From the Whiskey Bar:
European scientists voiced shock today as they viewed pictures which showed Arctic ice cover had disappeared so much last month that a ship could sail unhindered from Europe's most northerly outpost to the North Pole . . .Perennial sea ice -- thick ice that is normally present year-round and is not affected by the Arctic summer -- had disappeared over an area bigger than the British Isles, ESA said.Vast patches of ice-free sea stretched north of Svalbard, an archipelago lying midway between Norway and the North Pole, and extended deep into the Russian Arctic all the way to the North Pole, the agency said in a press release.
"This situation is unlike anything observed in previous record low-ice seasons," said Mark Drinkwater of ESA's Oceans/Ice Unit.