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When will "small vessels" first be able to traverse the Northwest Passage in 2019?

July 1 -15
3 (3.7%)
July 16 - 31
16 (19.8%)
August 1 -15
14 (17.3%)
August 16 - 31
29 (35.8%)
September 1 - 15
15 (18.5%)
September 16 -30
1 (1.2%)
Extremely late in the season
0 (0%)
No way Jose!
3 (3.7%)

Total Members Voted: 79

Voting closed: July 15, 2019, 11:11:52 AM

Author Topic: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019?  (Read 5497 times)

Jim Hunt

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When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019?
« on: June 16, 2019, 11:09:30 AM »
Here are the alternative routes:



Here is the current state of play along "Amundsen's Route" (route 4):



"Small vessels" usually take routes 5 or 6 in this day and age.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2019, 11:28:39 AM by Jim Hunt »
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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019?
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2019, 11:15:15 AM »
  yay .. I've got 50% of the vote ! :) b.c.

 more seriously , I opted for early September as I feel the garlic press may be busy for some weeks before the 'all clear' is posted . It may well be the last ice in the arctic by then ...
« Last Edit: June 16, 2019, 11:27:24 AM by be cause »
2007 + 5 = 2012 + 4 = 2016 + 3 = 2019 ...

Jim Hunt

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019?
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2019, 11:20:14 AM »
The link is now broken, but once upon a time there was a Canadian Ice Service document that stated their definition of "open" to be <= 6/10 concentration along the entire route.

I'll see if I can track it down again.
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b_lumenkraft

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019?
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2019, 11:33:47 AM »
My bet is on route 1, July 15 - 31.

oren

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019?
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2019, 11:54:58 AM »
Clueless, but went for Aug 15th-31st. At least I'm with the majority!

Stephan

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019?
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2019, 02:27:51 PM »
Route #7 should be open late August 2019 - that is my guess

b_lumenkraft

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019?
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2019, 02:53:12 PM »
Clueless, but went for Aug 15th-31st. At least I'm with the majority!

Chose a route Oren, B.C., Jim.  :D

johnm33

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019?
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2019, 02:58:43 PM »
"My bet is on route 1, July 15 - 31."
snap, ever the pessimist

oren

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019?
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2019, 03:16:06 PM »
Clueless, maybe routes 5/6.

Jim Hunt

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019?
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2019, 03:19:58 PM »

Chose a route Jim.  :D

I've gone for Route 5 August H2.
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Avalonian

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019?
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2019, 03:24:01 PM »
Route 6, 27th August.  8)

But, yeah - clueless really.

crandles

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019?
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2019, 03:39:55 PM »
Route 4, Aug 14th

b_lumenkraft

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019?
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2019, 03:59:29 PM »
snap, ever the pessimist

Haha, i hope it's too pessimistic. ;)

Pmt111500

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019?
« Reply #13 on: June 16, 2019, 04:56:13 PM »
Kayaking by route 7 eastwards should become available rather quickly, granted you have to drift with the ice through the last channels but anyway. I'll allow a small outboard motor to help fulfilling the class 'small vessel'

Come to think of it, is there a club for people who have kayaked in meltpools?
Amateur observations of Sea Ice since 2003.

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019?
« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2019, 05:13:28 PM »
I'll go for route 66 until further notice .. :) b.c.
2007 + 5 = 2012 + 4 = 2016 + 3 = 2019 ...

b_lumenkraft

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019?
« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2019, 05:27:01 PM »
Cannot compute. Route unavailable.

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019?
« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2019, 05:47:49 PM »
Hey I want to change my vote.

gerontocrat

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019?
« Reply #17 on: June 16, 2019, 06:22:59 PM »
Some background data - maps

1. Geography,
2. Bathymetry.

Will the US Secretary of the Navy carry out his promise to pollute the NW Passage with his presence this summer ?

To do so he will need a big boat 'cos he is a big-shot and so will need the Parry Channel open - unless PUTIN sends some icebreakers to do it for him if nature is unwilling.  At the moment the Parry Channel is solid with ice (image from JASMES site using JAXA MSR2 data attached). This is in contrast with many other parts of the CAA.

