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Northern Sea Route Through Arctic Becomes a Reality

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the admiral-peary-i-presume dept.

Transportation 373

Hugh Pickens writes "Andrew Revkin writes in the NY Times that since 1553, when Sir Hugh Willoughby led an expedition north in search of a sea passage over Russia to the Far East, mariners have dreamed of a Northern Sea Route through Russia's Arctic ocean that could cut thousands of miles compared with alternate routes. A voyage between Hamburg and Yokohama is only 6,600 nm. via the Northern Sea Route — less than 60% of the 11,400 nm. Suez route. Now in part because of warming and the retreat and thinning of Arctic sea ice in summer, this northern sea route is becoming a reality with the 12,700-ton 'Beluga Fraternity,' designed for a mix of ice and open seas, poised to make what appears to be the first such trip. The German ship picked up equipment in Ulsan, South Korea, on July 23 and arrived in Vladivostok on the 25th with a final destination at the docks in Novyy Port, a Siberian outpost. After that, if conditions permit, it will head to Antwerp or Rotterdam, marking what company officials say would be the first time a vessel has crossed from Asia to Europe through the Arctic on a commercial passage."

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373 comments

Yeah right (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28864531)

A wonderful, magical route that can turn kilometers into nanometers?

Re:Yeah right (3, Informative)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 4 years ago | (#28864563)

nautical miles

Re:Yeah right (3, Informative)

thesolo (131008) | more than 4 years ago | (#28865191)

Obviously the confusion is stemming from the fact that the submitter used the wrong abbreviation.

Lowercase "nm" is nanometer. NM, Nm or nmi are appropriate for nautical mile. Neither of which are to be confused with the newton-meter, which is N m. (N.B. there is a space between N and m for newton-meter.)

Re:Yeah right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28865505)

Oh I won't confuse it with the Newton-meter, because the Newton-meter is almost always referred to as the Joule (J).

Re:Yeah right (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 4 years ago | (#28865203)

nautical miles

The article says it "saves fuel" and you're saying it merely turns distance in yet another weird medieval unit. People who want floating ice and strange units could just move to Alaska. This makes no sense at all.

I call shenanigans on the whole thing. Or there's yet another conspiracy at work. Obviously the Illuminati are running sea shipments.

Re:Yeah right (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 4 years ago | (#28865323)

It is another conspiracy. I hear they referred to objects going at several "knots" of speed. Another weird unit. They were probably ciphered messages talking about UFOs...

Re:Yeah right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28864579)

"nautical miles"

Tron (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28864545)

Um wait nm? Are you in Tron or something?

And they said that GW would be a bad thing (2, Insightful)

Vovk (1350125) | more than 4 years ago | (#28864571)

As long as our global economy is stimulated, I don't see any issue with destroying our habitat...

Re:And they said that GW would be a bad thing (1)

Smegly (1607157) | more than 4 years ago | (#28864671)

Why does this news sound like the beating drums of doom to me...

Re:And they said that GW would be a bad thing (4, Funny)

db32 (862117) | more than 4 years ago | (#28864673)

Please, this news is worthless compared to other coming attractions. Just think about the vast amount of land that is working its way towards being tropical climate beach front property! All those rich people living in the current beach front property will lose their places and be forced to buy new places! You should buy up some land in those middle regions now while it is still cheap. I for one welcome our ice caps melting! Travel is expensive so bringing the ocean to me is a much more cost effective vacation solution.

Re:And they said that GW would be a bad thing (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 4 years ago | (#28865173)

A buddy of mine wants to buy some property in Georgia, preferably on top of a hill, so he can build a dock on it and wait for the water to come.

Re:And they said that GW would be a bad thing (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 4 years ago | (#28864675)

Yeah. There is an old Russian joke:

A guy smuggling some radioactive element in his trousers is caught at the customs.
The customs officer barks at him: Are you stupid? It is radioactive, you won't have any children after this.
The guy answers nonchalantly: As long as my grandchildren won't starve I don't care.

Re:And they said that GW would be a bad thing (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28865061)

Ha ha ha! Is very funny russian joke!

Re:And they said that GW would be a bad thing (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#28864681)

This reads like a news article from the late 19th century. So your comment is actually very pertinent since the industrialists of that age also sought profits above the wel-being of the workers and the environment.

Re:And they said that GW would be a bad thing (2, Insightful)

intheshelter (906917) | more than 4 years ago | (#28865449)

Not to stir the pot, but EVERYBODY does that, not just industrialists. Do you drive a car? Do you use a bus? Cab? You're polluting. Putting your own selfish interests above the environment, aren't you? Now I know that's hyperbole, but my point is EVERYONE justifies their own actions as being necessary. Al Gore is the poster boy for the AGW crowd and yet he makes my energy consumption pale in comparison. I'm sure he justifies his consumption because he needs to travel to spread the word about the coming apocalypse, but in the end he is simplying justifying his lifestyle and he won't change his life if it inconveniences him at all.

