Ships 'will sail across North Pole by 2050'
Ships could be sailing right across the North Pole by the middle of the century, US experts predict.
By around 2050, the Arctic ice sheet will be thin enough for icebreakers to carve a straight path between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, it is claimed.
"Nobody's ever talked about shipping over the top of the North Pole," said lead researcher Professor Laurence Smith, from the University of California at Los Angeles.
The scientists studied seven well-established climate simulations for the years 2040 to 2059 to estimate future thickness of sea ice in the Arctic.
By mid-century, most common open-water ships will be able, without icebreakers, to cross the Northern Sea Route hugging the coast of Russia.