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Northern sea route: an overview of transportation risks, safety, and security

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As global warming takes its toll on Arctic sea ice, a new transportation superhighway emerges across the northern polar region. This new transportation route—the Northern Sea Route and Northwest Passage—brings many challenges and concerns. Significant obstacles preside along this route such as hazards to navigation, minimal or non-existent rescue and recovery services, inconsistent weather reporting, and reduced communication capability. In this paper, we review existing studies on the Northern Sea Route, discuss these risks and challenges, as well as present some of the advantages and opportunities associated with this emerging trade route. We conclude with a short discussion on safety and security implications.

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Correspondence to Simon Véronneau.

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The views expressed in this document are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.

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Hill, E., LaNore, M. & Véronneau, S. Northern sea route: an overview of transportation risks, safety, and security. J Transp Secur 8, 69–78 (2015).

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