Race To The Arctic The Arctic may be the world's next geopolitical battleground. Temperatures there are rising faster than anywhere else in the world, and the melting ice will have profound consequences on the roof of the world. NPR examines what's at stake, who stands to win and lose, and how this could alter the global dynamic.

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy breaks ice to support scientific research in the Arctic Ocean near Barrow, Alaska, in this file photo from July 2006 provided by the Coast Guard. In addition to the medium-class Healy, the U.S. just has two polar-class icebreakers — one of which will be decommissioned soon. Prentice Danner/AP hide caption

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Prentice Danner/AP

In The Arctic Race, The U.S. Lags Behind

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Greenland's economy is heavily dependent on fishing. The influx of money from drilling would have a dramatic impact on the island. Philip Reeves/NPR hide caption

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Murmansk, Russia, is the largest city above the Arctic Circle. If Russia follows through with plans to explore for oil and natural gas offshore in the Arctic Ocean, the city and its port could see significant economic benefits. David Greene/NPR hide caption

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David Greene/NPR

Russia Pushes To Claim Arctic As Its Own

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The Louis S. St Laurent icebreaker slices its way through the ice of the Northwest Passage. Jackie Northam/NPR hide caption

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Jackie Northam/NPR

Arctic Warming Unlocking A Fabled Waterway

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