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Impassable Northwest Passage Open For First Time In History

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the is-it-warm-in-here-or-is-it-just-me dept.

Science 528

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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Won't be long (5, Funny)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#20619781)

I'm sure the Northwest Passage Cruise Line vacation scam spams will begin soon.

Re:Won't be long (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20619971)

Sorry, Bush already beat you to that with sabre rattling. [canada.com] Nobody "tours" Iraq other than troops, do they?

Re:Won't be long (3, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620259)

I thought Russia owned the whole damn thing.

this is bullshit (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20619801)

A few years ago, while browsing around the library downtown, I
had to take a piss. As I entered the john a big beautiful all-American
football hero type, about twenty-five, came out of one of the booths.
I stood at the urinal looking at him out of the corner of my eye as he
washed his hands. He didn't once look at me. He was "straight" and
married - and in any case I was sure I wouldn't have a chance with
him.

As soon as he left I darted into the booth he'd vacated,
hoping there might be a lingering smell of shit and even a seat still
warm from his sturdy young ass. I found not only the smell but the
shit itself. He'd forgotten to flush. And what a treasure he had left
behind. Three or four beautiful specimens floated in the bowl. It
apparently had been a fairly dry, constipated shit, for all were fat,
stiff, and ruggedly textured. The real prize was a great feast of turd
- a nine inch gastrointestinal triumph as thick as a man's wrist.

I knelt before the bowl, inhaling the rich brown fragrance and
wondered if I should obey the impulse building up inside me. I'd
always been a heavy rimmer and had lapped up more than one little
clump of shit, but that had been just an inevitable part of eating ass
and not an end in itself. Of course I'd had jerk-off fantasies of
devouring great loads of it (what rimmer hasn't), but I had never done
it. Now, here I was, confronted with the most beautiful five-pound
turd I'd ever feasted my eyes on, a sausage fit to star in any fantasy
and one I knew to have been hatched from the asshole of the world's
handsomest young stud.

Why not? I plucked it from the bowl, holding it with both
hands to keep it from breaking. I lifted it to my nose. It smelled
like rich, ripe limburger (horrid, but thrilling), yet had the
consistency of cheddar. What is cheese anyway but milk turning to shit
without the benefit of a digestive tract?

I gave it a lick and found that it tasted better then it
smelled. I've found since then that shit nearly almost does.

I hesitated no longer. I shoved the fucking thing as far into
my mouth as I could get it and sucked on it like a big brown cock,
beating my meat like a madman. I wanted to completely engulf it and
bit off a large chunk, flooding my mouth with the intense, bittersweet
flavor. To my delight I found that while the water in the bowl had
chilled the outside of the turd, it was still warm inside. As I chewed
I discovered that it was filled with hard little bits of something I
soon identified as peanuts. He hadn't chewed them carefully and they'd
passed through his body virtually unchanged. I ate it greedily,
sending lump after peanutty lump sliding scratchily down my throat. My
only regret was the donor of this feast wasn't there to wash it down
with his piss.

I soon reached a terrific climax. I caught my cum in the
cupped palm of my hand and drank it down. Believe me, there is no more
delightful combination of flavors than the hot sweetness of cum with
the rich bitterness of shit.

Afterwards I was sorry that I hadn't made it last longer. But
then I realized that I still had a lot of fun in store for me. There
was still a clutch of virile turds left in the bowl. I tenderly fished
them out, rolled them into my handkerchief, and stashed them in my
briefcase. In the week to come I found all kinds of ways to eat the
shit without bolting it right down. Once eaten it's gone forever
unless you want to filch it third hand out of your own asshole. Not an
unreasonable recourse in moments of desperation or simple boredom.

I stored the turds in the refrigerator when I was not using
them but within a week they were all gone. The last one I held in my
mouth without chewing, letting it slowly dissolve. I had liquid shit
trickling down my throat for nearly four hours. I must have had six
orgasms in the process.

I often think of that lovely young guy dropping solid gold out
of his sweet, pink asshole every day, never knowing what joy it could,
and at least once did, bring to a grateful shiteater.

Re:this is bullshit (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20620247)

dude, that's gross.

Time to buy (5, Funny)

downix (84795) | more than 7 years ago | (#20619837)

that prime waterfront property in Kansas....

