The Arctic: A Drifting Future



Series: Arctic Region and Antarctica Issues and Research

BISAC: SCI030000

Over recent decades, the Arctic has been the focus of attention of many countries around the world. The region is not yet fully explored but is believed to have plentiful natural mineral resources. This is particularly true for hydrocarbons, which are estimated to account for a quarter of the world’s reserves.

Natural and climatic transformations, caused by global warming and the accelerated melting of Arctic ice, have led to the extension of the navigation season of the Northern Sea Route. Interest in Arctic oil and gas fields is growing due to the depletion of traditional onshore hydrocarbon deposits, rising prices and increased consumption.

Despite the challenging conditions of hydrocarbon production in the Arctic, rapid development is expected in this region as main oil fields in Russia deplete. This has intensified the negotiation process and defined the international legal regime in the Arctic.

This book explores the future of the Arctic, including geographical changes resulting from climate change, the region’s deposit of hydrocarbon resources, the Arctic’s international legal status, the state of scientific research in the Arctic, and more.

Table of Contents

List of Tables

About the Authors




Chapter 1. The Geography of the Arctic

Chapter 2. The Hydrocarbon Resources of the Arctic: An Attractive Deposit

Chapter 3. The International Legal Status of the Arctic

Chapter 4. The Sea Routes

Chapter 5. Ambitions and Realities of Russian Policy in the Arctic

Chapter 6. Illustrations of Practical Works in the Arctic

Chapter 7. The “Cold” Militarization of the Arctic

Chapter 8. Scientific Research in the Arctic

Chapter 9. The Silent Arctic Started Speaking

Chapter 10. The Arctic – The “Weather Kitchen”

Chapter 11. Arctic Policies of Non-Arctic States






“This book is extremely timely because it discusses the Arctic region at its climate and geopolitical tipping points: Global warming, melting arctic ice, ice-free shipping lanes connecting the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean, and changing alliances among Arctic and near-Arctic nations are converging and leading to increasing geopolitical competition for mineral and energy resources involving the US, Russia and China’s Polar Silk Road. Its future is yet to be charted.” – Michael H. Glantz, PhD, University of Colorado at Boulder, USA

“This monograph is a book about the Arctic incorporating factual material, filled with real events of the XXI century. Dr. Sergey Zhiltsov takes a close look at solutions to geopolitical, economic and social problems, ensuring national security in the region. An impressive rise of the Russian Arctic. Great job!” – Dr. Rustem Shagiev, Rector of Moscow Petroleum Institute

“The authors managed to fit the key challenges of the Arctic into one book. Hydrocarbon resources and extraction projects, the international legal regime and politics, shipping and militarization – all these topics allow for a new perspective into the Arctic region. Russian policy in the Arctic – its history and modernity – is of great interest.” – Dr. Oleg Grishin, PhD in Political Science, Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia

“This book reflects a balanced approach to the climatic matters of the Arctic. It thoroughly presents the problem of global warming and identifies both the risks and new opportunities for the development of the Arctic. The authors have not limited themselves to climate and ecology but have expanded the research field by linking these questions with issues of hydrocarbon extraction and shipping development.” – Dr. Kostyanoy Andrei, Doctor of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Chief Researcher of the Shirshov Institute of Oceanology of the Russian Academy of Sciences

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