A benefit from higher temperatures?: "China Begins Using Arctic Shipping Route"
The maiden voyage to Europe by a Chinese merchant ship through the "Northeast Passage" will help the world's biggest exporter speed goods to market and is a symbol of Beijing's strategic ambitions in the Arctic.
The emerging Arctic Ocean shipping route north of Russia has been opened up by global warming and cuts thousands of kilometres (miles) -- and many days -- off the journey from China to its key European market.
A vessel owned by Chinese state shipping giant COSCO left the northeastern port of Dalian last week bound for Rotterdam in the Netherlands, on a 5,400-kilometre (3,380-mile) voyage which state media said would take just over 30 days.
That is up to two weeks faster than the traditional route between Asia and Europe through the Suez Canal, according to COSCO.
"It's potentially going to change the face of world trade," said Sam Chambers, editor of SinoShip magazine.
"The Chinese will use the Arctic route in a very big way. It's all about having options, having alternatives in case of emergency," he said. . . .