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Last year was the first time in recorded history that the northwest passage was open to navigation. It should be even more open this year.

Last Updated: Monday, 8 October 2007, 10:08 GMT 11:08 UK  

Ice melt raises passage tension  
By David Shukman
BBC science and environment correspondent, Canadian Arctic  

Less ice makes it easier to get at the Arctic's resources
In another sign of potential friction in the warming Arctic, Canada has warned that it will step up patrols of the Northwest Passage.

Record summer melting of sea-ice has made the passage fully navigable; and immediately escalated a dispute over who controls the route.

Canada maintains that the waterway that connects the Atlantic with the Pacific lies within its territorial waters.

It has backed that up with plans for a new military base in the Arctic.

Arctic Ice Retreat Continues

Friday, October 26, 2007 from World Maritime News

Yellow line: Northwest Passage. Blue line: Northern Sea Route (See link for satellite view)
The International Ice Charting Working Group (IICWG), meeting at ESRIN in Frascati, issued the following statement on October 26, 2007: "In September 2007, the Arctic sea ice reached the minimum extent in the history of ice charting based on satellite, aircraft and surface observations, continuing a recent trend of diminishing sea ice that began in the 1980's and has accelerated. While there will still be natural inter-annual variability, the decline is likely to continue.

"The Arctic is already experiencing an increase in shipping, primarily for oil and gas development and tourism, and we can expect to see further increases as diminishing ice extent makes Arctic marine transportation more viable. The IICWG members are working with national and international authorities to help ensure that Arctic navigation develops with the utmost regard for the safety of people, property and the environment.

Colleagues used to say that while they might not be able to solve the Raleigh wave equations, (acoustics), for a given room, the room could solve them and then they could observe.  Nature is providing much more convincing evidence of warming than any model. Perhaps we will have models that can "predict" what we already know has happened before all the ice is melted at both poles.  


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Aug 5th, 2008 at 02:45:53 PM EST
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