Question
The Parry Channel is pretty deep apart from a 100 metre or so bit where the channel narrows in the Barrow Strait. Do we know id there are any sub-surface currents flowing (in either direction) through it?
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johnm33

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019?
« Reply #18 on: June 16, 2019, 06:25:37 PM »
Hycoms current thickness gif

gerontocrat

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019?
« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2019, 06:33:35 PM »
ps: If you fancy having a go for yourselves you may wish to consult

The International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters
The Code acknowledges that polar water operation may impose additional demands
on ships, their systems and operation beyond the existing requirements of the International
Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1974, the International Convention for the
Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, as modified by the Protocol of 1978 relating thereto
as amended by the 1997 Protocol, and other relevant binding IMO instruments.

http://www.imo.org/en/MediaCentre/HotTopics/polar/Documents/POLAR%20CODE%20TEXT%20AS%20ADOPTED.pdf

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Tor Bejnar

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019?
« Reply #20 on: June 16, 2019, 11:05:39 PM »
Can someone post the dates the NW Passage opened in recent years?  It didn't open at all in 2018, IIRC.

Edit:  see this post by NACK for a 'complete' link of passages.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2019, 09:50:01 PM by Tor Bejnar »
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Juan C. García

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019?
« Reply #21 on: June 17, 2019, 06:13:31 PM »
Clueless, but went for Aug 15th-31st. At least I'm with the majority!
+1 (I first vote and then saw the comments, that is, I didn't copy to vote with the majority  ;) ).
The true is that I am not sure that it will be open this year.
Which is the best answer to Sep-2012 ASI lost (compared to 1979-2000)?
50% [NSIDC Extent] or
73% [PIOMAS Volume]

Volume is harder to measure than extent, but 3-dimensional space is real, 2D's hide ~50% thickness gone.
-> IPCC/NSIDC trends [based on extent] underestimate the real speed of ASI lost.

gerontocrat

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019?
« Reply #22 on: June 17, 2019, 08:41:46 PM »
Can the ability to change vote be added?

I voted Aug 1 to 15 thinking about the Parry Channel. Mostly still pretty solidly blocked.
Now I am thinking about small vessels able to creep along close to the Canadian shore. Ice looking much less solid - July 16 to 31 would be my vote for that.
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Tor Bejnar

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019?
« Reply #23 on: June 17, 2019, 10:44:02 PM »
Can someone post the dates the NW Passage opened in recent years?  It didn't open at all in 2018, IIRC.
I did a crude internet search and came up with the following.  I claim neither accuracy nor complete coverage.  Actual dates are sometimes 'when the ship went', rather than when such-and-such map said it was open, so I left the few days-of-month out.  Feel free to improve on this list!

September 2007
August 2008
September 2011
2012
September 2013
September 2015
August 2016
July 2017

Edit:  see this post by NACK for a 'complete' link of passages.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2019, 09:50:25 PM by Tor Bejnar »
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Kognsfjorden

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019?
« Reply #24 on: June 18, 2019, 03:39:18 PM »
Here are some useful links ..

For small boats key timing is the ability to sail through the Bellot Strait and in recent years that seems to have been between August 15 and August 24. The boats that made the passage in 2018 all transited the Bellot strait in a 24 hour window, some had waited many days for that window, and others gave up.

One boat sank (S/V Anahita) due to ice on August 28, 2018 in the Bellot Strait, crew were rescued from an ice floe by a larger commercial vessel.

Vessel list and route, but no dates
https://www.spri.cam.ac.uk/resources/infosheets/northwestpassage.pdf

General information
http://arcticnorthwestpassage.blogspot.com

http://arcticnorthwestpassage.blogspot.com/2018/12/seven-route-maps-and-list-of-vessels.html
Piloting information
https://rccpf.org.uk/pilots/136/Arctic---Northern-Waters
Guide for yachtsmen
http://80af75c8b1a6023efc9f-6aaa42fda065edd38c8fa3814d416772.r78.cf3.rackcdn.com/136_8054_2019%20Periplus%20to%20Northwest%20Passage%20PF2.pdf