Huh. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20619851)

What could cause this?

Re:Huh. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20620267)

IRAQ!

Years of Study: ~30 (3, Informative)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620447)

Well, considering the years of study of the Northwest Passage are in the 30's, I'm sure someone will get a little hyperbolic with their rhetoric.

Cool! (-1, Troll)

Bluesman (104513) | more than 7 years ago | (#20619857)

I'm sure that the global warming hysteria will try to make this look like a bad thing, but it's a real boon to nautical industries like shipping and such. There just aren't that many ways around continents. Having an extra option is great.

Re:Cooler! (eh, ok, perhaps *warmer*...) (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20619893)

it's a real boon to nautical industries like shipping and such. There just aren't that many ways around continents. Having an extra option is great.

 
Plus, those big ships'll have a shorter route on which to belch their nasty so-called "greenhouse gasses" (and will, therefore, not pollute as much!); this could be the best thing to happen to the environment in 30 years!!

Re:Cooler! (eh, ok, perhaps *warmer*...) (0, Offtopic)

Kwirl (877607) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620055)

So just because this guy looks at real-world economic implications of a problem instead of jumping on an 'al gore is right!' bandwagon, the comment was modded to 'troll' - that's some kind of wrong there, somehow.

Re:Cooler! (eh, ok, perhaps *warmer*...) (0, Troll)

Bluesman (104513) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620583)

Eh, you have to expect that. I find it hilarious that the Internet eco-set doesn't seem to know where the technology they use comes from or why it's cheap enough for them to afford.

Re:Cool! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20620039)

Hey, idiot moderators, why is the parent a troll? Because you disagree? I think he's wrong, but that doesn't mean I think he's a troll. What's going on here? You people should be out mowing lawns for an income. Come back and apply for a moderator's position once you've gained some insight and wisdom. And maturity.

Oh, by the way, Ubuntu sucks a big one.

Maybe... (5, Insightful)

Eric Damron (553630) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620081)

Maybe it a troll because there is no -1 "Ignorant enough to kill us all" moderation available?

Re:Maybe... (1)

empaler (130732) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620243)

Try -1 Overrated.

(I'm not saying for or against the moderation, I currently surf at -1 anyway)

Re:Maybe... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20620337)

Bullshit. All the whiner Americans suck a big one too. The fact is this: America will will do anything rather than give up their gluttinous driving of automobiles. Oil for fuel, corn for fuel, horseshit for fuel. Corpses, anything, for fuel as long as they can keep driving their cars.

It's like diamonds. Rare? Bullshit, the world is awash in diamonds. They're only expensive because the criminal cartel DeBeers falsifies the market. Cars are the same way, only it's a psychological market. Americans think a certain car says "something" about them. How can anything made in such quantities as are cars say anything about anybody? Sure Mr. Big Shot, you've got a BMW 750, but so do a lot of twenty year old drug dealers. Cars are little more than Dixie Cups with an inflated price tag. The problem is that America has to re-invent itself for change to happen. We, unlike the rest of the world, can do this if we need to (and we do) but it's not going to happen as long as whiner Americans get their self image from their cars. And it's not going to happen as long as our President's oil cronies control what he does. My son is too young to die for them and their SUVs, but there are already several thousand who weren't so lucky.

America will pull back right at the brink. We (unlike the rest of the world) can do this because we still don't know who we are; the founding fathers were smarter than anybody we've put into the Whitehouse so far, and that makes it difficult to know where it is that They knew we should go. But we'll do it, I think. Right now, America has its head up its ass, but the founders knew where we should go and we'll get there. That's why, as fucked up as we are right now, people are still willing to die for a chance to live here.

Re:Maybe... (0, Offtopic)

ravenshrike (808508) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620497)

Congrats, you've just described every fucking human on the face of the bloody planet. How does it feel to take home the title of Captain Fucking Obvious. We're all ignorant enough to qualify for that, and if you think otherwise you're a deluded, small-minded idiot.

Re:Cool! (1)

Doppler00 (534739) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620489)

Yeah, just think about how much fuel ships will save being able to take this route as a shortcut. Not only that, the quality and grade of fuel most of cargo ships use is pretty bad.

