Secret US embassy cables released by Wikileaks show nations are racing to "carve up" Arctic resources - oil, gas and even rubies - as the ice retreats.
They suggest that Arctic states, including the US and Russia, are all pushing to stake a claim.
The opportunity to exploit resources has come because of a dramatic fall in the amount of ice in the Arctic.
The US Geological Survey estimates oil reserves off Greenland are as big as those in the North Sea.
Susan Watts reports.
Broadcast on Thursday 12 May 2011.