Arctic Sea Ice : Forum

Cryosphere => Arctic sea ice => Topic started by: Pmt111500 on March 01, 2014, 12:38:34 PM

Title: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Pmt111500 on March 01, 2014, 12:38:34 PM
This is of course way too early concerning navigation as can be seen on the image. Looks like the initial crack in the ice on the passage is on the same location as usual.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Polynya88 on March 05, 2014, 03:52:58 PM
Yes the Fast Ice extent of the Northwest Passage is about normal, however ice currently within the NW passage is extra-heavy. The ice that was causing all these problems http://www.sail-world.com/USA/North-West-Passage-blocked-with-ice%E2%80%94yachts-caught/113788 (http://www.sail-world.com/USA/North-West-Passage-blocked-with-ice%E2%80%94yachts-caught/113788) is still there. Lots of Old ice was blocking the entrance to Peel Sound/southern Barrow Strait, and it froze-in, and is just sitting there waiting for a tasty cruise ship! ;D
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on March 05, 2014, 04:07:43 PM
The ice that was causing all these problems is still there.

As luck would have it I found myself following events in the Northwest Passage rather closely last year, and took exception to the article you link to on a variety of fora as a consequence. Whilst there was certainly more ice there in 2013 than in 2012, it certainly didn't eat any cruise ships. In fact somehow or another 73,500 tons of coal managed to pass through unscathed!

http://econnexus.org/tag/nw-passage/ (http://econnexus.org/tag/nw-passage/)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Polynya88 on March 12, 2014, 05:55:50 PM
Yes that coal ship did make the trip, but in the dangerous area at the top end of Peel Sound it was under icebreaker escort. If it had been required to make its own track and impact the big floes of Old ice as per the attached Ice chart, I doubt it would have been dent-free.  Note that in several patches around the entrance to Peel Sound (areas L,I) as well as down in central Peel sound (area N) there are big floes of Old ice mixed into the ice cover. These are notoriously hard to detect in a dynamic ice cover, are thick and hard, and for any cruise ship (or coal ship) that hits them un-knowingly (foreign-going vessel with inexperienced crew), damage is a distinct possibility.

In this area (and to the north) a warm summer cleared out the First-year Fast Ice early, and allowed a "conduit" of Old Ice from the Arctic Ocean to feed down into Barrow Strait through Byam Martin channel.  If warm summers continue, this mechanism is likely to feed progressively more Old Ice to this "choke point" in the Northwest  Passage.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Pmt111500 on May 09, 2014, 06:57:38 AM
North shore of the Atlantic Side of the NW passage cleared last week, and with the early break up in Amundsen Gulf both ends of the route are now properly visible in the Modis Rapid Response images. The center 1250km section looks still consisting of solid ice.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on May 09, 2014, 12:51:29 PM
Would anyone care to play "spot the difference" from last year?
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: jdallen on May 09, 2014, 07:00:01 PM
I have read discussion elsewhere suggestining that because of colder temperatures and supposedly thicker ice, it was not likely the passage would open this year.

We might want to revisit that, based on Jim's images and how early in the season we are.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Polynya88 on May 09, 2014, 07:31:58 PM
I would tend to agree with you that the ice in the Arctic/NWP will be a bit thicker this year. In the attached ice chart link, all the grey-shaded areas in the Arctic islands is Fast Ice that never melted out last year. Last year the CAA ended up with far more MLSI (multi-year landfast sea ice) than it has had in many years (cold summer, limited melt). I would guess the water temp. was accordingly low last fall, so the odds of above-average ice growth for this year would look good.  Ball-parking the amount of MLSI, I would say it hasn't been this extensive since the early eighties.


http://ice-glaces.ec.gc.ca//www_archive/AOI_10/Charts/sc_a10_20130930_WIS56CT.gif (http://ice-glaces.ec.gc.ca//www_archive/AOI_10/Charts/sc_a10_20130930_WIS56CT.gif)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on May 09, 2014, 09:39:41 PM
In the attached ice chart link, all the grey-shaded areas in the Arctic islands is Fast Ice that never melted out last year.

The Southern route is free of anything other than < 1/10 ice on your chart though. I see no a priori reason why it shouldn't open up this year, all other things being equal. Particularly since the open water at either end is evidently way ahead of this time last year!
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Neven on May 09, 2014, 11:00:51 PM
I have read discussion elsewhere suggestining that because of colder temperatures and supposedly thicker ice, it was not likely the passage would open this year.

We might want to revisit that, based on Jim's images and how early in the season we are.

I said it in the Winter Analysis on the ASIB. It's my attempt at scientific reticence.  ;D
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: jdallen on May 10, 2014, 12:54:04 AM
I have read discussion elsewhere suggestining that because of colder temperatures and supposedly thicker ice, it was not likely the passage would open this year.

We might want to revisit that, based on Jim's images and how early in the season we are.

