Two German merchant ships have traversed the fabled Northeast Passage after global warming and opened a route from along Russia's Arctic coast to Siberia.
Now the German-owned ships are poised to complete their journey through the cold waters where icebergs abound, heading for Rotterdamin the Netherlands with 3,500 tons of construction parts.
The merchant ships MV Beluga Fraternity and MV Beluga Foresight arrived this week in Yamburg, Siberia, their owner Beluga Shipping GmbH said Friday. They traveled from Ulsan, South Korea, in late July to Siberia by way of the Northeast Passage, a sea lane that, in years past, was avoided because of its heavy ice floes.
Scientists report that the Arctic Ocean ice cap has been shrinking to unprecedented levels in recent summers, because of global warming, opening up many passages that were ice-choked in earlier times.
In July, new NASA satellite measurements showed that sea ice in the Arctic was not just shrinking in area, but thinning dramatically.
Niels Stolberg, the president of Beluga, which is based in the German city of Bremen, called it the first time a Western shipping company successfully transited the Northeast Passage.
Read the full article here: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090911/ap_on_re_eu/eu_germany_arctic_passage
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