In the World

Hotbed in the Arctic

It’s July and a cargo ship, laden with some 70,000 tons of coal, is slowly wending its way from Russia to China across the top of the world. This ship is functional, not beautiful; it’s longer than two football fields and at least 30 yards wide. As it enters the Kara Sea, north of Russia, the water is scattered with ice floes that are like small islands. With the aid of an icebreaker ship, the cargo ship makes its way steadily under the 24-hour sun to deliver its goods.