The whole thing is just hypocrisy all over the place. On every side. I don't believe anyone any more because they are all lying. Now I am going to go light my coal furnace by burning some plastic plates and I would like some quiet for my afternoon nap.

Re:And they said that GW would be a bad thing (1)

pinkushun (1467193) | more than 4 years ago | (#28864707)

The shipping company's the one with less expenses, they benefit. But if we can melt the caps enough, everyone can benefit! Grab a surfboard dude! Totally!

Re:And they said that GW would be a bad thing (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28865265)

As long as our global economy is stimulated, I don't see any issue with destroying our habitat...

All joking aside, this is pretty much the attitude in the developing world. Nothing but rhetoric out of China, Russia, India, etc. We had better hope global warming is a scam, because any cutbacks in the west will be offset by production increases in the developing world. There is ZERO possibility that carbon emissions will be reduced, no matter how many clever new taxes are introduced and no matter how many jobs are lost.

The developing world sees "climate change" as a nifty opportunity to profit at the expense of the US and Europe; they do not intend to miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime.

Re:And they said that GW would be a bad thing (5, Interesting)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 4 years ago | (#28865413)

Not to burst your bubble, but "our habitat", of large mammals in general becomes actually much better (esp. much larger, but also easier to farm) at a higher global temperature. Lush forests in greenland house a hell of a lot more creatures, and humans, than ice valleys and gletsjers.

There are probably disasters that global warming causes, if it indeed happens in any significant way (ie. not like it's currently happening), but there are many good things too. The last "globally warmed" climate saw a rich civilization in Greenland, with huge orchards and wineries, lush forests, rich wildlife, etc. The same goes for a sizeable part of Siberia. With but a few degrees temperature gain, life there (and it's a fucking huge place) will become much, much easier.

The same goes for quite a few spots on the southern hemisphere. There is also the little tidbit that global warming stops desertification, and makes e.g. the sahara [guardian.co.uk] lose ground. The advantages of that can hardly be overstated.

But, of course, coastal cities might be in for a world of hurt (although given that holland has an average elevation of -2 meter, whereas the worst US coastal city has an average elevation of +3 meter, and something like New York has over 5, the absolute worst case sea level rise of 95 centimeters by 2100 [howstuffworks.com] should not be a problem for any US coastal city, or for Holland for that matter. A more problematic city is Venice, but whether or not the sea level rises, we will have to move Venice or give it to the sea in less than 150 years anyway).

We are warmblooded mammals. The reason we beat the dinosaurs was the fact that dinosaurs don't do well at all in colder climates. Mammals on the other hand, can live in temperatures as low as -40 degrees celcius on average. At current global temperature, most reptiles are limited to tropical climates. The larger reptiles are even limited to warmer-than-their-surroundings rivers in very warm climates. Not that a 6 degree rise will allow crocodiles to live in Europe, but they might colonize the mediterranean coast and a few other rivers than the nile.

Ice melting or technological advance ? (3, Interesting)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 4 years ago | (#28864593)

Can we use this as a clear proof of a unique ice sheet retractation or was the news really about the boat design ?

Re:Ice melting or technological advance ? (2, Informative)

bunratty (545641) | more than 4 years ago | (#28864659)

We've known that the Arctic ice [nsidc.org] has been melting for quite some time. Not only is the surface area of the ice decreasing, but the total volume [reuters.com] of Arctic ice is also decreasing. In a few decades, the Arctic might be completely ice free [agu.org] during the summer.

Not the boat design, except indirectly (5, Interesting)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 4 years ago | (#28865111)

Nansen built a boat strong enough to be able to survive trapping in pack ice (the Fram) to prove that the Arctic ice actually drifts - which he did. The Soviet Union has had nuclear powered icebreakers for a long time, and if I was as rich as Warren Buffett that is one toy I would certainly buy myself. However, neither of these designs is an economic cargo carrying ship. The point here is that a vessel built to commercial standards can safely embark on the trip, therefore something has changed.

Think of the Darien Gap. It has been navigated by vehicles, rather special purpose ones. If you read that it was now being served by a regular truck route, you might suspect things had changed a bit.

Re:Not the boat design, except indirectly (1)

SirCowMan (1309199) | more than 4 years ago | (#28865467)

Icebreaking cargo vessels have operated this route for a while: the Ukrainian made SA-15 cargo vessels are perhaps the best icebreaking cargo ships out there these days (see http://www.tpub.com/content/ArmyCRREL/CR96_03/CR96_030014.htm [tpub.com]). I would liken these more to be the truck route, as they are adapted for ice use. The Beluga vessel's transom stern and bulbous bow ensure it's inadequacy for any serious ice-work: hence, it's noteworthy, and your Darien Gap equivalent would be Toyota Corolla's and Hyundai Accent's.