I said it in the Winter Analysis on the ASIB. It's my attempt at scientific reticence.  ;D
Reticence is wise regarding all things arctic...
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on July 26, 2014, 05:34:46 PM
The Northwest Passage has been mentioned (http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2014/07/search-2014-sea-ice-outlook-july-report.html?cid=6a0133f03a1e37970b01a511e92fda970c#comment-6a0133f03a1e37970b01a511e92fda970c) on the ASIB, in the context of cruise ships.  Here's how the sea ice concentration currently looks on the Southern route:

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1277.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fy485%2Feconnexus%2F2014-07-25-NWPassage_zps5cf63a2a.jpg&hash=811a4aaf8eae790a7a606d07d04497e3)

Here's how the ice on that route looked from the MS Bremen (http://www.hl-cruises.com/ships/ms-bremen/position-webcam/) on August 21st 2013:

Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Anne on July 26, 2014, 06:56:24 PM
Can't see on a search that the Aventura's bid for the Northwest passage has been covered elsewhere on here, so here's the link:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-28247175 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-28247175)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on July 26, 2014, 08:01:15 PM
You can follow the track of the Aventura and a variety of other vessels on their NW Passage adventures here:

http://www.enablingwebsites.com/sv_novara_track.html (http://www.enablingwebsites.com/sv_novara_track.html)

The Aventura's own blog is at:

http://cornellsailing.com/category/aventura-logs/ (http://cornellsailing.com/category/aventura-logs/)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: ghoti on August 24, 2014, 04:38:02 PM
Looks like 2 boats are close to getting past the ice in the Northwest Passage.

The S/V Novara going east to west seems to have entered the Bellot Strait which will bring them to the Franklin Strait and pretty clear sailing the rest of the way west. http://www.enablingwebsites.com/sv_novara_track.html (http://www.enablingwebsites.com/sv_novara_track.html)

Le Manguier going west to east has been sailing and waiting along the east coast of Prince of Wales Island to a point further north than the Bellot Strait. With the right wind they'll be able to scoot up to Barrow Strait where most of the boats attempting the east to west passage have been loitering waiting for ice to clear.

S/V Arctic Tern has almost reached Bellot as well.

Looks like S/V Catryn is also heading south of Port Leopold on the way to Bellot Strait.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 24, 2014, 05:04:02 PM
The cruise ship MS Bremen (http://www.hl-cruises.com/ships/ms-bremen/ship-positions/) is also heading for Bellot Strait. Unfortunately the Bremen's webcam seems to be broken at the moment:
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Polynya88 on August 24, 2014, 05:19:40 PM
Looks like 2 boats are close to getting past the ice in the Northwest Passage.

The S/V Novara going east to west seems to have entered the Bellot Strait which will bring them to the Franklin Strait and pretty clear sailing the rest of the way west. http://www.enablingwebsites.com/sv_novara_track.html (http://www.enablingwebsites.com/sv_novara_track.html)

Le Manguier going west to east has been sailing and waiting along the east coast of Prince of Wales Island to a point further north than the Bellot Strait. With the right wind they'll be able to scoot up to Barrow Strait where most of the boats attempting the east to west passage have been loitering waiting for ice to clear.

S/V Arctic Tern has almost reached Bellot as well.

Looks like S/V Catryn is also heading south of Port Leopold on the way to Bellot Strait.

It will be interesting to see how they do on the west side of Bellot Strait when they get into 9+/10 concentration with 2/10 big floes of Multi-year ice in it (see chart below). When the tide is running there is a phenomenal amount of pressure at the west end of Bellot. They will need icebreakers and luck...
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: ghoti on August 30, 2014, 03:57:31 PM
As of this morning it looks like both the S/V Novara and Le Manguier have managed to squeeze past the ice in opposite directions. Both ended up going through the Bellot Strait.

Le Manguier tried going north to through the Peel Sound to the Barrow Strait . It got through Peel but hit a solid wall of ice preventing entry to the Barrow Strait but was able to turn around and find an opening through Bellot.

I think this means both are past the point they'd be blocked from completing the passage this year. I think the Bremen also made it through but it seemed to drop off the tracking map.

http://www.enablingwebsites.com/sv_novara_track.html (http://www.enablingwebsites.com/sv_novara_track.html)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Row Bear on August 30, 2014, 04:49:29 PM
And it looks like  Arctic Tern, Congratulations all.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Neven on September 01, 2014, 10:05:50 AM
I'm not following this properly, but can you guys tell me whether these vessels have already made it through the entire NWP? Or have they now passed the tough parts, but still need to make it to the other side?
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on September 01, 2014, 10:41:25 AM
I'm not following this properly, but can you guys tell me whether these vessels have already made it through the entire NWP?

Some vessels have turned back. Others have now made it through the obvious "choke point" at the Bellot Strait on the southern route. As far as I can tell none of them have yet crossed the Arctic Circle to officially complete the full NW Passage. Le Manguier seems to have reached Pond Inlet heading east.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: NeilT on September 01, 2014, 02:21:20 PM
Lady Dana 44 is the furthest I believe. She came through the Bering and is now heading into the Prince Leopold Sound.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on September 01, 2014, 03:34:35 PM
AMSR2 suggests the southern route via Gjoa Haven is passable currently, and that is indeed the path taken by Lady Dana and Le Manguier:
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: iceman on September 01, 2014, 11:44:02 PM
AMSR2 suggests the southern route via Gjoa Haven is passable currently, and that is indeed the path taken by Lady Dana and Le Manguier:
Congratulations to those intrepid sailors.  It should get easier over the next few days of mostly warm temperatures and southerly winds.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: iceman on September 11, 2014, 06:44:26 PM
The northern route (Prince of Wales Strait variation) will be tantalizingly close to open tomorrow.  But the northerly winds that are pushing the ice clear are also bringing frigid temperatures, so looks like refreeze will gain the upper hand soon.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Polynya88 on September 11, 2014, 10:48:59 PM
The northern route (Prince of Wales Strait variation) will be tantalizingly close to open tomorrow.  But the northerly winds that are pushing the ice clear are also bringing frigid temperatures, so looks like refreeze will gain the upper hand soon.

