Northwest Passage Research Paper

Words: 919
Pages: 4

The Northwest passage
The Northwest passage is a sea route that connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans through the arctic waters of Northern Canada. The passage extends from the Baffin Bay in the Northern Atlantic Ocean to the Beaufort Sea on the Pacific Ocean. Since the last ice age, this sea route has been covered in ice for the majority of the year, and was only traversable during the summer months. Not only this, but due to the unpredictability of weather in the far north, parts of the passage would be completely frozen for up to years at a time. Because of this, if you wanted to traverse the Northwest Passage, you would have to have had an extremely seasoned captain and crew, and a light, maneuverable ship, and the journey could take up to 4 years. 40 years ago, trying to cram huge, dumb, commercial ships through the tight waters that could at times be as thin as a couple metres across and a couple metres deep at points would have not only been suicidal, but, wait actually yeah, it would have been completely
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Since China and the rest of Eastern Asia rose as the global hub of cheap labour, there has been one standard shipping route between the sellers of Eastern Asian and the buyers of Western Europe and the east coast of America. This would be around the southern tip of Thailand, into the Indian Ocean, through the Suez Canal, and then out of the Mediterranean. This route, of over 18,000 kilometres, carries over 1 trillion dollars of products annually. However, this is not a cheap route, and ships must pay for crew, fuel, the use of sovereign waters, damages, and all kinds of other costs along the way. This is where the Northwest Passage comes in. By rerouting shipping from this standard path to trace one warm line through a land so wide and savage, and make a Northwest passage to the sea, ships can save an estimated $80 000 one way in fuel costs