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Uploaded on Wednesday 22 Feb 2012
Arctic sea routes - Northern sea route and Northwest passage
Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
Sea routes along the edges of the Arctic ocean, or rather along the coasts of Northern Canada and Russia, holds potential for decreasing the number of days in shipping goods from the Pacific to Atlantic coasts in Europe and North America, and vice versa. In addition, this could provide a means to transport natural resources, such as oil and gas, extracted in the Arctic. Currently these routes have not been possible to use this, due to the ice conditions, but with decreases in ice - due to climate change - this could provide a new possibility. In addition, this would mean increased risk for the sensitive wilderness areas along these coasts, with oil spills and pollution. Please note that Northern Sea Route was previously known as Northeast passage.