Roald Amundsen (5, Informative)

imaginaryelf (862886) | more than 7 years ago | (#20619863)

The Northwest passage was first traversed in 1903 by that famous Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen. This was no small feat given the technology available at the turn of the century.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roald_Amundsen [wikipedia.org]

Winston Smith (1)

Nymz (905908) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620187)

Thanks for reporting that untruth, Winston will fix that once he returns. - Ministry of Global Warming

Re:Roald Amundsen (1)

empaler (130732) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620281)

AFAIR, in the new Transformers movie, there's an obscure reference to him; at some point, when the innertubes of the Pentagon are being scanned, you see the name "Archibald Witwicky Amundsen" on a small monitor for a moment. Made me smile :)

Impassable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20619871)

You mean impossible.

Alice

Re:Impassable (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620089)

You mean impossible.

Alice
No, Alice, they mean "impassible". It's a real word, it means something other than "impossible." Look it up.

Re:Impassable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20620123)

Me fail English? That's implaussable!

Re:Impassable (1)

jaypolka (1101133) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620321)

No, Alice, they mean "impassible". It's a real word, it means something other than "impossible." Look it up.
Yes, originally the tiny door had a manic depressive personality but the editors had it changed because they didn't want to frighten the children.

Damn you Stan Rogers... (1)

JshWright (931399) | more than 7 years ago | (#20619873)

So does this mean they'll be able to find Franklin's hand?

~JW

Excellent (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20619877)

Now ships can transport manufactured goods from Asia at much cheaper prices.

Global Warming actually has some upsides after all.

Snowball effect (1)

Zapped.Info (1113711) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620403)

Interesting: if manufactured goods can be transported easier, then it would only seem logical that consumption will increase: Thereby increasing demand and thus manufacturing. Obviously more manufacturing will actually lead to more global warming. I'm curious about what may be frozen deep in the coldest ice and what it will be when thawed onto the conciousness of mankind. I think it's funny to think that mankind is the conductor of the orchestra: More than likely we are baton the conductor uses to keep time. An agenda is at hand, far greater and more complex than could ever be imagined or concieved by the conscious minds of men, but in our dreams some of us are given clues, which we attempt to grasp while waking, only to discover we are reaching to grab smoke from a fire that is not constrained by the concepts of time and space and unbenownst to us we are the stewards of that fire: It is our free will that fuels it. If one had super-perfect foresight, then one might see that what the doomsayers preach as our destruction, could very well be our salvation. Perhaps all this warming is in preparation for the cold. Fear is the strongest/greatest motivator of the masses. The mantra for today seems to be "think globally." The mantra should be, "Think for yourself."

A non-passable passage? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20619895)

If its never been passable before why was it called a passage?

Re:A non-passable passage? (2, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#20619995)

Because trying to get through it is a rite of passage for any competent explorer.

Re:A non-passable passage? (1, Interesting)

jadavis (473492) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620085)

If its never been passable before why was it called a passage?

It seems as though the article defines "history" to be the last 30 years, since we've had satellites monitoring it. Doesn't seem nearly as amazing to me. I'm sure the people who published the article knew that they were being deceptive at the time (even if they are technically correct), but real headlines don't cause the hysteria they are seeking.

Re:A non-passable passage? (3, Informative)

PopeJM (956574) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620093)

If its never been passable before why was it called a passage?
The early European explorers and their governments knew the importance of being the first one to find a Northwest passage if one existed. They didn't know for sure if one did exist. It's like talking about a Western route to the Indies when there isn't a direct path from Europe.

Re:A non-passable passage? (2, Informative)

Romancer (19668) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620159)

Here: http://www.marine.fm/en/NWP1.htm [marine.fm]

Not too sure if it's the same exact route but it's been traveled as far back as 1903.

MOD PARENT UP (0)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620249)

He just put TFA in perspective. And with documented facts, no less.

Not quite the same (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620599)

It took him 3 years AND they had their ships frozen in ice for a good chunk of that. In this case, this passage is open without having ships frozen in the ice. Big difference.

Re:A non-passable passage? (1)

hasbeard (982620) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620523)

Errr, positive thinking?