Hardly news... (5, Interesting)

mi (197448) | more than 4 years ago | (#28865161)

Soviet's have regularly sailed through the Northern Sea Route [wikipedia.org] in summer since, at least, the middle of the last century. There is some great prose [konetsky.spb.ru] written with such sailing as a backdrop, in fact (in Russian, not sure about translations).

The sailing was not easy and the airplanes were occasionally required to investigate movement of ice-fields. At the beginning and the end of the season, the ships were organized in convoys, that were headed by icebreakers [wikipedia.org]. (USSR even had a few nuclear-powered ones, first one built in 1959). But in the middle of the summer a regular ship could make the trip on its own...

Maybe, there is less ice there now, but it is not like the trip has only just become possible.

The perfect way to minimize our carbon footprint! (4, Funny)

physicsphairy (720718) | more than 4 years ago | (#28864597)

A voyage between Hamburg and Yokohama is only 6,600 nm. via the Northern Sea Route â" less than 60% of the 11,400 nm. Suez route.

So it sounds like this new route will conserve fuel and cut out at least 40% of their CO2 emissions.

Imagine the benefits to the environment if we could just figure out a way to melt the ice caps completely. Our greenhouse emissions would plummet!

Re:The perfect way to minimize our carbon footprin (4, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 4 years ago | (#28864657)

Imagine the benefits to the environment if we could just figure out a way to melt the ice caps completely. Our greenhouse emissions would plummet!

Of course they would. Melt the ice caps, flood the most populated areas of the planet, and bingo - mankind's greenhouse gas emissions drop dramatically!

Re:The perfect way to minimize our carbon footprin (5, Insightful)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 4 years ago | (#28864847)

Imagine the benefits to the environment if we could just figure out a way to melt the ice caps completely. Our greenhouse emissions would plummet!

Of course they would. Melt the ice caps, flood the most populated areas of the planet, and bingo - mankind's greenhouse gas emissions drop dramatically!

The arctic ice cap has ALREADY displaced the amount of water it currently contains. Melting it would have no additional effect on sea level. I, for one, welcome the removal of that troublesome ice sheet up north. For too long, the Suez and Panama Canals have stifled global competition. Just think of the fuel savings!

Re:The perfect way to minimize our carbon footprin (5, Insightful)

rubicelli (208603) | more than 4 years ago | (#28864969)

The arctic ice cap has ALREADY displaced the amount of water it currently contains. Melting it would have no additional effect on sea level. I, for one, welcome the removal of that troublesome ice sheet up north. For too long, the Suez and Panama Canals have stifled global competition. Just think of the fuel savings!

Good thing we don't have to worry about all of that ice covering Greenland and the Antarctic displacing ocean water ... oh. Wait a minute.

Re:The perfect way to minimize our carbon footprin (-1, Troll)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 4 years ago | (#28865031)

The OP of the message I replied to made no reference to the ice sheets on land.

Next time, when you think you are about to be witty. Stop. Because you aren't.

Re:The perfect way to minimize our carbon footprin (2, Insightful)

amorsen (7485) | more than 4 years ago | (#28865087)

The OP of the message I replied to made no reference to the ice sheets on land.

It also didn't exclude the ice caps on land. It just said "ice caps", which I would imagine includes both kinds.

Re:The perfect way to minimize our carbon footprin (3, Insightful)

RedWizzard (192002) | more than 4 years ago | (#28865133)

The OP of the message I replied to made no reference to the ice sheets on land.

Next time, when you think you are about to be witty. Stop. Because you aren't.

Which part of "ice caps" confused you into thinking the OP was only talking about the Arctic?

Re:The perfect way to minimize our carbon footprin (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 4 years ago | (#28865577)

The OP of the message I replied to made no reference to the ice sheets on land.

Well, unless there's some magical force shield that can melt arctic ice over water but not over Greenland, the two go hand in hand. I'll give the GP credit for possessing a functioning brain.

Re:The perfect way to minimize our carbon footprin (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28864693)

Not to mention eliminating the fees to use the Suez Canal, and the ransoms paid to Somali Pirates.

What can't GW do? GW FTW.

Re:The perfect way to minimize our carbon footprin (1)

Aceticon (140883) | more than 4 years ago | (#28865541)

Can't make an omelet without breaking some eggs, that's what I always say.

but but but.. (-1, Offtopic)

breagerey (758928) | more than 4 years ago | (#28864603)

there's no such thing as global warming..

Re:but but but.. (4, Insightful)

EraserMouseMan (847479) | more than 4 years ago | (#28864645)

Nope GW is a fact (as well as Global Cooling). The question is whether it is man-made or just natural climate cycles.

Re:but but but.. (4, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 4 years ago | (#28864741)

Eh, no.

The questions are how much is man made, what are the consequences for our long and short term survival prospects and what actions to take if these consequences are unacceptable.

