Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Scientists Shocked as Arctic Polar Route Revealed

[from a story I wrote for slashdot]:

A route unencumbered by perennial sea ice leading directly to the North Pole has been revealed by recent satellite pictures. European scientists indicated their shock as they noted a ship could sail from Europe's northern-most outpost directly to the pole, something that hasn't been possible during most [all?] of recorded human history. The rapid thawing of the perennial sea ice has political implications as the U.S., Canada, Russia and the EU jockey for control of the newly opened passages."

[additional thoughts]:

This is big news. Our little planet is quickly changing its stripes. In this case, the top of this little globe is thawing out to an extent that it calls for new maps, new trade routes, new cooperation between nations and shipping companies and a new way of thinking about our world. When I was young I was taught that the North Pole was a useless, foribidding desert of ice, wind and snow. Will I teach my children the same thing?

UPDATE: I found an even better story.

UPDATE 2: The story has been posted to Slashdot! It's getting a lot of comments, too.

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