Across the Top of the World? Emerging Arctic Navigational Opportunities and Arctic Governance

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The Arctic Ocean has witnessed dramatic thinning and melting of sea ice cover as a consequence of climate change in recent years. This has led to increasing access to and thus activities in the Arctic region, including with regard to shipping. Arctic navigational opportunities are examined and it is concluded that there are a number of major obstacles to Arctic routes transforming the pathways of global trade, at least in the immediate future. The likely future opening up of Arctic sea lanes does, however, provide a focal point for increasing external interest in the region and for changes in oceans governance.

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