The Russian LNG mission has congratulated itself for smashing through the melting Arctic for the first time in January, raising temperatures within the science community.
When the gigantic gas carrier Christophe de Margerie reached the easternmost point of the Eurasian landmass on 16 January, heaving with an enormous batch of liquefied natural gas (LNG), she quietly made maritime, and climate, history.
Able to carry 172,600m3 of LNG, enough to supply the country of Sweden with its gas requirements for almost four weeks, the 299m-long carrier had been enlisted as part of a Kremlin-subsidised partnership to help test the Northern Sea Route's commercial viability. Her mission signalled the first time that a merchant vessel had hauled cargo clear across the Northern Sea Route without icebreaking support in the deep heart of an Arctic winter.
Just days before she finished her voyage, Daily Maverick was the first to report that the Christophe de Margerie and sister LNG supertanker Nikolay Zubov had crossed paths just east of the New Siberian Islands on the morning of 12 January.
Breaking: For the first time in an Arctic winter, commercial vessels traverse Far North from opposite sides
At the time, much of the world was consumed...