As a Result of Climate Change, the Arctic Sea Route is Now Passable

arctic passage


Due to loss of sea ice, the Northwest Passage, a sea route through the Arctic Ocean is now viable. While this breakthrough discovery opens up more opportunities for the shipping industry, it is a devastating sign that climate change is reshaping our natural landscapes and ecosystems.


The Northwest Passage, an Arctic sea route that links the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, is a prized gem in the shipping industry–in many cases, it can slash thousands of miles off ship journeys, saving fuel, cash, and precious time.

So you might think that we’d celebrate the Nordic Orion’s planned journey to become the first commercial bulk carrier to traverse the route since 1969. There’s just one problem: the Nordic Orion will be able to make this journey only because of climate change, which has melted the thick ice that once prevented ships from easy passage. To add insult to injury, the Orion is loaded up with 73,000 tons of coal, according to the Globe and Mail.

Meet the Baltika, a new kind of ice breaker that will help make the Northwest Passage possible.

Plenty of ships have made it through the Northwest Passage in the past, but the year-round ice cover has been thick enough to make the passage impractical for regular shipping journeys. The SS Manhattan, a commercial bulk carrier, traversed the route in 1969–though only after becoming trapped by ice. The ship encountered so many difficulties that the U.S. scrapped its idea to use the route to bring oil from Alaska to the Gulf of Mexico”….Continue Reading


Niki De Witt headshot 150x150 Farmland to Reserve: Why an Entire Village Moved Away to Return Land to TigersABOUT THE CURATOR

Niki is currently exploring Asia while working on a children’s book series about travel. As a child, she traveled and moved often for her parents’ jobs. As a result of this, she has always felt most at home when she’s off and away. She is interested in international films, working on building an impressive tea collection, and can often be found with her camera in hand. You can have a look-see at her blog and follow her on Twitter @nikidding.

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