This Arctic is not Roald Amundsen’s Arctic:
Arctic sea ice reaches its minimum each September. September Arctic sea ice is now declining at a rate of 13.4 percent per decade, relative to the 1981 to 2010 average. This abbreviated video shows the average monthly Arctic sea ice extent in September since 1988, derived from satellite observations. Visit the link in our bio for the full animated time series showing annual Arctic sea ice minimum since 1979. #nasa #nsidc #arctic #seaice #arcticminimum #september #ice #sea #satellite #melt #science #data #evidence #earthrightnow #actonclimate
The ice coating in the Arctic Ocean grows and expands each year, thickening in winter and melting away in summer, when ships can start navigating the freezing waters. But when Amundsen, a Norwegian explorer, traversed the Northwest Passage in the early 1900s, it took three years in a tiny ship to make it through all the ice of the fabled sea route. Now, an increased rate of sea-ice melt in recent decades has created, in the warmest months, conditions for nearly smooth sailing.
Such smooth sailing, in fact, that in August, a Crystal cruise ship will coast through the Northwest Passage in 32 days. Plenty of vessels, mostly research expeditions, have sailed through the passage since 2007, when the route first became more navigable. But none carried an open bar, eight restaurants, and a gym.
(See all Orbital Views here)