Support the Arctic Sea Ice Forum and Blog

Poll

When will "small vessels" first be able to traverse the Northwest Passage in 2021?

Before August 1
August 1 -  15
August 16 - 31
September 1 - 15
September 16 - 30
Extremely late in the season
No way Jose!

Voting closes: July 29, 2021, 02:10:20 PM

Author Topic: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2021?  (Read 2113 times)

Jim Hunt

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 5192
  • Stay Home, Save Lives
    • View Profile
    • The Arctic sea ice Great White Con
  • Liked: 621
  • Likes Given: 56
When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2021?
« on: May 15, 2021, 02:10:20 PM »
This does of course presuppose that Covid-19 constraints permit the passage of small vessels through the Northwest Passage this year!

However here are the rules as used last year, which don't require an actual passage by an actual small vessel:

For the purposes of this poll "open" counts as <= 6/10 concentration on the Canadian Ice Service charts along the entire length of one of the assorted routes through the CAA:



"Travers[ing] the Northwest Passage" implies without the assistance of an icebreaker.

@NevB has already contributed the following information:

Quote
Flipping back on this day to 2012 only 2015 looks to be similar: https://go.nasa.gov/3bsVg1y



« Last Edit: May 15, 2021, 05:49:12 PM by Jim Hunt »
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

Jim Hunt

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 5192
  • Stay Home, Save Lives
    • View Profile
    • The Arctic sea ice Great White Con
  • Liked: 621
  • Likes Given: 56
Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2021?
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2021, 05:18:20 PM »
At this stage of the "melting season" I like to start with the Canadian Ice Service "stage of development" charts. Here's the most recent one, from May 10th:
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

karl dubhe2

  • New ice
  • Posts: 78
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 22
  • Likes Given: 30
Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2021?
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2021, 07:20:07 PM »
I'll guess early, and hopefully wrongly, before Aug 1st.   

Jim Hunt

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 5192
  • Stay Home, Save Lives
    • View Profile
    • The Arctic sea ice Great White Con
  • Liked: 621
  • Likes Given: 56
Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2021?
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2021, 09:35:44 PM »
You're a brave man Karl!

Have you checked the appropriate box in the poll at the top? It still assures me there are no votes cast, but that may be because I haven't voted myself as yet.
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

HapHazard

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 453
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 164
  • Likes Given: 3377
Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2021?
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2021, 10:34:42 PM »
It's because you haven't voted yet. Helps prevent bias towards the majority that way.

I voted "yes".

;-)

Jim Hunt

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 5192
  • Stay Home, Save Lives
    • View Profile
    • The Arctic sea ice Great White Con
  • Liked: 621
  • Likes Given: 56
Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2021?
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2021, 11:20:19 PM »
It's because you haven't voted yet.

I have voted now. Yes also! The same bin as last year. Note that this year votes are amendable from the outset.

Perhaps a bit nearer the cutoff date the tie breaker will need to be discussed. Which route will open first?
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

NevB

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 121
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 36
  • Likes Given: 339
Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2021?
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2021, 12:19:39 PM »
...
@NevB has already contributed the following information:

Quote
Flipping back on this day to 2012 only 2015 looks to be similar: https://go.nasa.gov/3bsVg1y

Many thanks Jim.

I have not voted in any of the numerous polls as this would simply add random noise.
However just for fun I've voted August 16 - 31 which also now seems to be the most popular bucket.

My reasoning is completely devoid of any scientific or mathematical analysis or formal knowledge or anything related to the Arctic. Purely gut feel with a confidence level of 0.  :D

Jim Hunt

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 5192
  • Stay Home, Save Lives
    • View Profile
    • The Arctic sea ice Great White Con
  • Liked: 621
  • Likes Given: 56
Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2021?
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2021, 12:56:15 PM »
Purely gut feel with a confidence level of 0.  :D

Do you fancy taking a similar early punt on which route will open first? Here's a bit more information about the current state of play.