Timings for Polar Bound (MotorBoat - 7 NW Passages - built for the Arctic) in 2016

Depart Julianehab Greenland: 2016.08.17
Crossed the Atlantic Arctic Circle in Foxe Basin: 2016.08.25-0544 hrs.
Transit Labrador Narrows in Fury & Hecla Strait: 2016.08.26-1758 hrs.
Crossed Bellot Strait west: 2016.09.03
Crossed Pt. Barrow Alaska west in 4-6/10 sea ice: 2016.09.20-1700 hrs.
Crossed the Pacific Arctic Circle in Bering Strait: 2016.09.23-1804 hrs.
Arrived Port of Nome Alaska: 2016.09.24
Route-7 West distance navigated: 2,638 nautical miles
Elapsed time enroute Arctic Circle to Arctic Circle: 29 days 12:18 hrs.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2019, 01:27:09 PM by Kognsfjorden »

b_lumenkraft

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019?
« Reply #25 on: June 20, 2019, 02:40:53 PM »
Route 1 starting to give free its passage (slowly).

NACK

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019?
« Reply #26 on: June 21, 2019, 10:45:13 AM »
Can someone post the dates the NW Passage opened in recent years?  It didn't open at all in 2018, IIRC.

Not all that recent but Amundsen entered Peel Sound on August 24th and Ross Strait on August 30th in 1903:

Here's his account of Peel Sound which is very stubborn to lose it's ice even to this day:

"We encountered no ice with the exception of a few narrow strips of old sound ice, carried by the wash. Of large Polar ice we saw absolutely nothing. Between Sherard Head, on Prince of Wales's Land, and Cape Court, on North Somerset, we encountered the first large accumulation of ice. Having the sun in our eyes, we took it, in the mirror-like glitter of the calm sea, to be a compact mass of ice extending from shore to shore. It seemed evident to me that we had now reached the point whence our predecessors had been compelled to return—the border of solid unbroken ice. Happily we were mistaken, as, in fact, we were several times afterwards, under similar circumstances. With the sun right on the glassy surface of a sea with pieces of ice scattered over, these may easily present the appearance of one solid, continuous mass. This optical illusion is also enhanced by the "ice blink" constantly occurring in the Arctic Sea.This ice blink magnifies and exaggerates a small block of ice to such an extent that it looks like an iceberg ;especially when looking at it through a telescope at short range you may easily imagine you are facing a huge ice-pack. But on the Arctic Sea you can never rely on what you fancy you "see," however distinct it may appear. Certainty can only be acquired by actual contact.

gerontocrat

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019?
« Reply #27 on: June 22, 2019, 03:27:23 PM »
Can the ability to change vote be added? Looks like no.

June 21 Univ Bremen image and Beaufort + CAA area graphs attached. I guess (heuristically) that it will be the CAA that decides. Note how area loss in the CAA seems to stall for around 3 weeks at this time of year - every year.

I am sure this was discussed last year but I can't remember what the consensus regarding what causes this was.

EDIT Southern end of the Parry Channel opened quite a bit. (Baffin Bay melting out at a rate of knots)
« Last Edit: June 22, 2019, 04:22:17 PM by gerontocrat »
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Jim Hunt

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019?
« Reply #28 on: June 22, 2019, 04:14:38 PM »
Can the ability to change vote be added? Looks like no.

I can edit some of the poll parameters, but not that one for some reason.
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

gerontocrat

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019?
« Reply #29 on: June 22, 2019, 04:36:41 PM »
Can the ability to change vote be added? Looks like no.

I can edit some of the poll parameters, but not that one for some reason.
I think Neven has fixed this (or told the thread owner how to it) on another poll.
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oren

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019?
« Reply #30 on: June 22, 2019, 06:16:52 PM »
This fix is always done only by Neven.

b_lumenkraft

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019?
« Reply #31 on: June 28, 2019, 05:06:25 PM »
Since it's a hot topic for some reason now, let me share the disputed forecast here too.

Looks good for route 1, no?

