Climate change might open up Northwest Passage to shipping by the middle of the century.
By Ashutosh Jogalekar | March 6, 2013 |
Investigating what is sometimes seen as one of the more favorable effects of climate change, a pair of scientists from UCLA has done a careful analysis of the melting of Arctic sea ice and concluded that it could lead to ships traversing the ice-free Northwest Passage (NWP) by 2050. It would also lead to much shorter transit times through the existing North Sea Passage (NSR). These developments may greatly reduce the time and cost of shipping but would also lead to unforeseen economic and geopolitical complications. The study looked at estimates of sea ice melting – gathered from both models and observations including satellite measurements – and then used seven different climate models to calculate the decrease in sea ice and its impact on shipping over the…
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