Russia Admits Climate Change: ‘We Are Losing Habitat’ as Arctic Ice Rapidly Melting


Lofoten Islands, Arctic Circle

The successful record-breaking speed of a Russian tanker Christophe de Margerie across the Arctic Sea, points to Earth’s northern pole melting with increasing alacrity and making new shipping routes. Professor of Oceanography Dr. Simon Boxall looked at how climate change is affecting the Arctic habitat.

Russian tanker Christophe de Margerie transported liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Norway to South Korea in just 19 days, some 30 percent faster than the normal Suez Canal route.

This was also the first time a tanker had traveled through the Northern Sea Route, passing the Russian Arctic in a record six and a half days, without the aid of an ice breaker. It averaged some 16 mph through ice fields which at times were four feet thick

“Many shipping companies in  Northern Europe and the North Pacific have been quite critical, but now rather than going through Suez Canal or Panama Canal it is possible to go straight through the top of the Arctic and into the North Pacific. This cuts the journey by 7 days,” Boxall told Radio Sputnik in an interview.

Boxall further said that it was actually in 2010 that it became possible to sail through the Northern route, past Siberia through the Barents Strait into the North Pacific in recorded history.

According to him, this route is primarily about reducing costs and about reducing the amount of pollutants that are put into the atmosphere from the shipping itself.

However, the rapid melting of the Arctic ice does raise a number of concerns.

“The fact that the Arctic ice is melting can affect and will affect the climate of much of Northern Europe. Although transporting of liquid gas by shipping does reduce the environmental impact because the new ships are being built to have lower emissions, so in this way shipping really will become a very environmentally friendly way of transporting goods to their designated locations,” Boxall said.

Nevertheless, as the ships go through a very “fragile environment” it does have an impact if oil spills occur.“Any accidents or spills that occur in this region will have a dramatic impact on the environment. If any oil or gas is spilled it will remain in that environment for much longer than say in the tropics or more temperate latitudes,” the expert said.

Talking about the Arctic ice melting, Boxall said that it is a matter of serious concern because, “We are losing habitat. You have a habitat which supports polar bears, seals and even people who live there and rely on ice formations during winter to go hunting. But it’s not only regional impact; it has a much wider impact.”

He further spoke about the impact the melting of Arctic ice has on the global climate and environment.

As ice on Earth’s northern pole melts with ever increasing speed, new shipping routes, long sought after but only now being realized, have opened up the possibility of faster and less expensive transport between many parts of the world.

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  1. That the change in climate is being used politically, and financially, has been the thorn that has caused much skepticism for “climate change”. However, the US and Russian navies interest in the matter is not because the effect is non existent as the deniers claim. In the 1700′ the world was in the throes of a mini ice-age. Before that I believe there was a cycle of warming. The great northern route has been a holy grail of shipping for centuries. Explorers have died trying to find, or prove it.

  2. This LNG tanker is definitely not standard, just look at its bow. As the article says it is capable of progressing through 4 feet of ice. Russia has a fleet of them on order. Whilst not being clear why they want to transport Norwegian gas to the Far East rather than their own, it is apparent that they want to stay ahead of the curve technology and experience wise.

    It will still be a while before standard ships can make this trip without an ice-breaker escort.

  3. Although the well-funded ‘consensus’ on Global Warming was well funded & excluded much/most scientific dissent, the global drive to eliminate Global Warming (or Climate Change, in the ultimate hedge of one’s bets) provided additional impetus to deploy already-existing, carbon-less cheap or ‘free’ energy tech.

    The U.S. was also playing a leadership role. After Trump dumped on the Paris Accords, both are now gone. Thus, clueless Trump sacrificed one of the last global leadership roles that the U.S. has AND ensured a continued hydrocarbon & nuke energy monopoly for years if not decades to come.

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