Global Politics

Busy waterway

We're looking for one of the world's busiest shipping corridors for the Geo Quiz. As for busy canals, there's the Kiel Canal that offers a short cut from the North Sea to the Baltic Sea. And the Suez Canal connects the Mediterranean to the Red Sea. But the canal we're looking for is in the Western hemisphere.

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We're looking for one of the world's busiest shipping corridors for the Geo Quiz. Sure, the US postal service is busy this time of year with all those holiday cards to deliver but that's nothing compared to the cargo that ships move around the world.

Shanghai, Singapore and Rotterdam are among the world's busiest shipping ports: they each handle hundreds of millions of tons of cargo each year. As for busy canals, there's the Kiel Canal that offers a short cut from the North Sea to the Baltic Sea. The Suez Canal, of course, connects the Mediterranean to the Red Sea.

But the canal we're looking for is in the Western hemisphere. Roughly 14 thousand ships pass through it every year. That's about 36 ships a day or about 5 percent of world trade.
Geo Answer:

The answer is the Panama Canal. On Wednesday, it was closed for 10 hours due to extremely heavy rain. That's the first time it's been shutdown since the 1989 Panama invasion by US forces. Anchor Lisa Mullins finds out more from Robert Stallard, a hydrologist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama.

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