WSJ Over the Top Again

The Wall Street Journal has never been a reliable source on climate news, but usually they are among the Polyannas and not the Chicken Littles; the latter group being the ones who make things appear even worse than they actually are.

Here is the WSJ saying:

Images from NASA satellites, stitched together by scientists at the University of Bremen, show that both the Northwest Passage around Canada and Northeast Passage around Russia are simultaneously free of ice for the first time in at least 125,000 years, making it theoretically possible to circumnavigate the North Pole in a ship.

Now how on earth could the “first time in 125,000 years” statement possibly be justified? Sure, it’s likely enough to be true, but this statement definitely deserves a weasel word or two. Perhaps the passages were open during the optimum at 6 KA? Is there any reason to assert they weren’t? Joe Romm has a similar story, but has the sincerity to put a “most likely” in there, which might well be within bounds; I for one can’t say. Romm references The Herald, which has no such qualifier.

It’s odd to see the WSJ out-panicking Climate Progress to say the least.

Is there a substantive basis for this strong assertion?

Update: Some of the expected bickering seems to be happening over at Tamino’s.