Re:but but but.. (2, Insightful)

fridaynightsmoke (1589903) | more than 4 years ago | (#28864861)

Mod parent up.
I'm personally sick of being told how $POINTLESS_MEASURE will solve GW at either a cost of billions or by making everyone's lives worse, with unproven potential benefit, but the real solutions are being left to wither (at least in the UK).
Banning plastic carrier bags, putting up a few wind turbines or raising the tax on X won't do anything. If AGW was really concerning them they would just build a load of nuclear power capacity (or at least a big tidal barrage) and be done with it. At the moment all they can do is hope that people will start to 'save power' (they won't) and desperately try to come up with ways to tax electric/alternative cars to hell, removing any cost advantage they might ever have over petrol/gas power (top tip: fuel currently costs $6.31/USGal in the UK, the gov't is trying to apply similar levels of taxation to electric/hydrogen/whatever cars in the future using GPS-based 'Road Pricing')

Re:but but but.. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28865387)

YES! And then when things don't work out they way they planned, they will find something else to blame it on and tax out of existence...

We can't go to space because the rockets leave things in the atmosphere... and planes are also worse, because their pollution is right where it's worst now...

If it's as bad as they say, why not go nuclear? At least here in the US the NEWEST ones are 50+ years old, and with every other advance you can't say that they are no more safe than a 50 year old design...

How often do we need to learn that our new attempts to fix things don't work many times because we didn't take enough into account?

Maybe... maybe we should all work, but instead of getting paid MONEY, we should be paid in carbon emissions...Want to buy some bread? that will be 20 CEs. a gallon of gas could be 50 CEs...

SURELY there can be no possible downside to a system like that...

Re:but but but.. (1)

lucas teh geek (714343) | more than 4 years ago | (#28864761)

I'm not convinced that's the right question. whether it is man-made or just natural climate cycles, it still looks like it's on track to fuck shit up and cause major problems for us in the future (seas rising and all that jazz).

the real question is can we do anything to stop it.

Re:but but but.. (1)

SGDarkKnight (253157) | more than 4 years ago | (#28864839)

the real question is can we do anything to stop it.

Well, i hope your refering to stoping the man-made addition to GW. I don't think trying to stop the natural planetary cycle would be a good idea.

Re:but but but.. (1)

amorsen (7485) | more than 4 years ago | (#28865097)

I don't think trying to stop the natural planetary cycle would be a good idea.

Why not?

Re:but but but.. (2, Funny)

weszz (710261) | more than 4 years ago | (#28865433)

Surely we are smarter now than nature... we could just take over everything and tweek things as we need.

What could possibly go wrong?

Re:but but but.. (2, Informative)

bmgoau (801508) | more than 4 years ago | (#28864779)

There is no question on whether it is man-made or just natural climate cycles. There is sufficient evidence to support the fact that it is a man made phenomenon.

I would direct you to the sources listed at the bottom of the wikipedia article on the subject: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming [wikipedia.org]

Here is an interesting quote:
"The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that increasing greenhouse gas concentrations resulting from human activity such as fossil fuel burning and deforestation are responsible for most of the observed temperature increase since the middle of the 20th century."
Source: http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/Report/AR4WG1_Print_SPM.pdf [ucar.edu]

Re:but but but.. (2, Insightful)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 4 years ago | (#28864887)

That panel of "scientists" is all about pushing the global conspiracy of man-made global warming, instead of acknowledging the solar activity cycle that has already been shown to follow the ups and downs of Earth's temp. Global Warming is a socialist conspiracy to thwart industry and send us back into the dark ages.

Mars is suffering global warming, too. Gee...I wonder why? And Pluto. Seems every planet in the Sol System is warming up. What is the one thing they all have in common? Al Gore invented them. No, wait, could it be the solar activity cycle?

Re:but but but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28865127)

Pluto is a planet? The 1970's called, they want their list of planets back.

Re:but but but.. (2, Funny)

Tenebrousedge (1226584) | more than 4 years ago | (#28865533)

You're right. I am a member of this global conspiracy. We figure that the research grants are going to be worth more than this whole 'economy' thing.

I'd tell you more, but I've got to run to a meeting. You don't think this conspiracy shit just happens by itself, do you? It seems like every week there's another mess of retarded Action Items. Distribute these talking points, falsify that data, coordinate every climate scientist all over the planet. It's hell trying to get anything done, even without people like you posting the truth about us all over slashdot.

Oh, and I wouldn't go anywhere. The black helicopters will be there shortly. Did you ever wonder what was happening to those "vanishing" polar bears up in the Arctic? You'd be amazed at how well they take to SWAT work.

Have fun at your re-education camp!

Re:but but but.. (5, Informative)

FriendlyPrimate (461389) | more than 4 years ago | (#28865535)

This sounds like a troll, but I'll bite.

Your examples are easily refutable, yet never seem to go away on the conservative talk show circuit.

