Russia deploys icebreakers as cold snap catches ships out along the Northern Sea Route

An earlier covering of sea ice in Arctic waters this year compared to many previous years has caught a number of ships out with icebreakers called out to help vessels which have become stuck in the East Siberian Sea.

Local authorities report there are some 20 ships that are either are stuck or struggling to make it across the icy waters of the Northern Sea Route with many vessels facing the prospect of being unable to move for the coming week as icebreakers have many miles to cross to get to them.

Looking at ice maps from the Russian Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, the Barents Observer, an online newspaper covering the Barents Region and the Arctic, estimates there is now an ice layer across most of the Laptev Sea and East Siberian Sea up to 30 cm thick where as in the last few years this area was ice free for October and much of November.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. More evidence of the SOLAR MINIMUM that disproves global warming. We are heading for a mini ice age in the next 30 years. Global warming is a con and “Climate change” has been happening for billions of years.

  2. according to the people and teenagers in Glasgow, the Russians must be hallucinating about that Artic ice!

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