skip to main content

Title: Undermining Antarctica

Antarctica is not a global footnote. Its seas contain one of the world's richest concentrations of marine life. And the continent and adjacent shelf may harbor quantities of oil, gas, and other minerals. Many nations want to cash in on these resources. So in 1980 the member countries of the Antarctic Treaty - the agreement that sets the continent aside as a peaceful scientific reserve - signed a pact to regulate the harvesting of fish and other Antarctic life. Now the group, consisting today of 37 nations, is trying to finish a legal framework for exploiting minerals in the region. Antarctica plays a vital role in global atmospheric and oceanic systems. Its vast frozen crust, which accounts for more than 90 percent of the world's ice, greatly affects weather and sea levels and contains an invaluable record of the earth's climatic history. The continent provides precious information on increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide and global pollutants such as DDT. In other words, what happens to Antarctica is of vital importance to us all. It is essential, then, that the minerals pact now being devised heed the concerns of the many nations that don't have a say in Antarctica today, andmore » that it does not endanger this precious continent.« less
Authors:
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
7167064
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Technol. Rev.; (United States); Journal Volume: 91:2
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
02 PETROLEUM; 03 NATURAL GAS; ANTARCTICA; ECOLOGY; NATURAL GAS DEPOSITS; PETROLEUM DEPOSITS; AGREEMENTS; ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS; EXPLOITATION; EXPLORATION; RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT; TREATIES; ANTARCTIC REGIONS; GEOLOGIC DEPOSITS; MINERAL RESOURCES; POLAR REGIONS; RESOURCES 020900* -- Petroleum-- Environmental Aspects; 030800 -- Natural Gas-- Environmental Aspects