Azara Blog: Northwest Passage allegedly fully clear of ice this year

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Date published: 2007/09/15

The BBC says:

The most direct shipping route from Europe to Asia is fully clear of ice for the first time since records began, the European Space Agency (Esa) says.

Historically, the Northwest Passage linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans has been ice-bound through the year.

But the agency says ice cover has been steadily shrinking, and this summer's reduction has made the route navigable.

The findings, based on satellite images, raised concerns about the speed of global warming.
Canada says it has full rights over those parts of the Northwest Passage that pass through its territory and that it can bar transit there.

But this has been disputed by the US and the European Union.

They argue that the new route should be an international strait that any vessel can use.

So it seems that some years earlier than expected we might well have a new international trade route. And one can imagine Canada being able to stand up to the EU (a military paper tiger), but what are they going to do if American ships start going that way.

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