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North Pole News

On the 25th of August 1960, the nuclear attack submarine, USS Seadragon (SSN-584) surfaced in an open lake of water or "polynya" very near the North Pole. We were the fourth submarine in history to have reached the top of the world!....

Jon Daly pointed out at length that The Top of the World often has ice free areas.

Heading North! Traveling the Arctic Region, U.S. Submarines Find Adventure, New Challenges, and New Friends
USS Honolulu (SSN-718) is the 24th Los Angeles-class submarine to surface at the North Pole....

19 mins, -1.8C: the first swim at the North Pole - Times Online
Mr Pugh, a maritime lawyer and environmental campaigner from London, swam a kilometre (.62 miles) at the Geographic North Pole to highlight the effects of global warming. At -1.8C (28.76F), it is believed to be the coldest water a human has ever swum in.
Clad only in his Speedo trunks, cap and goggles as required by the rules of the Channel Swimming Association – which also forbid any buoyancy aids, swimming caps that offer any thermal protection or trunks cut above crotch level – Mr Pugh spent just under 19 agonising minutes in the melted sea ice navigating a path in a crack between broken floes.
The feat would not have been possible ten years ago, when the water was entirely frozen over, even in summer.

North Pole Environmental Observatory
The comparison of open water at the Pole to an ice-free Arctic Ocean is something of an exaggeration. Typically the areal concentration of open water in the ice pack during the summer is 10%. Therefore, under normal conditions a visitor to the North Pole in late summer should expect to find some open water approximately one time out of ten. The National Snow and Ice Data Center posted satellite imagery from July 26, 2000, and although the region near the North Pole was obscured by thick clouds, a fairly typical summer pattern of jumbled ice floes and frequent leads of open water is evident in the central Arctic Ocean. Among the historical anecdotes related to us about open water at the Pole is the surfacing of USS Queenfish(SSN 651) during summer 1970 through a polynya a few hundred yards across about 500 yards from the North Pole....

Hat tip The Bishop


-1.9 in speedos? That's the only crack he'll navigate for a while.

So there really could be a "Northwest Passage!" Someone go tell Lord Franklin!

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