Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

osmposm

Commercial Navigation Of North East Passage

Recommended Posts

I am starting a new thread about this to keep the Arctic Ice thread clean.

The Independent http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/a-triumph-for-man-a-disaster-for-mankind-1786128.html reports that two large German-owned vessels have nearly completed the world's first recorded commercial navigation of the North East Passage, east to west. The cargo-carrying part of the voyage - taking 3,500 tonnes of construction materials and parts from Korea to Siberia - appears already to be complete, and the company states they have further contracts for transporting goods from Asia to Siberia next summer.

As is my current habit I make no comment about this, except to add a few caveats. The voyage was far from ice-free, the ships were strengthened, and they were accompanied by at least one Russian ice-breaker. These ice-breakers are always there to assist "coastal shipping" - i.e. ships do ply some, presumably shorter routes already. It may even be that the Asia-Siberia route is regularly used - if anyone knows about this please let us know. However, the Russians state that "ice conditions were far more severe 20 years ago".

There is much AGW hype in the story, and links to still more. But it is true that as far as we know no successful commercial crossing of the full route has happened before. And I find it interesting that people are beginning to actually put their money - big money - where their mouth is.

(Edit - sorry I tried to put "NE" in the topic title, but it seems to have been 'corrected' to "Ne"....mods, can you change it to N.E. or North East?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:D I'm getting N.E. and N.W. passages mixed up here! Just ignore me.

Thank you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Certainly ice has been low in the Siberian sector this year, so I think that this may be possible. However another caveat that temperatures in the Siberian sector of the Arctic were abnormally high this summer certainly at the start, and this led to this happening.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Certainly ice has been low in the Siberian sector this year, so I think that this may be possible. However another caveat that temperatures in the Siberian sector of the Arctic were abnormally high this summer certainly at the start, and this led to this happening.

Perhaps I'm wrong, but I find it hard to believe that the voyage was made on the spur of the moment because conditions happened to be favourable. Surely there must have been a degree of advanced planning? Ah, just found this http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSLL657934 . It seems they wanted to do it last year, but couldn't get the necessary permissions from the Russians in time. Interestingly it implies that they hadn't expected to need an accompanying icebreaker - perhaps the Russians insisted. And was it actually needed, I wonder, or did it just come along in case of problems?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I said in the other arctic thread, I think more often than not that the NE and NW passages will open now, most ice experts with alot more knowledge than me belief this and so the governments who are busy proving the various ice passages.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow two ships,If it was that easy why is'nt every shipping company doing it

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow two ships,If it was that easy why is'nt every shipping company doing it

I thnk that over the coming years we will find more commercial shipping using both the NW deep water passage and the NE pasage. The forecast 'log jam' in the NW passage has meant that the comps who will utilise ths route will be waiting for the last of the 'old perennial' being flushed out over the coming couple of years before starting to use it.

The fact that the Canadian coast guards are worried about being 'overstretched' by the increase in vessels in their waters must mean we are experiencing increases in traffic in their sector?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow two ships,If it was that easy why is'nt every shipping company doing it

I imagine many others are watching with interest, but they (or their insurers) are unwilling to take the risk just yet. As mentioned, the area is very far from ice-free even in the most favourable 'window'; the wind and current patterns that can push the loose ice floes into dangerous 'log jams' are hard to predict.

If - and it's a big 'IF' - as G-W suggests, this sort of commercial ship traffic does become more normal in the next few years then it would be hard to avoid concluding something has changed. Indeed, following 'how the money moves' is often as illuminating indicator of change as following 'how the fauna and flora moves'. Assuming there is no interference with the market through direct or indirect subsidy (a rarely correct assumption, mind you), money - like an animal - has no hidden agenda, it goes to where where it flourishes.

I, too, shall be watching with interest - as I already am the possible/probable/existing investments by various major Champagne houses in Southern English vineyards.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry to spoil the party but it's not true. It was a slow news day and the story was a total lie.

There is much AGW hype in the story, and links to still more. But it is true that as far as we know no successful commercial crossing of the full route has happened before. And I find it interesting that people are beginning to actually put their money - big money - where their mouth is.

The ships were two heavy life freighters which had to make a delivery to a Siberian town. They couldn't have gone any other way because the postal address was Siberia.

During the Soviet era the North East passage was used regularly to supply Siberia. In the post-Soviet times they'd stopped using it for financial reasons, but now they've started up again.

