THE MARITIME EXECUTIVE | Sailing via the North Pole was impossible until the 1950s. Now, it is all but inevitable. Even if all greenhouse gas emissions ceased, the Arctic Ocean is set to become ice-free in September by 2050.
Last summer, I wrote a blog post entitled, “The Arctic shipping route no one’s talking about.” Now, with four colleagues – Scott Stephenson, Kang Yang, Michael Bravo, and Bert De Jonghe – I’ve elaborated on the ideas explored in the post in the form of a peer-reviewed article, which has just been published in Marine Policy.
The latest scientific models suggest that a route directly via the North Pole may open as early as the 2040s. As we point out, this is significantly sooner than what models predicted in the early 2000s, when the consensus was that the Central Arctic Ocean would not become ice-free in summer until the 2070s.
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