An anonymous reader writes "The Northwest Passage, a normally ice-locked shortcut between Europe and Asia, is now passable for the first time in recorded history reports the European Space Agency. Leif Toudal Pedersen from the Danish National Space Centre said in the article: 'We have seen the ice-covered area drop to just around 3 million sq km which is about 1 million sq km less than the previous minima of 2005 and 2006. There has been a reduction of the ice cover over the last 10 years of about 100 000 sq km per year on average, so a drop of 1 million sq km in just one year is extreme.'"
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