Russian nuclear icebreaker "Arktika". By Abarinov (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Russia Urges the World to Consider the Arctic as an Alternative to the Suez Canal

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Russia wants nations to take up its offer to smash channels through the Arctic with its nuclear icebreaker fleet, to reduce global shipping dependency on the Suez Canal.

Russia Suggests World Adopt Arctic Trade Route as Alternative to Suez Canal


Russia’s Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation suggested freight shippers should consider the Northern Sea Route as an “alternative” to Egypt’s Suez Canal on Thursday after a container ship blocked the canal and halted billions of dollars worth of trade this week.

The Japanese-owned, Panama-flagged MV Ever Given container ship became lodged in the Suez Canal on March 23 during a sandstorm. The vessel remained stuck in the canal as of March 26, despite attempts to dislodge the ship by a Dutch salvage firm. The Suez Canal connects the Mediterranean to the Red Sea. More than ten percent of global maritime trade passes through the narrow waterway.

“If you get icebound, we have icebreakers, well to break the ice,” Rosatom, which operates Russia’s nuclear-powered icebreaker program, wrote as its second reason.

Read more:

Tweet from the Russian nuclear agency Rosatom;

I suspect few shippers will accept Russia’s offer, at least in the near term. Even with the assistance of Russian icebreakers, ships would still have to be ice hardened to safely make the passage.

No response from Greenpeace on how they feel about smashing up the Arctic ice for profit.

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Tom Halla
March 27, 2021 6:06 pm

I remember when the US tried using the Manhattan (a modified tanker) as an alternative to building the Trans-Alaska pipeline. While the tanker got through, the pipeline was built anyway.

Reply to  Tom Halla
March 27, 2021 7:27 pm

The United States thinks the Northwest passage is international waters. Canada asserts that it is internal waters. The Manhattan was a major challenge to the Canadian position.

The story I heard was that the Canadians radioed the Manhattan and said something like, “Welcome to Canada”. The Manhattan radioed back, “Thank you.” Oops.

Reply to  commieBob
March 28, 2021 12:53 am

Thing is, that the NW Passage is not the route the Russians are talking about.

Recently there has been open water on the Russian side for at least a couple of months each year,

…. whereas the NW Passage is rather a hit or miss chance of getting through.

Robert MacLellan
Reply to  fred250
March 28, 2021 4:47 am

Yes, they are speaking of the North EAST Passage, most of which is ocean and not poorly charted channels between islands.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  fred250
March 28, 2021 9:02 am

Right now there are thousands of miles of ice t get through no matter what route one cares to take through the Arctic.
I checked the distances on a globe to be sure about the scale.
Shades of purple are one meter or less, and anything between one and two meters. By the time one gets to any shade with green, the ice is over two meters thick up to three meters. Shades of yellow are three meters to four meters.
Three meters is very close to ten feet. Deeper than most indoor rooms are from floor to ceiling.
There are many hundreds of miles of ice over ten feet thick right now up there, no matter what route is chosen, that would have to be navigated to make the passage.

I wonder how many ships and crew are even outfitted for the type of weather one would expect up there, regardless of any ice?
What happens to a container ship in an ice storm, or in high seas with icing conditions?

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
March 28, 2021 9:13 am

Oops, here is that sea ice map:
DMI Modelled ice thickness

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
March 28, 2021 9:15 am

Shades of purple are one meter or less, and anything between one and two meters.”

Left out a word here.
Should have said:
“Shades of purple are one meter or less, and blues are anything between one and two meters. 

Reply to  commieBob
April 4, 2021 4:49 pm

Canada is slack on patrolling for sovereignty.

The NW passage looks tortuous to me compared to the NE passage, though is another option also dependent on icebreakers. (Note the number of ships that needed help from the Kapitan Khlebnikov converted icebreaker when it was operating as a cruise ship in the High Arctic.

Gunga Din
March 27, 2021 6:09 pm

It would cost a bunch but how about building another canal parallel to the Suez?

