the North Pole can now be circumnavigated (reblogged item)
For the first time in human history, the North Pole can now be circumnavigated. Images gathered by NASA show that the North-west passage opened last weekend and that the last blockage on the north-eastern one – a tongue of ice stretching down to Russia across Siberia's Laptev Sea – dissolved a few days later. Already, shipping companies are looking forward to exploiting the new passageway, with the Beluga Group in Germany announcing that it will sail the north-east passage to Japan next year. "It's very different from in the past when you had a low year and you tended to rebound. We haven't been doing that anymore," says Julienne Stroeve, a research scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Colorado. Of course, some are more immediately effected than others.