Published online by Cambridge University Press: 27 October 2009
Though the history of polar exploration stretches over many centuries, it is only in very recent (or one might say contemporary) times that a serious interest has been shown on the part of states in the advancement of territorial claims in these perpetually frozen regions of the earth. Reasons for this new development are not difficult to find, and may, very largely, be explained in terms of economic and strategic considerations. The rapidly growing population of the world;† the pressing desire everywhere for a higher standard of living; the technological advancement in transportation and communication; new geographic conceptions, and a modern strategy of military operations are all factors which help to clarify this phenomenon. As a result of these and many other recent developments, which we shall not attempt to catalogue here, it is not unreasonable to assume that the polar regions will in the future become more rather than less important in world affairs.