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The United States suddenly grew by one million square kilometers

The United States suddenly grew by one million square kilometers

A few weeks ago, the United States expanded by 1 million square kilometers, almost twice the size of Spain. نوضح ما حدث.

The unexpected growth boom was not strange geological powers, and it was not an invasion of a foreign country. Reports said the United States was simply trying to stake its claim to the ocean floor surrounding it IFLScience.

Continental shelf

The continental shelf is a shallow, low-slope area under the sea around continents that, like continents, has continental crust, as opposed to deep-sea oceanic crust. Under international law, countries can lay claim to these continental shelves, allowing them to manage and exploit the resources there.

75 countries have already defined the boundaries of the extended continental shelf (ECS), the portion of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles (370 km) from the coast. The United States hasn't done this yet.

On December 19, 2023, the US State Department announced new geographic coordinates that it says define its ECS region. Since 2003, US authorities have been working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the US Geological Survey, and 12 other agencies to collect geological data to determine the outer boundaries of the ECS region.

Thus, the United States currently claims the ECS in seven maritime areas: the Arctic, the Atlantic Ocean (east coast), the Bering Sea, the Pacific Ocean (west coast), the Mariana Islands, and Mexico in two Gulf regions. . This means a total area of ​​one million square kilometers.

The continental shelf extends to the United States of America. Source: the US State Department

“America is bigger than it was yesterday,” Mead Treadwell, former lieutenant governor of Alaska and former head of the US Polar Research Commission, said on December 19. Alaska public media.

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Wilson explains, while writing to the Wilson Center, that the legitimacy of all this is somewhat mysterious. For the decision to become official, the United States must submit data and reports to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

However, the United States has not ratified UNCLOS due to complex political disagreements (the Convention has been ratified by 168 countries and the European Union). This leaves some uncertainty about how to receive international law to propose.

Demanding new maritime borders could certainly be controversial on the international stage. However, the United States has a lot to earn it from its current statement. Expanding the area of ​​the Arctic Ocean's ocean floor could open the region to more mining, shipping and fishing.

This also affects the security of the nation and the practice of power in the world. As Sir Walr Rally wrote in the seventeenth century: “Because whoever owns the sea owns trade; Whoever controls the trade of the world, also controls the wealth of the world, and thus the world itself.

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