The enterprising can find a way to make money on almost anything. Scandinavian shipowners claim that the melted Arctic ice cap has created shipping lanes that will make ocean transport more efficient — and more profitable.
The Guardian reports: “New data from the shipping companies who have taken advantage of receding Arctic sea ice this year to complete several voyages across the north of Russia shows that the ‘northern sea route’ can save even a medium-sized bulk carrier 18 days and 580 tonnes of bunker fuel on a journey between northern Norway and China. The voyage would normally take upwards of 40 days.” If the water in the north gets too hot, however, ships may not be able to plow through 200 degree seas at all.
Vladimir Putin, the premier of Russia, says the new lanes will make the transit through Arctic seas the new Suez Canal. That would be bad for Egypt, but it has held the corner on ship commerce in the north-east quadrisphere for too long.
Scandinavian shipowners may be early explorers into how global warming offers a chance to make money. Russia has joined the rush to profit from enterprises based on Arctic melting. It is only a matter of time before it becomes an industry unto itself.
Douglas A. McIntyre