Pluto is warming up because it is on a highly-elliptical orbit, and has just recently passed the point at which it is closest to the Sun. So it is expected that it be going through a warming phase. And a little bit of logic would tell you that since Pluto is so much farther away from the Sun than the Earth, if energy output from the Sun were responsible for warming on Pluto, the effect on Earth would be many magnitudes greater (i.e. it would have to be hot enough on Earth to melt lead before you'd notice an appreciable temperature difference on Pluto).

Mars is indeed warming up slightly, but that can be explained by Milankovitch cycles, and Mars is much more susceptible to climate change because it does not have any large moons to stabilize it's rotation axis.

Conservatives jumped on the news that Jupiter was experiencing "climate change". But it only takes two minutes to find out that the climate change being talked about is a shift in temperature (warmer near the equator, colder near the poles). Jupiter is not warming overall. Of course, that little clarification doesn't seem to make it into news stories from Fox News.

And there are 5 other planets (and many many moons) in the solar system which show no signs of warming.

Sorry...but anthropomorphic global warming is likely true. Without any CO2 in the atmosphere, Earth would be entirely covered in ice. And therefore, you cannot double CO2 levels in the atmosphere (which could happen by the end of this century) without expecting some effects. And you cannot deny that increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere are not the result of human activity (we've burned approximately 1 trillion barrels of oil so far....do you really think that would have no effect?).

And even if AGW is all bunk, so what? We should be trying to reduce our oil consumption and investing in alternate energy for other reasons, like national security, and the fact that we've very likely reached, or are about to reach peak oil production, and that future oil price spikes are going to be the norm from now on.

Re:but but but.. (2, Interesting)

Zentakz (618981) | more than 4 years ago | (#28865545)

I would caution you against using the periodic solar activity claim to back your argument. This idea has been injected into the public dialog as a farcical talking point and is lacking in evidence. If you would like to examine a great source of information and a healthy debate, check out: http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php?p=2&t=515&&a=18 [skepticalscience.com] I'd also recommend Thomas Friendman's Hot, Flat, and Crowded, which very clearly outlines many important issues and facts connected to climate change.

Re:but but but.. (1)

Temkin (112574) | more than 4 years ago | (#28865195)

"The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

Temkin's corollary to Godwin's Law: The first person to mention the "The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)" looses the climate change argument by default. Anything said afterwards is the beginning of a new argument.

Re:but but but.. (1, Insightful)

Burnhard (1031106) | more than 4 years ago | (#28865207)

Ah yes, the familiar "use wikipedia" refrain. Written and maintained by the Warmists, of course. Your quote:

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that increasing greenhouse gas concentrations resulting from human activity such as fossil fuel burning and deforestation are responsible for most of the observed temperature increase since the middle of the 20th century."

..has caused me much hilarity, given that there was little man made CO2 pre- 1940's and at least half of the warming of the 20th century occurred then, and that post 1998 there has been no warming (cooling indeed, according to the satellite record) at all, despite increasing CO2. But don't let the facts bother your opinions too much, continue preaching your hypocritical environmental piety to all who will listen.

More discredit climate myths! (4, Informative)

chrb (1083577) | more than 4 years ago | (#28865507)

Climate myths: The cooling after 1940 shows CO2 does not cause warming [newscientist.com]

Climate myths: The lower atmosphere is cooling, not warming [newscientist.com]

Climate myths: Global warming stopped in 1998 [newscientist.com]

I'm surprised you didn't mention Mars and Pluto.

I wonder why these discredited myths keep getting moderated up on Slashdot time and time again - it's almost as if there's a conspiracy to make skeptics look ill-informed.

Re:but but but.. (1)

ToadProphet (1148333) | more than 4 years ago | (#28864859)

Nope GW is a fact (as well as Global Cooling). The question is whether it is man-made or just natural climate cycles.

Possibly, but is that really relevant? IMO the important aspect of GW is that we are pushing the limits of the environment and, eventually, it will come back to bite us in the ass. Be it GW, resource depletion, loss of natural habitat, etc. It's a bit unfortunate that one topic gets all the attention.

Re:but but but.. (1)

noundi (1044080) | more than 4 years ago | (#28864921)

The question is to what extent it is man-made and if it even is of significant magnitude.

Just remember who's Artic it is (0)

Punko (784684) | more than 4 years ago | (#28864647)

The Artic Archipeligo is Canada's. Ask permission first. Despite what the American government may think, there is no international waterway through the Artic Archipeligo.

Re:Just remember who's Artic it is (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#28864703)

The Artic Archipeligo is Canada's. Ask permission first. Despite what the American government may think, there is no international waterway through the Artic Archipeligo.

But isn't that just a matter of paying for the right to transit through that area?

Re:Just remember who's Artic it is (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28864715)

wtf is artic?

Re:Just remember who's Artic it is (4, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 4 years ago | (#28864739)

Why bring up the Americans? Isn't this a German company?

Re:Just remember who's Artic it is (2, Interesting)

baKanale (830108) | more than 4 years ago | (#28865219)

Because in the dispute over the ownership of the waters in the Arctic the Canadians and Russians each claim various pieces, while the American government claims that it's international waters and anybody can take a share of the resources. The GP is siding with Canada and claiming that the Arctic is Canadian waters, not international waters as claimed by the Americans.