Based on the last ice chart from CIS (Canadian Ice Service) (http://iceweb1.cis.ec.gc.ca/Prod20/page3.xhtml (http://iceweb1.cis.ec.gc.ca/Prod20/page3.xhtml))  there remains about 180 miles of 9/10 ice on the northern route, and the southern route is unlikely to get any better (http://www.nunatsiaqonline.ca/stories/article/65674heavy_pack_ice_in_nw_passage_ice_creates_tough_conditions_this_year/ (http://www.nunatsiaqonline.ca/stories/article/65674heavy_pack_ice_in_nw_passage_ice_creates_tough_conditions_this_year/)).  This was not the year for buying your NWP ticket!
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: cats on September 14, 2014, 10:39:08 PM
Both the S/V Novara and the S/V Arctic Tern have made it to the vicinity of Barrow (http://www.enablingwebsites.com/sv_novara_track.html (http://www.enablingwebsites.com/sv_novara_track.html) ) after going through the Northwest Passage from East to West.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Phil. on September 25, 2014, 11:35:15 PM
The northern route (Prince of Wales Strait variation) will be tantalizingly close to open tomorrow.  But the northerly winds that are pushing the ice clear are also bringing frigid temperatures, so looks like refreeze will gain the upper hand soon.

So much so that the M/V Nunavic is on its way to the Prince of Wales St right now.

http://www.fednav.com/en/voyage-nunavik (http://www.fednav.com/en/voyage-nunavik)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Phil. on September 29, 2014, 04:26:55 AM
The northern route (Prince of Wales Strait variation) will be tantalizingly close to open tomorrow.  But the northerly winds that are pushing the ice clear are also bringing frigid temperatures, so looks like refreeze will gain the upper hand soon.

So much so that the M/V Nunavic is on its way to the Prince of Wales St right now.

http://www.fednav.com/en/voyage-nunavik (http://www.fednav.com/en/voyage-nunavik)

Successfully traversed the NW Passage in 9 days without much problem, en route to China now.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: johnm33 on March 01, 2015, 06:48:00 PM
Looking at woksat there appears to be only a remnant of old ice being flushed down Baffin and lively currents flushing fresh ice out of NWP generally. An early opening looks likely, bar surprises.
(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fpuu.sh%2Fgi1Dm%2F4315c8465d.jpg&hash=b8fc76b01ab76d9ff2f1b1a9a9df14d3)
(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fpuu.sh%2Fgi1oz%2Fab9042110d.jpg&hash=057367301c2d6ef9f531b01a3e979844)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Lord M Vader on May 24, 2015, 07:30:05 PM
Time to restart this thread now as the melt season emerges..

My first idea is if anyone of you know what the narrow passage through Brands and Gibson Islands in the Canadian Arctic should be called? If my memory isn't completely failing this passage was open temporarily in 2014 but as we were discussing here at the forum the NW Passage was closed last year. If this narrow passage was ice free then the NWP actually was open last year... The "normal" route we use to think of is the Amundsen Route which was more or less closed last year..

Anyone who can find an analysis map for late Aug 2014 or Sep 14? Would be interesting to see whether the passage was closed or not...

//LMV
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on May 24, 2015, 07:40:48 PM
My first idea is if anyone of you know what the narrow passage through Brands and Gibson Islands in the Canadian Arctic should be called?

Do you mean Bellot Strait?
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Peter Ellis on May 24, 2015, 07:46:57 PM
Not sure what you mean.  Gibson island is on the west of the Boothia peninsula, Brands island is on the East of it.  There is no passage "through" either island.  Are you referring to the channel between Somerset island and the mainland?   That has Brands island at one end, and Gibson island is vaguely near the other end.

If so, then this is called the Bellot Strait.

I can recommend the "Routes" section here, and all the links off it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northwest_Passage (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northwest_Passage)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Peter Ellis on May 24, 2015, 07:51:34 PM
Here's a report from a ship that just made it through last year.  Not really "open" by any stretch of the imagination.
http://empiricusembarks.com/2014/11/29/big-bad-bellot-straight-part-2-what-we-learned/ (http://empiricusembarks.com/2014/11/29/big-bad-bellot-straight-part-2-what-we-learned/)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Sonia on May 24, 2015, 07:55:53 PM
... the narrow passage through Brands and Gibson Islands ...

That's the Bellot Strait.  Scroll back through the topic and there are a number of posts referring to it and to ship traffic through it.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Lord M Vader on May 24, 2015, 07:58:23 PM
Yes, it is Bellot Strait... Thx guys! :)

Interestingly, the wikipedia article doesn't mention Bellot Strait as one possible way through the NWP(!) And I don't find anything in the article about someone who have navigated through Bellot Strait..

If no one has, we should hire a ship and become the first ones ever who have navigated through NWP via Bellot Strait :P ;D Of course, we need a some $$$...

