Northwest Passage

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Member of Doomed 1845 Arctic Expedition Is Identified

John Gregory left a wife and kids at home

(Newser) - It was his very first time at sea. It did not go well. Warrant Officer John Gregory is the first member of the doomed 1845 expedition in search of the fabled Northwest Passage to the East to be identified by DNA. All 129 explorers perished, most on King William Island...

Entire Arctic Expedition Perished, but Not Because of Lead

Study looks at fate of crew aboard HMS Erebus and HMS Terror

(Newser) - In 1845, Sir John Franklin set sail from England in the hopes of discovering and successfully navigating the Northwest Passage. Instead, all 128 crew members aboard the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror ended up dead. Nearly all of them actually survived until April 1848, when they fled ships that had...

Ship Records Earliest Crossing of Fabled Northwest Passage

Beats one set in 2008

(Newser) - After 24 days at sea and a journey spanning more than 6,214 miles, the Finnish icebreaker MSV Nordica has set a new record for the earliest transit of the fabled Northwest Passage. The once-forbidding route through the Arctic, linking the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans, has been opening up...

This Is the Fabled Northwest Passage at Midnight

An AP photographer documents

(Newser) - Up in the Arctic this time of year, you'll find the "midnight sun." Its warm light is comparable to what occurs in photography's "golden hour"—just after sunrise or just before sunset. Instead of lasting an hour, in this case, it lasts all night...

One Woman's Desperation Advanced Polar Exploration

Meet the remarkable Lady Jane Franklin

(Newser) - In 1845, renowned explorer John Franklin set sail from England across the northern Atlantic in the hopes of discovering and successfully navigating the Northwest Passage. Three years later, with no word from the HMS Erebus and the HMS Terror, it became clear that the seasoned Arctic explorer and his crew...

Researchers Follow Hunch, Find Long-Sought Shipwreck

HMS Terror found in mint condition in Arctic bay

(Newser) - A crew searching the Arctic has found the second and final lost ship from one of the most renowned polar expeditions in history. Researchers with the Arctic Research Foundation say they have located the HMS Terror off King William Island, reports the Ottawa Citizen . (Coincidentally, it was found in Terror...

Cruise Ship Sails Through Melting Northwest Passage

Environmentalists say it's part of the problem

(Newser) - The Crystal Serenity's current journey through the Arctic is historic. At nearly three football fields long and 13 stories tall, the cruise ship is the largest ever to traverse the Northwest Passage , where its 900 or so well-heeled guests have glimpsed polar bears, kayaked along Canada's north shore,...

Now Even You Can Sail 'Perilous' Northwest Passage

On a cruise ship

(Newser) - For more than three centuries, explorers tried and failed to find the Northwest Passage—a route connecting the Atlantic and Pacific via the frozen Canadian Arctic. Finally, in the early 20th century, an expedition led by Roald Amundsen prevailed. Now, more than 100 years after that, the cruise ship Crystal...

Canada: Arctic Shipwreck Is Explorer's Flagship

 Shipwreck Canada 
 Most Wanted to 
 Find Is Found 
in case you missed it

Shipwreck Canada Most Wanted to Find Is Found

Sir John Franklin's body may still be on HMS Erebus

(Newser) - One of two ships from Sir John Franklin's doomed 1845 Arctic expedition was discovered last month —and Canadian authorities have now confirmed that it was the one they most wanted to find. The well-preserved ship is the HMS Erebus, which was the explorer's flagship and may contain...

Explorer Ship Missing Since 1845 Found in Arctic

Vessel that vanished during Franklin Expedition is in Northwest Passage: Canada

(Newser) - In 1845, British explorer Sir John Franklin set off with 128 men on the HMS Terror and HMS Erebus to explore the Arctic's Northwest Passage. Both ships apparently got stuck in the ice and then vanished, earning their place in the annals of Canada's greatest adventure mysteries—until...

Giant Freighter Is First to Cross Northwest Passage

Danish bulk carrier makes milestone journey

(Newser) - Sure, scientists are nearly positive that humans are heating up the planet, but there's an upside: more efficient shipping. For the first time, a major freighter has crossed the Northwest Passage in the Arctic, reports the Toronto Globe and Mail . The 735-foot Nordic Orion achieved the feat this week...

4 Men to Travel Northwest Passage —by Rowboat

Canadians hope to make a point about global warming

(Newser) - Arctic adventurers of yore probably never imagined a day when a few guys in a rowboat could traverse the Northwest Passage. But that's exactly what four Vancouver residents plan to do over a 75-day span this summer, reports the Toronto Globe and Mail . Their 1,900-mile journey is being...

Open by 2050: North Pole Shipping Lanes

 Open by 2050: 
 Shipping Lanes 
 in North Pole 
in case you missed it

Open by 2050: Shipping Lanes in North Pole

Climate change opening up China-Europe shortcut

(Newser) - Climate change has got its upside if you happen to own a shipping company. Researchers say that by 2050, the Arctic ice sheet will be weak enough for cargo ships to take the northern route between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans without the aid of icebreakers, the Guardian reports. Ships...

1848 Wreck Found in Arctic
 1848 Wreck Found in Arctic 

1848 Wreck Found in Arctic

Doomed Investigator was on rescue mission

(Newser) - The incredibly well-preserved wreck of a British expedition ship abandoned in 1848 has been found in the Canadian Arctic. The Investigator, which was on a mission to search for the lost Franklin expedition, is believed to have been the first vessel to navigate the Northwest Passage. Its crew abandoned it...

10 Places Already Feeling Global Warming's Heat

Hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast has taken the brunt of climate change so far

(Newser) - While some consider global warming a cautionary tale of things to come, its effects are already being felt all over the world, reports Scientific American. The worst-hit:
  • Darfur: The deserts have been crippled by a decades-long drought, and can no longer support farmers or their grazing herds.
  • America's Gulf Coast:

Arctic Ice at 2nd-Smallest Level

Melting amid cool conditions raises red flags

(Newser) - Arctic sea ice shrunk to its second-lowest size this summer, up 10% from last year's record, reports Reuters. The melting may not appear as noteworthy as that of 2007, said one research scientist, but the season's conditions prove otherwise. Last year's mix of warm air and favorable winds shifted the...

Both Arctic Passages Navigable for First Time

Using Northeast, Northwest shortcuts will be boon to shipping firms

(Newser) - In what scientists say is an historic moment, both Northeast and Northwest Passages are navigable as of this week, and shipping firms are salivating over the  possibilities, Der Spiegel reports. With an increasing number of largely ice-free days every summer, the radical shortcuts offered by the once-treacherous routes will eventually...

Sailors Find Iceless NW Passage
Sailors Find Iceless NW Passage

Sailors Find Iceless NW Passage

As ice thaws, yachts glide through Northwest Passage

(Newser) - It's smooth sailing in the Arctic nowadays. Even in recent years, the ice was apt to claim adventurers who dared navigate the Northwest Passage. This year the passage has no ice. And with global warming claiming some 38,000 square miles of ice a year, the Journal reports, the Arctic...

18 Stories