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New shipping route may be possibility

Global warming has been in the news plenty in the past few years and, whether you agree with it or not, the bottom line is that the ice in the Arctic is melting its way to record lows.

Satellite photos from this month show that ice is now covering only 1 million square miles of the Arctic Ocean. This is a record low as the previous low was 1.5 million square miles in 2005.

With this increase in melting ice comes possibilities for new shipping routes. The satellite pictures also showed an ice free passage moving from Alaska to northern Canada to Greenland. If this new route is usable for shipping it would save many vessels thousands of miles when compared with the use of the Panama Canal.

Environmentalists are worried that the increased traffic could upset the Arctic's delicate ecological balance. Not to mention there is always the possibly for an oil spill or other disaster that would harm the environment and its wildlife.

Related:

As ice melts, debate over Northwest Passage heats