New Ocean in the Arctic
Doug O’Harra reports in the Anchorage Daily News that the polar ice cap has been shrinking so fast due to global warming that ships may be sailing through the Northwest Passage each summer by 2015, according to a U.S. Navy report. Commercial ships have wanted to use the Northwest Passage for hundreds of years, ever since the area was first explored, but this will be the first time they will actually be able to do so.
Global warming will open the Arctic Ocean to higher levels commercial activity. The seasonal expansion of open water may draw commercial fishing fleets into the waters north of Alaska within a few decades. The summer ice cover could even disappear entirely by 2050.