New Arctic sea routes predicted by 2050

Tease the day: UCLA researchers suggest traffic in Canada’s north will spike


Jonathan Hayward/CP

Laurence C. Smith might be American, but he’s one of the great Wilfrid Laurier impersonators of his time. Smith, you see, is a UCLA researcher who writes about the Arctic’s future. A couple of years ago, he published a book entitled, The World in 2050: Four Forces Shaping Civilization’s Northern Future. In that book, the Ottawa Citizen‘s Randy Boswell writes this morning, Smith predicts Canada “will emerge as a major world power by the middle of the 21st century as climate change transforms global trade, agriculture and geopolitics.” Bold prediction.

This morning, Boswell alerts us to Smith’s latest work: the prediction of new shipping routes through Canada’s northern waters, once Arctic sea ice melts sufficiently to allow the new traffic. The new routes provide opportunities and challenges, Boswell writes, and it’s up to Arctic nations, including Canada, to plan for that future. So, Canada, look north. And get ready to fulfil Laurier’s dream that we own a century, even if it comes about a century and a half later than he would have liked.

What’s above the fold this morning?

The Globe and Mail leads with the potential upgrade of CF-18 fighter jets while the government determines which next-generation airplane to purchase. The National Post fronts a restaurant’s controversial decision to fly the Confederate flag in its window. The Toronto Star goes above the fold with dozens of unlicenced driving schools in the Greater Toronto Area. The Ottawa Citizen leads with NDP Leader Tom Mulcair’s non-answer when asked if he’d appoint NDP senators. iPolitics fronts a screening of the CBC’s Jack Layton bio-pic. leads with Peter Mansbridge’s interview with Marc Cardinal Ouellet, a contender to become the next pope. National Newswatch showcases The Globe‘s CF-18 scoop.

Stories that will be (mostly) missed

1. Arctic traffic. Canada’s north will see a spike in shipping traffic by mid-century, argue two American researchers who analyzed expected routes once sea ice melts. 2. Oil sands. Two energy companies in northern Alberta should be investigated for belching emissions that ended up in the Athabasca River, says Vancouver-based Ecojustice.
3. Border. Canadian businesses are complaining about a policy that allows border officials to waive duty charges in various circumstances, a move they say puts them at a disadvantage. 4. Blood expiry. A new study suggests blood “suffers irreversible damage” after it’s stored for three weeks, long before the six weeks that Canadian Blood Services stores its stock.

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New Arctic sea routes predicted by 2050

  1. Oh I’m sure it’ll be a lot sooner than 2050….but it’s not going to make a great power out of Canada. We are one Elizabethan monarch too late for that.

  2. Might be a good time for Harper to re-announce that deep water port one more time. My understanding that they have done the extensive research required and now are ready with the technology necessary to mount an appropriate Canada Action Plan billboard at Nanisivik. This has been a long 7 years to get to this point but now that the signage issue has been dealt with, it is really just necessary to get Stephen another joy ride on a ATV to make this a reality.

    • Harper in an ATV over a big expanse of weakening arctic ice might be some poetic justice.

  3. pay close attention to us chairing the arctic council – rumour has it some very interesting news that will greatly benefit canada will be issuing forth from it and that’s for sure. I also heard tell of not one but two deepwater ports!

  4. More bogus computer models?

    Nothing but more data manipulation to fit a computer model that will never jive with observed reality.

    Haven’t the ecotards learned anything yet?

  5. Re: Senate – I note that the Quebec Court of Appeal has rejected Ottawa’s request to suspend its examination of the Quebec government’s request into the constitutionality of the reform/abolition proposals (without provincial input). The Quebec Court of appeal will most likely publish its opinion before the SCC’s.