The team around KANG Shichang has modelled decreasing thickness and density of sea ice and multi-year ice along a future Northeast passage from China to Europe, indicating that Arctic sea ice loss trend will continue, with periodic ice-free periods likely to occur in some areas. As a result, ordinary merchant ships will be able to achieve navigation in September in the next 5 years; in 2026-2050, the navigation window is expected to be extended from August-October. For PC6 class ships with medium icebreaking capacity, the navigable window is August-December for the next 5 years, and may be extended to July for 2026-2050. The navigability of the Velikitsky and Demiraptev straits will be better suited than the Shokalskiy and Sannikov straits. The Northeast Passage can shorten the distance between Northeast Asia and Europe, saving about one-third of the voyage compared to the traditional route through the Straits of Malacca and Suez Canal. rights and content

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