After the Ice Melts:Conflict Resolution and the International Scramble for Natural Resources in the Arctic Circle

  •  Wei-en Tan    
  •  Yu-tai Tsai    


It is a well-known fact that global warming is melting the Arctic ice cap. As this happens, the natural resources in the Arctic will become available for exploitation. As such, the five countries with major claims to the region—the United States, Canada, Russia, Denmark, and Norway—are looking to extend their claims to the natural resources beneath the ice-covered ocean. The size of the Arctic Shelf is about 4.5 million square kilometers, and the U.S. Geological Survey posits that 25 percent of the world’s undiscovered gas and oil reserves may be there. Clearly, there are large amounts of untapped resources that these five countries could use to satisfy their increasing demand for development and economy.

This paper will try to explore the current disputes over Arctic seabed resources surrounding the five states in North Pole, evaluate the regimes for resolving the conflict in UNCLOS. Furthermore, the paper will introduce the appropriate points of view and discuss the alternative dispute settlement mechanism (DSM) for this significant problem caused by global warming in the coming future.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.