Click to embiggen:
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

gerontocrat

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 11690
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 4034
  • Likes Given: 32
Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2021?
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2021, 02:46:22 PM »
Purely gut feel with a confidence level of 0.  :D

Do you fancy taking a similar early punt on which route will open first? Here's a bit more information about the current state of play.

Click to embiggen:
21st August 18:00 hrs GMT

Route 1.
Why Route 1. I am going for WACC in North America (not Siberia), meaning the route farthest North will get the most warmth - not the route hugging the Canadian mainland shore.

Note the appearance of confidence in my opinion. (Totally unfounded)


"Para a Causa do Povo a Luta Continua!"
"And that's all I'm going to say about that". Forrest Gump
"Damn, I wanted to see what happened next" (Epitaph)

oren

  • Moderator
  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 7207
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 2719
  • Likes Given: 2522
Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2021?
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2021, 03:27:49 PM »
I've voted for early August as Lancaster Sound and Barrow Strait seem advanced for the date, and since "it's always Bellot Strait" I'll go with route 6.

oren

  • Moderator
  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 7207
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 2719
  • Likes Given: 2522
Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2021?
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2021, 03:29:36 PM »
My favorite map of the CAA with its endless names.


BeeKnees

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 375
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 66
  • Likes Given: 93
Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2021?
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2021, 08:06:22 PM »
I've voted,
As I'm clueless on this it is no surprise to find I'm an army of one.

I've gone for very late, more in hope than expectation.

Jim Hunt

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 5192
  • Stay Home, Save Lives
    • View Profile
    • The Arctic sea ice Great White Con
  • Liked: 621
  • Likes Given: 56
Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2021?
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2021, 11:28:50 AM »
Via the melting season thread, the ice in the Amundsen Gulf is currently breaking into little pieces:



Meanwhile further east Barrow Strait and Lancaster Sound are also crumbling:
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

Jim Hunt

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 5192
  • Stay Home, Save Lives
    • View Profile
    • The Arctic sea ice Great White Con
  • Liked: 621
  • Likes Given: 56
Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2021?
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2021, 06:26:33 PM »
One final piece of relevant data. CS2/SMOS ice thickness from the start of CryoSat-2's summer break in the middle of April:
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

NACK

  • New ice
  • Posts: 25
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 8
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2021?
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2021, 07:02:00 PM »
Up to a one million dollar fine:

February 4, 2021         Ottawa         Transport Canada

The Government of Canada continues to monitor the evolving COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it is having on the marine and tourism sectors. Keeping Canadians and transportation workers safe and healthy are top priorities for Transport Canada.

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, announced two new Interim Orders, which prohibit pleasure craft in Canadian Arctic waters and cruise vessels in all Canadian waters until February 28, 2022. This means:

    Adventure-seeking pleasure craft are still prohibited from entering Arctic waters.
    Passenger vessels carrying more than 12 people are still prohibited from entering Arctic coastal waters, including Nunatsiavut, Nunavik, and the Labrador Coast.
    Cruise vessels carrying more than 100 people are still prohibited from operating in Canadian waters.

Pleasure craft used by local Arctic residents will not be affected by these measures.

HapHazard

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 453
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 164
  • Likes Given: 3377
Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2021?
« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2021, 08:07:49 PM »
That means I'm still a go with my trusty ol' aluminum canoe!

echoughton

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 109
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 19
  • Likes Given: 70
Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2021?
« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2021, 08:20:22 PM »
What is with Canada? NEXT FEB 28th?????
The cases and deaths and hospitalizations are all plummeting. Could be close to zero cases by summer's end. Might as well say no entry....EVER!

gerontocrat

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 11690
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 4034
  • Likes Given: 32
Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2021?
« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2021, 08:53:38 PM »
What is with Canada? NEXT FEB 28th?????
The cases and deaths and hospitalizations are all plummeting. Could be close to zero cases by summer's end. Might as well say no entry....EVER!

No big fat cruise ships?

