‘Sea ice in the Arctic has sunk to its lowest level since satellite record-keeping began, fully opening the most direct route through the Northwest Passage, the European Space Agency said Friday.
The much-coveted shortcut connecting Asia to Europe through the Canadian Arctic has been historically impassable.
The European Space Agency says sea ice continues to melt year after year, but a drastic drop this year has made the direct route “fully navigable” for the first time since satellite records began in 1978.
“We have seen the ice-covered area drop to just around three million square kilometres,” said Leif Toudal Pederson from the Danish National Space Center.
Over the past decade, he says, a drop of about 100,000 square kilometres per year is the average.
“So a drop of one million square kilometres in just one year is extreme,” said Toudal.’