Tom in Toronto
Reply to  Gunga Din
March 27, 2021 6:24 pm

No! #SaveTheSand ! Just think of the desert lizards, insects and snakes you’d be displacing!

Reply to  Gunga Din
March 27, 2021 8:21 pm

Already in the works, but not yet done.

Reply to  RoHa
March 28, 2021 5:49 am

In the works where? Egypt completed an expansion to the canal in 2015, I missed any news of creating another path.

March 27, 2021 6:10 pm

Ms. Reyes should get her eyesight checked. The container ship’s name is clearly painted on the sides of the ship, below the gunwales. It is EVERGREEN.

Beyond that, How much is Vlad going to charge shipping for transits through the Arctic circle? Is he really that desperate for cash? Oh, never mind.

On another note, the news last evening was that because the EVERGREEN is stuck crosswise in the Suez Canal, there may be a shortage of toilet paper, otherwise known as bath tissue, so stock up. Things could get rough again. (Didn’t say anything about paper towels shortages.)

Tom in Toronto
Reply to  Sara
March 27, 2021 6:27 pm

Evergreen is the company name.

The ship is owned by the Evergreen Marine Corp, a Taiwanese container transportation and shipping company that owns 39 shipping vessels. Of its large fleet of ships, 20 are named in the format of “Ever” + [a word that begins with a G]. Other ships owned by Evergreen Marine include the “Ever Goods,” “Ever Gaining,” and the “Ever Giant.””

Last edited 1 year ago by Tom in Toronto
Reply to  Sara
March 27, 2021 6:31 pm

It sometime pays to check your facts before jumping to conclusions 🙂
Evergreen Marine is the name of the shipping company operating the vessel (note, they are not the owners)
The vessel’s name is Ever Given (as can be seen on any of the numerous ship tracking sites which show it’s AIS boradcast name.

Last edited 1 year ago by StuM
Martin Buchanan
Reply to  Sara
March 27, 2021 6:32 pm

Ever Given is a Golden-class container ship, one of the largest container ships in the world. The ship is owned by Shoei Kisen Kaisha, and time chartered and operated by Taiwanese container transportation and shipping company Evergreen Marine. Wikipedia

Reply to  Sara
March 27, 2021 7:47 pm

200,000 tonnes of toilet paper?

Reply to  dragonfly
March 28, 2021 2:24 am

That’s a $hit load !!

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Sara
March 28, 2021 11:27 am

Ship names are on the back.
The sides just have the name of the company operating the ship.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Sara
March 28, 2021 11:59 am

“Stocking up” is exactly why there may be a shortage.
Although I suspect any panicky types still have some of the ten year supply they waited in line for last year while simulataneously getting and spreading the virus.

Reply to  Sara
April 4, 2021 4:51 pm

Evergreen is the operator of the ship.

March 27, 2021 6:23 pm

Just a quick sales pitch but icebreaker services needed this time of the year

Jean Parisot
Reply to  H B
March 27, 2021 7:05 pm

Why do we need icebreakers when we have all this magic CO2

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Jean Parisot
March 27, 2021 9:26 pm

There are people who think the Arctic is ice free (Or will be…soon). Then there are other people, Russians, who are building larger, even more powerful, icebreakers that can crack and clear over 2m thick ice and can do that almost indefinitely due to being nuclear powered.

March 27, 2021 7:16 pm

The North East passage is attractive for a couple of reasons.

One reason is that the distance is sufficiently smaller that there could be significant fuel savings.

The other reason is that the size of ship would not be limited by what could fit through a canal.

The Russians have dreamed of the North East passage since the time of the tzars.

Reply to  commieBob
March 27, 2021 7:52 pm

But with the AMO due to head down at some stage soon, and Arctic sea ice to increase, those new nuclear powered, ice-melting Ice Breakers will definitely be needed.

Richard Page
Reply to  commieBob
March 27, 2021 8:09 pm

Hmm. Maybe. All it means is that Russia would be in control of who and what was able to travel through that area. Anyone wanting to sanction Russians would find the icebreakers suspiciously busy when their ships tried to transit. Political leverage is such an ugly term, but usually quite accurate.

