Climate changes will open new Arctic shipping lanes.
A study from researchers at the University of California in Los Angeles says that the effects of global warming may open up two new shipping routes including across the North Pole as well as through the Northwest Passage, making travel in these areas of the Arctic Ocean a possibility for the first time.
The Northwest Passage is a route that goes directly from Newfoundland to the Bering Strait along Canadian coastline.
These routes have always been blocked by ice cover, but research predicts the level of summer sea ice in the Arctic Ocean could decrease sufficiently to make seasonal travel possible by midcentury, saving shipping companies time and money.
A route across the North Pole would be 20 percent shorter than the Northern Sea Route along the Russian coastline which has seen several dozen ships pass through, and would not incur the hefty fees Russia charges as it would be in international waters.
The study from UCLA predicts that the new routes will be accessible to use approximately every other year by the mid 21st century, but only during the late summer season when there is less ice.
The study says: Although sea ice currently represents the single greatest obstacle to trans-Arctic shipping, numerous additional factors, including dearth of services and infrastructure, high insurance, escort fees, unknown competitive response of the Suez and Panama Canals, poor charts and other socioeconomic considerations, remain significant impediments to maritime activity in the region."
Shipping companies don't have to use this route. My opinion is talk to Russia and work out a better deal on the trade routes they use now!! We the people seem to be about short cuts, but my opinion is in the long run it's about the next generation. Is it better to have clod weather or quicker trade routes????
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