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Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

How to save energy through both societal and individual actions.

The Northern Sea Route is now open year round!

Unread postby JuanP » Sun 21 Feb 2021, 18:32:34

"Breaking ice to move gas: As Russian tanker-icebreaker duo complete milestone Arctic voyage, climate activists side with ice"
https://www.rt.com/russia/516232-northe ... -reaction/

"Following a nuclear-powered icebreaker, a Russian tanker has sailed through the frigid Northern Sea Route for the first time ever in February. “Won’t somebody think of the poor ice?”, climate-conscious commenters shouted.

The Christophe de Margerie, a liquefied natural gas tanker operated by Russian shipping firm Sovcomflot, made history this week when it docked at the remote Arctic terminal of Sabetta, after sailing through the normally ice-locked Northern Sea Route (NSR) from Jiangsu in China. Traveling solo through the Bering Strait, it then followed a nuclear icebreaker, the 50 Let Pobedy, along Russia’s northern coast until it reached Sabetta on Friday."

"The journey marked the first time a tanker has sailed the route in February, “and confirms that year-round safe navigation is possible along the entire length of the Northern Sea Route,” Sovcomflot CEO Igor Tonkovidov said during a meeting with Russian officials last week. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Trutnev predicted that year-round shipping along the route could more than double by 2024.

A gas tanker & icebreaker made it from China to Yamal in the 1st transit of the Northern Sea Route in February, "confirming that year-round safe navigation is possible," Russia says. There's no multi-year ice left there.

The route, which cuts the East Asia to Europe shipping time by nearly half, was previously off-limits for the first few months of the year due to thick ice, but the changing climate has dislodged some of this ice and made the NSR a viable and competitive shipping route."

The Russians have done it! The Northern Sea Route is now officially open for business all year round! I knew they had the capability with their nuclear powered icebreaker fleet and ice ice capable cargo ships, but now it is a proven fact. One year ice is simply not a challenge for shipping on the Northern Sea Route. This trip beat the earliest trip record by THREE MONTHS!

Now all that broken up one year ice will melt faster than ever before. 2021 will be a very interesting year for Arctic sea ice, with a very likely all time low of both volume and extension in recorded history.
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Re: The Northern Sea Route is now open year round!

Unread postby Subjectivist » Sun 21 Feb 2021, 22:20:28

JuanP wrote:"Breaking ice to move gas: As Russian tanker-icebreaker duo complete milestone Arctic voyage, climate activists side with ice"
https://www.rt.com/russia/516232-northe ... -reaction/

"Following a nuclear-powered icebreaker, a Russian tanker has sailed through the frigid Northern Sea Route for the first time ever in February. “Won’t somebody think of the poor ice?”, climate-conscious commenters shouted.

The Christophe de Margerie, a liquefied natural gas tanker operated by Russian shipping firm Sovcomflot, made history this week when it docked at the remote Arctic terminal of Sabetta, after sailing through the normally ice-locked Northern Sea Route (NSR) from Jiangsu in China. Traveling solo through the Bering Strait, it then followed a nuclear icebreaker, the 50 Let Pobedy, along Russia’s northern coast until it reached Sabetta on Friday."

"The journey marked the first time a tanker has sailed the route in February, “and confirms that year-round safe navigation is possible along the entire length of the Northern Sea Route,” Sovcomflot CEO Igor Tonkovidov said during a meeting with Russian officials last week. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Trutnev predicted that year-round shipping along the route could more than double by 2024.

A gas tanker & icebreaker made it from China to Yamal in the 1st transit of the Northern Sea Route in February, "confirming that year-round safe navigation is possible," Russia says. There's no multi-year ice left there.

The route, which cuts the East Asia to Europe shipping time by nearly half, was previously off-limits for the first few months of the year due to thick ice, but the changing climate has dislodged some of this ice and made the NSR a viable and competitive shipping route."

The Russians have done it! The Northern Sea Route is now officially open for business all year round! I knew they had the capability with their nuclear powered icebreaker fleet and ice ice capable cargo ships, but now it is a proven fact. One year ice is simply not a challenge for shipping on the Northern Sea Route. This trip beat the earliest trip record by THREE MONTHS!

