Arctic Melt Opens Northwest Passage

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: September 17, 2007   View Article

The famed Northwest Passage—a direct shipping route from Europe to Asia across the Arctic Ocean—is ice free for the first time since satellite records began in 1978, scientists reported Friday.

The passage is a shortcut between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans through the Canadian Arctic. It would save valuable time and fuel for ships that now travel through the Suez Canal in Egypt or the Panama Canal in Central America.

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