back to article Arctic sea ice loosens grip on Northwest Passage

The Northwest Passage, a much-sought shipping route, opened to sea traffic this summer, as arctic sea ice fell to the lowest levels observed since we started keeping track almost 30 years ago. Pictures of the open sea were captured by European Space Agency satellites. Satellite image showing the clear seas of the Northwest …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wait for the MMGW eco warriors to scream

    And yes this passage has been navigable in the past before you eco warriors scream about Martian Made Galactic Warming.

  2. Adrian Jones

    And the black circle?

    Is that the hole in the North Pole that provides UFO with access to the hollow centre of the earth?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    lets send a lot of ships up there to spill oil, rubber ducks and other crap as well as spewing out more hydrocarbons. that ought to really help things along nicely.

  4. Liam Johnson


    >>Is that the hole in the North Pole that provides UFO with access to the hollow centre of the earth?

    No silly, those are the holes where the spiky things fit in so you can spin the globe around.

  5. Anton Ivanov

    All sing-along to the tune from All That Jazz




    Bye Bye, Gulfstream Good Bye...

  6. Brian

    @And the black circle?

    That could be caused by the same magnetic interference that caused Megatron to crash land.

  7. Chris Rowson

    Re: And the black circle?

    You know to much Adrian Jones, Report to the Ministry of Defence for 're-education' immediately.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The sky *IS* falling

    Coo - we've been gathering data for a whole (nearly) 30 years - well that's clearly enough to completely understand the cycle of arctic conditions. Still, more fuel to Al's fire will always be welcome.

  9. Stuart

    Holes - bowling

    >>Is that the hole in the North Pole that provides UFO with access to the hollow centre of the earth?

    >No silly, those are the holes where the spiky things fit in so you can spin the globe around.

    You're both wrong - It's one of the finger holes for when God's want to play tenpin bowling

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hole theory.

    You're all's blanking out the USA's super-duper polar military base/nuclear missile silo/rocket lauch pad that we are not supposed to know about - you know, the one serving the orbital nuclear-missile armed space station via an orbital elevator?

    And I've been told it isn't really that cold at the poles - they tell you that to keep you away. I've seen Alien versus Predator and it's so warm at the poles that the actor's breath wasn't even visible!

    Remember - you heard it here first!

  11. Ross Fleming

    El Reg - doing more than I thought possible

    "arctic sea ice fell to the lowest levels observed since we started keeping track almost 30 years ago"

    I didn't know El Reg had been around for 30 years, let alone keeping track of arctic sea ice levels??

  12. Demian Phillips

    Land that time forgot.

    It's simply the government hiding the Land that Time Forgot (the whole south atlantic thing is a lie), since it's only accessible via a dangerous submarine ride. On top of that I bet we have some kind of "The Village" level treaty to not screw with the natives. Better to block it out then have thousands of Germans going there to put towels over the nicer bits.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    El Reg is Mighty

    "I didn't know El Reg had been around for 30 years, let alone keeping track of Arctic sea ice levels??"

    El Reg knows all, it also has been tracking endangered species numbers, the size of Iceland and anything else that may need quoting in an article.

    It employs the dual strategy of paying enough so experts to say they are El Reg staff or kidnapping them for the same effect (in time).

    As for the 30 yrs well El Reg has been around for a lot longer than that, in fact they have always been here, waiting, watching, counting and writing sarcastic articles on anything of global importance alwasy under different names. Some, mysteriously vanished, researchers claim that the Stone Age Cave Paintings were in fact El Reg articles on the DARPA of its times new research proposal for better Spear heads which offered unlimited funding in furs for a viable proposal.

    That you don't know this is a measure of their success, that i do is a measure of my impending El Reg sponsored doom or alternatively a nice "holiday" in the El Reg "Guest Rooms".

    The Vultures Acolytes are not to be underestimated, well not unless you can distract them with free beer and crisps of course.

  14. Dazed and Confused

    Why hasn't Norway claimed it?

    Didn't Roald Amundsen go around this way 104 years ago? Surely on th efirst come first served principle Norway should be entitled to claim it.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why no mention of Wales?

    I thought all articles about ice loss had to give the reduction in "size of Wales" units as well as square kilometres - isn't that an EU requirement?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another mystery revealed

    There is a reason for everything, and I have finally discovered the reason for Lucy.

    Cheers, guys.

  17. JeffyPooh

    Just leap across that black missing data spot?

    The black spots indicate missing data. Someone somewhere is assuming that there is a clear path across the triangle-shaped area of unknown blackness.

  18. Daniel Ballado-Torres

    North Pole

    That black spot would be to hide an ultra-secret site all right: it's Santa's workshop! Show it and then all the naughty kids will know where to go kick some reindeer butt when they don't get anything next Christmas!

  19. pondscum


    All the news services are going on about this, citing AGW as the cause, but they conveniently never mention this fact. The Antarctic ice shelf is the largest it has been in the last 30 years.

    As an aside, Polar Bear numbers are increasing, Greenland is again living up to the name the Vikings gave it, and global mean temperatures are decreasing after their 1998 peak.

    "LAND RIGHTS FOR GAY WHALES" - A division of Greenpeace

  20. Steve Roper

    About the circle... and the Northeast Passage

    Actually that circle is a censorship mark, to hide the indecent exposure of the Top Gear team's private tackle, when they used the portable lavvy on the back of their Toyota during their North Pole race!

    On another note, we've been monitoring and probing the polar passages for much longer than 30 years, or even 100 years. In "Moby-Dick", written in 1851, Herman Melville describes the difficulty of navigating this route:

    "...some whales have been captured far north in the Pacific, in whose bodies have been found the barbs of harpoons darted in the Greenland seas... the interval of time between the two assaults could not have exceeded very many days. Hence, by inference, it has been believed by some whalemen, that the Nor'West Passage, so long a problem to man, was never a problem to the whale."

    Much of the early exploration of America was driven by attempts to find navigable passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Prior to the Panama Canal, the only way to sail around America was either the Northeast Passage (called the Nor'West Passage by Melville), or south via Patagonia and the Straits of Magellan. Both routes were perilous for shipping; the Northeast Passage because of ice floes, Patagonia because of the violent weather and rough seas.

    It's interesting that Canada wants to lay claim to this passage (presumably so they can milk tolls and taxes out of shipping going that way) now that it's opening up. So the US isn't the only bellicose, territory-grabbing nation left on the planet. Well, for once I support the US and UK on this one: it should be declared as international waters, and no greedy money-grubbers should be permitted to charge artificial access fees to free and open sea.

    I'm just sick of it. Every time a new natural benefit everyone can use is discovered, some greedy, exploitative bastard has to try to find a way to STEAL from other people who want to use it. It would be good if we could start hunting down the cretins who think of these things and execute them for crimes against humanity.

  21. P. Kelsay

    @Steve Roper

    Do you really think the US and UK, when calling for for a shipping route to be 'international', will really use anything other than their own twisted definition of the word?

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