Arctic Ice Frees Captive Ships

Science Matters

Icebreaker “Kapitan Dranitsyn” has been trapped in Pevek along with two cargo vessels since early January. Photo: Rosmorport May30, 2017

In July, the Northern Sea Route (NSR) starts to open for commercial shipping. As previously reported here Arctic Ice Takes Revenge, a convoy of Russian cargo ships including icebreakers were trapped by January ice and were stranded in Pevek. May 30 they were able to leave port, but making it home to Arkhangelsk is still uncertain since plenty of ice remains in Eastern Siberian and Laptev seas.

More about the NSR shipping situation at the end of this post.

The image below shows the evolution of ice extents since 2007 along the Northern Sea Route.  The principal challenge for shipping is Laptev sea, and secondarily East Siberian and Kara seas.

Click on image to enlarge.

The graph below shows Arctic ice extents comparing 2017 to the eleven-year average, to…

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