So to put it plainly what the newspapers are retailing is a lie and nothing more. They didn't even appear to have checked the wiki on the NE passage before they published the report.

It was in 1878 that Finland-Swedish explorer Nordenskid made the first successful attempt to completely navigate the Northeast Passage from west to east during the Vega expedition. The ship's captain on this expedition was lieutenant Louis Palander of the Swedish Royal Navy. In 1915 a Russian expedition led by Boris Vilkitsky made the passage from east to west.

One year before Nordenskid's voyage, commercial exploitation of the route started with the so-called Kara expeditions, exporting Siberian agricultural produce via the Kara Sea. Of 122 convoys between 1877 and 1919 only 75 succeeded, transporting as little as 55 tons of cargo. From 1911 steamboats ran from Vladivostok to Kolyma (the Kolyma steamboats) once a year.

Nordenskid, Nansen, Amundsen, DeLong, Makarov and others ran expeditions mainly for scientific and cartographic reasons.

After the Russian Revolution Introduction of radio, steamboats and icebreakers made running the Northern Sea Route viable. After the Russian Revolution of 1917, the Soviet Union was isolated from the western powers, which made it imperative to use this route. Besides being the shortest seaway between the West and the Far East of the USSR it was the only one which lay inside Soviet internal waters and did not impinge upon that which belonged to nearby opposing countries.

In 1932 a Soviet expedition led by Professor Otto Yulievich Schmidt was the first to sail all the way from Arkhangelsk to the Bering Strait in the same summer without wintering en route. After a couple more trial runs in 1933 and 1934, the Northern Sea Route was officially open and commercial exploitation began in 1935. Next year, part of the Baltic Fleet made the passage to the Pacific where an armed conflict with Japan was looming.

A special governing body Glavsevmorput', the Administration of the Northern Sea Route, was set up in 1932 and Otto Schmidt became its first director. It supervised navigation and built Arctic ports.

After the breakup of the Soviet Union commercial navigation in the Siberian Arctic went into decline in the 1990s. More or less regular shipping is to be found only from Murmansk to Dudinka in the west and between Vladivostok and Pevek in the east. Ports between Dudinka and Pevek see next to no shipping at all. Logashkino and Nordvik were abandoned and are now ghost towns.

In 1987 7 million tons of container traffic passed through the NE passage. There has never been a better time to tell you to stop reading the papers. They are utter garbage. Journalists are not academics or, it seems these days, researchers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry to spoil the party but it's not true. It was a slow news day and the story was a total lie.

The ships were two heavy life freighters which had to make a delivery to a Siberian town. They couldn't have gone any other way because the postal address was Siberia.

During the Soviet era the North East passage was used regularly to supply Siberia. In the post-Soviet times they'd stopped using it for financial reasons, but now they've started up again.

So to put it plainly what the newspapers are retailing is a lie and nothing more. They didn't even appear to have checked the wiki on the NE passage before they published the report.

In 1987 7 million tons of container traffic passed through the NE passage. There has never been a better time to tell you to stop reading the papers. They are utter garbage. Journalists are not academics or, it seems these days, researchers.

Not often I find myself agreeing with you AF, but spot on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It should make you mad.

Nearly all the media outlets are saying the same thing. Everyone of them is easily proven wrong with a quick google. You don't need to be clever to prove them wrong. It's astonishing. It's creepy. It's like the Ministry of Truth in George Orwell's 1984.

Are they going to post a correction? You bet they won't.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sea routes in the Arctic

The Northwest Passage is not a single passage, but rather a number of possible routes through the channels of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Satellite images show that the shallow and narrow southern route, which Amundsen navigated in 1905, appeared to open briefly this August. This route was also open in 2007 and 2008. The deeper northern route, of great interest for potential commercial transport, was open in 2007 but is still blocked by ice this year.

On the other side of the Arctic, the Northern Sea Route is open along most of the route, except for a narrow band of ice between the islands of Severnaya Zemlya and the Siberian mainland. Ice tends to persist in this area because of winds that push ice into the constrained region. Even during the record low extent year of 2007, the area around Severnaya Zemlya remained clogged with ice.

Evidence based on satellite data should not be taken as proof of safe conditions for shipping—hazardous areas of ice may remain.

http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It should make you mad.

Nearly all the media outlets are saying the same thing. Everyone of them is easily proven wrong with a quick google. You don't need to be clever to prove them wrong. It's astonishing. It's creepy. It's like the Ministry of Truth in George Orwell's 1984.

