This week’s decision by the Arctic Council, led by the eight nations with Arctic territory, to accept China, India, Japan and three other countries as new observers points to the region’s growing importance. It’s also a sharp reminder of the need for the U.S., the council’s biggest player, to do more to prevent a destabilizing Great Game from unfolding at the top of the world.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Stockholm for meetings with Swedish leaders before traveling to the northern reaches of the country for a meeting on the sweeping climate changes affecting the Arctic.
Natalia Watkins, a 40-year-old Hong Kong-based executive for HSBC Holdings Plc, knows about endurance. Last month she flew to the Arctic, ditched her BlackBerry and raced on foot over frozen snow hauling a gear- piled sled for 67 hours with only six hours of sleep.
The Earth’s northern polar region will be almost ice-free in the warmest months by 2050, sooner than previously estimated, according to a study by two federal government scientists who work on climate change.
Sir Ranulph Fiennes became the first man, with fellow soldier Charles Burton, to circumnavigate the globe by crossing the Arctic and Antarctic ice caps, from 1979 to 1982. When he climbed Mount Everest in 2009, he became the first person to cross both ice caps and summit the world's highest peak. His various attempts on the Poles, as well as mountaineering and running exploits have spanned more then four decades. Since 1984, he’s used his expeditions to raise more than 16 million pounds ($23.8 million) for charities, becoming one of the U.K.’s top fundraisers.