March 27, 2021 7:43 pm

bit early for april fools

Reply to  dragonfly
March 27, 2021 7:55 pm

Some ideas are very attractive and would be completely feasible if it weren’t for a few niggling technical details. LOL The Russians have been dreaming of the North East passage for a couple of hundred years.

Reply to  dragonfly
March 28, 2021 2:27 am

Agreed, they need to get in line, the March fool haven’t finished yet

March 27, 2021 7:55 pm

I wonder if the Russians have cleared this with Greta?

Richard Page
Reply to  Alan
March 27, 2021 8:38 pm

Doubt it, unless they told her the icebreakers and every ship going into the Arctic actually run on unicorn farts.

Reply to  Alan
March 27, 2021 9:40 pm

Who is that?

March 27, 2021 7:58 pm

If true it is a good move on Russia’s part and should benefit those countries that could take advantage of an alternate route. Don’t know about the difference in shipping time though.

Richard Page
Reply to  markl
March 27, 2021 8:37 pm

Might be good for Norway as well as they’d have to shepherd the transiting ships to and/or from Murmansk through the Norwegian sea. Biden’s not going to like this one little bit.

Reply to  Richard Page
March 28, 2021 12:01 am

No kidding. Biden wants more ice in the arctic… it’s very strange when you really think about it.

Reply to  Richard Page
March 28, 2021 3:02 am

Don’t quite understand this. Why would the Norwegians, or anyone else, have to “shepherd” ships anywhere? You can take your vessel anywhere you like in international waters, and anyway unless you had business in Murmansk you wouldn’t go anywhere near it if going from, say, Rotterdam to, say, Anchorage or Osaka.

Richard Page
Reply to  Oldseadog
March 28, 2021 7:21 am

Of course you can but for 2 slight concerns – the route around the top of Norway from Murmansk into the Norwegian Sea is still well within the Arctic and subject to pack ice and loose ice floes. Having spent a long time getting the Russians to agree on their mutual border, I doubt if the Norwegians are going to relish the idea of Russian icebreakers going to and fro across it at will, so I’d imagine the Norwegians would put icebreakers of their own into play on the last bit into the Norwegian Sea.

Last edited 1 year ago by Richard Page
Reply to  Oldseadog
April 4, 2021 5:05 pm

Certainly you may be free to crash your ship, though you might end up in a slammer for polluting.

Ships are not race cars, they turn slowly, stop slowly, and are subject to cross-currents. (Sideways thrusters help, BC Ferries Super C class have them, BC Ferries Spirit class may have had them added.)

(I was in a cove of Active Pass one day as a Spirit boat was about to charge past the small ferry I was on, when another BCF boat appeared around the corner. The Spirit boat went into full reverse, I could see water churning up around its stern, it took a while to get stopped.

Ships can drop anchor to try to save themselves. One day aboard a
Spirit boat I noticed the forward lookout on main deck having a sledge hammer near her to kick the anchor chain safety dogs open in case they did not release from bridge command.

Goofs do occur.
BCF whacked the corner of entry to a berth at Tsawwassen terminal recently when cross-currents were different than expected.
Anchors failed to deploy because bridge crew did not understand that you have to hold the switch for some time to keep the chain reeling out – someone had neglected to placard the control panel to that effect (it had been in refit/refurb recently).

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  markl
March 28, 2021 6:49 am

Huge difference shipping from China Korea Japan
A little north and east thru bearing sea then straight west to Europe

Compared to straights of malacca at equator lot more distant

Reply to  markl
March 28, 2021 7:32 am

For 50 days out of the year. Yea, this is a great plan.

March 27, 2021 8:35 pm

Sounds to me like a Russian plot to get the world to pay for fleets of Russian nuclear icebreakers.

The country that gets most of the benefit with ports across the Arctic is Russia.

Reply to  ATheoK
March 27, 2021 11:38 pm

Not likely. Suez canal has been blocked before , sometimes for years. Don’t end up with ships going through Arctic. Even in summer the can be some ice so the ships have to be light ice certified, in winter it’s a higher ice rating.

