Earth Science - Other

Who Owns the North and South Poles

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"Who Owns the North and South Poles"
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Both the North and South poles are thought to be mineral and recourse rich, meaning there are a lot of countries who think they have a right to claim parts of them for themselves. At the moment there is an agreement that no country will mine there or disturb the fragile ecosystem, meaning that both poles are only open to scientific endeavor. However once the world natural recourses begin to dwindle the question of who can claim the recourses that are waiting there will once again come into the fore.

The claim that can be made to the poles is also one of the biggest reasons for the outbreak of the Falklands war. Although neither side will likely admit it, the Falklands islands being located near to the south pole means that their owner has a strengthened claim to Antarctica. Britain in particular being as it is so far away from the south pole, can more easily base its operations for Antarctica from the Falklands. Other then this the Falklands are only four small islands without anything else that spectacular about them.

The easy answer to this question is that the Inuit peoples (formerly called the Eskimos) have rightful claim to the north pole (arctic). They have lived there for hundreds of thousands of years and are the natural indigenous population. They do however lack any centralized government and so it could be argued that they lack the technology or leadership to lay real claim to the land any differently than they do now. Because they are nomadic as well it would be extremely difficult to gather them and hear their views in the matter.

As for the south pole, (Antarctica) there are several countries who will likely claim a piece for themselves when the issue of mining there for the massive amounts of natural recourses there are there comes around again. These include USA, UK, Russia, Australia, Argentina, Chile, France, Norway and New Zealand. The strongest claims are the U.Ks and Norway's as the British is the oldest registered claim and both them and Norway were the first to establish settlements there in the 1700s for whaling purposes.

At the moment these countries are only allowed to send scientific expeditions to Antarctica, with the promise that no pollutants are left behind that could damage the wildlife. The North pole is the same for the moment, and includes several other countries that claim eventual ownership of it for themselves. Although because the north pole is made up of only ice whereas the south pole is frozen land, the north pole may eventually melt entirely meaning no-one will be able to claim it.

So the answer is that for the time being there is no owner of the north and south poles. Both land masses have several different countries science outposts there, but there is no general populous other then the Inuit people in the arctic. One day that might all change, and there will likely be a lot of international fallout whoever eventually claims the poles.

More about this author: Jonte Rhodes

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