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Expert: Northern Sea Route navigation may become year-round by 2030

This is connected with the ongoing warming, which can also cause certain risks

ST. PETERSBURG, December 6. /TASS/. Navigation along the Northern Sea Route (NSR) may become year-round by 2030 in the warming climate, Head of the Russian State Hydrometeorology University Valery Mikheyev told TASS on sidelines of The Arctic: Present and Future Forum.

"As for the Northern Sea Route, we currently see the warming, which however is connected with a certain cyclic period and with the nature's certain impact," he said. "Forecasts say by 2030 the Northern Sea Route and its shores will be without ice, which will be sufficient to have the year-round navigation."

At the same time, the expert continued, the warming will cause certain risks. For example, in the city of Norilsk, where houses used to be built on the permafrost, nowadays basements of about 80% of buildings have "shifted." thus, new construction norms and regulations would be necessary, he said.

NSR crosses seas of the Arctic Ocean (Kara, Laptev, East Siberian and Chukchi Seas) and the Bering Sea of the Pacific Ocean. The Northern Sea Route is about 5,600km long. The distance from St. Petersburg to Vladivostok along NSR is about 14,000km (or about 23,000km along the Suez Canal).

The Arctic: Present and Future forum, organized by the Association of Polar Explorers, is underway in St. Petersburg from December 5 to December 7. The event features about 2,000 participants from Russian Arctic regions and from more than 20 countries, including the Arctic Council's member states.