Rich Davis
Reply to  ATheoK
March 28, 2021 8:36 am

“Will you walk into my parlour?” said the Spider to the Fly

Patrick MJD
March 27, 2021 9:19 pm

I find the report that THAT ship and only THAT ship was blown off course by strong winds and in to the bank, bow first. Reports I have read show it is stuck fast with few options available to extract it. Some suggest unloading it in situ, but how exactly? There are many refrigerated containers, so anything inside will spoil very soon. Digging the bow out with an excavator is being tried, but the draught of the ship is 15m (45ft) and excavators don’t reach out and down that far, even with extended booms. Dredging has been talked about too. One thing I did learn from this event was that the northern part of the canal has two channels/lanes, where the southern part, where the ship is stuck, is just single.

Last edited 1 year ago by Patrick MJD
Tom Abbott
Reply to  Patrick MJD
March 28, 2021 9:05 am

Some heavy-duty tug boats are heading to Suez from Europe and should be arriving soon (late today or tomorrow). The U.S. is also sending a team of some kind although I don’t have details.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Tom Abbott
March 28, 2021 12:24 pm

So far the economic damage is said to be at $46 billion and counting.
But they have one dredge and one excavator working to clear it, and maybe half a dozen tugboats.
Makes no sense.
Between unloading and dredging, they will free it eventually, but the big question to me is, why the small effort in relation to what it is costing so many stakeholders?
Here in the US little construction companies have huge fleets of dozens of long armed excavators for clearing land, and beach renourishment projects routinely move tens of thousands of cubic yards of sand in a night from a single barge mounted dredger.

Last edited 1 year ago by Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Patrick MJD
April 4, 2021 5:08 pm

I see the excavator as uncovering the underwater snout part of the bow, which was stuck into the bank. In hopes of getting a bit more flotation I presume.

There was substantial suction dredging done on the canal side of the bow.

i suspect the canal is shallower near the edges.

Abolition Man
March 27, 2021 9:35 pm

‘Tis indeed sad that the CCP controlled DemoKKKrats were able to completely poison our relations with Russia over the last five years! While having a crook like Vlad as a frenemy is risky, it is far better than pushing him into an alliance with a murderous thug like Xi!

If history is taught in one hundred years a lot of people will look bad in sadness and anger at the lost opportunities in the fall of the Soviet Union. Instead of democratizing Russia we apparently imported quite a bit of their corruption along with lots of Marxist professors! Where else could they go to get work?

Having reciprocal trade relations with Russia could benefit the world by developing the vast resources of northern Asia and the commute from the US wouldn’t be too bad! Besides, Putin doesn’t even pretend to buy into the CAGW scam; not many other world leaders honestly can make that claim!

Richard Page
Reply to  Abolition Man
March 28, 2021 7:35 am

Do you remember the reset button and the friendly visits, the bonhomie between the US and Russian governments? Do you remember how it all went pear-shaped just before the 2nd Gulf War when France and Germany reached out to Russia in an effort to block US led action in Iraq and the US administration realised with horror that this might be the new normal – an EU/Russia alliance would be catastrophic for the USA, politically and economically. Do you remember just how the US administration has stoked anti-Russian rhetoric at every opportunity? It’s mostly just been political theatre and trial-by-media to drive a permanent wedge between Russia and the EU. Nordstream pipelines, the NE passage trade route; these all threaten the USA with potentially closer ties between the EU and Russia.

Reply to  Richard Page
March 28, 2021 7:40 am

They share borders, can’t get much closer. Europeans are far more worried about Vlad than anything else, he makes his hegemonic intentions clear to them every day.

Richard Page
Reply to  2hotel9
March 28, 2021 8:14 am

Absolutely correct – very astute observation and comment, you have explained it all with clarity and wit. Which just leaves the building of the Nordstream pipelines, Germany very happy to get gas supplies from Russia, the proposed ‘Turkish hub’ pipelines and other joint proposals, despite efforts to derail them and ‘buy American’ campaigns. Honestly, it really isn’t going exactly to plan, is It?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Abolition Man
March 28, 2021 9:10 am

I think Putin is the problem. I think ordinary Russians would be more than happy to get along with the United States. It went pretty good there for a while right after the Soviet Union fell.

