Northern Sea Route Opens Earlier than Last Year

By Eric Haun
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Analysis results as of August 21 confirming the Northeastern passage open to vessels

Northern Sea Route (NSR) eastern passage opens two weeks earlier than last year; Global Ice Center predicts NSR to remain open for six weeks

The Global Ice Center at Weathernews Inc. announced that the Northern Sea Route (NSR) bordering Russia is open to commercial shipping traffic as of August 21, 2014 – two weeks earlier than last season, when lower than average temperatures resulted in slow pace of melting in the Arctic Ocean. Last summer, the northeastern passage opened at the beginning of September.

Meanwhile, large areas of sea ice still remain in the northwestern passage along the Canadian coast. Based on analysis of satellite images by the Global Ice Center (GIC), ice experts at Weathernews predicts this too should melt away by early September, thus opening the other passage for vessels.

The NSR has been in use by vessels escorted by Russian icebreakers since late June. However, enough ice has melted north of the New Siberian Islands (Novosibirsk) to allow vessels to pass through the region with minimal risk of collision from now until early October, according to Weathernews’ Global Ice Center.

Use of the NSR by the shipping industry as cost-saving alternative route continues to grow in recent years. Weathernews established the Global Ice Center in 2008 to provide enhanced voyage planning services to the shipping industry. The Japan-based company calls the ice advisories it provides to vessels sailing the Arctic and other icy areas, Polar Routing Service.

Weathernews Now Providing Polar Routing Service
The shipping industry has been eager to adopt the Northern Sea Route as an alternative to the Panama and Suez canals to save voyage time and operating costs. As a result, the need for more detailed and accurate information on conditions in the Arctic Ocean has been increasing over the last few years. The Voyage Planning team and Global Ice Center at Weathernews have been answering these needs since 2011 with Polar Routing Service. For the past two open seasons, Polar Routeing Service has supported about 20 voyages via the NSR. Most of these have sailed through the northeastern passage on the Russian side. However, last year Weathernews provided Polar Routeing support service to the first ever voyage in modern maritime history via the Northwestern passage along Canada.

Through Polar Routeing, shipping companies operating voyages through icy waters get briefings from Risk Communicators at Weathernews other digital content that covers maritime weather conditions expected on the voyage including wind speed/direction, wave height, air pressure and sea temperature in addition to information concerning the distribution and thickness of ice from the Global Ice Center. Currently, Weathernews plans to enhance support for safe voyages through the Arctic with data from their own compact satellite, WNISAT-1R. The new satellite is scheduled for launch next summer to monitor conditions along the NSR.
 

  • Northeastern passage clear of sea ice north of the Novosibrisk (New Siberian) Islands

    Northeastern passage clear of sea ice north of the Novosibrisk (New Siberian) Islands

Maritime Reporter June 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Environmental

Aberdeen Pupils Peek into Subsea Oil & Gas Technology

Pupils at an Aberdeen primary school were given a rare insight into the depths of the oil and gas industry’s subsea sector after getting to sit in the driving

U.S. Draft Recovery Plan for Threatened Polar Bears

U.S. wildlife managers released on Thursday a draft plan for stemming the decline of polar bears threatened by melting Arctic sea ice linked to global warming,

New Binding Law of The Sea Agreement Advanced

WOC Sustainable Ocean Summit (Singapore, 9-11 November 2015) Will Enable Industry to Organize its Input to this Major New Ocean Treaty Development The U.N.

News

Aberdeen Pupils Peek into Subsea Oil & Gas Technology

Pupils at an Aberdeen primary school were given a rare insight into the depths of the oil and gas industry’s subsea sector after getting to sit in the driving

AVEVA, DNV GL's Sesam Integration Cuts Cost

Integration of Aveva and DNV GL's Sesam Reduces Costs in Maritime and Offshore Engineering. Engineers designing ship hulls and offshore floaters can now save

FORAN for Pertamina's Future Ships

FORAN has been chosen by state-owned company PERTAMINA to review the design of their future oil product carrier ships, under construction in a shipyard with the FORAN System.

Arctic Operations

U.S. Draft Recovery Plan for Threatened Polar Bears

U.S. wildlife managers released on Thursday a draft plan for stemming the decline of polar bears threatened by melting Arctic sea ice linked to global warming,

UK Navy’s Ice Patrol Ship Gets a New Coating

U.K. Royal Navy Ice Patrol Ship HMS Protector is deployed on operations for 330 days a year, mostly in the Antarctic region, making it essential that her underwater

Shell Steps Closer to Arctic Drilling

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service authorized the nonlethal, incidental, and unintentional take of small numbers of polar bears and Pacific walrus that result

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Repair Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1951 sec (5 req/sec)