US, Canada Team Up to Explore Uncharted Arctic

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 29, 2009 1:50 AM CDT
US, Canada Team Up to Explore Uncharted Arctic
The Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Louis S. St-Laurent makes its way through the ice in Baffin Bay, Canada.   (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward)

Canada and the US are letting their Arctic rivalry thaw long enough to launch an exploration mission, the Globe & Mail reports. A pair of icebreakers—one from each country—will set off next week into uncharted waters, working in tandem to clear a path and map North America's continental shelf. The research is likely to lay a foundation for future claims to the Arctic's riches.

"This really is uncharted territory—we have better maps of the moon,” said the chief hydrographer on the American ship. The two countries, which both reject Russia's claim to the North Pole, will share data from the mission. But they are expected to file overlapping claims on large areas of the Arctic, and the US has no plans to share undersea data collected by its US submarines with the Canadians.
(More Arctic stories.)

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