Then Putin took over with his visions of another Russian empire, and getting along with the Russians went out the window.

When Putin is gone, things might change for the better as far as our relationships are concerned. Russians and Americans should get along. It’s in both our interests to do so.

Richard Page
Reply to  Tom Abbott
March 28, 2021 10:57 am

The USA felt they could deal with someone like Medvedev, who was less of a hardliner than Putin; unfortunately, Putin’s hardline stance plays well to a lot of the home crowd who think that the USA and Russia should get on well but from a position of a strong Russia not the one they think the USA wants, which is Russia on its knees. The difference in perceptions of Putin between the West and Russia is quite significantly different.

March 27, 2021 9:52 pm

If one is not biased this is advantageous for the world. Asia is advancing, Russia is advancing, the are planning a joint venture to the moon. Despite Trump’s attempt to pull our space program out of moth balls, it is far behind. Our country is ruled by decrepit foul politicians from behind steel fences and razor wire. No new ideas there. Just battles between dinosaurs over the carcass of the USA.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  NIKKI
March 28, 2021 9:23 am

I think our private space industries will make up for our foul politiicans. Private industry has the vision needed.

Assuming our foul politicians will allow private space enterprises to access space. That’s not a given, considering the world we are living in.

Joel O'Bryan
March 27, 2021 10:07 pm

The Chinese CCP/PLA planned this Suez blockage by a Taiwanese container ship at this time. They have sleeper agents in the Taiwan shipping company that executed this Suez blockage. It is part of how China’s PLAAN will attempt to invade and take Taiwan next month (April).

US Navy Carrier task force Groups from the Med/Atlantic transit the Suez to get to the Arabian Sea/ Idian Ocean and as a backup to West Pac to reinforce US 7th fleet Operations. Been this way like forever. None of those US Navy carrier task forces for Gulf Storm 1 (1990-91) or 2 (2003-04) or current carrier air wing operations in the Arabian Sea and Persian Gulf have gone around the Cape of South Africa. They all go thru the Suez. Now blocked.

So anyone (including the Chinese military) who knows anything about US Navy Carrier Task Forces know that the Egyptian Suez has been how US Naval Task Force Groups transit to the Arabian Sea and then to the Persian Gulf.
And a US Navy Carrier Task Force in the Arabian Gulf can then easily and silently transit across the Indian Ocean to the Malacca Straits to enter the South China Sea in very stealthy fashion. China’s PLAAN knows this. They need to make sure no additional US Navy carrier task force groups can reinforce the West Pac 7th Fleet. Thus will tie the US Navy’s hands about how much it can respond to a Taiwan invasion.

China’s PLA and PLAAN are intent on taking Taiwan by amphibious force in the next 90 days. Bank on it WUWT folks. Hong Kong is securely in CCP control now. Taiwan is next. Very soon.

Ole’ Dementia Joe is about to be tested in way he cannot imagine. Mostly because he is senile and his advisors are total woke morons.

Last edited 1 year ago by Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
March 27, 2021 11:42 pm

Not the quickest way from Norfolk to South China Sea.
Round cape of good hope or cape horn.
The carriers only go that way to get to gulf.
I think your geography is a nuts as the rest of your views

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  Duker
March 28, 2021 5:12 am

You clearly know nothing. USS Eisenhower carrier group is in Eastern Med at the moment. No was to get to Arabian Sea while the Suez is blocked.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
March 28, 2021 7:29 am

They can strike any targets in the region from EM, so wrong again.

Reply to  Duker
April 4, 2021 5:12 pm

Mmm, is past India through Suez to northern Europe not the shortest way from SE Asia where much manufacturing is? And South Asia, like Bangladesh, Ceylon/Sri lanka, and and India?

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
March 28, 2021 2:57 am

China’s PLA and PLAAN are intent on taking Taiwan by amphibious force in the next 90 days. Bank on it WUWT folks.