Re:Just remember who's Artic it is (3, Insightful)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 4 years ago | (#28864793)

The Artic Archipeligo is Canada's. Ask permission first. Despite what the American government may think, there is no international waterway through the Artic Archipeligo.

The Canadian claim doesn't extend all the way to the Northern coast of Siberia and Russia, does it? TFA specifically says they're not using the "Northwest Passage". And WTF would the US Government care about a territorial dispute involving Germany, Russia and Canada anyway? Especially since there's no mention in TFA (or TFB) about Canada at all.

Re:Just remember who's Artic it is (1)

socrplayr813 (1372733) | more than 4 years ago | (#28864877)

He's focusing on this, from the NY Times article:

The Northwest Passage through Arctic Canada is of course another such option, although some of its passages, even with warming, can remain clotted with thick ice.

From that sentence, he's somehow jumped to the US government supposedly trying to take over the world.

Re:Just remember who's Artic it is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28865259)

CURSES... FOILED AGAIN!!!

Next time you won't find out about our evil plan... If it wasn't for those meddling kids..

Re:Just remember who's Artic it is (3, Insightful)

socrplayr813 (1372733) | more than 4 years ago | (#28864829)

The Artic Archipeligo is Canada's. Ask permission first. Despite what the American government may think, there is no international waterway through the Artic Archipeligo.

This has nothing to do with US imperialism, despite your attempt to make it sound bad. The article merely mentions the possibility of passage through Canadian waters. If the ice melts and there is some benefit to its economy, Canada will work something out with its neighbors to allow access.

Regardless, passage through Canadian waters wasn't the main focus of the article...

Hope they pack a few rifles. (2, Insightful)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 4 years ago | (#28864663)

So that they can put any polar bears stranded on isolated ice floes out of their misery.

Re:Hope they pack a few rifles. (2, Funny)

fridaynightsmoke (1589903) | more than 4 years ago | (#28864869)

If only polar bears could swim.

Re:Hope they pack a few rifles. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28864979)

I propose we leave you stranded on an isolated ice flow. You can swim, right? 1000 km without food, right?

Russia's ocean? (1)

Porchroof (726270) | more than 4 years ago | (#28864701)

"...Russia's Arctic ocean"
Excuse me, dipshits. That is not Russia's ocean. It's an international ocean belonging to all.

Re:Russia's ocean? (1)

SSgt. Lagface (1588425) | more than 4 years ago | (#28864743)

If I remember correctly, Russia made a grab long long time ago at claiming the North Pole as part of if its waters. I can't remember the reasoning clearly, but it had to do with something about its continental shelf managing to stuck itself some distance off. If the bid went through, then I guess a good chunk of the Arctic is considered Russian domain.

Beluga Fraternity? (3, Interesting)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 4 years ago | (#28864705)

Beluga Fraternity? My Russian is so rusty I might just be typing the measurements of the playmate of the month, but wouldn't that portmanteau mean "White Brotherhood"? They've gotta mean something other that that, right?

Re:Beluga Fraternity? (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 4 years ago | (#28865013)

Beluga is a kind of sturgeon.

Re:Beluga Fraternity? (1)

Tellarin (444097) | more than 4 years ago | (#28865333)

Beluga is also a kind of whale. An arctic whale.

It is also a class of Russian submarines if I'm not mistaken.

Re:Beluga Fraternity? (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 4 years ago | (#28865383)

It depends. If it is a Russian ship name then Beluga is only a kind of sturgeon, the whale is called Belukha for about a century already. If it is a western ship then it is either the whale or the sturgeon because the word was borrowed from old Russian.

Re:Beluga Fraternity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28865049)

dude,

it's scary that I remember that line being (almost identically) straight out of The Hunt for Red October [imdb.com]

Re:Beluga Fraternity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28865257)

I caught the Red October reference, well played :)

Re:Beluga Fraternity? (1)

Migraineman (632203) | more than 4 years ago | (#28865273)

There are some photos of the ship available. [vesseltracker.com] She's mostly blue, and looks to be in need of a paint job.

There are quite a few vessels [vesseltracker.com] in the Beluga Projects family. Seems more like the Marketing guys threw a dart at a dictionary ... Beluga Flirtation, Beluga Recommendation, Beluga Fiction ... yeah, I don't see anything underhanded here. Odd, yes.

Yay for global worming? (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 4 years ago | (#28864753)

So it's real, after all?

Re:Yay for global worming? (1)

sukotto (122876) | more than 4 years ago | (#28865511)

Global warming is real. Earth has a long history of warming and cooling cycles. The point of contention right now is whether the current cycle is caused by humans or is just another natural one.

