THE vast Arctic sea ice which spreads across the North Pole could disappear during the summer within a decade or two - or even by 2013 - leading scientists are warning.
The Canadian Coast Guard's strongest icebreaker, the Louis S. St Laurent, took the Herald and an ABC Four Corners crew with a team of scientists going to the Arctic at the beginning of this summer's melt in July to explore the extraordinary changes there first hand.
Only a few years ago, climate modellers predicted the sea ice would not disappear in summer until at least the end of the century.
"Then they said 2070, and then they said 2050 and then they said 2030," said Robie Macdonald, a leading Canadian oceanographer on board the Louis.
"Not only do I see the change, but it's like they're moving the goalposts toward me and it's an amazing thing," he said.
Yes, that is pretty fucking amazing, isn't it? Or is it?
Er, right! This is why arctic sea ice is reported to be around a million square kilometres greater in extent than it was this time last year (see pic below) – nearly 400,000 square miles …
Still, like the plucky little vessel full of oceanographers, the article bravely steams on...
The icebreaker's route took us through thick sea ice at the entrance to the fabled Northwest Passage where over the centuries many navigators perished, most famously Sir John Franklin, a former governor of Tasmania.
Last year the Northwest Passage was virtually ice free for the first time in memory when the Arctic sea ice shrank to its lowest level since satellite observations began.
Well, up to a point, Lord Copper...
So. The North West Passage has never been navigable, except in 1906, 1940, 1944 and 2000.
And, of course, in 2007. So, ignorance or deception on the part of the hack writing this crap? Who knows?
Because, with the writer having made two shitty assertions in the first few paragraphs, I am afraid that I turned back to port, tired of the hysteria and deception.
Meanwhile, the plucky little AGW vessel, with ever more of its crew vanishing, continues to sail into an icy reception..