Race for the Arctic

As polar ice vanishes due to climate change and the planet continues its warming trend; Canada, Russia and U.S. will compete for resources along with summer tourism business and shipping contracts that will come from the ability to navigate the Arctic Ocean in summer months for years to come.

“There are three main routes that connect the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans: the Northeast Passage, the Northwest Passage, and the Transpolar Sea Route…


In addition, two other significant routes exist: the Northern Sea Route, and the Arctic Bridge…

To connect the Atlantic with the Pacific, the Northwest Passage goes along the Northern Canadian and Alaskan coasts, the Northeast Passage follows the Russian and Norwegian coasts, and the Transpolar Sea Route crosses the Arctic through the North Pole…

The Arctic Bridge is an internal Arctic route linking Russia to Canada, and the Northern Sea Route trails the Russian coast from theBering Strait to the East, to the Kara Sea to the West…


The main difference between the NSR and the NEP is that the latter comprises the Barents Sea and provides access to the port of Murmansk, the largest Russian Arctic port, and to the Atlantic. Given that the NSR constitutes the majority of the NEP, some sources use the terms NSR and NEP interchangeably.”


The Russians have a nuclear powdered ice breaker dedicated to the task of navigating the Arctic and opening up shipping routes for cargo ships and LNG tankers during summer months.



To compete with the global economy as traffic increases in the Arctic, the United States will need to invest in ice breakers and deep water ports or loose the economic gains that are sure to come with the thinning of the Polar Ice Cap.