12 Sep

The Northwest Passage between the Atlantic and Pacific is becoming more accessible. The sea ice is disappearing fast. This summer it has shrunk to its lowest since measurements began.

Apparently in 1979, the ice covered nearly 14 million square kilometers. This year it measured 4.1 million sq km.

This has one indisputable effect. The Northwest Passage is becoming more accessible, for navigation and exploration.

As is well known, in 1845 Sir John Franklin led a Royal Naval expedition that was to chart northern Canada and attempt to discover a route through the Northwest Passage, the ‘shortcut’ from the East to West. Sir John perished along with the crews of ‘Erebus’ and ‘Terror’ (the names that had been given given by Ross to the two volcanoes on Ross Island in Antarctica). Searches to discover conclusively what happened to the expedition have regularly failed. There is now a traditional annual summer search for the remains of the ships.  At the rate the sea ice is disappearing, the chances of finding them improve each year.

One Response to “ARCTIC ICE”

  1. John millard September 15, 2012 at 12:09 pm #

    The Northwest Passage has always had a romantic fascination for me. Where exactly does come from and go to? Now that the ice is melting there is a chance that we may find Sir John Franklin’s boats the Erabus and the Terror. If all the ice melts the wild life will change and the polar bears will have to move on. Will it be possible to drill for oil? Will there be a trade route between Northern Russia and Canada? Very exciting and the political consequences may be enormous.

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