The Bright Side of Global Warming

Saturday, February 07, 2009
Future Arctic Tourism

The dangers of global warming have received a great deal of attention, but the alarming trend does have certain potential advantages. One example is taking place in the Arctic, where the rapid melting of polar ice has introduced the possibility that shipping lanes could be created in the Bering Strait between Alaska and Russia. In 2008, for the first time in recorded history, both the Northwest Passage through Canada and a route along the Russian coast opened up—albeit for only eight days in September. From 2006 to 2007, the polar ice pack lost an area twice the size of California. The trend is serious enough that the United States Coast Guard Seventeenth District has been tasked with the responsibility of anticipating the arrival of commercial shipping that could cut 2500 miles from the journey between Europe and Asia. According to Rear Admiral Gene Brooks, the Coast Guard wants to prepare for such possibilities as a cruise ship sinking and oil tankers running aground.

Coast Guard Prepares as Arctic Shipping Lanes Melt (by Dan Joling, Associated Press)
Arctic Journal (by Rear Admiral Gene Brooks, United States Coast Guard)


Leave a comment