An iceberg melts in Kulusuk, Greenland, near the Arctic Circle, Aug, 16, 2005. Many scientists say global warming is having an increasing effect on the Arctic region, with glaciers shrinking, temperatures of the Arctic waters warming, and permafrost softening. John McConnico/AP
Two people look at this 60-foot-deep canyon that was carved over the course of several years by turbulent water overflow from a large melt lake southwest of Ilulissat, Greenland, on July 3, 2010. Ian Joughin/AP
A polar bear mother and her two cubs walk along the shore of Hudson Bay in Manitoba near Churchill, Canada, Nov. 7, 2007. Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press/AP
This undated handout photo provided by NOAA shows Arctic ice. Federal officials say the Arctic region has changed dramatically in the past five years, for the worse. NOAA/AP
This undated handout photo shows a jellyfish of the genus Crossota, collected from the deep Arctic Canada Basin. A team of 45 researchers from Canada, the US, China and Russia have completed a vast exploration of the Canada Basin in the Arctic Ocean. NOAA/AP
In this July 19, 2007 photo, an iceberg melts off Ammassalik Island in Eastern Greenland. John McConnico/AP/File
Reindeer graze in a settlement in Tundra region, about 53 miles southeast of the town of Naryan-Mar, in northern Russia, on Feb. 19, 2012. Anton Golubev/Reuters
A view of a section of the Petermann Glacier is seen, on July 22, 2009. An ice island four times the size of Manhattan broke off from one of Greenland's two main glaciers including the Petermann Glacier. Nick Cobbing/Reuters
An aerial view shows seals as they rest on ice at the White Sea coast, some 120 miles north-east of Arkhangelsk, May 13, 2001. Reuters
An iceberg floats in the bay in Kulusuk, Greenland near the arctic circle, in this Aug 16, 2005 photo. John McConnico/AP/File
Canadian Inuit dogs pull a sled using traditional harnesses, Feb. 4, 2010, in Iqaluit, Canada. Rob Gillies/AP
The National Strategy for the Arctic Region focuses on security, environment, and international cooperation. But with retreating sea ice creating opportunity as well as potential conflict, the US is seen as lagging.
The Obama administration on Friday unveiled its National Strategy for the Arctic Region – three broad priorities it plans to pursue, as opportunities open to drill for oil and gas, harvest minerals, and increase other forms of economic activity at the top of the world.