//LMV
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Peter Ellis on May 24, 2015, 08:00:25 PM
Interestingly, the wikipedia article doesn't mention Bellot Strait as one possible way through the NWP(!)
Yes it does.

Quote
South: From Lancaster Sound west past Prince Regent Inlet (basically a cul-de-sac but it may be possible to exit west through the Bellot Strait)

Edit:  More detail available if you click through the link to the Bellot Strait article itself.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bellot_Strait (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bellot_Strait)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Lord M Vader on May 24, 2015, 08:04:25 PM
Aaaah, now I saw it! Thx Peter Ellis! :) And all of you other guys! :)

Now, let's see if any one here knows whether Bellot Strait was ice free or not last year :)

//LMV

Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Peter Ellis on May 24, 2015, 08:05:18 PM
Here's a report from a ship that just made it through last year.  Not really "open" by any stretch of the imagination.
http://empiricusembarks.com/2014/11/29/big-bad-bellot-straight-part-2-what-we-learned/ (http://empiricusembarks.com/2014/11/29/big-bad-bellot-straight-part-2-what-we-learned/)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Espen on May 24, 2015, 08:14:26 PM
Here is one who did did it in 2014:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_yTdx4pmcGE (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_yTdx4pmcGE)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: LRC1962 on May 25, 2015, 01:54:04 AM
How does one define open? Open to a ship with ice breaking capability is far different then open to a kayak. Also is it open when there is a large enough leed to get your ship through yet still can get closed off if the wind blows in the right direction?
Granted that is what makes the Arctic so interesting in that no 2 days are ever the same.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Polynya88 on May 27, 2015, 02:14:30 AM
You got that right. The Arctic resists all attempts to forecast it!

As far as the NWP goes, the chunk of CIS ice chart below shows how there is a big area of 9/10 Old ice to the west of the passage that is poised to drift into Victoria Strait as soon as melt gets going. This brings it right into the area where ships cannot avoid it as the shipping channel is narrow, and not surprisingly is where Sir John Franklin bought the farm when he went down that way... The northern route is completely blocked by Old Ice so this will be the only option.

The NWP will, as always, be open to icebreakers, and ice-breaking cruise ships (ex-Russian) but after that, 2015 is likely to be a challenge for low ice class vessels to say the least...
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Neven on June 07, 2015, 12:27:22 PM
The ice in M'Clure Strait is breaking up (started a few days ago, but I've only noticed it now):

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=1149.0;attach=16956;image)

The east end of the main NWP channel is already free of ice for a long way, and the forecast is for heat moving into the CAA. I wonder if the NWP will open up this year.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on June 07, 2015, 01:13:39 PM
I wonder if the NWP will open up this year.

The Canadian Ice Service have just restarted their coverage of the Amundsen Gulf, although not yet McClure Strait!

Does the southern route count? If so at the very least a trip via Gjoa Havn at some stage seems ultimately feasible.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Neven on June 07, 2015, 02:02:47 PM
Quote
Does the southern route count?

For me the NWP is truly open when the main route is open. From Lancaster Sound straight to M'Clure Strait. But that's me.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on June 07, 2015, 02:38:54 PM
Here's the current state of play for all the options according to Hamburg Uni AMSR2:
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on June 07, 2015, 02:52:56 PM
And here's a slightly out of date (June 1st) RadarSat mosaic of the main drag, which seems remarkably free of old, thick ice:
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on June 07, 2015, 03:09:26 PM
Which would seem to be explained by this AMSR2 image from last September. Perhaps there should be a poll Neven?!
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: ghoti on June 07, 2015, 03:28:36 PM
For me the NWP is open whenever commercial shipping traffic has no trouble transiting like we saw last year. I'd call the route Neven is referring to the Northwest Sea Highway rather than passage :P
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: iceman on June 27, 2015, 04:47:35 PM
Conditions in the coming week appear to favor early opening of the NWP (Prince of Wales Strait variation) - even if Wipneus is correct that the ASI AMSR2 algorithm currently underestimates ice concentration in the Canadian Archipelago.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: ghoti on July 10, 2015, 08:34:10 PM
Has anyone seen this year's equivalent to last year's http://www.enablingwebsites.com/sv_novara_track.html (http://www.enablingwebsites.com/sv_novara_track.html) ?

News of people beginning their Northwest Passage treks is starting to surface but I haven't managed to find a site tracking boats on the way.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: jdallen on July 15, 2015, 07:56:01 AM
Serious shattering starting at either end of the main strait.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: mati on July 15, 2015, 03:18:21 PM
Has anyone seen this year's equivalent to last year's http://www.enablingwebsites.com/sv_novara_track.html (http://www.enablingwebsites.com/sv_novara_track.html) ?

News of people beginning their Northwest Passage treks is starting to surface but I haven't managed to find a site tracking boats on the way.

I dont see any registered ships in the area, just some along the greenland coast of davis strait:

https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/home/centerx:-55/centery:68/zoom:6 (https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/home/centerx:-55/centery:68/zoom:6)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: bosbas on July 15, 2015, 08:55:19 PM
According to Climate Reanalyzer the air temperature at Banks has been above normal for a long time (and continues that way). I wonder if that will have an impact later. But I don't know what the temperature was in 2012 in that area; it could be it is only a little departure from the norm.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: plinius on July 16, 2015, 02:29:33 PM
unlikely - e.g. Eureka had new record temperatures for this date.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Neven on July 17, 2015, 11:16:18 AM
Western entrance (or exit, depending on how you look at it) is breaking up real fast now, with cracks all the way up to the eastern tip of Victoria Island.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Siffy on July 17, 2015, 11:48:02 AM
Western entrance (or exit, depending on how you look at it) is breaking up real fast now, with cracks all the way up to the eastern tip of Victoria Island.

