Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Rapidly diminishing sea ice raises potential to open the Northwest Passage

Get ready for a race for arctic real estate in the coming decade. The Northwest Passage is increasingly looking like a viable shipping route with the decline of sea ice. Here's what the National Arctic Sea Ice Data Center has to say:

The opening of the Northwest Passage

Of particular note is imminent opening of the fabled Northwest Passage through the channels of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. This shortcut between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans was first navigated by Roald Amundsen in the early 1900s. It took his group over two years of arduous and dangerous navigation through narrow lanes of open water amongst thick, compact ice. Analysts at the Canadian Ice Service and the U.S. National Ice Center confirm that the passage is almost completely clear and that the region is more open than it has ever been since the advent of routine monitoring in 1972. The Northwest Passage traces from Baffin Bay in the South toward M'Clure Strait.

More on the Northwest Passage from Wikipedia.

A major Canadian Seaport in Hudson's Bay? It's distinctly possible.



big jonny said...

Can we call this an upside to global warming? Roll it in with all the other real positives that came out of that fun little thing called NAFTA?

Yeah. I didn't think so either.

brianertz said...

the ironic thing is, there's a lot of oil up there. they'll be on it more and more as the ice melts away ...