Times have changed. (1, Funny)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 4 years ago | (#28864757)

Just a century ago the very same thing would have hailed as yet another victory of mankind over mother nature. Industries would be falling each other claiming it happened because of human activity and it is a great thing too. Now apologists for the fossil fuel hawkers will be vigorously be denying it has anything to do with burning of fossil fuels. All that carbon assiduously sequestered by trillions of microscopic marine organisms and millions of tons of plants over million of years has been released in just over one hundred years. People with obvious vested interests deny anthropogenesis of this phenomenon, and I am surprised they still have a few molecules of credibility left.

Re:Times have changed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28864975)

Didn't Roald Amundsen travel that route in 1845. I also seem to recall the Canadians did it in 1945 in both directions and it was also done around 1900 although I don't recall the details. It seems that passage opens periodically right after a peak in global temperature (check out the historic temperature data going back 150 years on the NOAA site). The difference is that now we can watch it with satellites and panic over the destruction of the arctic. I bet the passage closes up again in 3 or 5 years right on schedules.

Fundamental rules on betting. (0)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 4 years ago | (#28865079)

I bet the passage closes up again in 3 or 5 years right on schedules.

You bet what you have. You don't have the right to bet my children's future. You don't even have the right to bet your children's future. Why don't you bet what you do have? Buy Exxon Mobil call options now. With all your money. Put your money where your mouth is.

Why Russians love Global Warming (4, Insightful)

happy_place (632005) | more than 4 years ago | (#28864815)

If I lived in a country like Russia (or Canada, Norway, Finland, etc, for that matter), I'd be an enthusiastic supporter of anything that might even possibly tip the balance of the climate towards Global Warming for exactly these sorts of reasons. I mean, if you owned the largest frozen mass of land anywhere, why even care about such a cause?

Re:Why Russians love Global Warming (1)

socrplayr813 (1372733) | more than 4 years ago | (#28864973)

Global warming doesn't just mean that things get a few degrees warmer. It also destabilizes weather patterns, potentially leading to very destructive storms and extended periods of extreme climate that could challenge our technology and ability to survive, even at our current state of development.

Even ignoring those potential issues, I think it would generally be bad for everybody if a significant part of the world (ie. the equator and surrounding area) became uninhabitable.

Slightly warmer MIGHT be okay, but it's a slippery slope and there's currently no end in sight to the warming. Not good.

Re:Why Russians love Global Warming (1)

happy_place (632005) | more than 4 years ago | (#28865093)

I'm just saying that if I were one of a million in Russia, where they already live in extreme weather conditions (cold), I would probably not care so much about such causes. Also, It's ironic that the countries that have the potential to contribute most to "carbon emissions" (India and China) both will be hammered by increased global warming.

Re:Why Russians love Global Warming (2, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 4 years ago | (#28865349)

Slightly warmer MIGHT be okay, but it's a slippery slope and there's currently no end in sight to the warming. Not good.

No, it's not. First, the earth has been warmer than even the most dire GW predictions. Next, the hockey stick model has been disproved repeatedly. Finally, the earth has seen GW several times before. Every time the earth has seen an ice age, it has ended due to GW. Never has any of the earth's warming cycles ended in a "slippery slope" scenario or caused some sort of runaway warming loop.

The fact is that earth has heated and cooled all on its own for billions of years. For that matter, the earth is always either heating or cooling. Never has climate been a constant. Currently, it's heating. If it were cooling, we would be trying to find a reason why man is causing the earth to cool. We'd probably blame smog, chem trails or some other man made phenomenon and completely disregard the fact that these things happen without our help.

Re:Why Russians love Global Warming (1)

werfu (1487909) | more than 4 years ago | (#28865445)

You don't live in eastern Canada don't you? Since the first time El nino as stricken de west-american coast, our climate has become shittier than it was. The winter used to be deep cold from november through april. Now we don't get snow until the end of december. Instead of snow, we get some -10ÂC with real high moisture level. I can swear that you'd beg for a -25 with 10Â of moisture instead of that. It so moist, the cold bite you deeply and it makes you really uncomfortable. Summer... the summer use to start around the end of may, getting around 20-25 all summer long, with one or two weeks of 30-35. Summer are moist too. But now we get more rain than ever. May is usually great, but it's been a couple of years that June and even part of July is crappy. We get's lot of rain and cool 10-15ÂC weather. I remember how it was 15-20 years ago. It's clearly different. Now, if so much change has happen is such small time, I don't know in what kind of climate my son's children will live.

Re:Why Russians love Global Warming (1)

bwashed75 (1389301) | more than 4 years ago | (#28865499)

Yes.. Nice, wet, rainy winters in addition to those nice wet rainy summers! Norway just can't wait.

Re:Why Russians love Global Warming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28865521)

The Artic North does not want Global Warming for one significant reason. Permafrost Melting. As permafrost melts the ground becomes very difficult to bulid on, maintain roads on, and many other problems. It's a bit easier if the ground that is frozen to start with stays frozen. In the last 30 years Permfrost has retreated 100 miles in Yukon. So ice free shipping is great, as long as your buildings aren't sinking into the ground...

