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Arctic Yearbook 2012
Commentary: Thinking About the ‘New’ Arctic Geography
fundamental to the effective monitoring and potential enforcement of future commercial shipping in
the region.
Profound changes are underway in the physical, human, economic and political geography of the
Arctic. I suspect many of us would be comfortable expressing that a serious
geographic revolution
emerged at the top of the planet. One of the great challenges for the wider Arctic community is to
use this wealth of geographic knowledge wisely to better communicate with the global community.
In my judgment we will have to be more precise in our language, even with basic Arctic geography,
and especially when linking with the global media where some misperceptions about the Arctic arise.
We must frame our discourse using a more informed understanding of the vast and complex changes
in Arctic geography that we are experiencing. These are certainly potential key roles for bodies such
as the Arctic Council and the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), as well as a continuing
mandate for the academic community.