While some might not take the issue seriously, global warming is no joke. Earth’s average surface temperature is increasing due to greenhouse gases. During the past 100 years, sea levels rose 17″ after not having changed in the previous 2,000 years. Other consequences of global warming include drought, severe hurricanes, massive fires, and melting of the polar caps. However, there is another aspect of global warming that we might have overlooked. Whether this new discovery is a good or a bad is yet to be determined, but the idea was brought up in local news last week.
With an opening line of “Scientists to debate whether slowing temperature rise is a good or bad sign,” ones sense of intrigue is definitely stimulated. Written by Geoffrey Lean of The London Daily Telegraph, this article summarizes how in 2007, the once ‘impenetrable’ Northwest passage became ‘fully navigable’. He states that before this time, there was no other place on the planet that was as mysterious as the impenetrable Northwest passage and how great a feat it was in 1906 when Roald Amundsen finally conquered it.
How did this happen in 2007? “Arctic sea ice has unexpectedly shrunk to just 4,143,980 square kilometres.” This was apparently a record low that was not supposed to occur until 2050. This made the Arctic and its areas possible to circumnavigate for the first time in “over 125,000 years.”
While these changes do open up the door for new travel, relocation, and discovery opportunities, what does it mean for the Arctic? Humans are now able to travel through places they never thought possible and with that, making things more cost effective and time efficient.
However, what are the long term effects? Food for thought