Climate change will turn the Russian Arctic into a northern alternative to the Suez Canal

the American Institute of Hydrology : hydrologists
With more open water, U.S. hydrologists predict that cargo volumes will increase this decade by 50 times from this year's level. For northern Europe, the Russian Arctic route can cut 7,000 kilometers off the standard trip to Asia through Egypt's Suez Canal.
In September [2012], American satellites recorded the greatest shrinkage of Arctic ice since record-keeping started 33 years ago. This summer, ice retreated to 3.4 million square kilometers -- about half the average levels recorded in the 1980s and 1990s.
China is taking notice, sending its first ship through Russia's Arctic passage. The icebreaker "Snow Dragon" sailed from China to Iceland and back, docking in Shanghai in September. Sergei Balmasov, a Russian who runs the Arctic Logistics Information Office in northern Norway, says open water and a five-month season allowed several cargo ships to make round-trip runs across the top of Russia this summer.

Brooke, J. (2012) Climate Change Melts Away Obstacle To Arctic Shipping For China, Russia, [online] Available: