You think the large-scale melting of Arctic ice is a bad thing? Well I guess you’ve never been Russia. The former empire is hoping to bring back its glory days by reviving a Soviet-era shipping route along its Arctic coast, reports the Montreal Gazette.
“It’s a very promising region and an interesting shipping lane that almost halves the distance between Europe and the Far East,” [said tanker captain Fazil Aliyev.]
Last year, an unusually warm summer kept the “Northern Sea Route” open for a record 141 days, allowing shipping firm RIMSCO to triple the typical amount of cargo traffic in the season.
Sometimes called the Northeast Passage, the circumpolar route is a network of sea lanes across the top of continental Eurasia which crosses Russian waters from the Kara Gate to the Bering Strait and trims 7,400 kilometres off southern routes.
As the Arctic continues to warm, goods that used to go through the Suez Canal are getting to China along an Arctic route in half the time.
Of course, a new shipping route means new places for countries to try and intimidate each other. Russia is busily developing an Arctic military force. Is it possible we can use the threat of North Pole ice-commies to get Republicans interested in fixing global warming?
Russian mariners prepare for ice-free Arctic Ocean, The Gazette (Montreal).