Sun Jun 23, 2013 12:26 pm (PDT) . Posted by:

antartica ice shelfMelting ice puts Norway closer to Asia

Travel time between the Japanese port of Yokohama and Hamburg in Germany has been cut by 40 per cent

AFP
Published: 16:54 June 23, 2013
Gulf News

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KIRKENES, Norway: The town of Kirkenes in northernmost Norway used to be further away from Asia than virtually any other European port, but it suddenly seems a lot closer. The reason: global warming.

Melting ice has opened up the Northern Sea Route along Russia’s Arctic coastline, changing international trade patterns in profound ways — even if so far it looks more like a sleepy county road than a busy, four-lane highway.

In a change of potentially revolutionary significance, the travel time between the Japanese port of Yokohama and Hamburg in Germany has been cut by 40 per cent, while fuel expenditure is down by 20 per cent.

“For the first time in history we are witnessing a new ocean opening up in the high north which will have a major impact on both trade and provision of energy,” said Sturla Henriksen, the president of the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association.

http://gulfnews.com/news/world/other-world/melting-ice-puts-norway-closer-to-asia-1.1200831