Are they going to post a correction? You bet they won't.

If you haven't already read Nick Davis - Flat earth news it will make you madder.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm madder than even that. Brief glance at that book suggests those media myths are quite complex creations that occur over time that require a book to unpack.

This one is simple, blatant and immediate that just needs Google. The casual contradiction of the historical facts displays an utter contempt for their reader's intelligence. It's daylight robbery of the intellect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In 1987 7 million tons of container traffic passed through the NE passage. There has never been a better time to tell you to stop reading the papers. They are utter garbage. Journalists are not academics or, it seems these days, researchers.

I think you have it wrong. I think that 7 million figure refer to general sea traffic, not just the NE passage, because further on it say "In 1993 - 1997 the volume of sea cargo along the Northern Sea Route was already 150 - 200 thousand tons a year. Cargo traffic peaked in 1993, during the Arctic's summer shipping season." so I'm not sure you can claim what you do because the 7 million tonnes figure could well mean all traffic up there not just through the NE passage.

I also think you're not comparing like with like. The report you quote is clearly talking about the use of ice breakers to get through the ice, what is happening now is talk about using the passage when there is no ice. If you think those two conditions are the same you're badly mistaken.

Indeed I'm tempeted to wonder if a phrase like "The casual contradiction of the historical facts displays an utter contempt for their reader's intelligence. It's daylight robbery of the intellect." might apply... :whistling:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Devonian, wrong is ... wrong. There is no arguing with the facts. To Russians the Northern Sea Route refers to their coastline, not Canada's. There has long been Commercial traffic from Arkangelsk to the Bering Strait.

I also think you're not comparing like with like. The report you quote is clearly talking about the use of ice breakers to get through the ice, what is happening now is talk about using the passage when there is no ice. If you think those two conditions are the same you're badly mistaken.

Bzz, sorry. Icebreakers accompanied the two German vessels. Do I get an apology from you now for your lack of research and doubting in response to my well-researched contribution to this thread?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Devonian, wrong is ... wrong. There is no arguing with the facts. To Russians the Northern Sea Route refers to their coastline, not Canada's. There has long been Commercial traffic from Arkangelsk to the Bering Strait.

Bzz, sorry. Icebreakers accompanied the two German vessels. Do I get an apology from you now for your lack of research and doubting in response to my well-researched contribution to this thread?

I think you are wrong - I don't need to apologise for having an opinion do I? I don't think it's clear to what the 7 million figure refers to and I don't think you can compare summer ice condition now with those back in the seventies. That's my opinion - you don't, btw, have to apologise for disagreeing with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stop messing me and every reader about.

Up until the end of the 80s, the Arctic transportation system was self-supporting. The volume of sea traffic reached 7 million tons in 1987. In order to achieve self-sufficiency we must raise the volume of cargo along the Northern Sea Route up to 10 million tons. This volume is likely to be reached by 2008 - 2010.

"Self-supporting" means they had refueling stops and facilities for breakdown and such along the way.

They're talking about the Northern Sea Route from Asia - Europe - Asia. Just like the article says.

Here's a screen cap that shows TWO ice breakers had to accompany the vessels.

picture5is.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

AF you really are missing the point, there is a big difference between reinforced ice ships, which the article you quote talks about and commercial shipping.

These ships are not commercial in that they are by and large paid for by the Russian Government.

Commercial shipping refers to "Normal" standard boats being able to use the passage.

If the passage is ice free then normal boats can make the trip.

If the passage is covered over ice these reinforced ships will still get through.

Taken from your article again AF.

The only reason they ship that much though is because they have a steady stream of ice breakers keeping it clear. I think we are talking about making it navigatable in the summer without this !.

"However, the effective functioning of the Northern Sea Route as an international transportation passage, which would solve cargo transportation problems by fulfilling the economic needs of Russia and by complying with international requirements, is possible only if addressing the following issues:

- The creation of a normative and legal base for the Northern Sea Route to function as an international transportation passage, that indicates the order of access of foreign ships to the route and the ports on the route, along with requirements of navigation safety, etc.

- The renovation and enlargement of the fleet of icebreakers to provide navigation on all lines of the Northern Sea Route irrespective of season and ice conditions. At present there are six nuclear icebreakers working on the route. Soon, after the "Arctic" icebreaker is written off, there will be only 5 ships. According to a most simple calculation, the icebreaker fleet has to be increased at least twofold."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're not reading the links. Use of the NSR is entirely to do with politics, economics and infrastructure and nothing to do with the climate.

