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Author Topic: 1975 : Ice on the Alaskan North Slope coast all summer long.  (Read 1754 times)

Niall Dollard

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1975 : Ice on the Alaskan North Slope coast all summer long.
« on: January 24, 2017, 11:50:09 PM »
I find it remarkable now (given the current state of the Arctic sea ice) that the ice was so thick back in the summer of 1975. Regarded as the worst years for many decades from an Arctic navigation point of view. I can't believe this has changed so much in my lifetime.

I came across this account of the navigation difficulties encountered by the Foss tugs endeavouring to make it to Prudhoe Bay.

http://www.mxak.org/community/jeffrey_foss/Pages%20from%20TowBitts_April2013.pdf

The ice at Point Barrow did not yield as 'normal' in early August. It wasn't until Sept 2nd before the first lead opened to allow tugs navigate through the pack ice. It took 2 days to work through the 165 miles of ice clogged waters and make it to Prudhoe.

But all through September the ice never relented and by Sept 28, 6 inches of new ice had formed. They needed the assistance form the coast guard ice breaker to make it through.

budmantis

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Re: 1975 : Ice on the Alaskan North Slope coast all summer long.
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2017, 08:00:58 AM »
Thanks for the perspective Niall. We've come a long ways, (the wrong way!) since then.

Niall Dollard

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Re: 1975 : Ice on the Alaskan North Slope coast all summer long.
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2017, 06:17:31 PM »
True Budmantis.

Using the Sea Ice Atlas link on Neven's Blog page, the year 1975 stands out as a particularly heavy ice year. 100% pack already reaching the coast as early as September.

http://seaiceatlas.snap.uaf.edu/explore#date/1975/09