Mia Bennett

Mia Bennett

Mia Bennett

sanford.delphia@example.org

Mia Bennett is an assistant professor in the Geography Department and School of Modern Languages & Cultures (China Studies Programme) at the University of Hong Kong. Her research and writing focus on how commodities cycles, globalization, and climate change are affecting trade networks, transportation, and natural resource development in the Arctic. She is a frequent contributor to The Maritime Executive Magazine.

Credit: Mia Bennett

Welcome to the Geoengineered Arctic

By Mia Bennett 2019-10-16 17:47:52

This past weekend, as has happened every October for seven years now, over a thousand participants from around the world gathered in Iceland’s capital to discuss their visions for the future of the Arctic. At the first meeting of the Arctic Circle in 2013, natural resource extraction was the theme of the day. Numerous presentations opened by underscoring the 90 billions of barrels oil and 44 billion barrels of natural gas estimated to lie under the ice by the U.S....

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Documentary: From the Ice Itself

By Mia Bennett 2019-09-30 21:36:00

British filmmaker Cal Murphy Barton is producing a documentary about a scientist who has witnessed five decades of Arctic sea ice melt firsthand, longer than the satellites: Peter Wadhams. The world still sits on a trajectory headed towards warming of 3.2-5.4°C by the end of this century. Those changes are felt palpably at the top of the Earth, where Arctic sea ice reached its annual minimum on September 19. The amount of sea ice, 4.15 million square kilometers, resembled the extent in...

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Credit: Mia Bennett

Greenland Isn’t For Sale, But It Is For Lease

By Mia Bennett 2019-09-11 00:42:17

Trump’s much-lampooned interest in purchasing Greenland is finally falling out of the headlines. As the icy dust subsides, it's easier to approach the situation with a little less knee-jerk outrage. Trump's desire to buy the island likely stems from a simplistic understanding of real estate transactions scaled up to international relations. But the fact of the matter is that even if global norms still allowed America to buy Greenland, the neat redrawing of national borders and flag-raising that would follow...

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In 1969, Humans Reached the Moon – And the North Pole, Too

By Mia Bennett 2019-08-09 14:28:26

Today, the world looks back on that fateful date fifty years ago when man landed on the moon. Yet few people realize that a mere 101 days before Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took their fateful steps across a “fine and powdery” surface, mankind officially reached the North Pole. That’s right: it wasn’t until April 6, 1969 – in the springtime of hasty planning at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston – that a human officially made it to the top of the planet. That...

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Images courtesy of Mia Bennett

Scotland Seizes Arctic Winds of Change

By Mia Bennett 2019-07-16 20:29:47

Each morning before rolling out of bed, my usual routine involves checking the weather. I look at the temperature and the chance of rain. But while cycling and running across Scotland's outlying islands last week, as I learned from my friend who has been studying at St. Andrews for three years now, it's also important to check the wind. Never before have I thought so much about blowing gusts of air. Before traipsing to these remote islands settled by Neolithic...

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The Arctic Shipping Route No One’s Talking About

By Mia Bennett 2019-05-08 15:39:44

I recently attended (via teleconference, to cut down on travel time and emissions!) a meeting on future maritime trade flows at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)’s International Transport Forum. One session focused exclusively on the Northern Sea Route, the shipping route along Russia’s north coast that has sat at the center of discussions on Arctic development for the better part of two decades now. Due to Chatham House rules, I can’t quote anyone who spoke in the workshop....

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Greening the World’s Blue Highways

By Mia Bennett 2019-05-01 18:34:39

Ferries today are typically fueled by oil, but when they first got their start beasts of burden propelled them across the water. In the Roman Empire, two oxen walking in front of a ship with a water wheel supposedly powered one of the first known ferries.  Thousands of years later, animal-powered boats, called “team boats,” were widely used as ferries in 19th century America. But as the Industrial Revolution took hold, coal-burning steamboats replaced...

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How a Norwegian Coastal Ferry Service Went Global

By Mia Bennett 2019-03-01 17:35:34

Six Januaries ago, I took a Hurtigruten ferry for an extremely reasonable price of about £60. Hurtigruten is the name of the legendary coastal service established in 1893 – before the Norwegians learned to lay roads and rails across their countryside and drill tunnels through their mountains – to deliver mail and supplies to the many isolated towns that dot the rugged coastline. Unlike in many other parts of the Arctic, year-round sailing around Norway’s coastline is possible...

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2018: Recapping the Year in the Arctic

By Mia Bennett 2019-01-09 16:35:10

Planet Earth has completed another rotation around the sun, which has now set on the Arctic for the next three months. As polar winter sets in, I spoke with Eilis Quinn, a Radio Canada International (RCI) reporter specializing in the Arctic, about the events that took place up north over the past year. Our full conversation is available to listen to or read on RCI’s Eye on the Arctic page here. You can read on below for an elaboration...

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Terror and Erebus

How a Doomed Arctic Voyage Presaged Transpolar Flights

By Mia Bennett 2018-12-22 18:17:16

Last month, I flew from Los Angeles to Hong Kong on one of those sleek jets that fuse heaven and earth, a Boeing 777. The livery was painted in the green and white colors of Cathay Pacific, the Hong Kong-based airliner whose name combines the ancient word for China with the world’s largest ocean. We took off an hour before midnight from Los Angeles with the artificially illuminated desert spilling into the black waves beneath us. Bound for Asia, the...

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