Hoorah!
"Para a Causa do Povo a Luta Continua!"
"And that's all I'm going to say about that". Forrest Gump
"Damn, I wanted to see what happened next" (Epitaph)

HapHazard

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 453
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 164
  • Likes Given: 3377
Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2021?
« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2021, 09:36:32 PM »
Good! Y'all can stay the heck outta my archipelago!!

longwalks1

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 175
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 57
  • Likes Given: 12
Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2021?
« Reply #19 on: May 21, 2021, 06:17:29 AM »
Aug 1-15   #2

Jim Hunt

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 5192
  • Stay Home, Save Lives
    • View Profile
    • The Arctic sea ice Great White Con
  • Liked: 621
  • Likes Given: 56
Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2021?
« Reply #20 on: May 21, 2021, 08:56:59 AM »
#2

Another brave vote!  Agreed re the date, but I'm keeping my powder dry for a bit on the route. However to my eyes 3 & 4 are looking more vulnerable than usual this year.
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

Jim Hunt

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 5192
  • Stay Home, Save Lives
    • View Profile
    • The Arctic sea ice Great White Con
  • Liked: 621
  • Likes Given: 56
Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2021?
« Reply #21 on: May 28, 2021, 01:10:33 PM »
The skies were clear over the Canadian Arctic Archipelago yesterday, which revealed several patches of open water and a long stretch of Route 1 already “open for business”:

https://GreatWhiteCon.info/2021/05/the-northwest-passage-in-2021/#May-28
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

NevB

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 121
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 36
  • Likes Given: 339
Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2021?
« Reply #22 on: May 28, 2021, 02:13:36 PM »
Purely gut feel with a confidence level of 0.  :D

Do you fancy taking a similar early punt on which route will open first? Here's a bit more information about the current state of play.

Click to embiggen:
I have been away for a bit
Now I think I'll go for route 1, while Viscount Melville Sound is usually blocked with thick ice maybe this year will be different.

morganism

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 346
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 76
  • Likes Given: 3
Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2021?
« Reply #23 on: May 29, 2021, 12:57:07 AM »
Im going Rt 1, think the ice will stay piled up in the Beufort again.  Before Aug 1, say July 23

interstitial

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1255
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 334
  • Likes Given: 84
Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2021?
« Reply #24 on: May 29, 2021, 08:28:08 AM »
Historically speaking I do not think anything before mid August is very likely. Am I wrong?

Jim Hunt

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 5192
  • Stay Home, Save Lives
    • View Profile
    • The Arctic sea ice Great White Con
  • Liked: 621
  • Likes Given: 56
Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2021?
« Reply #25 on: May 29, 2021, 01:43:53 PM »
Now I think I'll go for route 1.

Whilst it's possible that route 1 will eventually open this year it would be extraordinary if that happened before one of the southern routes became passable. IMHO!

Historically speaking I do not think anything before mid August is very likely. Am I wrong?

You are not far wrong. Again IMHO! Checking my own records

2020 - August 11th
2019 - August 16th
2018 - Never? However Thor escaped ice in Franklin Strait on August 28th
2017 - August 27th
2016 - August 11th
2015 - ~August 13th

I seem to recall that in 2012 the passage opened very early. Double checking that will have to wait a while though. The surf's up on the North Coast of Cornwall!
« Last Edit: May 29, 2021, 02:14:37 PM by Jim Hunt »
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

interstitial

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1255
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 334
  • Likes Given: 84
Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2021?
« Reply #26 on: May 30, 2021, 04:59:13 AM »
In my mind August 11th can be considered mid August. But that is about what I figured early is out unless something exceptional happens.

Jim Hunt

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 5192
  • Stay Home, Save Lives
    • View Profile
    • The Arctic sea ice Great White Con
  • Liked: 621
  • Likes Given: 56
Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2021?
« Reply #27 on: May 30, 2021, 06:58:43 PM »
I seem to recall that in 2012 the passage opened very early.

