Icebreaker sets record for NW Passage transit

    NUUK, Greenland (AP) — After 24 days at sea and a journey spanning more than 10,000 kilometers (6,214 miles), the Finnish icebreaker MSV Nordica has set a new record for the earliest transit of the fabled Northwest Passage.

    The once-forbidding route through the Arctic, linking the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans, has been opening up sooner and for a longer period each summer due to climate change. Sea ice that foiled famous explorers has slowly been melting away in one of the most visible effects of man-made global warming.

    Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans says the previous earliest passage happened in 2008, when the Canadian Coast Guard ship Louis L. St-Laurent left St. John's in Newfoundland on July 5 and arrived in the Beaufort Sea off Point Barrow on July 30.

    The Nordica, with a team of scientists and Associated Press journalists on board, completed a longer transit in less time, setting off from Vancouver on July 5 and reaching Nuuk, the capital of Greenland, on Saturday, July 29.


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