I'm wondering if we might not see the CAA fully melt out this year. Has that ever happened before?
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Rubikscube on July 17, 2015, 12:14:52 PM
I'm wondering if we might not see the CAA fully melt out this year. Has that ever happened before?

Nope, the main channels north of Melville Island (Hazen Strait and Prince Gustav Adolf Sea), as well as Peary Channel north of Amund Ringnes Island have never been ice free at minimum.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Neven on July 17, 2015, 12:38:15 PM
I'm wondering if we might not see the CAA fully melt out this year. Has that ever happened before?

Nope, the main channels north of Melville Island (Hazen Strait and Prince Gustav Adolf Sea), as well as Peary Channel north of Amund Ringnes Island have never been ice free at minimum.

They would've been ice-free, notably in 2010 and 2011 (if memory serves me well), if it weren't for ice floes from the Central Arctic Basin pushing in, replenishing so to say the channels and straits. See for instance this blog post (http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2010/08/animation-11-canadian-archipelago.html) back in 2010.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on July 18, 2015, 04:48:38 PM
An AMSR2 animation of the summer so far. For additional context see also:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2015/07/is-time-running-out-for-arctic-sea-ice/#comment-210770 (http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2015/07/is-time-running-out-for-arctic-sea-ice/#comment-210770)

http://youtu.be/RjmYOEMa3OM (http://youtu.be/RjmYOEMa3OM)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: iceman on July 18, 2015, 05:22:48 PM
Western entrance (or exit, depending on how you look at it) is breaking up real fast now, with cracks all the way up to the eastern tip of Victoria Island.

Looks like yet another week to come of mostly in situ melting, though with moderate ESE winds that will flush some of that broken ice out into the rapidly melting eastern Beaufort.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Neven on July 21, 2015, 11:36:56 PM
Break-up is continuing apace:
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: jdallen on July 22, 2015, 12:50:34 AM
The fracture zones are within 150KM or so of one another.

I wonder how much faster the disintegration will proceed once they do?
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Nightvid Cole on July 22, 2015, 01:01:25 AM
The fracture zones are within 150KM or so of one another.

I wonder how much faster the disintegration will proceed once they do?

Depends upon the wind.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: greatdying2 on July 22, 2015, 01:13:14 AM
The fracture zones are within 150KM or so of one another.

I wonder how much faster the disintegration will proceed once they do?

Depends upon the wind.

Not sure if this forecast is any better than the thickness models, but looks to be at least several days highly conducive to sailing north. The 24th looks especially exciting.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww7320.nrlssc.navy.mil%2FhycomARC%2Fnavo%2Farcticicespddrf_nowcast_anim30d.gif&hash=f38777fe4451a1b3509c503f368511a3)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: jdallen on July 22, 2015, 01:29:44 AM
Wind forcasting is driven from far different data sources, with more depth to the data, and more mature models.  We can also look at other sources as well.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: jdallen on July 22, 2015, 08:41:21 AM
The skies have cleared; anther great shot of the NW passage end-to-end; fracturing propagating from the west side has almost reached the open water to the east. Not much more than about 100K separating the fracture zones.

Note lots of discoloration and probable melt ponds.  This ices is definitely on the way out.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Laurent on July 22, 2015, 09:39:24 AM
A bit of zoom to see cracks are very close.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: ghoti on July 24, 2015, 05:16:56 AM
The late ice in Baffin and Hudson Bay has caused havoc in the summer resupply shipping to Nunavut. Combine this with the current Canadian govt's political agenda and Arctic researchers seasons are being ruined.

http://www.nunatsiaqonline.ca/stories/article/65674ice_federal_mission_hamper_arctic_science_and_sealift_this_year/ (http://www.nunatsiaqonline.ca/stories/article/65674ice_federal_mission_hamper_arctic_science_and_sealift_this_year/)

Andreas Muenchow must be thinking it is a good thing he refused to sign the contract with the Canadian govt gag order a couple of years ago.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: OldLeatherneck on July 25, 2015, 06:23:47 PM
It's currently 54o (F) in Resolute, with 26 mph winds.  That should help melt and move some ice in the NW Passage.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Nick_Naylor on July 25, 2015, 10:06:56 PM
It's now 58F (15C), and forecast to reach 50F (10C) every day for the next seven days.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Neven on July 25, 2015, 11:36:30 PM
All of the ice is fragmented now (go to LANCE-MODIS (http://lance-modis.eosdis.nasa.gov/imagery/subsets/?subset=Arctic_r04c02.2015206.aqua.1km) for a more detailed look)

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Flance-modis.eosdis.nasa.gov%2Fimagery%2Fsubsets%2FArctic_r04c02%2F2015206%2FArctic_r04c02.2015206.aqua.2km.jpg&hash=6a339b3e3afeedd027486c6986b258d1)