Now all that broken up one year ice will melt faster than ever before. 2021 will be a very interesting year for Arctic sea ice, with a very likely all time low of both volume and extension in recorded history.


To be completely honest I am surprised it took until 2021 for this to happen, I have been expecting it since 2007 when the multi year ice levels started really dropping fast.
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Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby dissident » Thu 25 Feb 2021, 12:56:04

The impact of shipping on Arctic Ocean sea ice cover is negligible. There is nowhere near the density of ships that would influence the mixing layer in the ocean and exposing open channels of water is a small cooling effect since more thermal radiation can escape to the air from the upper meter of water. But the area coverage of such channels is tiny and will remain so even if hundreds of ships plow through the NSR every month.

The CO2 emissions savings from using the NSR are more relevant than any sea ice impact.
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Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby Subjectivist » Sat 27 Feb 2021, 11:28:04

dissident wrote:The impact of shipping on Arctic Ocean sea ice cover is negligible. There is nowhere near the density of ships that would influence the mixing layer in the ocean and exposing open channels of water is a small cooling effect since more thermal radiation can escape to the air from the upper meter of water. But the area coverage of such channels is tiny and will remain so even if hundreds of ships plow through the NSR every month.

The CO2 emissions savings from using the NSR are more relevant than any sea ice impact.


While I hope your prediction is accurate I must remind you that Arrhenius was just as confident that humanity could never release enough CO2 to effect the climate of the planet. I point this out not to insult you or Arrhenius but to remind you that human impacts are often far larger than a surface review would lead one to believe.

Sure right now there are maybe 60 large freighter voyages a year passing through the pack ice. But now that year around transit capability has been demonstrated the NSR becomes a real world competitor to the Suez route for any vessel leaving from the Western or Northern Europe on a journey to East Asia. There are roughly 1,000 freighters making that Suez trip from those areas every year and if an appreciable number of them select the NSR? Strictly based on costs for hiring the ice breaker support but saving the crew labor pay for the shorter trip and fuel expenses for the shorter trip compared to the Suez route where they have to pay a transit fee to Egypt plus more wages and more fuel?

Business runs on squeezing the most possible out of expensive operations and right now at least the net profit is strongly on the side of the NSR unless Russia suddenly raises their escort charges for the icebreaker support. A lot of that shipping belongs to Chinese corporations and they are eager to have greater more profitable access to western Europe.
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Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby JuanP » Mon 08 Mar 2021, 10:12:03

"China pledges to build 'Polar Silk Road' by developing Arctic shipping routes"
https://www.rt.com/business/517266-chin ... struction/

"Beijing has announced this week its intention to construct a “Polar Silk Road” and actively participate in the development of Arctic and Antarctic regions as part of its new 2021-2025 “five-year plan.”

According to the plan published on Friday, China would "participate in pragmatic cooperation in the North Pole” and "raise its ability to participate in the protection and utilization of the South Pole.”"

"At the end of last year, China also announced plans to launch a new satellite to track shipping routes and monitor changes in sea ice in the Arctic. It plans to launch the satellite in 2022.

Focused on trade-boosting infrastructure projects along the path of the ancient Silk Road, the Belt and Road Initiative aims to connect China to Europe, the Middle East and beyond."

China and Russia are the two countries most likely to benefit from increased Arctic shipping, so this makes complete sense. I expect Arctic resource extraction, industrial development, and shipping to continue growing at an increasing rate for the foreseeable future, particularly in Russia. Russia, the biggest country on the planet, has more natural and mineral resources than any other country in the world.

Now, that beginning this year, the Russian Northern Sea Route is open year round, the Chinese can be expected to increase its use to ship some of their exports to Europe, saving a bundle in the process. I also expect that European countries, particularly Russia, will also use the NSR to ship exports and imports to and from Asia. The constantly growing and improving Russian nuclear powered icebreaker fleet is standing by ready to assist as needed. I expect the construction of a growing fleet of ice capable LNG powered cargo ships to continue and diversify, too.
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Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby dissident » Tue 09 Mar 2021, 01:43:23

The NSR is really a "no-brainer" but geopolitical ambitions will turn it into some sort of crisis. All sorts of soft power BS including the whores at Greenpeace will be thrown at it in an attempt to defame it and sabotage it. We'll have stories about dying Russian polar bears and the super melting of the polar sea ice being cause not by global warming but that dastardly Chinese-Russian shipping.

