Environment

Arctic Open for Navigation

Global heating has melted so much of the thick multi-year ice off the coast of Siberia that Russia has for the first time been able to navigate a cargo ship from Asia to a home port on the Arctic Ocean in winter. By using the newly opened Northern Sea Route (NSR) instead of the traditional path around Asia and the Middle East, through the Suez Canal and around Europe, the Sovcomflot shipping company saved millions of dollars and days of travel time. Traffic through the NSR has exploded during summer in recent years but has remained closed from November until July. Russia now has plans to use its expanding fleet of civilian nuclear-powered icebreakers to make the path available year-round.

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