Tor Bejnar

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019?
« Reply #32 on: June 28, 2019, 06:59:43 PM »
Just to be a bit snarky, might one interpret the poll's question, «When will "small vessels" first be able to traverse the Northwest Passage in 2019?», to include small aircraft (probably with extended tanks)?

And because it doesn't ask when they do do it, I'll conjecture a bush pilot using the pilotage method of navigation under VFR (Visual Flight Rules) could do it in late February.  ;D

NW passage length:  900 miles (1450 km)
How far and fast can a small airplane go: ~150 mph (240 km/hr) x 6 hours = passage length
When does the NW Passage first have 6 hours of daylight:  at Resolute Bay's latitude, February 18, 2019.

Note: I once traveled in a two-seater (home fabricated) plane that went over 200 mph (320 km/h), but I don't know if it had tanks for 4.5 hours of flight.  If it did, it could do the NW Passage using VFR as early as February 12.
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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019?
« Reply #33 on: June 28, 2019, 07:02:41 PM »
July 16-31.
Before August would it be a precedent?

uniquorn

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019?
« Reply #34 on: June 28, 2019, 08:28:54 PM »
Worldview aqua modis, lancaster sound, jun26-28 https://go.nasa.gov/2X8zJBd

Jim Hunt

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019?
« Reply #35 on: June 28, 2019, 09:38:29 PM »
Might one interpret the poll's question, «When will "small vessels" first be able to traverse the Northwest Passage in 2019?», to include small aircraft (probably with extended tanks)?

Nope. Not even in American English! https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/vessel
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uniquorn

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019?
« Reply #36 on: June 29, 2019, 11:11:40 PM »
........

Tor Bejnar

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019?
« Reply #37 on: June 30, 2019, 02:46:32 AM »
Drat.  But wait ...
Quote
ves·sel  (vĕs′əl)
n.
1. A hollow utensil, such as a cup, vase, or pitcher, used as a container, especially for liquids.
2.
a. Nautical A craft, especially one larger than a rowboat, designed to navigate on water.
b. An airship.

So not an airplane.  As an aside, I think dirigibles could be used to transport windmill parts to remote locations.
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Jim Hunt

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019?
« Reply #38 on: June 30, 2019, 10:34:06 AM »
I've brought my set of Canadian Arctic Archipelago animations up to date:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/resources/arctic-regional-graphs/northwest-passage/#Videos

Here's the one from 2015, when route 1 was wide open for a while:

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uniquorn

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019?
« Reply #39 on: July 01, 2019, 12:44:16 AM »
Worldview, Mclure Strait https://go.nasa.gov/2Xb6ayZ

charles_oil

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019?
« Reply #40 on: July 01, 2019, 07:09:25 AM »

Jim - it would be handy if the year was visible in a slightly shorter chart title - thanks.   Great illustrations BTW


May be my screen resolution but prior to clicking I just get: 
"The Main Northwest Passage Opens in Summer 2"

gerontocrat

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019?
« Reply #41 on: July 02, 2019, 12:33:45 PM »
There was I thinking that the growing SSTs in Baffin Bay might significantly impact melt in, e.g. the Parry Channel. But now it looks probably only a little bit?

Because I read (1) that the top 200 metres of the Beaufort Sea is relatively fresh compared with that in Baffin Bay and that the Beaufort sea level is about 0.3 metres higher than Baffin bay so flow is from the Beaufort to the Baffin.

In that paper from 2012 I also see a diagram showing modelled September ice extent and flows.
The Beaufort and CAA are assumed to be pretty much still full up ice. Is the model still valid?

Then I read (2)
Quote
5. Driving Mechanisms of Volume Flow Through
the CAA
5.1. The Role of Sea Surface Height

[39] The SSH difference between the Arctic Ocean and
Baffin Bay (Figure 7b) not only leads to a net outflow from
the Arctic Ocean, its variability also drives the variation of
the CAA throughflow. Annual mean volume transports
though Lancaster Sound and Nares Strait are significantly
correlated with the along strait SSH gradients
and that is just the first few words that a long time later end up with....
Quote
The variability of the CAA transports is related to the large-scale atmospheric forcing pattern characterized by the NAO. Responses to the positive and negative phases of the NAO can be observed both in the Beaufort Sea and in the Labrador Sea. In the positive NAO phase, the atmospheric circulation over the western Arctic Ocean is mainly in the cyclonic phase [see, e.g., Proshutinsky et al., 2002], leading to a loss in the freshwater storage in the Beaufort Gyre and an increase in SSH along the American coast, and thus increased volume transport through Lancaster Sound. In the Labrador Sea the strong cooling during the NAO positive phase results in low sea level, which propagates northward along the west Greenland coast and leads to higher
transports through Nares Strait and Lancaster Sound.