This was the first CIS coverage of "Amundsen's Route" through the CAA in 2012. According to the criteria at the top the passage was open on August 5th 2012, and possibly a few days earlier.
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

Jim Hunt

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 5192
  • Stay Home, Save Lives
    • View Profile
    • The Arctic sea ice Great White Con
  • Liked: 621
  • Likes Given: 56
Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2021?
« Reply #28 on: May 30, 2021, 07:05:11 PM »
And for 2007 it looks like August 8th was the day on which the ribbon was cut:
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

interstitial

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1255
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 334
  • Likes Given: 84
Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2021?
« Reply #29 on: May 31, 2021, 01:50:45 AM »
I thought the polling results were skewed a bit early. Five people are saying it will open earlier than ever before this year. 2007 and 2012 definitely count as early August though so it was earlier than I thought. I wonder what the latest in the season was? Oh well. Thanks Jim.

oren

  • Moderator
  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 7207
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 2719
  • Likes Given: 2522
Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2021?
« Reply #30 on: May 31, 2021, 02:31:27 AM »
ASIF voters are well known for their tendency to vote for less probable / more extreme results than natural variability, in part representing expectations that things will be worse in the future, in part to make voting more interesting or because the more extreme-minded have a stronger wish to vote for their thoughts.

In actuality, I think only the Aug and early Sep bins have realistic chances with a low probability "No way Jose" completing the picture, but then again with Arctic sea ice nearly anything is possible.

interstitial

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1255
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 334
  • Likes Given: 84
Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2021?
« Reply #31 on: May 31, 2021, 03:50:19 AM »
ASIF voters are well known for their tendency to vote for less probable / more extreme results than natural variability, in part representing expectations that things will be worse in the future, in part to make voting more interesting or because the more extreme-minded have a stronger wish to vote for their thoughts.

In actuality, I think only the Aug and early Sep bins have realistic chances with a low probability "No way Jose" completing the picture, but then again with Arctic sea ice nearly anything is possible.
Whenever we have a poll I just like to have some historical perspective. We could have a really early or really late year this year. I guessed late in the year not because I "know" anything. I guessed September 1-15th. That is probably wrong since we have an early start along the main channel.

gerontocrat

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 11690
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 4034
  • Likes Given: 32
Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2021?
« Reply #32 on: May 31, 2021, 11:42:46 PM »
Environment Canada forecasts mainly below average temperatures in June for most of Canada, apart from a narrow band in Southern Canada and up the East Coast and a blob of warmer weather way up North.

Will this slow down melt in the CAA?
"Para a Causa do Povo a Luta Continua!"
"And that's all I'm going to say about that". Forrest Gump
"Damn, I wanted to see what happened next" (Epitaph)

Sebastian Jones

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 466
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 116
  • Likes Given: 107
Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2021?
« Reply #33 on: June 03, 2021, 02:27:21 AM »
Environment Canada forecasts mainly below average temperatures in June for most of Canada, apart from a narrow band in Southern Canada and up the East Coast and a blob of warmer weather way up North.

Will this slow down melt in the CAA?
Fortunately (for those of us living in northern Canada) Environment Canada's weather forecasts and projections are little better than educated guesswork. "It's a bit La Nina-ish, so we think it'll probably be cooler"

gerontocrat

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 11690
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 4034
  • Likes Given: 32
Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2021?
« Reply #34 on: June 05, 2021, 07:55:31 PM »
Environment Canada forecasts mainly below average temperatures in June for most of Canada, apart from a narrow band in Southern Canada and up the East Coast and a blob of warmer weather way up North.

Will this slow down melt in the CAA?
Fortunately (for those of us living in northern Canada) Environment Canada's weather forecasts and projections are little better than educated guesswork. "It's a bit La Nina-ish, so we think it'll probably be cooler"
Environment Canada have changed its mind this week - the colder bit confined to the CAA. Good for me as I plumped for a really late Aug 21
"Para a Causa do Povo a Luta Continua!"
"And that's all I'm going to say about that". Forrest Gump
"Damn, I wanted to see what happened next" (Epitaph)

NevB

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 121
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 36
  • Likes Given: 339
Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2021?
« Reply #35 on: June 16, 2021, 12:22:01 PM »
Route 1

Route 1 seems to not been very cloudy, the cracks look early to me not sure if this is normal.

The more southern routes seemed to also be steadily melting though now under cloud cover.