10/28/14, "Northern Sea Route Transit Applications Hit Record High in 2014," gcaptain.com, by Mike Schuler
"The Northern Sea Route of the Northeast Passage saw a record number
of applications for permits to sail the famed arctic route in 2014,
while sea ice extent prevented the Northwest Passage from opening up for
the first time in five years, according to new data from Weathernews
Inc.’s Global Ice Center.
In their annual 2014 report, Weathernews notes that this year the
Northeast Passage fully opened in late August and stayed open for six
weeks until closing October 1. Russia’s Northern Sea Route
Administration (NSRA) received over six hundred applications for
permission to transit the Northeastern passage – or part of it – this
year, the most on record, according to the report.
The lowest area of ice observed by the Global Ice Center (GIC) this
summer was 4.8 million km2, which is the sixth smallest area in recorded
history, but different trends were observed when comparing the
Northeast Passage above Russia to the Northwest Passage above Canada.
According to the report, ice in the Northeast Passage began to melt
away starting in late May, and the NSR was opened fully from August 21
to October 1. On the Canadian side, however, the Northwest Passage
remained partially blocked by ice, preventing its opening to commercial
vessels for the first time in five years, the report says. According to
Dr. Genki Sagawa of the Global Ice Center, this was caused by lower
temperatures and few low-pressure systems that help ice to break up.
The possibility of commercial use of the Northern Sea Routed emerged
in 2005 when the passage opened fully for the first time, the GIC report
says, followed by the first commercial voyages in 2009. Although ice
extent followed a trend of recession until reaching the lowest ice
coverage ever observed for more than two months in 2012, the following
year saw a shorter opening period at a little more than three weeks.
“The number of days the NSR stays open can vary greatly from year to
year, so the GIC has been keeping a close watch on Arctic ice trends,”
said Dr. Sagawa. “Even after the opening closes, it has still been
possible in recent years to transit the route with ice-breaker escorts
until about November. Since a lot of ice starts to appear along the
route about this time, finely detailed information concerning sea ice
and weather conditions become critical in order to safely sail the NSR.”
Weathernews says that the increase in applications to transit to the
NSR is a good indication of the commercial shipping industries’
eagerness to reduce operating costs by sailing the NSR." via Free Rep.
Image: "Comparison of lowest recorded ice extent of 2014 and current conditions.
NSR route is seen on the left. Image credit: Weathernews"
Added: Global Ice Center provides a network for maritime companies and academia. (I wasn't able to access 2014 report cited above so I include this for reference):
About Global Ice Center:
"The Global Ice Center is the “field” for maritime companies and academia
to work together to achieve the dream of Polar Routing and to provide
innovative service for ship safety concerning sea ice. For the innovative service, the Global Ice Center reinforces the network
between maritime companies ship operations and academia by using
Arctic Sea Ice Extent, 10/29/14, close to 1979-2010 mean per NSIDC, click "Daily" tab:
10/29/14, Arctic Sea Ice Extent, NSIDC, turquoise line:
10/27/14, "Global Warming Related Sea Ice Decline Linked to Colder Winters in Europe, Asia," Climate Central, Andrea Thompson, via Weather.com
"In the past decade or so, frigid winters have been happening with a
regularity that defies the projections of climate models,
that winter would be the fastest-warming season."...
10/24/14, "The Northwest Passage was finally successfully traversed in 1906 (Some
give credit to Robert McClure in 1854, but his success, in my opinion,
is dubious at best.)"...
In 2012 alone $1 billion a day was spent on the idea of man caused global warming.
News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.
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