This week in history – first-ever surfacing of a US nuclear sub at the North Pole

– by Rick Sanders

USS Skate surfaces at North Pole 17 March, 1959

USS Skate – Skate (SSN-578) in Arctic waters

March 17, 1959 the USS Skate became the first submarine to surface at the North Pole. They planted an American Flag in a cairn they built out of ice blocks and put a waterproof container in the cairn with a note commemorating the event.

Somehow, this contradicts the New York Times story, 49 years later. The alert reader will draw his or her own conclusions about global warming.

AUG. 19, 2000: Ages-Old Icecap at North Pole Is Now Liquid, Scientists Find


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.

…”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.

… Dr. McCarthy was a lecturer on a tourist cruise in the Arctic aboard a Russian icebreaker earlier this month. On a similar cruise six years ago, he recalled, the icebreaker plowed through an icecap six to nine feet thick at the North Pole.

…”Some folks who pooh-pooh global warming might wake up if shown that even the pole is beginning to melt at least sometimes, as in the Eocene,” Dr. McKenna [a paleontologist] said.

… Recalling the reaction of passengers when they saw an iceless North Pole, Dr. McCarthy said: ”There was a sense of alarm. Global warming was real, and we were seeing its effects for the first time that far north.”

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