Let’s just all calm down a bit:
Sea ice still too thick for Arctic shipping routeDespite climate change, sea ice will continue to make the Northwest Passage too treacherous to be a regular Arctic shipping route for decades, says study.
New research from York University predicts that it will be decades before the Northwest Passage will be a viable route for regular commercial shipping. Despite climate change, Arctic sea ice remains too thick and treacherous, says the study, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters on September 25, 2015…
For commercial shipping, the potential benefits of a clear Northwest Passage are significant. The Northwest Passage is a much shorter route for moving goods between the Pacific and Atlantic regions than the Panama and Suez Canals. Ship routes from Europe to eastern Asia would be 4,000 kilometers (2,500 miles) shorter. Alaskan oil could move quickly by ship to ports in the eastern United States. The vast mineral resources of the Canadian North will be much easier and economical to develop and ship to market.
In the past few years, as the climate has warmed, it’s been speculated that shrinking Arctic sea ice coverage might open the passage for increasing periods of time, to allow regular commercial traffic to pass through the Arctic Ocean via this once impossible route. At the moment, this year’s annual summer minimum Arctic-wide ice coverage is the fourth lowest on record, with similar low coverage in the Northwest Passage, according to information provided by the Canadian Ice Service [website here].
But the York University researchers say the ice is still too thick for a regular commercial passage to be viable. Next to ice coverage and type, the researchers said, sea ice thickness plays the most important role in assessing shipping hazards and predicting ice break-up…
Bottom line: New research published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters on September 25, 2015 predicts that it will be decades before the Northwest Passage will be a viable route for regular commercial shipping. Despite climate change, Arctic sea ice remains too thick and treacherous, says the study.
Shell to Cease Oil Exploration in Alaskan Arctic After Disappointing Drilling Season
Company becomes latest big oil player to abandon region amid low crude prices
That should reduce environmental worries–and alleviate fears of conflict sparked by resource grabs: