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Fastest Disappearing Natural Wonders

The Arctic ice shelf, Greenland

Robbie Shone / Alamy

The Arctic Ice Shelf

Louise Allard, the first Australian woman to make it to the North Pole, in 2006, recalls many perilous fissures of open water and dangerously thin ice along her journey and jokes that if she had waited a few years she could have been the first woman to water-ski to the North Pole. NASA climate scientist Tom Wagner estimates that the Arctic will be ice free in the coming decades—and Arctic nations are banking on it, with people building warm-water ports and oil companies preparing for exploration. There’s even talk about using it as a transportation route.

How to See It Now: Forgo the helicopter shuttle to True North and embark on a nine-day cross-country ski expedition with Icetrek Expeditions.


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