The shrinking of Arctic ice means commercial ships may be able to sail over the North Pole as early as 2035, greatly reducing the time and cost of sea transport between Europe and Asia, according to Rear Admiral Dave Titley, who heads the U.S. Navy’s climate-change task force, the Financial Times reported.
Flint Hills Resources LLC is receiving crude at its North Pole refinery in Alaska after the Trans Alaska pipeline system started, and the plant is back in operation, Jake Reint, a company spokesman, said in a telephone interview.
If you want to behold the heavens -- not some fleeting glance skyward but the march of celestial bodies across the centuries -- you have to follow a two-lane blacktop across a parched New Mexico valley and then wind up the side of a precipitous mesa, where ruts and rocks caress the underbelly of your 4x4.
This week’s decision by the Arctic Council, led by the eight nations with Arctic territory, to accept China, India, Japan and three other countries as new observers points to the region’s growing importance. It’s also a sharp reminder of the need for the U.S., the council’s biggest player, to do more to prevent a destabilizing Great Game from unfolding at the top of the world.