In the previous video, I focused on the Northern Sea Route, that's the passage across the Arctic along the Russian coast, and how with retreat of the sea ice cover it's becoming increasingly open to marine traffic. Emphasize that Russia has really developed in its capabilities along the Northern Sea Route, it has good port facilities, an extensive fleet of icebreakers including big nuclear powered ones that can support operations there. Questions are, how important will that Northern Sea Route become in comparison to the Suez Canal or the Panama Canal? We'll see, but the point is, it is increasingly open and becoming increasingly viable. Now let's turn our attention to the other side of the Arctic and talk about the Northwest Passage. The key point, like the Northern Sea Route, it's a shortcut between the Atlantic and Pacific, or the other way around if you want to look at it that way. But it's very clear, I think that it is not nearly as viable as the Northern Sea route. There's heavier ice, thicker ice, more ice, it's colder conditions and really dangerous water. Some narrow straits, shallow draft issues, nasty weather, of course, well that happens on the Northern Sea Route as well. But it's really a more difficult environment. I think it's pretty clear, going through the Northwest Passage. Nevertheless tour vessels and adventurers have been making summer passages through the Northwest Passage. I showed a figure like this before, I'll illustrate it again, this is showing marine shipping routes. What you see in the red is a lot of areas, those are areas where there's a heck of a lot of marine traffic, those lines in the white where there is less. You can see big traffic zones between, North America and Europe and across the Pacific. You can see the use of canals, the Panama Canal and certainly the Suez Canal which basically connects the real world, because basically it connects the Red Sea with the Mediterranean, the Strait of Malacca, where right of innocent passage holds and ships can go through and a hell of a lot of them do. But you don't see much going on in the Arctic. The question is, is that going to change? I showed again this figure before and this is just showing where we're expecting things to be happening in the Arctic in terms of the loss of the sea ice cover that will be losing it through the years, the Northern Sea Route will become increasingly open. But the question is, the Northwest Passage, will that really see the same thing? Certainly we've been seeing times when the Northwest Passage has been opened. That is like the Southern Passage what's known as Amundsen's passage. But it's not nearly as viable or we haven't really seen it opening nearly as frequently as the Northern Sea Route. Suez Canal, there's a warship going through an aircraft carrier. What happens if Abadi blows up the Suez Canal or sinks vessels in there and blocks it? It's happened before. Might an Arctic route like the Northwest Passage become more viable. The same holds with the Panama Canal. Issue with the Panama Canal is that a new set of locks has been a built, which is now able to handle much bigger ships than before, that works against an Arctic route. In other words, the viability of an Arctic route unless, of course, something happened to the Panama Canal. Now here's the question, when was the Northwest Passage first conquered? The answer is 1903-1906 by Norwegian Roald Amundsen. He's the same guy who conquered the South Pole, quite the adventurer. It wasn't Robert Peary. The argument is, some still say that he was the one who conquered the North Pole. It's not clear that he did, the evidence works against that. Nor was it 1846-1847 by Sir John Franklin. Sir John Franklin and the Arabist and terror tried to conquer the Northwest Passage but failed. They never emerged in the Pacific and everyone in that expedition died. A big tragedy in the Arctic. There's a picture of Roald Amundsen in his later years. He's got that dapper bowler cap on him, dapper guy, quite the adventurer. Here's the ship he went with, the Gjoa, I probably mispronounced that one as well, a very small vessel really, maybe not even a ship at all a boat. But that was the advantage of using a small vessel, that it could go through ice flows and hug the coast and things like that. That's how he and his hearty adventurers got through, but it took him several years to do it. Back in 1969, the Manhattan made a passage through the Northwest Passage, an ice strengthened oil tanker, to try and demonstrate the viability of using the Northwest Passage as a route. That's quite the big ship. We're seeing a shot from the bow. It got through. But it pretty much demonstrated that no, it is not a viable passage at least back then, back in 1969. That's a long time ago. Now the issue is even today, with less sea ice and things like that, is that these are still treacherous waters. One thing ice conditions are highly variable, they can change. We've seen situations where the Southern route, Amundsen's route, that's the Southern route has been open and then it becomes blocked again. One year it appears to be open another summer it doesn't, just because of differences in weather patterns. This is a satellite image, showing the Northwest Passage of the part that will be entered through McClure Strait. Remember there's a number of different ways to get through the Northwest Passage, there's not just one route. This is on the top of the figure showing McClure Strait. That would be the preferred way to get in because it's it's wide and deep. What you can see in the middle of the image is all this very heavy sea ice drifting in to the passage because there is this flow of ice from the Central Arctic Ocean down into some of these passages, and that can change very quickly. If you don't have the capabilities to deal with that ice, you could really be in trouble. Here's a question, how many possible routes are there through the Northwest Passage? The answer tends to be from 5-7 depending on how you want to look at. When people say The Northwest Passage, we really have to take this with a grain of salt because there's a number of ways to get through it. Amundsen's route is what they called the Southern route and that's the one that's been opening. In 2007 this North or deep water route entered through McClure Strait, did get through. Now the Crystal Serenity, that's a cruise ship. It went through there for a couple of summers carrying it's moneyed tourists through the Southern Passage of the Northwest Passage, Amundsen's route. Tried again and then it couldn't get through or they canceled it because the ice was too heavy. It's only gone through a couple of times but we're probably going to see more and more cruises like the Crystal Serenity get through. But there is more traffic there, there's even people going through in sailboats and things like that. Western Nunavut as I'm showing here in this image, is slated for a new marine surveillance system. They want to track the vessels that are going through the Northwest Passage. One of the things, if you're going to go through the Northwest Passage, whatever route you wish to take, you can't just do it. You have to ask Canada's permission. Because Canada views these as international waters. It had never been an issue before because they were unnavigable, but that's starting to change. The issue is, how quickly will the Northwest Passage change, how frequently will it be open? Right now, it seems to be much less viable than the Northern Sea route, but we will see what happens in the future.