In the autumn they issued a sack of potatoes per person
October 21, 2016 2:01 PM   Subscribe

Frozen Dreams: Russia's Arctic obsession (16 min.) is a Financial Times video feature about Russian Federation preparations to take advantage of the Northern Sea Route opening up along its Arctic coast, which may at some point offer a preferable path for global shipping between the Atlantic region and East Asia, in comparison with the conventional route through the Mediterranean, Suez Canal, and Indian Ocean.

A recent edition of 60 minutes discussed both US and Russian exploration and exploitation of the Arctic. (CBS link is geo-locked and time-windowed, unfortunately.)
posted by XMLicious (2 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
That was really interesting, and sent me down a deep wiki hole about the Russian Arctic islands. It's so remote up there it the idea of ships navigating through it still feels a little spooky and mysterious, even though I know it's fully charted.

I was surprised to see here (with bonus cool visualisation) that the "spike" of transits in 2013 was just 71. I have no real context for that, but it sounds like a vanishingly small number.
posted by lucidium at 1:32 PM on October 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

Well, assuming the Suez Canal is open year round, from the canal authority's numbers for 2013 I'm getting 16,596/365 ≅ 46 vessels per day on average; so a rough comparison may depend on how long the passage through the Russian Arctic was open that year. Wikpedia says "six to eight weeks" but the citations on that are from 2009 and 2010.

Of course, many ships going through Suez may be going to somewhere like East Africa, South Asia, Australia, or somewhere else the NSR wouldn't provide a quicker route to.
posted by XMLicious at 5:48 PM on October 22, 2016

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