At least 18 ships are stranded in the Arctic sea ice off Russia, after an unexpected early freeze.
Some of these ships could end up being stranded for up to months as they wait for icebreakers.
This scenario took place despite the fact that recently warmer weather resulting from climate change has permitted ships to cross parts of Russia’s northern sea route without icebreakers.
This situation however changed in November. Namely, the route has frozen earlier than what was expected.
In fact, according to Barents Sea Observer, ice almost 30cm thick has spread across most of the East Siberian and Laptev seas.
In order to help ships sail through the route, Russia deployed two icebreakers to escort an oil tanker, a container ship, and multiple bulk carriers.
In addition, information indicates that Rosatom plans to address the navigation issues using four icebreakers by the end of December.
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