Now we wait and see how long it takes to move/melt out.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Frivolousz21 on July 26, 2015, 08:54:37 AM
It's going to melt as completely out as much as possible this year.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: AmbiValent on July 26, 2015, 11:51:18 PM
The ice just west of Ellesmere looks off-color, there even seems to be a crack south of Meighen. Is the ice there actually weakening? I thought that part of the CAA would hold out even in years where Perry Channel would all melt out.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Neven on July 26, 2015, 11:54:26 PM
No, it can all break up and start to move, like happened in 2010 and 2011, AmbiValent. What happens then is that ice from the CAB moves into the channels and straits of the CAA, and that old, thick ice moves from the channels and straits into the NWP.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Neven on July 29, 2015, 12:07:31 AM
Another clear view today of a NWP full of cracked ice:

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Flance-modis.eosdis.nasa.gov%2Fimagery%2Fsubsets%2FArctic_r04c02%2F2015209%2FArctic_r04c02.2015209.terra.2km.jpg&hash=ed3dfbddf30e30ba6fd5b119cbb7e288)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Neven on July 29, 2015, 12:18:03 AM
One week:
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: AmbiValent on July 29, 2015, 11:15:32 PM
And now, several more cracks around Meighen, while further west in the CAA the ice looks more solid (where visible). Any idea whether heat has an easier way to get to Meighen, or was the ice there weaker to begin with?
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: ghoti on August 08, 2015, 06:27:54 PM
The NW Passage blog is reporting sections opening much earlier than before.

http://northwestpassage2015.blogspot.ca/2015/08/nw-passage-route-5-6-segment-opens.html (http://northwestpassage2015.blogspot.ca/2015/08/nw-passage-route-5-6-segment-opens.html)

Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: dmarcus on August 11, 2015, 02:20:27 AM
So is there now a Bellot Strait route open everywhere except in Bellot Strait itself, and its western approaches?
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: ghoti on August 11, 2015, 02:30:31 AM
It really looks that way on Worldview today. The strait looks ice clogged and the western end still has some ice clearly blocking it. From descriptions from people making the passage in previous years it seems there is usually much more ice in their way than we seem to see on Worldview so I doubt anyone will be attempting the strait this week.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: ghoti on August 12, 2015, 03:47:53 AM
Apparently the Canada Ice Service is not providing ice charts to people attempting the passage this year. They have released the chart covering the eastern approach to Resolute but not one that includes the Beloit

http://northwestpassage2015.blogspot.ca/2015/08/canada-ice-service-20150811-daily-ice.html (http://northwestpassage2015.blogspot.ca/2015/08/canada-ice-service-20150811-daily-ice.html)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: wili on August 13, 2015, 10:13:47 PM
Is there some entity that would officially call the (southern portion of the) NW Passage open? If so, have they done so, yet. It sure looks like it is no passable.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 13, 2015, 10:35:01 PM
Is there some entity that would officially call the (southern portion of the) NW Passage open? If so, have they done so, yet. It sure looks like it is no passable.

Not if you look at MODIS it doesn't. Cross posted from the 2015 melt thread:

http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1149.msg60671.html#msg60671 (http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1149.msg60671.html#msg60671)

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fforum.arctic-sea-ice.net%2Findex.php%3Faction%3Ddlattach%3Btopic%3D1149.0%3Battach%3D19985%3Bimage&hash=144ed3e72c3be388e9d8cc628999ff7a)

The Canadian Ice Service agree:

Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: wili on August 13, 2015, 10:46:35 PM
Yeah, that does look pretty different from what Bremen is saying. Is one of those more reliable than the other?
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: ghoti on August 14, 2015, 02:19:18 AM
Posts on the Northwest Passage 2015 blog are suggesting route 6 is open.

http://www.northwestpassage2015.blogspot.co.uk/ (http://www.northwestpassage2015.blogspot.co.uk/)

SV Salty Kisses has reached Resolute. I didn't see what their planned route from there is.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: wili on August 14, 2015, 06:49:25 AM
"Posts on the Northwest Passage 2015 blog are suggesting route 6 is open."

Would that be a record for earliest opening of a NW Passage? Where does one go for such records?
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Andreas T on August 14, 2015, 07:33:53 AM
Yeah, that does look pretty different from what Bremen is saying. Is one of those more reliable than the other?
maybe this wasn't meant as a serious question but it made me think about how I choose reliable sources of information.
In this case I ask myself: can I think of ways in which the MODIS camera sees something in the water which looks like ice from its movement and shape and the visible and infrared frequencies it reflects, but which isn't actually ice? I can't.  Can I think of reasons why the ice concentration graphic produced by Bremen university shows no ice concentration above 10%? I can have some guesses about the AMSR sensors ability to detect the broken up and possibly wet ice which the visible image suggests, but actually I can't claim to know enough about it to be sure.
What I do remember and others which have observed the data closely have pointed out too, is that sometimes ice which was absent from the AMSR derived charts reappears later.
The uni-bremen page which shows the chart states:
Quote
The ASI sea ice concentration algorithm used here has been validated in several studies (Spreen et al. 2005, Spreen et al., 2008).
However, no warranty is given for the data presented on these pages.

For the purpose of declaring the passage open to shipping which may require rescue if damaged by ice would it be a good choice to base the decision on the first or the last source of information?
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 14, 2015, 12:44:28 PM
Posts on the Northwest Passage 2015 blog are suggesting route 6 is open.

