According to the news reports I've heard, Russia is making a symbolic claim while also searching for geological evidence to support a claim of about half of the Arctic Sea. Why?
Melting ice in the Arctic has raised hopes of accessing energy reserves.So. Because of climate changes, arguably the result of our (humanity as a whole) over-use of fossil fuels, the sea ice is retreating, making it easier to access the supposed so-far untouched cache of fossil fuels under the Arctic Sea.
Russia's claim to a vast swathe of territory in the Arctic, thought to contain oil, gas and mineral reserves, has been challenged by other powers, including the US.
And the natural reaction to that fact is a determined effort to lay claim to, extract, and burn more fossil fuels?
I think that kind of sucks.