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Learning English - Words in the News
06 August, 2008 - Published 11:03 GMT
Arctic dispute map
Arctic map (Image: Durham University)

Scientists at Durham University in northern England say they have drawn up the first detailed map showing areas in the Arctic that could become the cause of future border disputes. Our Science Correspondent Christine McGourty reports:

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The map is said to provide the most precise depiction yet of the way the Arctic region might be divided up in future.

Last year a Russian flag was planted on the seabed under the North Pole in a symbolic move indicating the country's claim to a vast tract of the Arctic, but there are various competing claims involving Canada, the United States, Norway and Denmark.

The experts who produced the new map say disputes are likely to intensify as the area's thought to be rich in oil and gas resources, and climate change is expected to make it far more accessible in future.

Christine McGourty, BBC

Listen to the words

to provide the most precise depiction yet
here, to show the areas of possible border disputes in the most exact and detailed way so far

the way

divided up
shared between different countries

put something firmly and strongly in a particular place (historically, if you plant your flag in a particular territory, you claim it belongs to you)

the floor of the ocean or sea; the ground at the bottom of the ocean or sea

a symbolic move
an action that does not change a situation in practical terms but expresses or represents an intention

a vast tract
an extremely large area

to intensify
to become greater and more serious

be rich in
have a lot of

far more accessible
much easier to get to

To take away:
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