Arctic ice cap is an island for the first time in 125,000 years

Phase 1: melt ice cap
Phase two: ...
Phase three: PROFIT!

The historic development was revealed by satellite images taken last week showing that both the north-west and north-east passages have been opened by melting ice.

Prof Mark Serreze, a sea ice specialist at the National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC) in the US said the images suggested the Arctic may have entered a "death spiral" caused by global warming.

Shipping companies are already planning to exploit the first simultaneous opening of the routes since the beginning of the last Ice Age 125,000 years ago. The Beluga Group in Germany says it will send the first ship through the north-east passage, around Russia, next year, cutting 4,000 miles off the voyage from Germany to Japan.

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15 Responses:

  1. violentbloom says:

    hey but saves on gas.
    Unless the currents have now shifted into a bad pattern (which they're starting to for ice melting, not sure how it affects shipping)

  2. saltdawg says:

    This is revelant to my interests. These new shipping routes will probably be used mainly by oil tankers. The Petro-companies have been making tankers with icebreaking hulls in anticipation.

  3. novalis says:

    The last ice age was 11,000 years ago, not 125,000.

  4. jkonrath says:

    Someone should probably do a title search and see if Lex Luthor has been buying up inland property up there.

  5. wisedonkey says:

    I don't believe them. Al Gore said if that happened the oceans would rise by 900000000000000000000 feet.

    • eqe says:

      If Greenland + Antarctica melt, the water runs off the land and into the oceans, raising global sea levels a few meters.

      If the arctic ice, which is floating on the Arctic Ocean, melts, global sea levels change not a whit.

      • violentbloom says:

        it will however change the currents and then cause the antarctic to melt. Along with totally fucking up everything.

        On the upside, maybe the beaches here will now have warmer water. Though its already 7 degrees higher than normal. Of course surfing may not be very fun if the tides change.

  6. movingfinger says:

    If you are interested in updates on this, there's now an RSS feed for NSIDC's occasional releases: nsidcarcticnews, news from the National Snow and Ice Data Center. (Yes, they also cover the Antarctic, but at the moment that's not so newsworthy.)

  7. ioerror says:

    What a major fucking bummer. :-(

  8. Phase 2 is supposed to be "?????."

  9. reddragdiva says:

    Just think of the future of arctic tourism! Nome Tropicana, drinks are free!