Thursday, August 23, 2012

The World Changes

How fast is the world changing?  Here's one answer - it's from a site called The Cryosphere Today.  (Everyone needs a vice - mine is climate blogs.)

The left-hand image is ice cover on August 20, 1979 - the first year that satellites measured ice extent.  The right hand image is from August 20 of this year.

I guess we didn't need to get a steel boat after all.

From a navigation standpoint, it's pretty hard to wrap your head around the magnitude of change that has happened over the last three decades.  Look at the Northeast Passage, over the top of Russia - completely impossible in the 70s, and wide open right now.  And the fabled Northwest Passage, through the Canadian Archipelago - also, as far as I can tell from this picture, completely open.  What used to be impossible for a yacht is now commonplace.  I might live long enough to sail my own boat to the North Pole.


  1. As far as I know, commercial shipping (only a few ships, granted, but it's the sharp captains who win) has got through the north west passage for the last three years. I'd love to do that run.
    As for the weather in Europe right now, I guess you know that we seem to have completely lost the Jetstream. Flights from England to Canada are no longer several hours quicker in one direction than the other. Maybe we'll lose the Gulf Stream next... god, nay-sayers would notice that one!

  2. yep, nothing stays the same...