Gas-filled vessel barrels solo through pathetic Arctic sea ice during dead of winter

Get the Full StoryThe massive vessel Eduard Toll, loaded with liquified natural gas from Siberia, successfully traversed through an icy Arctic sea route in January without any help from icebreaking ships — robust vessels that typically break through masses of ice to clear a path ahead.

This is a first for this time of year, when sea ice should be too thick for non-icebreakers to get through unaided. Instead, Arctic sea ice has been hovering near record low levels throughout the winter so far.

The tanker company that operates the Eduard Toll, Teekay, posted a video of the voyage through the Northern Sea Route — one of the main passages ships use to bring Arctic commodities to global ports. This route runs along the northern coast of Siberia and Russia, and to the north of Scandinavia. It affords access to both the North Atlantic and North Pacific sides of the Arctic. The Eduard Toll first discharged bounties of gas in the far more pleasant climes of Montoir, France. Read more...More about Climate, Science, Global Warming, Arctic Sea Ice, and Noaa