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kineneb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-14-07 07:28 PM
Original message
The Northwest Passage is open
The ghosts of the Cabots, Frobisher, Hudson and Franklin are watching.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6995999.stm

Ice loss opens Northwest Passage

The most direct route through the Northwest Passage has opened up fully for the first time since records began, the European Space Agency (Esa) says.
Historically, the passage that links the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans through the Canadian Arctic has been ice-bound.
But the agency says ice cover has been steadily shrinking, and this year's drop has made the passage navigable.
The findings - based on satellite images - have raised concerns about the speed of global warming.
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Whoa_Nelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-14-07 07:30 PM
Response to Original message
1. This is so not good
Edited on Fri Sep-14-07 07:42 PM by Whoa_Nelly
Damn

on edit:

Original passage routes




1. Typical Northwest Passage Route (Black)
2. Roald Amunsden: First navigation by ship (White)
3. St Roch: First West-East crossing (Green)
4. St Roch: Northern deep water route
5. Franklin Expedition: Attempt (Dark Red)
6. Sir William Edward Parry: Attempt (Purple)
7. Robert McClure: Proved route existed (Orange)



What is looks like now:


Envisat ASAR image of the McClure Strait in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, acquired on 31 August 2007. The McClure Strait is the most direct route of the Northwest Passage and has been fully open since early August 2007. The dark gray colour represents the ice-free areas while green represents areas with sea ice. (Credit: ESA)



This photo, released by the European Space Agency (ESA), shows an Envisat ASAR mosaic of images of the Arctic Ocean for early September 2007, clearly showing the most direct route of the Northwest Passage open (orange line) and the Northeast passage only partially blocked (blue line).
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valerief Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-14-07 07:34 PM
Response to Original message
2. I wonder what kind of organisms are getting unfrozen and what
effect this may have on us.
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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-14-07 07:43 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. We'll surely find out during flu season.
:scared:
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Whoa_Nelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-14-07 07:43 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. Watched a show last week about the animals and other life that depends on the ice
and this is going to bring to an end the lives of many.
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demobabe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-14-07 07:37 PM
Response to Original message
3. Read about this in a thread a week or two ago
Even worse the article said the Russian passage (forget the correct name for it) could open up within a month!

I'm officially scared.

The oceans die, we die. They put off over 60% of the earth's oxygen... if the ice keeps melting, Methane gas will be released (a lot)...

I've officially been focusing my activism time towards fighting global warming... I'd really prefer not to be wiped out by this impending disaster.
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kineneb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-14-07 07:41 PM
Response to Original message
4. Northwest Passage, by Stan Rodgers
Being a musician, this song was running through my head while listening to the BBC report.


Northwest Passage

Chorus:

Ah, for just one time I would take the Northwest Passage
To find the hand of Franklin reaching for the Beaufort Sea;
Tracing one warm line through a land so wild and savage
And make a Northwest Passage to the sea.

Westward from the Davis Strait 'tis there 'twas said to lie
The sea route to the Orient for which so many died;
Seeking gold and glory, leaving weathered, broken bones
And a long-forgotten lonely cairn of stones.

Three centuries thereafter, I take passage overland
In the footsteps of brave Kelso, where his "sea of flowers" began
Watching cities rise before me, then behind me sink again
This tardiest explorer, driving hard across the plain.

And through the night, behind the wheel, the mileage clicking west
I think upon Mackenzie, David Thompson and the rest
Who cracked the mountain ramparts and did show a path for me
To race the roaring Fraser to the sea.

How then am I so different from the first men through this way?
Like them, I left a settled life, I threw it all away.
To seek a Northwest Passage at the call of many men
To find there but the road back home again.

Unpublished additional verse:

And if should be I come again to loved ones left at home,
Put the journals on the mantle, shake the frost out of my bones,
Making memories of the passage, only memories after all,
And hardships there the hardest to recall.

-- Stan Rogers
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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-14-07 07:42 PM
Response to Original message
5. This is why we need Al Gore in the big seat
It's going to hurt...but we are going to have to make some changes fast. ONLY the President working with Congress can ORDER those changes. And yes, I said ORDER. With things moving this fast, I think the voluntary stage is over.
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