But regardless of Chinese demand for this shipping route, Russia is developing its own year round shipping and associated Arctic coast infrastructure. The NSR will happen no matter how hard NATO huffs and puffs.
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Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby JuanP » Fri 26 Mar 2021, 09:33:44

"Russia promotes Arctic sea route as viable alternative to blocked Suez Canal"
https://www.rt.com/business/519245-suez ... sea-route/

I wasn't aware until this incident how easy it was to block the Suez Canal. It would be very easy for terrorists or a military attack to just sink a ship there and block the Canal indefinitely, seriously disrupting maritime trade from Asia, including the Middle East, and East Africa to Europe and the other way round, too. This would be a no brainer for Russia, in case of a war with NATO.
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Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby Tanada » Fri 26 Mar 2021, 12:21:34

JuanP wrote:"Russia promotes Arctic sea route as viable alternative to blocked Suez Canal"
https://www.rt.com/business/519245-suez ... sea-route/

I wasn't aware until this incident how easy it was to block the Suez Canal. It would be very easy for terrorists or a military attack to just sink a ship there and block the Canal indefinitely, seriously disrupting maritime trade from Asia, including the Middle East, and East Africa to Europe and the other way round, too. This would be a no brainer for Russia, in case of a war with NATO.


You are kidding, right? The Suez Canal was closed from 1967-1975 with major impacts on European-Asian trade routs. The oil Supertanker was invented specifically to be the largest ship that would fit in both Persian Gullf oil export facilities and European importing facilities traveling around Africa to bypass the closed Suez Canal.
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Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby dissident » Fri 26 Mar 2021, 13:56:29

Blocking the Suez just adds shipping cost and an initial shipping delay. And of course extra CO2 emissions.

But the costs being tallied for the current Suez blockage are not chump change.
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Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby JuanP » Fri 26 Mar 2021, 18:46:38

Tanada wrote:
JuanP wrote:"Russia promotes Arctic sea route as viable alternative to blocked Suez Canal"
https://www.rt.com/business/519245-suez ... sea-route/

I wasn't aware until this incident how easy it was to block the Suez Canal. It would be very easy for terrorists or a military attack to just sink a ship there and block the Canal indefinitely, seriously disrupting maritime trade from Asia, including the Middle East, and East Africa to Europe and the other way round, too. This would be a no brainer for Russia, in case of a war with NATO.


You are kidding, right? The Suez Canal was closed from 1967-1975 with major impacts on European-Asian trade routs. The oil Supertanker was invented specifically to be the largest ship that would fit in both Persian Gullf oil export facilities and European importing facilities traveling around Africa to bypass the closed Suez Canal.
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No, I wasn't kidding. Thanks for the history lesson, that was a cool video. I wasn't even born in 1967, and was in kindergarten in 1975. As a Uruguayan 0.001%er, living through urban guerrilla warfare, terrorist attacks, and a US sponsored military dictatorship during my childhood and adolescence, the Israeli-Arab wars were never important or interesting to me, and I know very little about them. I never read anything concerning Israel.

I consider the creation of the nation of Israel was one of the biggest tragedies in human history. I do understand why the British did it, though, from a geopolitical perspective Israel is the most important nation on the planet. Its creation, together with the construction of the Suez Canal, separated Africa from Eurasia, providing a huge military advantage to both the UK and the USA, the big maritime powers at the time.

I think that you are older and Western European or American, which would explain why that event was more important to you than it was to me. As far as the oil supertankers are concerned, they are as old fashioned as aircraft carriers. All it would take is for someone to sink a couple and the rest would become essentially useless. In today's world of hypersonic missiles and gliders all they are is huge sitting ducks.
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Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby JuanP » Tue 30 Mar 2021, 14:37:10

"Suez Canal blockage could alter shipping forever ...and China and Russia will be the winners"
https://www.rt.com/op-ed/519618-suez-ca ... na-russia/

This Suez Canal temporary blockage must have woken up quite a few people about the need for alternatives. The Chinese, in particular, being the largest trading nation in the world, will become more aware of continuing to develop the Belt and Road Initiative, and the Russians probably feel the same way about the Northern Sea Route, which is open year round as of this year. The world is changing so fast!
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Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby JuanP » Wed 14 Apr 2021, 12:46:38

"Russia building most powerful icebreaker fleet, aims for year-round sailing on its Arctic sea route – Putin"
https://www.rt.com/business/520990-russ ... eet-putin/

"“Russia is building the world’s most powerful icebreaker fleet, including giants such as the ‘Leader’, which no one has ever built before,” the Russian leader said Wednesday as he had a meeting with the Board of Trustees of the Russian Geographical Society.

