Meteorological company Weathernews is predicting a slightly early opening to the Northern Sea Route (NSR) after the soaring temperatures recorded in Siberia during the early summer.

The Tokyo-based company, which provides a Polar routing service to shipping, is expecting that the North East Passage could now open in mid-August rather than its usual opening in late August.

“With record breaking high temperatures such as the 38 degrees Celsius recorded on 20 June in the northern Siberian town of Verkhoyansk, the sea ice along the North East Passage (Russian side) is expected to melt rapidly going forward,” Weathernews said in its Arctic Sea Trends 2020 report.