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 ?
Soon, cruise ships and private vessels may also become more common sightings in the Northwest and Northeast Passages.
We are also very excited to partner with Northeast Passage to serve military families who have teens with special needs.
Quark is posting on Facebook one trivia question each day, between April 11 and 15, 2011 about the 20th anniversary Northeast Passage cruise.
Because of global warming and the melting of Arctic ice, the Northwest Passage, along Canada's northern shores, and the Northeast Passage, along northern Russia, were both recently traversed.
In 2008, ASAR data revealed that the Northern Sea Route, also known as the Northeast Passage, and the Northwest Passage were both open simultaneously for the first time since satellite measurements began.
plan to jointly develop the Northeast Passage Project.
UNH also hosts the Northeast Passage, a program that provides new opportunities for disabled students to enjoy the outdoors as a central part of UNH's Therapeutic Recreation program option.
Their goal was the Northeast Passage, the sea route across northern Siberia where at such high latitudes there is more ice than water.
Russia, meanwhile, has a fabled route of its own, the Northeast Passage, now called the Northern Sea Route.
It wasn't long before Dutch merchants, bringing furs from the North to export to Europe, settled in the area, which became the gateway to the Northeast Passage.
His intention had been to complete the NorthEast Passage across the top of Russia which has never been done single-handed.
This is also the first year that the Northwest Passage over the top of North America and the Northeast Passage over the top of Russia are both free of ice.

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