North West Passage opening to traffic - but is it a good idea?

Thursday, August 13, 2009   
 North West Passage opening to traffic  but is it a good idea
There are several vessels, both power and sail-driven, who are trying to make it through the North West Passage without ice in summer since two years. Many of them for economical reasons saving time and fuel. While it's been documented that ships are big generators of greenhouse gases as it is, half of a cargo ship's particulate emissions are soot — and soot (aka black carbon) emitted by ships sailing in the polar region will further blacken the remaining ice. The dark ice in turn will lose more of its former solar reflectivity, absorbing sunlight and emitting solar heat instead. The Earth will then warm even faster. An article in Sail World.


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