The sea ice on the 22nd of August shows that the extent is well below the median from 1979-2000. This could be promising for CHINARE5 who is heading for the future central Arctic shipping route.
Leaving Akureyri in the beginning of the week, the Xuelong now aims for the North Pole. The intention is to sail to the North Pole, and not stop there, but going all the way through.
The future central Arctic shipping route is now opening up at a speed many thought would take decades.
The historic route through the future central Arctic shipping route will possibly show that it is indeed possibly to sail through the ice when it is at its thinnest.