Doug's blog is rather more optimistic than the Canadian Ice Service, or me (http://greatwhitecon.info/2015/08/is-the-northwest-passage-open-yet/)! They still have 4-6/10 ice within a whisker of the coast. Would you fancy your chances in amongst that and a bit of a breeze?

The CIS definition of "navigable" is "a criteria of less than 60% ice cover over all sections of the Northwest Passage". See:

http://ec.gc.ca/glaces-ice/default.asp?lang=En&n=765F63E4-1 (http://ec.gc.ca/glaces-ice/default.asp?lang=En&n=765F63E4-1)

and the inset map at:

http://ec.gc.ca/glaces-ice/default.asp?lang=En&n=6096131E-1 (http://ec.gc.ca/glaces-ice/default.asp?lang=En&n=6096131E-1)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Carex on August 14, 2015, 03:16:56 PM
Looking at that chart the Northwest passage is officially open with no more that 60% ice for both the Prince Regent - Bellot Straight route or the Peel Sound route then south of King William Island.  Routes could be navigated with a maximum 50% ice concentration.  Routes north of King William Island would require passage through at least 20 miles of 70% to 80% ice concentration. 
I wouldn't do it but I'm sure there are many who would.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 14, 2015, 04:05:14 PM
Looking at that chart the Northwest passage is officially open with no more that 60% ice for both the Prince Regent - Bellot Straight route or the Peel Sound route then south of King William Island.

My interpretation is different. Some areas coloured red in the "inset map" referred to do still contain 60% or greater ice cover (i.e. brown or red on the CIS chart). I therefore reckon (http://greatwhitecon.info/2015/08/is-the-northwest-passage-open-yet/#CISMin) that using the official CIS criteria the NWP was still "closed" at 6PM yesterday evening UTC.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: ghoti on August 14, 2015, 08:02:07 PM
We shouldn't have too long to wait before we know for sure. SV Salty Kisses reports 5 boats are in port at Resolute.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=957551827600353 (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=957551827600353)

When they decide to give it a go we'll get confirmation of whether it is navigable or not.

Plus we have news from the boats that over-wintered in Cambridge bay that are currently heading towards Bellot Strait on their way east.
http://cornellsailing.com/2015/08/final-stage/ (http://cornellsailing.com/2015/08/final-stage/)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 14, 2015, 09:06:10 PM
Heading east Aventura reports:

Quote
Soon we were surrounded by ice once again, but we carried on valiantly as with only 80 miles to go to Bellot Strait we are determined to get there before the day is out.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: gideonlow on August 14, 2015, 09:34:41 PM
Heading east Aventura reports:

Quote
Soon we were surrounded by ice once again, but we carried on valiantly as with only 80 miles to go to Bellot Strait we are determined to get there before the day is out.

The tracking map now shows them just a few miles from entering Bellot Strait!
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: dmarcus on August 14, 2015, 10:54:49 PM
For details on multiple boat locations from Gjoa haven to Resolute, see http://www.thenorthwestpassage.info/. (http://www.thenorthwestpassage.info/.) There's currently one boat at Bellot Strait (or a mile inland, if you trust their GPS!), one approaching from the Gloa Haven side, and others in/near Resolute and in Gjoa Haven.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 14, 2015, 11:07:11 PM
There's currently one boat at Bellot Strait (or a mile inland, if you trust their GPS!), one approaching from the Gloa Haven side, and others in/near Resolute and in Gjoa Haven.

The latest news from the CIS et al.

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2015/08/is-the-northwest-passage-open-yet/#comment-211349 (http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2015/08/is-the-northwest-passage-open-yet/#comment-211349)

Quote
I reckon the Northwest Passage is still not “open” using the CIS’s criteria, but the worst now looks to be behind Aventura?

The Necton seems to have taken much the same route as Aventura, but there currently seems to be no evidence that either of them have made it through to the Eastern end of Bellot Strait?
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: ghoti on August 15, 2015, 01:41:21 AM
The map points and track (on http://www.thenorthwestpassage.info/ (http://www.thenorthwestpassage.info/) )  do seem to show Necton through to the eastern side of Bellot now. Also seems as if SV Selma is now approaching Bellot from the east.

So the boats are ignoring our pronouncements of the passage being open yet or not and focusing on avoiding ice damage and continuing along their way.

The Necton website seems to say (if Google translate got it right) that there was a lot of ice in the way but they boldly proceeded where they had no ice charts and found a route to Bellot. http://www.necton.nl/ (http://www.necton.nl/)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: ghoti on August 15, 2015, 03:06:33 AM
SV Salty Kisses just tweeted at around 9pm EDT on the 14th that they were approaching Peel Sound and seeing 2/10 ice.

https://twitter.com/SVPrili/status/632353417403494400

Yesterday's ice chart seemed to say there was 5-7/10 ice there but I'm no expert at reading those charts. Looks like they'll be avoiding Bellot and just head south through Peel.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 15, 2015, 11:48:24 AM
Thanks ghoti,

I hadn't spotted Necton's own site previously, but the tracking map there shows they made it through Bellot Strait early yesterday:

http://www.necton.nl/index.php/spotfinder (http://www.necton.nl/index.php/spotfinder)