Answered in a song (1)

Charles Dodgeson (248492) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620553)

See the lyrics to the Stan Rogers song Northwest Passage [lyricsdownload.com]

Poor Norwegians (0, Redundant)

Nymz (905908) | more than 7 years ago | (#20619905)

Perhaps one day someone will travel to Norway and discover... Norway, thus making history. Roald Amundsen [wikipedia.org]

Re:Poor Norwegians (1)

wdr1 (31310) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620393)

Forget about Norway -- more like Snoreway!

Come to Kenya [weebls-stuff.com] , they got lions!

-Bill

Poorly worded (1)

richdun (672214) | more than 7 years ago | (#20619907)

...shortcut between Europe and Asia...

A shortcut between Europe and Asia? How long will this shortcut reduce the time it takes to cross between these neighboring continents?

Yes, yes, I know, there is a great historical importance to the Northwest Passage, as the pursuit of it led to Western explorers crossing the Atlantic (more frequently than the random exile), but a bit of specificity here could go a long way - like, perhaps, a shortcut between western Europe and southeast Asia (although, I'd think the Suez still provides a much shorter route for most trips).

Re:Poorly worded (4, Insightful)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620005)

Seriously, you have noticed that the world isn't flat haven't you? When planes fly they go north because that creates the shortest route (the grand circle) hence the reason that when flying to Asia the planes often go from Europe straight over the north pole. In terms of mileage this is a massive change (think multiples not percentages) over the existing routes and is the reason why the EU and US are already pushing for it to be an international (rather than Canadian) trade route.

So yes it looks similar on Google maps, but it looks completely different on Google Earth.

Re:Poorly worded (4, Interesting)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620457)

So yes it looks similar on Google maps, but it looks completely different on Google Earth.

Try Bucky Fuller's Dymaxion map [bfi.org] for an interesting view of the world...

Re:Poorly worded (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620135)

Europe and Africa makes heavy use of Panama canal for items coming from eastern china, russia. Now, they can send it over America/Canada and not have to pay the price, in particular, the canal currently only allows small ships through it.

first time in 30 years (0)

Gresyth (1103851) | more than 7 years ago | (#20619909)

The passage has only been tracked like this for the last 30 years. I think history goes back a tiny bit further than 30 years, especially since I am older than that.

30 years is fiction (1, Flamebait)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 7 years ago | (#20619949)

The TRUTH is that God created everything, 6000 seconds ago. Including what you think are your personal memories of times before that.

You can not disprove this fact.

Re:30 years is fiction (1)

bvimo (780026) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620083)

>You can not disprove this fact.

I can, because I am God.

You can't prove THAT (1, Offtopic)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620229)

You said I am God.

I don't think so.

God and I were having bacon cheese burgers at Hooters the other day, and He told me He doesn't have a Slashdot account. Why would He lie to me?

Then I told him a ribald joke that He hadn't heard before, and he snorted milkshake out his nose.

Re:30 years is fiction (1)

chrispatch (578882) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620369)

I am god, you are god, all that groks is god.

Re:30 years is fiction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20620155)

Carbon dating? :-D

Re:first time in 30 years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20620037)

Not to be pedantic but by definition history only goes back as far as you record it. OK, that was pretty damn pedantic.

Lies, Damned Lies, & Statistics (2, Funny)

Nymz (905908) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620043)

I think history goes back a tiny bit further than 30 years, especially since I am older than that.
But evidence of Global Warming doesn't.

Re:Lies, Damned Lies, & Statistics (1)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620113)

Correct, it does not. Cycles of warming and cooling independant of man's actions are in evidence.

Confusing, we need better descriptors (1)

Nymz (905908) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620275)

Correct, it does not. Cycles of warming and cooling independant of man's actions are in evidence.
It seems like everyone is saying the same words, but meaning different things. So to clarify 'independant of man's actions' would be Non-Anthroprogenic Global Warming, and not Al-Gore Global Warming, right?

Re:first time in 30 years (1)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620139)

I guess you are a prehistoric old fossil

Re:first time in 30 years (1)

wzzzzrd (886091) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620181)

i second that. but there's no stand against the global-warming-lobby. you can tell them a thousand times (for example) that polar bears can easily survive 10C (average temperature/ year), i mean they did in the past as their land was green and free of ice. and they do now, like knut does.

but no, they spread their fud around the world. google for "the great global warming swindle".

one point strikes me, and that's why i have an opinion on that. this global warming bullshit kills Africa and the rest of the developing world.