I love a prediction, (you know where you are with a prediction) 90 days takes us to end of June
I’ve put it in the diary.

So, July will show us if you’ll be joining the august group of pre_dick_tators such as – Al Gore, Hanson, Mann, Wacky Waddams, Prince Charles, Harold Camping …

Good luck !

Richard Page
Reply to  saveenergy
March 28, 2021 7:42 am

Y’know, if he hadn’t been such a lousy speller and with such an awful use of different effects as emphasis, I might have taken it seriously. As it is, it’s in the bin along with the Arctic death-spiral predictions already – no need to wait 90 days.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
March 28, 2021 9:41 am

The Chicom military will be tested like never before if they attack Taiwan.

In fact, attacking Taiwan would be the first big test of the new Chicom military. They have yet to prove themselves on the battlefield. So far, it’s all talk from the Chicoms.

Unlike Hong Kong, Taiwan will fight back. If the U.S. gets involved, then the Chicoms are going to be in for an uncertain future. Maybe all of us, but them for sure.

If the Chicoms are smart, they will leave Taiwan alone. They have no urgent need to attack Taiwan. It’s not going anywhere. If the Chicoms were smart, they would mount a friendship campaign with Taiwan and offer them the Moon to come join the Chinese mainland.

But dictator’s egos quite often do the stupid thing, not the smart thing.

So the smart thing is to leave Taiwan alone and the stupid, dictator thing is to attack Taiwan.

Xi is pretty brazen. We’ll just have to see how brazen.

Here is something that should concern everyone:

The United States is extremely vulnerable to having our whole electrical system go down for a long time.

Think about going without your electricity for a month. For a year. It would be an unmitigated disaster, yet here we are at the mercy of Chicoms who have no mercy.

The U.S. needs to impliment the recommendations of the commission that looked into the vulnerabilities of our electrical system. They said the problems can be corrected by spending about $3 billion. Very cheap insurance, imo. As far as I know, no efforts have been made to implement any upgrades or buy spare parts for our electrical systems.

Someone on our side needs to wake up.

I assume if the Chicoms did blitz our electrical grid, that we would blitz theirs in return. But that’s not going to do the average American much good if his electricity isn’t working. Maybe in the long run, but not in the short run.

Peace, not war, Xi.

Last edited 1 year ago by Tom Abbott
Ted Pilewski
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
March 29, 2021 10:21 am

If this was intentional it was likely done as a test, much like ‘praying’ loudly at random in airports. They would want to know reaction times and procedures, and the media spotlight on the problem means changes to procedures will be publicly announced.

March 27, 2021 10:38 pm

I have been waiting for this since I was a kid, but environmentalists were always saying how pristine and delicate the Arctic was, “the last unspoiled wilderness on Earth”, and therefore off-limits to human encroachment. However, now that they discovered the dangers of the CO2 molecule, the Arctic is ripe for the LGN transition fuel plucking !

But I read somewhere that the new ice breakers and tankers are completely “environmentally friendly“, as they are all equipped with a special deflector-baffle system, which allows ship owners to assert with 100% confidence that not a single penguin will be harmed on any trans-Arctic voyage.

And the knock-on effect of this will be:

One giant container ship emits as much as 50 million cars.

And all of that is going into the Arctic no less. (facepalm)

You really have to hand it to the corporations that co-opted the environmental movement. If you are battling CAGW, anything is possible! (sigh)

Last edited 1 year ago by Anon
Reply to  Anon
March 27, 2021 11:43 pm


Reply to  Duker
March 28, 2021 12:18 am

See? Completely baffled.

Paul Milenkovic
Reply to  Duker
March 28, 2021 6:27 am


No penguins will be harmed.

They won’t be a risk to the Arctic giraffes, either.

Reply to  Paul Milenkovic
March 28, 2021 7:48 am

The last time penguins were spotted in the Arctic was in 1949 on the Lofoten Islands.

