"The diminishment of Arctic sea ice has led to increased human activities in the Arctic, and has heightened interest in, and concerns about, the region’s future. Issues such as Arctic sovereignty claims; commercial shipping through the Arctic; Arctic oil, gas, and mineral exploration; endangered Arctic species; and increased military operations in the Arctic could cause the region in coming years to become an arena of international cooperation or competition.
The United States, by virtue of Alaska, is an Arctic country and has substantial political,
economic, energy, environmental, and other interests in the region. Decisions that Congress, the
executive branch, foreign governments, international organizations, and commercial firms make
on Arctic-related issues could significantly affect these interests.
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress, and refers readers to more
in-depth CRS reports on specific Arctic-related issues. Congressional readers with questions
about an issue discussed in this report should contact the author or authors of the section
discussing that issue. The authors are identified by footnote at the start of each section..."