Ice-breaking escorts help ships to sail through the Arctic region. These escorts are designed to break even the thickest ice and make the inhospitable paths of the Arctic accessible to ships. But global warming is making it possible for ships to take arctic routes without an icebreaker escort. Climate change has thawed the sea ice in the Arctic to make shipping routes more viable than ever.
Recently, the Russian tanker Christophe de Margerie was able to sail through the arctic ice without an icebreaker escort for the first time
Until recently, it was impossible for a ship to sail through this icy region using only its inbuilt icebreaker.
- The $300 million tanker was specially designed to take advantage of the thawed ice in the Arctic.
- It got through ice that was around 1.2 meters (4 feet) thick using its own icebreaker.
- The 300-meter-long tanker carried liquefied natural gas.
- It traveled from Hammerfest, Norway to Boryeong, South Korea in just 19 days.
- This record-breaking travel time is 30 percent faster than the usual route through the Suez Canal.
This record-breaking travel time was not only due to the tanker’s advanced ice-breaking technology but also a result of the thawed sea ice.