Ted Pilewski
Reply to  Anon
March 28, 2021 3:50 pm

According to the link, that’s 50 million cars averaging 9,000 miles per year. The figure for the ships was calculated with the engines at full bore for 280 days per year; which translates to over 188,000 miles per year, so its like 2.39 million cars going the same distance.

But that’s not moving any cargo with the auto’s. A car going long distance could carry a quarter ton after subtracting the weight of the driver and luggage. But that cargo will also increase fuel consumption ten percent, so a ship is like 2.15 million cars.

Then there’s the cargo ratios themselves – the largest cargo ships carry 400,000 tons, so the ratio for emissions needs to be divided by 1.6 million to get a comparison for doing the same amount of work. That means using a cargo ship emits 1.34 times as much pollution as using cars.

So really, the difference in using a cargo ship is the same as using a car from 1990 instead of one from 2020. A single car. With the difference being that you need almost 50 million less drivers

March 28, 2021 12:43 am

The Russian icebreakers can only offer this service because the ice along their shores is now so much thinner… and because the Northern Sea Route is open for a greater distance for a longer time. They can do this because they know the Arctic climate has changed and will change further.

Reply to  griff
March 28, 2021 7:28 am

And another lie spewed, your day is now complete. Putz.

Richard Page
Reply to  griff
March 28, 2021 7:53 am

Maybe it was the fact that the Russians have been developing their Arctic coast for the past 30-40 years in the hope of an open trade route and an ice-free Arctic, as was promised to them by climate scientists over 20 years ago? Maybe their dependence on the use of nuclear powered icebreakers is evidence of their frustration of it not happening and never will? The Russians have a very pragmatic attitude – they have obviously decided that an ice-free Arctic is not going to happen, Russian flag under the North pole notwithstanding, and have developed a fleet of nuclear icebreakers. Griff, why the hell would any government spend huge amounts on these ships if they weren’t actually needed? Answer – they wouldn’t – you need to listen to the Russians when they talk about Russian waters; they know what they are talking about and have experience of the conditions. You have neither.

Carl Friis-Hansen
Reply to  griff
March 28, 2021 8:12 am

Most of the comments made some sense so far — Until this one — Had to check, yes it was Griff – Great 🙂

Climate believer
Reply to  griff
March 28, 2021 11:18 am

So so thin…

Reply to  griff
March 28, 2021 12:54 pm

GREAT NEWS hey griff

After the EXTREME high levels of sea ice during the LIA and late 1970s the Arctic is slightly accessible again

Nowhere near as accessible as before the LIA though.

Stop being a Climate Change DENIER, griff.

The Russians KNOW that the AMO index is starting to drift downwards, and that sea ice will increase again.. why else would they have built such enormously powerful ice-breakers.

Remain an ignorant clown griff, its your only redeeming feature.

Climate believer
March 28, 2021 2:42 am

Can’t really see any great advantage to shipping companies when you weigh up the risks, and the added insurance premium that would surely follow.

If oil prices start rising maybe the shorter route might tip the balance, but you’d still need heavy investment in purpose built ships.

Also, as far as I can see it would be an A to B route with no possibility of picking up or dropping off cargo on the way, certainly more interesting for tankers than containers… but can you imagine an oil tanker spilling it’s guts in the Arctic.

Nice visualisation of shipping routes here:

Reply to  Climate believer
March 28, 2021 3:48 am

Very interesting, it was recorded in 2012 so by now the shipping routes activity is most likely even greater.

Bruce Cobb
March 28, 2021 3:01 am

Why don’t all the backed up ships lay on their horns? Works when car traffic gets backed up.

Richard Page
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
March 28, 2021 7:54 am

Suez canal rage?

March 28, 2021 3:39 am

Arctic’s annual See Ice animation

Reply to  Vuk
March 28, 2021 3:46 am

error entry, reply to ‘climate believer’ shipping @ 2.42
(unable to delete, but can be edited after posting, this is the edit )

Last edited 1 year ago by vuk
Ed Zuiderwijk
March 28, 2021 3:51 am

Greenpeace will not say anything nor will they climb on board icebreakers to stop them. They know they would be unceremoniously thrown into unheated prison cell in Murmansk for a few weeks and the climate fervor does not stretch that long.

