North Pole crossing possible in 2050

In 2050 the ice in the Arctic Ocean will have melted to an extent to which it will not only be possible to navigate the Northern Sea Route and the North West Passage but also the North Pole itself. This is a shortening of 40 % compared to the routes going through the Suez Canal.

Photo: Marinvest

In the middle of the century, a significant part of the ice in the Arctic Ocean will have melted making it possible for ships to navigate in the ocean with the assistance of ice-breakers, research from UCLA – University of California, Los Angeles, shows. Scientists have examined the level of global warming and tried to predict the future of shipping in the Arctic between 2040 and 2059.

“We're talking about a future in which open-water vessels will, at least during some years, be able to navigate unescorted through the Arctic, which at the moment is inconceivable,” ," said co-author Scott R. Stephenson, a Ph.D. candidate in the UCLA Department of Geography, Sustainable Shipping reports.

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