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This Summer the Northwest Passage Opens, When the North Pole Melts

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The ice-clogged, impassible North Pole of yesterday is about to melt away this summer, and may be one of the first examples of economic benefit coming from global warming. When the Pole shrinks away, it creates a wide path through the so-called Northwest Passage, a treacherous and icy route between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. With more melting, ships will be able to get from one continent to the next without having to do crazy navigational feats around giant ice sheets. Shipping becomes cheaper and more convenient. And when it becomes a major shipping lane, nations who control the area are sure to get richer.

It's a region that is likely to become contested by Canada and Denmark, who both lay claim to parts of the formerly-useless area. (Some of you may recall the Hans Island territorial struggle between the two nations, which at one point bizarrely became a skirmish over Google adwords.) Also, as the planet heats up, northern regions like Nunavut in Canada may become valuable real estate. So as environmentalists and systems biologists wring their hands over the biosphere beatings, the locals are going to be counting this bit of climate change a financial windfall.

Source: Live Science