Tag Big Question Series

41 Items, Page 3 of 9

How Britain’s Colonial Railways Transformed India

How Britain’s Colonial Railways Transformed India

Nowhere other than India is the railway so indelibly connected with the image of the nation. Just as there is no single country on earth that has such a broad cultural, ethnic, and racial mix as India, there is also no railway system that has played and, crucially, continues to play such a fundamental role.

Strategic Infrastructure

Strategic Infrastructure

Our “Big Questions” series brings together leading scholars, former policymakers, and top industry experts to tackle critical questions. In the sixth part of this series, we asked a group of experts the following:

Artic rail

Economically Connecting the Arctic

Welcome to the world’s newest blue water ocean: the Arctic Ocean. You are forgiven if you think the Arctic is a mostly frozen and forbidding place covered in darkness for most of the year. It still is. But this ocean is rapidly changing: since 1979 Arctic sea ice maximum extent has dropped by an average of 2.8 percent per decade; in the summertime, the ice cap declined at 13.5 percent per decade; and the Greenland Ice Sheet lost an estimated 9,103 gigatons or over 9 trillion tons of ice since 1900 and between 25 to 35 gigatons annually. On land, the near-surface permafrost in the Northern Hemisphere is projected to decline by 20 percent relative to today’s area by 2040, and it could be reduced by as much as two-thirds by 2080 under a scenario of high greenhouse-gas emissions. We may be at the dawn of a new Arctic Age.

A ship traverses through Arctic ice caps; Arctic maritime

Arctic Maritime Connections

The twenty-first century maritime Arctic is experiencing extraordinary change. Profound climate change and globalization, and the connection of Arctic natural resources to world markets are shaping new opportunities for the global shipping enterprise in this once remote region. The Arctic Ocean’s sea ice cover, responding to regional and global warming, has been dramatically changing in ice extent, thickness, and character during more than four decades. In turn, these physical changes in sea ice provide for greater marine access and potentially longer seasons of navigation throughout the Arctic Ocean.

china arctic opportunities

China in the Arctic

The polar regions are an important zone for China’s emergence as a global power. China has long-term strategic interests in the Arctic and economic interests are part of the reason why China is drawn to be active there, though not the sole factor. There has been a lot of international debate and media coverage of China’s economic interests in the Arctic; however, relative to the government’s strategic agenda, China’s major companies have been slow to take up the opportunities available to them in the polar regions and are still relatively weak in polar equipment and expertise.