Except now, it's not. For the first time in recorded history, the Northwest Passage across northern Canada is open and passable. The European Space Agency has mosaic photos showing the Arctic ice pack and the ice shrinkage, as well as the passage itself through McClure Strait.
I can't help feeling like we are in the "oops" phase - to be followed shortly by the "oh, shit!" phase and then further by "say goodnight to the nice planet, folks!" Fun times.