Monday, October 10, 2011

Our Changing Climate: Melting ice means more Arctic ship traffic?

By Seth Preston, Communications Manager, Air Quality Program

Photo of broken up ice on an unidentifiable body of waterThe Seattle Times has this interesting story about how less ice in the Arctic is expected to mean more ship traffic in the region.

Melting, thinning ice would open up more navigable waters for increased shipping of goods, more scientific exploration and more tourism activity.

The catch is the United States is in danger of lagging behind in exploration efforts because its icebreaking vessels are so antiquated or underpowered.

The Times article describes how the nation’s two heavy-duty icebreakers are idled in Seattle. U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington is involved in trying to sort things out.

In other news, The Olympian reports that some Thurston County business owners and homeowners are benefiting from their investments in energy efficiency.

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