Global Warming

Ice Persists in the Northwest Passage, Despite Global Warming

For centuries, explorers have tested the icy waters of the Arctic, looking for sea routes through the cluster of islands north of mainland Canada. Such a route, known as the Northwest Passage, can dramatically shorten the journey between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. The decline of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean has made this passage increasingly viable. But as this image shows, it’s still not always smooth sailing.

Part of the “southern route”—one of two main routes most feasible for the passage of large ships. Since about 2006, the Northwest Passage has become navigable for a short period late in most summers. So far this year, that hasn’t quite happened.

Northwest Passage August 2021 Annotated

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