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article imageThe North Pole Ice-Free For The First Time

By Sheba     Jun 27, 2008 in Environment
For the first time in human history the North Pole could be ice-free this Summer, making it possible for ships to sail over the top of the world.
Live Science reporting on an article it found in The Independent, a London based newspaper, says this will be a first in human history. Thanks to global warming the ice at the pole has been steadily thinning year after year.
Last summer saw a record melt of Arctic sea ice, which shrank to more than 30 percent below its average. Around the peak of the melt, in September, air temperatures over land in the western Arctic from August to October were more than 4 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius) above the 1978-2006 average.
Studies done in recent years have predicted an ice-free North Pole within decades. Scientists have also indicated that this will threaten permafrost in continental soil elsewhere above the Arctic Circle causing a domino effect. This rapid melting of sea ice can cause widespread changes that will affect the entire Arctic region according to Andrew Slater, of the National Snow and Ice Data Center.
There is no land at the North Pole. As far as human history can look back, there has always been solid ice there all year round. Scientists have been watching this ice melt year after year with each winter freeze providing just a thinner pack of ice, this year's could melt completely.
"The issue is that, for the first time that I am aware of, the North Pole is covered with extensive first-year ice," Serreze is quoted by The Independent. "I'd say it's even-odds whether the North Pole melts out."
Already, Russia along with other countries with interest in the region are bickering over who has rights to the resources, including potential oil reserves.
I just wonder what this means for the rest of the planet and the environment. It can't be good. I think the domino effect started a long, long time ago and what's happening and what's to come is only inevitable.
More about Global warming, North pole, Ice
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