Breaking the Ice: Canada, Sovereignty, and the Arctic Extended Continental Shelf

Elizabeth Riddell-Dixon. Dundurn (IPS, U.S. dist.; UTP, Canadian dist.), $28.99 trade paper (344p) ISBN 978-1-4597-3897-3
In this well-researched but dryly written work, Riddell-Dixon, a historian and political scientist at the University of Toronto, examines Canada’s claims to the Arctic continental shelf from a legal perspective, gives an insightful account of international scientific efforts to survey the Arctic seabed, and outlines the evolution of Canadian government policy on the matter. The book opens with a historical overview of the situation that led to the adoption of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), but the bulk of narrative is devoted to detailed descriptions of scientific research methods designed for collection and analysis of bathymetric and seismic data of the Arctic continental shelf. The most fascinating chapters describe scientists’ experiences living and working in remote ice camps, where severe weather conditions pose many dangers and even routine operations, such as ordering food supplies and eliminating human waste, require logistical solutions. Based on vast amounts of data and numerous interviews with Arctic scientists, and richly illustrated with color photographs of northern landscapes and research equipment, the book is an excellent resource for those who study the Arctic, but the academic writing style will limit its appeal for other readers. (May)
Reviewed on: 08/28/2017
Release date: 05/01/2017
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 344 pages - 978-1-4597-3899-7
Open Ebook - 344 pages - 978-1-4597-3898-0
Paperback - 600 pages - 978-1-5252-5059-0
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