Open Tech Today - Top Stories

Monday, September 01, 2008

Captain Cook Meet Global Warming

The great navigators of the Age of Explorers were a bit early in their quest to traverse the famed Northwest Passage linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. What a difference 500 years makes. What a difference global warming makes.

For perhaps the first time in recorded human history, arctic ice around the North Pole has melted clearing not only a Northwest Passage but also a Northeast Passage.

The North-West Passage (circled left) and the North-East Passage (top right) are both clear of ice now, as shown in satellite photos.

It is an historic event.

But is the world without a North Pole a good thing? Shipping companies and ExxonMobil may love the idea. Climate change scientists are wary.

Polar bears are less enthusiastic, some now facing a 400-mile swim for survival.

And for the rest of us? Is this really such good news?

Categories: GlobalWarming