Coast Guard proposes Bering Straits shipping route

(AP)—With global warming leading to increased traffic to a vulnerable Arctic, the U.S. Coast Guard is proposing a 4.6-mile (7-kilometer) wide shipping route through the Bering Strait to try to protect the region.

Any accident in the sensitive area can be a major problem and traffic has increased tremendously, so the Coast Guard mapped out a voluntary two-way route—akin to a highway for ships—said agency project officer Lt. Kody Stitz.

"We see more traffic and envision more traffic to continue," Stitz said.

Last year ships went through the Bering Strait 440 times, twice the rate of 2008, according to a study in the journal Marine Policy.

Retired Coast Guard Vice Admiral Roger Rufe said that's an indication that climate change has made the region more passable for ships, with ships able to sail through formerly icy waters during more months in the year. He said shippers like the route because it can provide a shorter and quicker way to go from Europe to Asia.

But the ice melting also "means that ice is more unpredictable and the weather is far worse because the ice is what keeps the waves down," said Marilyn Heiman, U.S. Arctic director for the Pew Charitable Trusts and co-author of the Marine Policy study. More than just shipping routes is needed, she said.

That increased traffic in the Bering Strait traverses rough waters, far from help, where the environment is pristine and oil spills and other accidents can have serious consequences, Rufe said.

"An oil spill up there would be really devastating," Rufe said.

This type of route is typical around far busier ports and would be the first one in the Alaska region, Stitz said. But the route leading up to and through the Bering Strait is several hundred miles (kilometers) long, much bigger than others.

At the same time the Coast Guard is charting the route, diplomats are meeting in Peru to work on an international treaty to battle global warming.

"We have serious changes happening in the Arctic," Heiman said. "Climate change is impacting people's lives, people's safety."


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Citation: Coast Guard proposes Bering Straits shipping route (2014, December 5) retrieved 19 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-12-coast-bering-straits-shipping-route.html
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Dec 06, 2014
So much for the "increasing ice" theory.

Dec 06, 2014
So much for the "increasing ice" theory.
hhhchh... ptui. Why dont you put your hockers in a kleenex?



Dec 06, 2014
Did Coast Guard consult with Russia? Unseen events may sink their plans

Dec 06, 2014
Kove, Putin does not have the money for another Cold War, . . nor a hot one.

Dec 06, 2014
Who else maintains the Arctic ice is increasing?

Dec 07, 2014
Kove, Putin does not have the money for another Cold War, . . nor a hot one.
Gkam you are stuck in the 50s. You don't even have money just fiat bankster bullshiyte. Americans don't ave money. Just look at what the markets do when London wakes up, and compare it to your stock exchange inflated with nothing but debt. Story of USA is bubble to rubble. You are a moron stretching along a line of morons all the way back to Nimrod's kingdom, who thinks you are some kind of special asshole destined to rule the planet

Don't you have that expression in the West "The bigger they are, the harder they fall?"

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