For the third consecutive year, Apple tops the list of most innovative companies.
When the Ice Melts
On Oct. 2, the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) reported, "This September, sea ice covering the Arctic Ocean fell to the lowest extent in the satellite record, which began in 1979."
When it comes to the issue of polar ice in retreat, one land mass will feel the brunt of this climate change most directly: Greenland, where the geographic North Pole sits.
Greenland is the world's largest island, yet it is inhabited by fewer than 57,000 people, approximately 90% of who are natives whose families have lived there for many generations. Though the island is self-governing, it remains an entity of the Kingdom of Denmark.
With some scientists predicting that the polar ice may retreat for good by 2020, Greenland has become a staging ground for many companies and individuals hoping to make use of the vast mineral resources that likely lie beneath the country's newly unfrozen surfaces. In addition to oil companies hoping to find major reserves off the Greenland coast, speculators are searching for gold, rubies, diamonds, rare earth metals, and other minerals.
The intertwined forces of global politics and economics have become a potential threat to the arctic region, with Greenland bound to be affected. The New York Times reports, "While the United States, Russia and several nations of the European Union have Arctic territory, China has none, and as a result, has been deploying its wealth and diplomatic clout to secure toeholds in the region."
It remains to be seen whether Greenland's nation's native inhabitants will prosper with the changes ahead and escape the the "resource curse," which has befallen resource-rich but impoverished countries like Venezuela, Angola, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.