. As such, the United States is gearing up to increase military presence in the Arctic. The use of a FONOP is a tool the U.S. can use to signal readiness to engage in the region. FONOPs have been used by the U.S. around the world to assert the rights of American ships to operate freely in disputed territories and to discourage illegitimate/excessive claims (examples of this can be seen throughout the South China Sea.)
Why This Matters? It has been predicted that by 2035 the Arctic will be completely free of ice in the summer; when the Arctic melts (becoming just another ocean,) geopolitical tensions will rise as Arctic nations struggle for dominance of the region. While the United States has a vested interest in asserting its right to operate its military freely in the Arctic and ensure freedom of movement for commercial vessels, a FONOP may be an aggressive display. Any military action taken in the Arctic needs to be strategic and well-thought out.
UNESCO has launched a new program to collect, analyze, and monitor environmental DNA (AKA eDNA) to better understand biodiversity at its marine World Heritage sites. Scientists will collect genetic material from fish cells, mucus, and waste across multiple locations along with eDNA from soil, water, and air. The two-year project will help experts assess […]
It’s about time we had a conversation about the birds and the bees…or in this case, the otters and the seagrass. A new study found that the ecological relationship between sea otters and the seagrass fields where they make their home is spurring the rapid reproduction of the plants. Otters dig up about 5% of […]
By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor An abandoned oil tanker off the coast of Yemen is deteriorating rapidly, and experts say that a hull breach could have far-reaching environmental impacts and threaten millions of people’s access to food and water supplies. The FSO SAFER tanker holds 1.1 million barrels of oil — more than four […]
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