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Rough sailing ahead for Arctic shipping route

DALIAN, China -- The Arctic Ocean, which many people had hoped would serve as a nautical shortcut lopping thousands of miles off international shipping routes, has seen a falloff in ship traffic, partly due to geopolitical changes.

The Chinese icebreaker Xuelong was trapped in freezing Antarctic waters in late 2013.   © Courtesy of Arctic Portal

     The number of ships that used the Northeast Passage connecting Asia and Europe via the waters north of Russia fell 14% last year. Gross cargo tonnage sank 45%.

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