I was dreaming about my lock on derricks and ports in Canada. For the record, no one sold me Canada’s only main port on the Arctic Ocean. Mr. Broue bought it for $7 American. I bought the railroad that is the only link to the rest of the country(the Hudson Bay Railway)in my dream.
However, the US Coast Guard is setting up shop on the NW passage.
For most of human history, the Arctic Ocean has been an ice-locked frontier. But now, in one of the most concrete signs of the effect of a warming climate on government operations, the Coast Guard is planning its first operating base there as a way of dealing with the cruise ships and the tankers that are already beginning to ply Arctic waters.
The pullback in summer ice has caused the Coast Guard, led by Adm. Thad W. Allen, to plan its first Arctic operating base, probably near Barrow.
VideoMore Video » With increasingly long seasons of open water in the region, the Coast Guard has also begun discussions with the Russians about controlling anticipated ship traffic through the Bering Strait, which until now has been crossed mainly by ice-breaking research vessels and native seal and walrus hunters.
The Coast Guard says its base, which would probably be near the United States’ northernmost town, Barrow, Alaska, on the North Slope coast, would be seasonal and would initially have just a helicopter equipped for cold-weather operations and several small boats.
But given continued warming, that small base, which could be in place by next spring, would be expanded later to help speed responses to oil spills from tankers that the Coast Guard believes could eventually carry shipments from Scandinavia to Asia through the Bering Strait. Such a long-hoped-for polar route would cut 5,000 miles or more from a journey that would otherwise entail passage through the Panama Canal or the Suez.
The Coast Guard is also concerned about being able to respond to emergencies involving cruise ships, which are already starting to operate in summers in parts of the Arctic Ocean.
And in yet a further kind of new activity abetted by warming seas, Royal Dutch Shell is preparing for exploratory oil drilling off Alaska’s Arctic coast beginning next year.
“I’m not sure I’m qualified to talk about the scientific issues related to global warming,” the Coast Guard commandant, Adm. Thad W. Allen, said in an interview. “All we know is we have an operating environment we’re responsible for, and it’s changing.”
Canada plans on staking a claim and creating a fleet to patrol.
NOAA has extra credit reading and source material for the curious.
Since the slope of the land indicates that oil reserves might be available for harvesting, my dream gets better as oil companies and soverign nations vie for position.
I have booked a cruise next summer through the NW passage with Mrs.rdan, so no cold meatloaf for this fellow tonight!
Update:WebResults 1 – 10 of about 23,600 for holiday cruises through the NW passage with SafeSearch Off
Also Try – through the darkness, alaska adventure,