Swedes break the ice for Danes at the North Pole
Scientists preparing the Danish claim for the Arctic continental shelf have reached the North Pole onboard the Swedish icebreaker “Oden.”
The crew and scientists waved their flags as “Oden” stopped at the 90 degrees north just before midnight Wednesday evening.
Denmark is one of three Arctic nations that are collecting data to prove that the seafloor under the North Pole belongs to them. The two others are Russia and Canada. Denmark’s claim will be based on the assumption that the geographical North Pole is a part of the same underwater geological ridge that goes all the way from northern Greenland.
The seafloor claims north of the Arctic countries current 200 nautical miles territory will be decided by the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf based on the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea within the next few years. The decisions will be based on scientific data.
Such data is now what the Danish North Pole expedition onboard “Oden” collects.
Expedition leader and head of the Danish national geological institute, Christian Marcussen, is confident that Denmark has the best cards in the race.
“We feel pretty sure that our argument is correct and that Denmark can make the claim outside the 200 nautical mile limit,” Marcussen said to Berlingske Tidene.
After analyzing this year’s data, Denmark will file its claims to extend its Arctic seabed in 2014.
This is the seventh time “Oden” reaches the North Pole. The icebreaker, operated by the Swedish Maritime Administration was the first non-nuclear vessel to break the ice all the way to the top of the world in 1991. Since then, she has been to the North Pole in 1996, 2001, 2004, 2005 and 2009.
“Oden” left the North Pole late Thursday. Next one in line is the Chinese icebreaker “Xuelong” that is now steaming towards the Arctic icecap on its return voyage to China from Iceland. As BarentsObserver reported yesterday, “Xuelong” plans to sail the transpolar route via the North Pole.