Conclusion:-
I have not a clue as to the comparative importance of melting in situ and transport by currents has in opening up the NW Passage in the CAA.

I have not a clue as to whether the current state of the NAO is increasing flows through the CAA

It was an interesting read but beyond my pay grade, and gives me not a clue as to when the NW Passage will open. Ho hum.
_____________________________________________________________
(1) https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/07055900.2012.704348
Flow Constraints on Pathways through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago July 2012

(2) https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/jgrc.20330
The Canadian Arctic Archipelago throughflow in a multiresolution
global model : Model assessment and the driving mechanism of
interannual variability July 2013
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b_lumenkraft

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019?
« Reply #42 on: July 02, 2019, 05:15:26 PM »
The Baffin Bay side. 

gerontocrat

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019?
« Reply #43 on: July 03, 2019, 04:05:09 PM »
The CAA is doing what it does at this time every year. Stalling.
I wonder what causes it.

So my bet is the Northern (Russian) Route opens first.
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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019?
« Reply #44 on: July 03, 2019, 04:11:28 PM »
The CAA is doing what it does at this time every year. Stalling.
I wonder what causes it.

So my bet is the Northern (Russian) Route opens first.

The CAA is unique. Little chance of ice import unless the garlic press opens for business and little chance of dispersion as well. This repetitive slowing must be related to the geography. A good question. Any ideas everyone?

Tor Bejnar

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019?
« Reply #45 on: July 03, 2019, 04:26:20 PM »
I think the relatively exposed Amundsen Gulf and Lancaster Sound regularly open up 'early' and then 'nothing happens' for a while (extent-change-wise)
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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019?
« Reply #46 on: July 03, 2019, 04:49:41 PM »
I think the relatively exposed Amundsen Gulf and Lancaster Sound regularly open up 'early' and then 'nothing happens' for a while (extent-change-wise)
It is warm in the CAA. How long before extent-change-wise wakes up?
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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019?
« Reply #47 on: July 03, 2019, 05:20:31 PM »
looking at AMSR2 concentration maps, the change from 30th of June to 2nd of July was whopping and eye-catching.

Extent my stall but things are in the works and in around 2-3 weeks it will become obvious, even extent wise while extent itself in those narrow straits and fjords is quite small anyways.

compare the Uni-Bremen Concentration Images published yesterday for the 1st of July and the one published 1 or 2 days before for the end of june and you gonna see what i mean.


https://seaice.uni-bremen.de/data/amsr2/today/Arctic_AMSR2_nic.png

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019?
« Reply #48 on: July 03, 2019, 11:28:37 PM »
Worldview aqua modis, lancaster sound/somerset, jul1-3.
Note the start of open water nth of somerset. Perhaps the area stall is due to ice breaking up but taking a while to exit the channels.

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019?
« Reply #49 on: July 04, 2019, 07:52:00 AM »
With all the clear skies over the CAA over the last few days, I've noticed a series of polynya in the Barrow strait (the central and relatively shallow part of the Barry channel).

In the image I've circled 11 distinct small polynya that have been opening up these last few days. They are all very small but I'm not seeing anything similar elsewhere in the CAA. The location of the Polynya is suggestive of them being caused by currents, i.e. they are almost all around a promontory or cape along the shoreline.

I've not been able to find any good bathymetry maps of the area other than what has already been published here in the forum, and those maps do not give any clear indication of what might be causing this.

I've tried marking as many islands as I could discover the names of. The small hamlet of Nunavut / Resolute is just off screen, but I've helpfully put in an arrow.