There's a new island on the globe. For the first time in human history the North Pole has become an island. It is now possible to sail around the Arctic ice cap.
While those concerned with global warming are more alarmed about the consquences that could be in the future from this development there are some that are happy about it. Shipping companies will now be able to cut thousands of miles off of their routes by using the North-West and North-East Passages.
The opening has researchers fearing that the Arctic icecap is in a death spiral.
Pictures produced by NASA show that this is the first time since man has walked the planet that the passages have been open at the same time.
Warns Professor Serreze, of the U.S. government-funded National Snow and Ice Data Center this is the historic event will not be the last one.
What is bad news to those concerned with climate change is great news to shipping companies. The Beluga group, based in Bremen, Germany, already has plans to send a ship through the North-East passage next year. The trip through the passage will cut 4,000 nautical miles from Germany to Japan.
Many scientists specilate that by 2030 the mass of ice circling the North Pole will be a thing of the past. Others believe that the de-icing could come in as short as five years.
Four weeks ago Baffin Island's Auyuittuq National Park was flooded by thawing glaciers.
The park's name means 'land that never melts'.