The most direct shipping route from Europe to Asia is fully clear of ice for the first time since records began, the European Space Agency (Esa) says.
Historically, the Northwest Passage linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans has been ice-bound through the year.
But the agency says ice cover has been steadily shrinking, and this summer's reduction has made the route navigable.
The findings, based on satellite images, raised concerns about the speed of global warming.
Fuck me! Global warming must be happening—we're all going to fucking die! I mean, they must have been monitoring that Northwest Passage for fucking ages, eh?
The Northwest Passage is one of the most fabled sea routes in the world - a short cut from Europe to Asia through the Canadian Arctic.
Recent years have seen a marked shrinkage in its ice cover, but this year it was extreme, Esa says.
It says this made the passage "fully navigable" for the first time since monitoring began in 1978.
Oh, only since 1978. Oh dear, that's not very long at all, is it? I mean, I hear that the summer of 1976 was pretty hot: do we know that the Passage wasn't open then?
In fact, since solar output has been measured as increasing from much the same sort of time, and icesheets of that bulk do take some time to melt, I'm not actually immensely surprised.
Do remember, though: the Beeb has no line on climate change...
UPDATE: there's more on this massive pile of alarmist wank from FreeBorn John. Go read...