Re:first time in 30 years (1)

Climate Shill (1039098) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620441)

one point strikes me, and that's why i have an opinion on that. this global warming bullshit kills Africa and the rest of the developing world.

My God, man ! Didn't you get the memo ? This week is a "global warming is a left wing conspiracy to give all of our wealth the the Third World" week !

Re:first time in 30 years (1)

ravenshrike (808508) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620545)

It's an unintended consequence. My God, man! Didn't you ever play Half Life?

Holy Hyperbole (1, Informative)

wdr1 (31310) | more than 7 years ago | (#20619923)

...is now passable for the first time in recorded history...

Wherein "recorded history" is 30 years?

Shit, all this time I was hoping someone else was making backups of recorded history. Guess not.

-Bill

OSS in trouble (4, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#20619945)

Where is Linux gonna get a new mascot when their home is gone?

-1 wrong pole

       

Re:OSS in trouble (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620015)

-1 wrong pole

Well things are warming up in Antarctica as well. Fortunately penguins don't actually need ice, we have lots of them [wikipedia.org] here in Victoria.

whoa. (2, Funny)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 7 years ago | (#20619955)

all this global warming, freak weather and now the northwest passage is open? I'm losing my faith in coincidences here...

And yet (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20619991)

the neo-cons will say that the planet is not warming up. They will also point to a few glaciers that are growing, and discount the nearly 95% of the glaciers that have shrunk.

Re:And yet (2, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620169)

It might be a good idea to get your facts straight before commenting.

Yes, some glaciers are shrinking. But some that have been CLAIMED to be shrinking have actually been growing. And other glaciers are growing, as well.

Yes, the earth has been warming. But it has been warming pretty steadily for the last 6,000 years, and it has been warmer in the past -- even during recorded history -- than it is now. And even though it is getting warmer, there is actually very little evidence that WE have been causing it.

So it might be a good idea to brace for warmer weather, but there is little cause for alarm. In the past warmer weather has meant higher rainfall, lusher crops, and you might even see more rainforest.

You need to get your fact correct (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20620539)

The blue is growing. White is neutral. All else is shrinking. Notice the LARGE amount of Brown. [wikipedia.org] Just out of curiosity, what has been CLAIMED to be shrinking, but is growing? And do you have some real links, say science mag?

As to you saying that there is little cause for alarm, I would like some links from those in the know. Or are you just BSing like many others here?

Maybe, maybe not (2, Interesting)

Jerry (6400) | more than 7 years ago | (#20619993)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zheng_He [wikipedia.org]

"Former submarine commander Gavin Menzies in his book 1421: The Year China Discovered the World claims that several parts of Zheng's fleet explored virtually the entire globe, discovering West Africa, North and South America, Greenland, Iceland, Antarctica and Australia (except visiting Europe). Menzies also claimed that Zheng's wooden fleet passed the Arctic Ocean. However none of the citations in 1421 are from Chinese sources and scholars in China do not share Menzies's assertions."

Re:Maybe, maybe not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20620111)

Not that that would even matter. North and probably South America were discovered well before 1421. Technically, the "Native" Americans discovered it first since they migrated to this place. Then you've got the Vikings and other Nordish type persons who actually left remains. I guess if we discounted all that Zheng may have discovered the world. Let's face it, trying to pinpoint who was first to discover a place is impossible. It's like trying to identify who invented the wheel.

Arctic minimum, antarctic maximum (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20620009)

See http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/ [uiuc.edu] for the details.
Swings and roundabouts.

Re:Arctic minimum, antarctic maximum (4, Interesting)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620189)

That posting is the interesting, I useful fact to carry around.
I'm still a global warming sceptic. I'm all for reducing carbon emissions and the like. I'm just not totally convinved the weather patterns and carbon emissions are intertwined as some of the figures look.

Correlation is not causation.

Hotter summers, cooler winters = climate change (1)

Via_Patrino (702161) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620213)

Hotter summers, cooler winters = climate change

Seriously, the Antartic is cooler because southern hemisphere areas over the tropics are hotter than usual, so cooler air masses from Antartic can't go trough them and accumulate down south.

