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A podcast on the Arctic and Antarctica

A podcast on the Arctic and Antarctica
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A podcast on the Arctic and Antarctica






Deep dive into Ocean and Cryosphere IPCC Report with coordinating lead author Martin Sommerkorn

Environmental change in the frozen parts of the planet—the Cryosphere—have implications well beyond the polar regions and motivate much of the increased international interest in the Arctic and Antarctic. To better understand this key driver of scientific research, climate activism and geopolitical calculation, this episode of the podcast takes a deep dive into the just-released landmark IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate with Martin Sommerkorn, the...


Paul Musgrave on Trump and Greenland in a Global and Historical Context

In the midst of an escalating diplomatic crisis between the United States and Denmark, international relations expert Prof. Paul Musgrave joins the Polar Geopolitics podcast to provide analysis, insight and an array of perspectives—American, global, historical—on Donald Trump’s interest in buying Greenland, an unfolding story that has sent shockwaves far beyond the Arctic.


Hot Take on Trump's Greenland Gambit

Reports of Donald Trump's interest in the U.S. buying Greenland from Denmark - without doubt the most unexpected and outrageous Arctic news story in recent memory - has attracted ridicule and rapidly morphed into a diplomatic crisis. Associate Professor Jon Rahbek-Clemmensen, an expert on Denmark-Greenland-U.S. relations at the Royal Danish Defense College, joins Polar Geopolitics for an analysis of Trump's Greenland gambit and its wide-ranging ramifications on Arctic geopolitics.


Frozen Claims and Contemporary Geopolitics: History and Heritage in Antarctica

In a continent recognized as a global commons, yet where seven states hold frozen claims and others are eager to be seen as stakeholders, history and the cultural heritage remains of earlier expeditions to Antarctica are deeply entangled in the geopolitics of the southern polar region. On this episode, Polar Geopolitics speaks with three polar historians and cultural heritage experts—Dag Avango, Lize-Marie van der Watt and Peder Roberts—who explain these complex interlinkages that strongly...


Greenpeace, CCAMLR and MPAs: An NGO Perspective on Protecting Antarctica

Many stakeholders, particularly environmental NGOs, involved with last October's meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources were highly critical of the Commission's failure to reach agreement on additional Marine Protected Areas in the Southern Ocean around Antarctica. Frida Bengtsson is global Project Lead for the Greenpeace 'Protect the Antarctic' campaign, and participated in the meeting in Hobart, Australia on behalf of the Antarctic and Southern...


Greenland’s Lost Norse: Parables of Adaptation from the North Atlantic

What lessons for contemporary climate adaptation can we learn from the Viking-era Norse settlement on Greenland, which was founded in the midst of the Mediaeval Warm Period and disappeared during the Little Ice Age? Prof. Thomas McGovern, an environmental archaeologist and world leading authority on Medieval Arctic cultures, shares his insights from decades of fieldwork in the North Atlantic into how historic societies succeeded or failed to adapt to a changing climate and shifting...


King of the Cryosphere: Antarctica and the Earth system with Will Steffen

Earth system science studies the planet as an array of interacting “spheres” that represent components of a single system. Antarctica dominates the cryosphere—the frozen parts of the planet consisting of ice and snow—and thus has a major influence on the overall functioning of the Earth system. Joining the podcast is Prof. Will Steffen, a world leading Earth system scientist and public intellectual who has long operated at the interface of science and policy, including as chairman of the...


Climate Adaptation and Food Security in Alaskan indigenous communities

Indigenous communities are facing multiple challenges from a changing climate across the circumpolar North. In this episode, two experts with extensive experience in the American Arctic —former senior Interior Department official Joel Clement and Nicole Misarti of University of Alaska—discuss with Polar Geopolitics the array of impacts affecting native Alaskan communities, and what measures are being taken to build resilience and adapt to climate change.


Michael Byers: Outer Space and the Arctic—Governance in Cold, Dark and Dangerous Places

What parallels exist in governance regimes for Outer Space and the Arctic? On this episode, Prof. Michael Byers, a leading Arctic and international law expert, shares his insights into why extreme environments often foster international cooperation. He also explains the complexities of Canadian Arctic politics, and the nuances of the concept of sovereignty, in a far-ranging discussion that encompasses outer space, the deep sea, and both polar regions. (Image: Reuben Wu)


John Holdren: Climate change, the Arctic and current U.S policies

Prof. John P. Holdren is a leader of the Arctic Initiative at the Belfer Center at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. The former Chief Scientific Advisor to President Barack Obama attended the 2018 Arctic Circle Assembly in Reykjavik, Iceland, where he sat down with the Polar Geopolitics podcast to explain the impacts of climate change on the Arctic and how this in turn affects the global environment. Prof. Holdren also discusses the importance of international scientific cooperation in...


The Geopolitics of Greenland within the Kingdom of Denmark: Jon Rahbek-Clemmensen pt. 2

The economic development and political evolution of Greenland, whether remaining within the Kingdom of Denmark or eventually as an entirely independent country, is an ongoing process and open question of enormous consequence for the geopolitics of the greater Arctic. In the second part of the interview with the Polar Geopolitics podcast, Dr. Jon Rahbek-Clemmensen, an international relations scholar and expert on Danish-Greenlandic politics, shares his insights on the dynamics and future...


Jon Rahbek-Clemmensen pt. 1: Arctic governance and the A5 ten years after Ilulissat

Representatives of Arctic governments recently returned to Greenland to commemorate the 10 anniversary of the 2008 meeting in Ilulissat—the somewhat controversial gathering of the so-called “A5” Arctic Ocean littoral states that left other regional actors feeling excluded. In the first of a two-part interview, Associate Prof. Jon Rahbek-Clemmesen of the Royal Danish Defence College, who co-authored a report on the Ilulissat Initiative, shares his insights into contemporary Arctic governance...


Klaus Dodds pt. 2: UK Arctic Policy, Arctic Council and potential British Antarctic strategy

In this second part of his interview with Polar Geopolitics, Prof. Klaus Dodds discusses the recently-updated British Arctic policy Beyond the Ice: UK policy towards the Arctic; elaborates on relations with Russian in the context of Arctic politics; shares his outlook on the Arctic Council’s role in upholding the liberal international order; and considers the possibility of Great Britain eventually publishing a strategy for Antarctica and the Southern Ocean.


Klaus Dodds pt. 1: Geopolitics, Ross Sea MPA, and CAO fisheries moratorium

In the inaugural episode of the podcast, Klaus Dodds, political geographer and Professor of Geopolitics at Royal Holloway University of London, explains the ways in which the geopolitics of the polar regions are distinct from other parts of the globe. The discussion with Prof. Dodds further includes two recent cases of marine spatial planning—the Ross Sea Marine Protected Area, and the fisheries moratorium in the Central Arctic Ocean—that illustrate some of the major themes of the Polar...