The North Pole is melting.

The thick ice that has for ages covered the Arctic Ocean at the pole has turned to water, recent visitors there reported yesterday. At least for the time being, an ice-free patch of ocean about a mile wide has opened at the very top of the world, something that has presumably never before been seen by humans and is more evidence that global warming may be real and already affecting climate.

The last time scientists can be certain the pole was awash in water was more than 50 million years ago.

“It was totally unexpected,” said Dr. James J. McCarthy, an oceanographer, director of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University and the co-leader of a group working for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which is sponsored by the United Nations. The panel is studying the potential environmental and economic consequences of marked climate change.

Source: The New York Times

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