The Christophe de Margerie, a liquefied natural gas tanker operated by Russian shipping firm Sovcomflot, made history this week when it sailed through the frigid Northern Sea Route for the first time ever and docked at the remote Arctic terminal of Sabetta.
Traveling solo through the Bering Strait, it then followed a nuclear icebreaker, the 50 Let Pobedy, along Russia’s northern coast until it reached Sabetta after sailing through the normally ice-locked Northern Sea Route (NSR) from Jiangsu in China.
The journey marked the first time a tanker has sailed the route in February, “and confirms that year-round safe navigation is possible along the entire length of the Northern Sea Route.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Trutnev predicted that year-round shipping along the route could more than double by 2024.
The route, which cuts the East Asia to Europe shipping time by nearly half, was previously off-limits for the first few months of the year due to thick ice, but the changing climate has dislodged some of this ice and made the NSR a viable and competitive shipping route.
Even though ice-breaking ships have been used in polar regions since as early as the 11th century, the Zionist controlled climate crowd still sounded the alarm.
Their icebreaker-induced meltdown aside, the reason the route is traversal is actually due to higher temperatures. Previously, some ice along the passage would go years without thawing, effectively sealing the route off entirely.
On its most recent voyage, the Christophe de Margerie encountered no multi-year ice at all – a sign that the region is indeed warming up. Amid rising temperatures, some activists have called for an end to fossil fuel use altogether.
Concerns about the planet notwithstanding, geopolitical tensions look set to heat up long before the ice disappears.
As the Christophe de Margerie left Jiangsu in late January, more than 1,000 US Marines landed in Scandinavia for Arctic warfare training. Several weeks earlier, then-US Navy Secretary Kenneth Braithwaite said the American sailors would increasingly be making their presence known.
You will see the navy operating again in a more permanent manner above the Arctic Circle,” he said, adding that the USA will “operate more assertively” to challenge Russia’s claims in the region.
RT. com / ABC Flash Point Arctic Transportation News 2021.