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Danes Join Scramble for Arctic

Denmark to launch expedition to Arctic to defend territorial claims
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 11, 2007 1:20 PM CDT
Danes Join Scramble for Arctic
Russian atomic icebreaker Rossiya seen in this August, 1987 file photo. Russian scientists hope to plunge to the seabed beneath the North Pole in the next few days in a miniature sub and plant a titanium capsule containing the Russian flag, symbolically claiming much of the Arctic Ocean floor for Moscow....   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – A Danish expedition is set to head for the Arctic tomorrow, joining the scramble to claim polar territories. A team of 40 scientists and massive icebreakers are heading north to prove that a 2,000-kilometer underwater mountain range stretching to the pole is an extension of Greenland, and accordingly belongs to Denmark. But Canada and Russia are also calling dibs on the ridge and its untapped resources.

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The expedition will be collecting data for a possible sovereignty demand, the Toronto Star reports,  but it'll be up to the United Nations to decide whether Denmark owns the territory, based on a 1982 treaty. In the meantime, Russia planted a national flag in polar ice two weeks ago, and Canadian PM Stephen Harper wrapped up a three-day Arctic tour yesterday. (Read more global warming stories.)

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