Northeast Passage

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Northeast Passage,

water route along the northern coast of Europe and Asia, between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Beginning in the 15th cent., efforts were made to find a new all-water route to India and China. Most of these attempts were directed at seeking a Northwest PassageNorthwest Passage,
water routes through the Arctic Archipelago, N Canada, and along the northern coast of Alaska between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Even though the explorers of the 16th cent.
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. However, English, Dutch, and Russian navigators did try to seek a northeast route by sailing along the northern coast of Russia and far into the arctic seas.

In the 1550s, English ships made the first attempt to find the passage. Willem BarentzBarentz or Barents, Willem
, d. 1597, Dutch navigator. He made three voyages (1594, 1595, 1596–97) in search of the Northeast Passage to Asia. He reached Novaya Zemlya on the first two expeditions.
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, the Dutch navigator, made several futile voyages in the 1590s, as did Henry HudsonHudson, Henry,
fl. 1607–11, English navigator and explorer. He was hired (1607) by the English Muscovy Company to find the Northeast Passage to Asia. He failed, and another attempt (1608) to find a new route was also fruitless.
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 in the early 17th cent. The decline of Dutch shipping in the 1700s left the exploration mainly to the Russians; among the men sent out was Vitus BeringBering, Vitus Jonassen
, 1681–1741, Danish explorer in Russian employ. In 1725 he was selected by Peter I to explore far NE Siberia. Having finally moved men and supplies across Siberia, Bering in 1728 sailed N through Bering Strait but sighted no land and did not
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, who explored the eastern part of the passage. The Russian Great Northern Expedition (1733–43) explored most of the coast of N Siberia. The Northeast Passage was not, however, traversed by anyone until Nils A. E. NordenskjöldNordenskjöld, Nils Adolf Erik, Baron
, 1832–1901, Swedish geologist and arctic explorer, first to navigate the Northeast Passage, b. Finland. He served as geologist on several expeditions to Spitsbergen under Otto Torrell, the noted Swedish geologist, on one of which
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 of Sweden accomplished the feat in 1878–79. In the early 1900s, icebreakers sailed through the passage, and in the 1930s the Northern Sea Route, a shipping lane, was established by the USSR.

Since World War II the Soviet Union and now Russia has maintained a regular summer-to-autumn highway for shipping along this passage through the development of new ports and the exploitation of resources in the interior. A fleet of Russian icebreakers, aided by aerial reconnaissance and by radio weather stations, keeps the route navigable until the expansion of the ice in winter prevents shipping. The decrease in ocean ice in the Arctic due to global warmingglobal warming,
the gradual increase of the temperature of the earth's lower atmosphere as a result of the increase in greenhouse gases since the Industrial Revolution. Global warming and its effects, such as more intense summer and winter storms, are also referred to as climate
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 has led to an increase of shipping through the Arctic and to the creation of shipping lanes further from the Russian coast; the routes cut the distance between N Eurasian Atlantic and Pacific ports by several thousand miles.

References in periodicals archive ?
Combining ABS technical experience with COSCOs successful use of the Northeast Passage with the first Chinese merchant ship, Yongsheng, navigating this route creates a solid foundation for jointly promoting the development of sustainable shipping in Arctic waters.
Nordenskiold, unheard from since August 1878, was attempting the Northeast Passage.
However, here's the wake up call for our nation's legislators: China moved one of its container ships through the Northeast Passage for the first time late last year, calling it "the new trunk route of Euro-Asia trade.
After numerous delays, the ship made the Northeast Passage by 1926.
In 1609 the Dutch East India Company hired Henry Hudson to search for the Northeast Passage, and provided the Half Moon for a voyage.
When Victory is not acting as a passenger vessel, the ship escorts merchant vessels through the Northeast Passage during the uninterrupted polar darkness of winter.
Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has announced a wave of state and private investment in expanding shipping operations along the Northern Sea Route, formerly known as the Northeast Passage, which goes from the North Sea to the Bering Strait.
The University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension's 4H Youth Development Program, in partnership with Northeast Passage at UNH, has received a grant from the U.
Two German cargo ships recently achieved a historic "first"--sailing from Asia to Europe by way of the Arctic Ocean's Northeast Passage.
So in 1609 Henry Hudson, a British adventurer and navigator, was hired to locate a Northeast Passage to South East Asia which would be safer and greatly cut the required sailing time.
Four hundred years ago, explorers sought the legendary northeast passage across the north of Europe and Russia to China.
This year, commercial vessels successfully navigated the Northeast Passage.

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