Richard Page
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
March 28, 2021 7:55 am

It’d be piracy charges all over again – best way to deal with those idiot’s!

Pat from kerbob
March 28, 2021 6:52 am

Why don’t we instead go for the biggest geoengineering project in history and reopen the isthmus of Panama, reestablish ocean currents and stop the ice age pattern

That would be a worthwhile endeavor even if it takes a hundred years

Last edited 1 year ago by Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  Pat from kerbob
March 28, 2021 7:45 am

No. One has to close magellan straight

Richard Page
Reply to  Pat from kerbob
March 28, 2021 7:57 am

And this would help the ships wanting to go through the Suez canal?

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Richard Page
March 28, 2021 8:59 pm

Who cares

Is there anything more worthwhile than trying to prevent the next glaciation?

March 28, 2021 7:16 am

Act now! Before temperatures fall. As they will for the next 500 years or so. All we see are cycles. Temperatures can go down as well as up. Now is as about as far up as it gets each cycle.

March 28, 2021 7:21 am

Um. is a tanker submarine such a bad idea. It is self supporting and avoids the ice altogetheter . I suppose , on simple risk and environmental grounds, oil is best sent by pipeline. But a Russian nuclear powered sub-marine oil tanker would be great, just for the way it would excite the powerless greens. What could possibly go wrong?

PS What happened to the missiles snd generator from the Kursk BTW?

March 28, 2021 7:26 am

So, the plan is to replace the Suez Canal by using a passage that is open for, at best, 50 days out of the year. Brilliant!

Richard Page
Reply to  2hotel9
March 28, 2021 8:17 am

Ah, but you forget – Russian nuclear powered super icebreakers! That’s 55 days now!

Reply to  Richard Page
March 30, 2021 7:33 am

The invironistas would shut it down because nuklar, don’t ya know! They don’t have even go to Russia, just do their boycott&cancel kabuki dance.

Nicholas McGinley
March 28, 2021 8:49 am

I think there is ice up there that is impassable even for the nuclear icebreakers.
Seems to me Putin is trolling the warmistas.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
March 28, 2021 12:50 pm

Yes, Putin is trolling. Of course, he would be happy to take the money of anyone who would take him up on it.

March 28, 2021 10:49 am

“No response from Greenpeace on how they feel about smashing up the Arctic ice for profit.”

I’m sure they will conveniently ignore the fact that the ice will close up within half an hour of passage and freeze over again. They probably will claim that the ice will sink and be lost until it wells up 800 years later in Antarctica.
Also sinking all that ice will mean sea levels will rise like when you push an ice cube down in your Scotch.

I’ll stop because it will only give them ideas and we’ll see in a Guardian article next week.

March 28, 2021 10:50 am

Prof Chris(mas) Turkey will be organising a trip to discover the long lost Arctic penguins.

March 28, 2021 12:56 pm

They can also load up on oil and refined fuel while they are up there since the big AGW fight is in your neighborhood instead of where the action is.

March 28, 2021 1:33 pm

The NE passage was used all the time during the 1930’s and during WW2. The Arctic had much less ice. It wasn’t until the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s, NH cooling down period, that the NE passage could not be used regularly anymore.

March 28, 2021 2:20 pm

In the 1960s the Russians were about to offer up the NSR for world shipping but the Suez crisis put paid to that. It wasn’t until the 1980s they offer was made formal.

March 28, 2021 2:23 pm

Please excuse this diversion into a sideline of WWII history. In 1940 the German commerce raider Komet traversed across Siberia to enter the Pacific. I have some commentary.
German raider Komet passage north Siberia 1940

March 28, 2021 8:01 pm

“Tweet from the Russian nuclear agency Rosatom”

Tweet was removed.

April 4, 2021 4:46 pm

Well, it gives an option, for a price and a dependability risk (for political reasons).
It is dependent on icebreakers.

Panama and Suez are expanding, part of Suez widened, part of Panama twinned.

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