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Arctic ice surpassed 2017’s record low by 110,000 square kilometers out of a typical 13,000,000 square kilometers. This enabled the first winter traverse of the Northwest Passage by an unaided tanker. The ship is designed to crack through ice that is 1.8 meter thick, so it wasn’t a typical tanker; but the feat is significant because it demonstrated not only a Northwest traverse, but one in winter without the assistance of ice breakers. Depending on the route and destinations, the Northwest Passage can reduce travel time by 40%. An incentive like that and an achievement like the tanker’s means other ships will be built and begin operating in that environment. For shippers, exporters, and importers, this is a major benefit. For environmentalists, this is a proof that climate change is happening. It is also a caution for the local ecology because the trip is risky, the biology is fragile, and it is likely that an accident will eventually occur.

One thought on “Winter Arctic Ice Reaches New Low

  1. Pingback: Data That Matters February 2018 | Pretending Not To Panic

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