The construction of the Leader, or Project 10510 icebreaker, began last year at Russia’s Zvezda shipyard. The unique nuclear icebreaker is set to become operational in 2027, allowing softer vessels to pass through Russia’s Northern Sea Route any time of the year."

Apparently, the new nuclear icebreaker ship will allow non ice capable ships to sail the Northern Sea Route all year round beginning in 2027. Ice capable ships can already sail there all year round, with icebreaker escorts during winter.
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Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby JuanP » Tue 31 Aug 2021, 11:48:15

"Russia to start year-round sailing on its Arctic sea route within 5 years – minister"
https://www.rt.com/business/533518-arct ... avigation/

"Construction of new ice-class vessels will aid in launching year-round navigation in the Northern Sea Route (NSR) within a five-year period, Russia’s Minister for the Development of the Far East and Arctic Aleksey Chekunov said.

“The range of work of the NSR is constantly growing. I think we will sail all year round within a horizon of five years. The icebreaker ‘Leader’ and other new ice-class vessels should help us in this,” the minister said in an interview with Russian business daily RBK.

He added that the Arctic Route will succeed as the world’s new traffic lane only when a regular container line from the Far East to Murmansk or St. Petersburg is launched. According to Chekunov, the strategic objective is to maximize cargo operations by ramping up and boosting the efficiency of Russian shipping along the route.

“In that case, we will create a real alternative to the southern route,” he said.

The NSR runs along the Russian Arctic coast and Siberia from the Kara Sea east of Novaya Zemlya to the Bering Strait. The transport lane falls inside Russia’s exclusive economic zone in the Arctic region. The 5.5 thousand kilometre NSR is one of three transportation routes linking Russia’s Far East with the European part of the country.

Earlier, authorities announced plans to renovate Russia’s entire system of transport corridors by 2030 – including the operating railway route, which includes the Baikal-Amur and Trans-Siberian Railways, and a motorway connecting Russia’s border with Finland to western Siberia.Under the ambitious plan, the Arctic route is expected to become a major trade artery.

The cargo being shipped through the lane is projected to exceed 80 million tons as soon as 2024. While it is the shortest passage between Europe and Asia, it is usually closed for several months due to the thick ice, but the fleet of new icebreakers escorting other ships could solve the problem of navigating it year-round."
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Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby dissident » Wed 01 Sep 2021, 09:01:58

The underlying story is that average sea ice thickness has been dropping systematically for the last 40 years. Nobody would consider shipping through Arctic year round back in the 1950s or even 1970s.
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Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby JuanP » Fri 03 Sep 2021, 10:59:22

"Major deal on developing Russia’s Big Northern Sea Route sealed at Eastern Economic Forum"
https://www.rt.com/business/533824-big- ... te-russia/

"A broad agreement aimed at providing stable growth of exports, cabotage and transit traffic along Russia’s Arctic sea route has been signed at the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in Vladivostok on Friday.
Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom and the Ministry for Development of the Far East and the Arctic agreed to closely cooperate on projects aimed at developing the transport artery stretching along Russia’s Arctic coast.

The Big Northern Sea Route from Murmansk to Vladivostok plays an important role in transport security, and connects by sea the European part of Russia with the Far East” Rosatom’s director general, Aleksey Likhachev, told the media on the sidelines of the EEF.

We are interested in promoting cooperation under this project with both Russian and foreign counterparts” he added.

The Northern Sea Route lies from the Kara Gate Strait in the west to Cape Dezhnev in Chukotka in the east. The Big Northern Sea Route includes the Arkhangelsk, Murmansk regions and St. Petersburg and the Far East from the Northern Sea Route’s border in Chukotka to Vladivostok. The 5,500-kilometer (3,417-mile) lane is the shortest sea passage between Europe and Asia.
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