According to “The Cryosphere Today“:
Thursday, August 9, 2007 – New historic sea ice minimum
Today, the Northern Hemisphere sea ice area broke the record for the lowest recorded ice area in recorded history. The new record came a full month before the historic summer minimum typically occurs. There is still a month or more of melt likely this year. It is therefore almost certain that the previous 2005 record will be annihilated by the final 2007 annual minima closer to the end of this summer.
In previous record sea ice minima years, ice area anomalies were confined to certain sectors (N. Atlantic, Beaufort/Bering Sea, etc). The character of 2007′s sea ice melt is unique in that it is dramatic and covers the entire Arctic sector. Atlantic, Pacific and even the central Arctic sectors are showing large negative sea ice area anomalies.
Not much else to say… you can read the rest at the site itself.
The Northwest Passage is open.
But it’s worth noting…. if this trend holds, then those little ice-breaking patrol boats Stephen Harper has promised the military will be all we really need to secure the waters up there, Summer or Winter. Maybe Stephen Harper isn’t being cheap… he’s just freakin’ psychic!!
(Here’s a description from the Canadian American Strategic Review at Simon Fraser University of what what this small ice breakers “should” look like)