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The Melting Passage

The Northwest Passage is located above canada and flows in between Alaska and Russia. Due to its location the passage mostly consists of ice.

In the last 20 years the Arctic climate has definitely changed because of the global warming. This causes the passage to be partly or wholly ice free in the late summer.

To take advantage of this the passage gets used for transportation and trade relations between countries. For this the ships need to get strengthened against ice and they have to be escorted by vessels. It also has to be considered that the passage can only be used during warmer seasons.

To redirect back to the global warming the Arctic sheet becomes smaller which facilitates the crossing of the passage. This is very beneficial for the economic but very bad for the environment.

Oil spills, noise interference and pollution can be a huge danger to the ecosystems in the Arctic. In addition to that the inuit way of life could be affected as well.

In the year 2007 researchers claimed that a year-round traffic through the passage could be possible in the foreseeable future but is it worth destroying the ecosystems?

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