Russia’s Northern Sea Route is completely ice-free and shipping thrives

Photo: Sovcomflot

 

Large numbers of ships exploit new route between Europe and Asia

Data from Russia’s Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute shows that the country’s entire Northern Sea Route now is ice-free, according to a report in the Independent Barents Observer. Continue reading

Russia’s Arctic Dreams Have Chinese Characteristics

The most significant geophysical event on our planet since the end of the ice age is taking place today—the opening of the Arctic. As the High North maritime environment warms, the Arctic Ocean’s abundant energy, minerals, fish stocks, and other natural resources are becoming increasingly accessible, while new potential maritime routes promise to reduce shipping times and costs and accelerate ties between major commercial centers. These new opportunities for energy development, natural resources extraction, and shipping suggest that the region risks becoming an arena of intense competition, tension, and potentially even confrontation, not only between the United States and its two near-peer strategic competitors—China and Russia—but also among other Asia-Pacific states with observer status in the Arctic Council. Continue reading