Far less sensational headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20620013)

it's open for the first time that we have noticed in the past 150 years.

barely a fart in the scope of time but hey it sounds like a long time to the uneducated.

Yawn, we have far more important shit to be working on than wasting time on this global warming crap.

Call me when we cured aids, cancer, and world hunger... THEN I'll care about global warming.

Polar map. (1)

Climate Shill (1039098) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620079)

For anyone not intimately familiar with the geography of the Arctic, here's a map [utexas.edu] in roughly the same orientation as the article's picture.

Makes me want to go there... (1, Troll)

Kjella (173770) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620087)

...just so I can tell my grandkids (ok since this is slashdot, someone else's grandkids): "Yep, I was there. Just miles and miles of ice as far as the eye can see, all floating on water. 'course it's gone now, all melted away because of global warming - I hear the US just recently acknowledged it might be a possibility too."

Ah... the carbon cycle at work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20620095)

With this route open ship routes between certain points become competitive with air routes again. The ships travel less, some planes don't fly at all, CO2 output goes way down, global warming is reduced... causing it to freeze up again.

Oh gnoes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20620115)

Its teh global warming!!!!!!!!!!11111111oneoneoneone

Sovreignity rights (4, Insightful)

Aeron65432 (805385) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620133)

Let the battle begin......Canada has already asserted complete rights to the passage, Russia and the United States want it to be international waters. It matters because this passage is incredibly lucrative for the months of the year it's open.

Try Again (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620221)

You are not talking about the same thing. THIS route is not "incredibly lucrative" at all, because it has not normally been traversable. Therefore, it was NOT a commercial route. But it might become one.

Re:Try Again (1)

BearRanger (945122) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620407)

Try "potentially lucrative" then.

If you have a load of goods to ship from Asia to Europe, would you rather package it on a relatively small ship that can fit through the Panama canal and pay the canal fees, or would you load it on a much larger freighter and send it through the Northwest Passage?

That's why the sovereignty rights matter. If Canada can assert its rights to this Arctic route they can charge whatever the market will bear. Given the relative (potential) cost savings I'd think they could charge a lot.

Re:Try Again (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620469)

Yeah, just listen to the Libertarian Mercantilists cheering the economic opportunities this opens up.

Re:Sovreignity rights (1)

phobos13013 (813040) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620383)

No, not complete rights over the whole passage; just to parts of the passage that extend into their navigable waterways. In some portions the only passable portions may be in their waterways, but not the whole passage in it's entirety. Anyway, over time, as more ice recedes, soon the entire passage will be navigable.

However, no one should be surprised about all this... It's been slowly becoming easier to make the passage over time. [bbc.co.uk]

Misleading info on Polar Bears (0, Flamebait)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620165)

Polar bears were not mentioned in the linked source but multiple radio reports I heard on this referenced a threat to polar bears.

This is assinine given that in the past 30 years the worldwide population of polar bears has climbed 500%. Just don't tell any members of the Church of Global Warming.

Re:Misleading info on Polar Bears (1)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620349)

Citation Please.

Re:Misleading info on Polar Bears (1)

MutantEnemy (545783) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620357)

The destruction of the habitat of polar bears is an event predicted for the future. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance.

Your argument is like saying that humanity has nothing to worry about, since our population has increased 300% in 80 years (source [wikipedia.org] ).

Re:Misleading info on Polar Bears (3, Interesting)

BearRanger (945122) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620483)

This is so wrong I don't know where to begin.

Polar bears have historically required pack ice to breed and hunt. As the ice melts more and more bears drown. Their numbers are in decline. Officially they're listed as vulnerable, but I believe later this year that status will be downgraded to endangered. Hopefully they'll be able to adapt their behavior to the new, warmer conditions of the arctic. But I wouldn't expect that.

There's plenty of scientific research on this subject. Granted, Wikipedia isn't the best reference. But it will give you pointers to look further: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polar_bear [wikipedia.org]

Re:Misleading info on Polar Bears (3, Informative)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620567)

Yes, and if you read it, you will see that since the 1970s the population has risen from 5k to 25k. This during a period of alleged global warming. Their numbers are not in decline.

