Thursday, November 19, 2009

In nod to global warming, Navy preps for ‘ice free’ Arctic


By Katie Drummond Email Author, November 18, 2009

The dwindling Arctic ice cap has launched an international race for control of northern waters: Russia, Canada, Denmark, and even China are hustling to expand their military presence, plant flags and eye those 90 billion barrels of natural gas under the cap. Now the U.S. Navy’s getting ready for the thaw, with a strategic plan to maximize the U.S. stake up north.

The Navy’s Arctic Roadmap (.pdf), written by the recently launched Navy Task Force Climate Change (TFCC), opens with an acknowledgment that worldwide temperatures are on the rise — especially up north.  “The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the globe. While significant uncertainty exists in projections for Arctic ice extent, the current scientific consensus indicates the Arctic may experience nearly ice-free summers sometime in the 2030s,” the document notes.

Then the Arctic Roadmap sets out a three-phase plan to secure U.S. interests in the Arctic. Because there’s a lot at stake under that melting cap: energy reserves, transport lanes and potential territory disputes.

It’s the latest in a series of efforts by the sea service to cope with climate change. Just last month, the Navy announced its intention to deploy “an energy-efficient ‘Great Green Fleet’ carrier strike group consisting of ships powered either by nuclear energy or biofuels with an attached air wing of fighter jets fueled entirely by biofuels,”’s Greg Grant reported. …

In Nod to Global Warming, Navy Preps for ‘Ice Free’ Arctic

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