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    What does northwest in the article refer to here?

    Hello Everyone,

    I have read a report on YAHOO oneline today, about the accelarated meling of Arctic Ice could bring shipping passage through arctic sea.

    The first paragraph says"
    Arctic ice has shrunk to the lowest level on record, new satellite images show, raising the possibility that the Northwest Passage that eluded famous explorers will become an open shipping lane."

    I would like to know here what does the northwest refer to here?

    And please click the link to find the whole passage--



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    Re: What does northwest in the article refer to here?

    It's part of a proper name and functions as an adjective.

    Northwest Passage
    A water route from the Atlantic to the Pacific through the Arctic Archipelago of northern Canada and along the northern coast of Alaska. Sought by navigators since the 16th century, the existence of such a route was proved in the early 19th century, but the passage was not traversed until the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen led an expedition across it in 1903 to 1906. The ice-breaking tanker Manhattan was the first commercial ship to cross the passage (1969), after the discovery of oil in northern Alaska.

    Northwest Passage - definition of Northwest Passage by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.

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