So great are the contrasts between the frozen empty expanses of the far north and Africa’s baking deserts, steamy rain forests and savannahs that any direct connections between the two seem far-fetched - if they indeed exist at all.
The United States is calling for greater cooperation in the Arctic, even as it warns that it will defend its sovereignty in the face of strengthening international interest in newly opening shipping lanes and natural resource extraction opportunities as the region’s ice disappears.
Many eyes are turning north to the Arctic, some in horror at the rapid decline of a key component of our life support system, others in eager anticipation at the untapped resources beneath the vanishing snow and ice.
With climate change rapidly opening up new opportunities for shipping and resource extraction across the once permanently frozen Arctic, the United States and other northern countries are being compelled to re-examine their policies, both national and collective, towards this region of growing geostrategic importance.
Environmentalists are warning that a meeting of environment ministers that took place Monday in Sweden has agreed on a weak and inadequate response plan in case of an oil spill in the Arctic Ocean.
The best way to protect the Arctic is for all nations with an interest in the region to participate in its governance - including non-Arctic nations like China, Brazil, and Singapore - suggests a new report.