Amid revelations this week that Canada’s military is being forced to decrease its presence in the Arctic because of federal budget cuts, a U.S. study on thinning polar ice has produced the first maps showing predicted new shipping routes through Canada’s Northwest Passage, Russia’s Northern Sea Route and even directly across the North Pole.
Two UCLA researchers using a series of climate-change forecasting models to generate their data have concluded that the polar region will become “much more accessible than ever imagined,” and that the expected spike in ship traffic in the coming decades will add greater urgency to efforts by Canada and the U.S. to resolve their longstanding jurisdictional disagreement over the main transit corridors through Canada’s Arctic islands.
“Studies like this suggest that will have to move forward,” UCLA geographer Laurence C. Smith, co-author of the study, told Postmedia News.
Smith is also the author of…
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