The planet warms up. The planet cools down... (1, Insightful)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620191)

It's happened before, why wouldn't it happen again? Ever hear of an "ice age"? How did they end? How about all those nice fern-filled steamy renderings of the age of dinosaurs? Did dinosaurs make the climate turn cold by eating and farting too much?

Everyone thinks that "global warming" is a political thing. That's not the case. The "politics" is about whether you think humans have much to do with it.

While it is popular, in some circles, to say people are contributing to global warming in a meaningful way, the science [earthtimes.org] is still out, and in many cases pointing towards a "shit happens" point of view, if it turns out badly for people.

Personally, I strongly believe in the "shit happens" model of the universe. In the cosmic scheme of things it doesn't matter one wit if a big rock wipes out all life on this planet tomorrow. A lot of people can't handle that idea.

Re:The planet warms up. The planet cools down... (1)

Thanatopsis (29786) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620231)

Wow - Science by press release. It must be true. You link to a PR News wire story authored a known right wing think tank. The "study" they did wasn't even a literature review. It simply didn't state the type of disagreement they were counting which are often minor details. You then spun this into "The jury is still out on global warming." In the words of Bugs Bunny, "What a maroon".

Re:The planet warms up. The planet cools down... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20620329)

The poster didn't say the jury was out on global warming - just the part about "human contribution" to global warming.

The science shows the planet has gone through numerous cooling / warming cycles before people were even a gleam in Gods eye.

Re:The planet warms up. The planet cools down... (1)

MutantEnemy (545783) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620475)

While it is popular, in some circles, to say people are contributing to global warming in a meaningful way, the science is still out, and in many cases pointing towards a "shit happens" point of view, if it turns out badly for people.

If the science is "still out" then why is the press release you link to called "Challenge to Scientific Consensus on Global Warming" (emphasis mine)?

In the cosmic scheme of things it doesn't matter one wit if a big rock wipes out all life on this planet tomorrow.

Great attitude. It matters to me, and even in the "cosmic scheme of things" I should think the annihilation of an entire civilisation is a fairly major event.

It probably doesn't help... (1)

Franklin Brauner (1034220) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620233)

...that ice breakers keep checking out the passability of the ice, and busting big swaths of it up.

Big Deal (0, Flamebait)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620251)

I get all of my global warming news from the Drudge Report, so I know for a fact that global warming is a liberal conspiracy created by pencil-necks like Al Gore for their own financial gain. Hell, there was a record snowfall somewhere in the US just last winter!

La la la (1)

Error27 (100234) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620263)

I can't hear you. La la la. Are you from some foreign country because I can't understand what you are saying.

PS. The climate is not changing. Please go about your business people.

So ... (1)

John Jorsett (171560) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620313)

... naming it "The Northwest Passage" was incredible foresight?

Re:So ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20620435)

Explorers spent many, many years looking for a "Northwest Passage". This is the closest route there was, only thing is you had to chop your way through ice much of the way to do it. But not anymore -- the (comparatively) thin ice has turned to no ice at all.

Science is a homosexual plot (2, Funny)

gelfling (6534) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620341)

To turn your virgin children into islamofascists. I'm sure I saw this on Fox. No no no a thousand times no. If Global Warming were caused by man God would have given us gills.

Re:Science is a homosexual plot (1)

Tatisimo (1061320) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620479)

If Global Warming were caused by man God would have given us gills.

Glad to see people are finally realizing that gilled people shall inherit the Earth soon. And to them, an underwater world is an advantage. People with lungs suck, anyway.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=nHJpTdtagBY [youtube.com]

An obvious response. (1)

Lethyos (408045) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620453)

We should keep denying climate change!

Extreme? (2)

ravenshrike (808508) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620467)

Humanity has been truly recording history for how long? And has been trying to get through the NW Passage for how little a time compared to that? And has been able to actually measure the ice differential for even shorter than that? It's only remotely extreme with such a small geologic data set. It amazes me how people automatically characterize conditions they haven't seen before as extreme.

no global warming! (1)

datapharmer (1099455) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620591)

It's not global warming, it's intelligent defrosting. Oh, and in Soviet Russia the Northwest Passage melts YOU!
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