Positive aspects? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28865385)

I wonder how many other positive aspects of global warming there are? I realize the warming is the scare, but has there been much examination into benefits of global warming?

Not the NW Passage (1)

wcrowe (94389) | more than 4 years ago | (#28865393)

Sorry, but this is not the famed Northwest Passage. If anything it is a NorthEAST passage.

The Gov must fix GW! (-1, Troll)

EraserMouseMan (847479) | more than 4 years ago | (#28865485)

I think that the best way to promote wide-spread browser standards on the web is for us all to give Microsoft our support and money when they promise that they will work hard to standardize the web. Microsoft has a history of thinking selflessly. And after all, Windows is on 90% of the world's computers. So who better to make sure that the changes get put into effect? Of course you'll always have the non-conformist Linux nuts.

I also believe in passing laws so the US government can force tax money from your paycheck because they promise that they will do something about climate change. They've always been really good about delivering on their promises. And only the government can force people to do the right thing. Of course you'll always have those pesky idiots who think they have a right to do whatever they want with the money they earn.

There is really no other solution that has a chance of working. Now imagine if the US Government and Microsoft got together to solve all the worlds problems!

The geological anomaly of ice caps. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28865537)

  How exciting that these adventurers are finally able to go through the fabled 'northern route'! This fulfils a dream that has remained vibrant within the minds of those who go down to the sea in ships! When the Dutch Sea Caption Barents discovered the Barents Sea, imgine how the world would have changed had the passage gone all the way through!
          This will also allow better trade between Siberia and Europe and create a plethora of multi-cultural interaction which can only augment the good news over this joyous event!
          It is said within those who actaully have studied geology, and who have done things with core samples that Earth only has had ice caps over twenty % of it's history. Also they say that massive geologic change is normal and unavoidable. Let's say that they are correct -- then what does this obsession with stopping the progress of Earth's natural processes by politically powerful busy-bodies who seek to 'win valuble prizes?'

          You people who are paid to promote the global warming agenda have become an inquisition against the sane-heads who see through your propaganda-speel: how do you live with yourselves? Would you have supported a pope against Gallileo? Would you have been Nazi's doing what you precieved the majority wanted? Would you have been sychophants to an evil queen?

          Your evil queen ideas on global warming have become tired rethoric that is as bogus as a flat earth theory. If ice melts then it melts. We live in an ever-changing world. Ah, but somethings don't change. There is still the constant and continuous propaganda trying to flood into the minds of those who are just looking for entertainment. You keep beating your propaganda drum. You keep up the lies. But lies are lies. If some bad thing is predicted it is a non-sequetor to say that we have to give over our rights and liberties to people who drum-beat propaganda.

  The uses of psychology and operent conditioning techniques in media and advertising has created this class of people who think they are a leadership class. They have deluded themselves, by living with in a bubble-web of lies of their own creation, that they 'rule' and are thus 'empowered' to effect 'social change'. These deluded people think that they lead. And they beat this constant drum of "global warming is bad. Give them more power."
Everytime you propaganda posters put up these alarmist articles you give sane-heads yet one more example of your fuzzy philosophies. You relate premises to conclusions without any logic at all, but just with the ferver of a brainwashed apparatchick. Your arguement goes like this: "False Premise. Now give us more power."

          Do you hear yourselves? You have become transparent.

          I know a lot of people who read slash-dot probably don't care. But I am of the mind that if Gallileo were alive today and he were in prison I would want to free him. Your minds are in prison to the premise that global warming is bad. It is neither bad nor good. It is like the rain or the wind. What is bad is how some powerful forces want to socially remake our whole economy and give themselve a huge boon at the expense of a fooled public.

So I am beating the drum of liberty. Liberate your mind from these false prophets. Do they really care about anything more than being powerful and important.?

Open your minds, people. Liberty of thought must preceed the Liberty of nations. The chains of fallacy, though not made of metal, can bind in just as effective a way. The agenda-mongering of some is a dangerous game. It takes us off the focus on real issues. So instead of us working real issues we get lost into a fantasy world of trying to stop the natural march of geologic change. There must be better things on which to focus the heart-felt zeal. And I mean both the zeal of those who try to stop the flood of water from a melting glacier and also the zeal of people who seek to deconstruct the lies of the Global-warming alarmists.

It seems to me that the real thing to have zeal against is the use of psychology and operent conditioning to brainwash those with weary-minds. This was a break-through in marketing and advertising that occured within the last century. And the industry of propaganda grows and grows. You people who do this for a living: what could you be doing if you weren't doing this?

You can best change your government not by pogroms and witch-hunts, but by freeing the minds of the ruling elites. Use the sledge-hammer of reasoned logic against the boogey-man of their fallacies. You don't hurt them, but you flay their fallacies. It is 'free them from their demons' talked about much in antiquity by those with a religious mind.

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