It's astonishing you're still clinging to this thoroughly discredited piece of journalism. Those ships were not the first commercial ships to transit the NSR. End of discussion.

Cargo traffic peaked in 1993, during the Arctic's summer shipping season. During that period, 15 Russian ships with 210 thousand tons of transit goods passed along the Route. Also, 8 ships carrying metals, fertilizers and timber traveled from ports in Russia, Latvia, Sweden and Finland to China, Japan, and Thailand. 7 ships from China carried oilcake, bauxite, magnetite and other operating supplies to Holland, England, Ireland, Germany, and Spain.

Commercial shipping refers to "Normal" standard boats being able to use the passage.

If the passage is ice free then normal boats can make the trip.

You're NOT reading my links. It's impossible to have an internet discussion if you don't read. Read that press release. The German vessels required TWO ice-breakers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You really are missing the point AF, of course it's to do with what you've mentioned.

BUT, the opening of the passage for commercial, "Normal" ships is to do with climate change as it requires the NE passage to be free of Ice (persistantly). At the moment with icebreakers it's irrelavent whether it's free of ice or not.

The use of the NE passage for shipping up until today is down to Russian ice breaker involvement.

The use of the NE passage in the future might well be an awful lot easier.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The claims in the papers are all, entirely wrong, and robs intelligent people of their intellectual dignity.

Anything else about the Arctic is just speculation... as it always has been.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The claims in the papers are all, entirely wrong, and robs intelligent people of their intellectual dignity.

Anything else about the Arctic is just speculation... as it always has been.

AFT, you could well be said to be robbing those of us who disagree with your interpretation of the reports you link to of our intellectual dignity by continually dismiss our views.

Iceberg is right, imo, you aren't comparing like with like. And I still dispute your interpretation of the reports.

Edit: a quote from futher down in your link "How then do we prognose the future volume of cargo traffic on the North Sea Route? The assumption is that the annual freight volume will be of 300 000-500 000 ton by the year 2005. In the long term, by the year 2015, the route will be in almost full use of its transit potential with 5-6 million tons of goods eastbound and 2-3 million tons westbound. If regular service is provided for icebreaker convoys, cargo transportation on the North Sea is quite possible.". Which hardly squares with a claim of 7 million tonnes in 1997?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But you've been trying to prove it's been commercially viable and commercially used for years.

http://www.mgn.com/news/dailystorydetails.cfm?storyid=10249

This from the maritime new would suggest that your view is wrong.

This is indeed the first COMMERCIAL use of the NE passage.

Given Arctic melt over last 5 years or so, it's like it will continue which is ashame.

As has been pointed out to you on several occasions the Ships has the use of two icebreakers, it neither means they were needed, nor says that the whole story isn't related to Climate change.

Boats all come with lifeboats, it doesn't mean they needed them to complete the voyage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This from the maritime new would suggest that your view is wrong.

It says nothing. It's not a primary source. Have you read the shipping company's own press release? There you have it from the horse's mouth. The news story is a proven lie: why are you expending so much energy defending it?

BELUGA SHIPS USE NORTHEAST PASSAGE

Monday, 14 September 2009

IN what are being claimed as the first successful commercial transits of the Northeast Passage two Beluga Shipping-owned ships have sailed from South Korea to Siberia.

The German-based project cargo specialist says the Beluga Fraternity and Beluga Foresight arrived in Yamburg, Siberia on Saturday, 12 September.

The ships, which have been accompanied by Russian icebreakers, are now scheduled to proceed Rotterdam.

The Bremen-based company says it plans to use the passage again next year. The transits raise the the possibility of regular summer use of the route by merchant ships as global warming increases.

Russia's Transport Minister:

Cargo traffic peaked in 1993, during the Arctic's summer shipping season. During that period, 15 Russian ships with 210 thousand tons of transit goods passed along the Route. Also, 8 ships carrying metals, fertilizers and timber traveled from ports in Russia, Latvia, Sweden and Finland to China, Japan, and Thailand. 7 ships from China carried oilcake, bauxite, magnetite and other operating supplies to Holland, England, Ireland, Germany, and Spain.

This is indeed the first COMMERCIAL use of the NE passage.

Given Arctic melt over last 5 years or so, it's like it will continue which is ashame.

Not it's not. It's a proven lie. Who do you believe: some hack who wants your money, or the shipping company, the Russian Transport Minister, and your own eyeballs?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×