Welcome to Lake North Pole

Das Schmelzwasser am Nordpol formt schon seit einigen Jahren regelmäßig ausgedehnte Wasserflächen – hier ein Timelapse-Video von 2012 –, dieses Jahr sind sie allerdings so weit und tief, dass man bereits von einem Lake North Pole spricht. Das Bild stammt von der Nordpol-Webcam des North Pole Environmental Obersvatory. Yay, Future!

In what has now become an annual occurrence, the North Pole's ice has melted, turning the Earth's most northern point into a lake. Call it Lake North Pole. To be clear, the water surrounding the pole is not seawater seeping up from the ocean but melted icewater resting on top of a thinning layer of ice below the surface. "It’s a shallow lake. It’s a cold lake. But it is, actually, a lake," writes William Wolfe-Wylie of Canada.com.

That lake started to form on July 13 during a month of abnormally warm weather — temperatures were 1-3 degrees Celsius higher than average in the Arctic Ocean this month — and has come to stretch a significant distance, though not out of the camera's range. In addition, the water is likely to get worse over the coming week, as an expected Arctic cyclone's strong winds and rain will loosen the ice coverage even further.

The North Pole Has Melted. Again.