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Canada launches mission to map, claim North Pole

A Canadian Navy Zodiac races across the Arctic Ocean on patrol at the southern tip of Baffin Island, Canada, on August 09, 2007A scientific mission to map the seabed surrounding the North Pole got underway Friday amid Canada’s push to claim the area and surrounding Arctic waters ahead of Russia and others. After a decade of surveying the country’s eastern and far north seabeds and gathering supporting evidence, Canada filed a UN application in December seeking to vastly expand its Atlantic sea boundary and signaled intentions to claim the North Pole. Russia and Canada have overlapping claims to both the North Pole as well as large swathes of the Arctic that the US Geological Survey thinks could hold 13 percent of the world’s undiscovered oil and up to 30 percent of its hidden natural gas reserves. “Our government is committing the resources necessary to ensure that Canada secures international recognition of the full extent of its continental shelf, including the North Pole,” Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said in a statement.

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