They're currently speeding into Lancaster Sound, whilst Aventura emerged from the Bellot Strait early today:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2015/08/is-the-northwest-passage-open-yet/#comment-211367 (http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2015/08/is-the-northwest-passage-open-yet/#comment-211367)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: dmarcus on August 16, 2015, 04:38:52 AM
According to www.thenorthwestpassage.info (http://www.thenorthwestpassage.info), there are 3 east-to-west boats all in about the same position today, a quarter of the way down the west side of Somerset Island. They are all attempting to bypass Bellot Strait: Bagheera, Snow Dragon II, and Salty Kisses. Another east-to-west boat, the Selma, is just entering the east side of Bellot Strait. Two west-to-east boats, Necton and Aventura, have already passed through Bellot Strait, with the Necton now all the way to the northern tip of Baffin Island. A busy few days for the waters surrounding Somerset island!
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: ghoti on August 16, 2015, 09:37:00 PM
Yeah and that map is quite a few days out of date (or at least when I compare it to the positions provided by individual boats). So there's plenty of ice in the passage but more than enough clearance for the boats to manage just fine.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 17, 2015, 02:29:32 PM
A few yachts seem to waiting near the western entrance to Bellot Strait before heading south, whilst both Philos and Selma seem to have made it through the strait:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2015/08/is-the-northwest-passage-open-yet/#comment-211424 (http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2015/08/is-the-northwest-passage-open-yet/#comment-211424)

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.selmaexpeditions.com%2Ffotki%2Fsms%2F2015_08_14_d.jpg&hash=eb3917be91383c5447743d701cea296d)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Phil. on August 18, 2015, 04:15:25 PM
Salty Kisses left their anchorage near Belotte and is heading south through Peel Sound.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: ghoti on August 19, 2015, 01:39:18 AM
I think S/V Selma was just ahead of them and maybe Snow Dragon II is in the same area.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Phil. on August 20, 2015, 12:34:38 PM
Salty Kisses making good progress (~5kts) should pass Jenny Lind Island soon.
They appear to have anchored there now.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Phil. on August 21, 2015, 06:42:12 PM
Salty Kisses into Queen Maud now, about 7 knots.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: ghoti on August 21, 2015, 06:50:38 PM
The Northwest Passage tracker is still at least a day behind but up to  the point where Salty Kisses pulled in and stopped at Jenny Lind Island it is showing identical paths for S/V Snowdragon II and S/V Bagheera. This includes the stopover just north of Bellot and the same stopover at Jenny Lind.

Next stop Cambridge Bay perhaps?

http://www.thenorthwestpassage.info/ (http://www.thenorthwestpassage.info/)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Phil. on August 22, 2015, 03:26:04 PM
The Northwest Passage tracker is still at least a day behind but up to  the point where Salty Kisses pulled in and stopped at Jenny Lind Island it is showing identical paths for S/V Snowdragon II and S/V Bagheera. This includes the stopover just north of Bellot and the same stopover at Jenny Lind.

Next stop Cambridge Bay perhaps?

http://www.thenorthwestpassage.info/ (http://www.thenorthwestpassage.info/)

Salty Kisses spent last night in Cambridge Bay.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Neven on August 22, 2015, 11:26:39 PM
First reasonably clear satellite image since a while:

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Flance-modis.eosdis.nasa.gov%2Fimagery%2Fsubsets%2FArctic_r04c02%2F2015234%2FArctic_r04c02.2015234.terra.2km.jpg&hash=74de0b6757c1788eb78c8890e520da9b)

I'm intrigued by that cappuccino ice in the middle of the NWP. I don't think I've seen it often there.

Here (http://1.usa.gov/1I3n4A4)'s a close-up on EOSDIS Worldview.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Neven on August 23, 2015, 02:24:06 PM
Over on the Home brew AMSR2 thread Wipneus posted the following animation:

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fforum.arctic-sea-ice.net%2Findex.php%3Faction%3Ddlattach%3Btopic%3D382.0%3Battach%3D20374%3Bimage&hash=cb98a5d2203c7bc24491d9462ca8c4a8)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Espen on August 24, 2015, 06:11:31 PM
Nansen Sound (Ellesmere Island) will soon unplug together with Independence Fjord (North Greenland), a very interesting season?
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Phil. on August 27, 2015, 01:49:51 AM
Salty Kisses left Cambridge Bay today and is making good progress to the west heading into Coronation Gulf.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: dmarcus on August 28, 2015, 07:11:57 AM
Here is the current status of all nine NW passage boats tracked at www.thenorthwestpassage.info (http://www.thenorthwestpassage.info). At least two are through, and all the rest are in good shape to complete the passage in the coming days:

1. Andros (west-to-east) has passed through Bellot Strait and also Hecla and Fury Strait, and is in the middle of Foxe Basin. Since it's barely north of the Arctic Circle, it will technically complete a northwest passage in the very near future.

2. Aventura has completed a west-to-east passage and is near Nuuk, Greenland.

3-4. Bagheera and Snow Dragon II, traveling together east-to-west, are in Cambridge Bay.

5. Hawk, traveling east-to-west, is approaching Gjoa Haven.

6. Necton has completed a west-to-east passage.

7. Philos, traveling west-to-east, was at the east end of Bellot Strait on August 13, and has not reported a position since. Assuming nothing bad happened, it has probably completed its passage by now.

8. Salty Kisses, traveling east-to-west, has completed its traverse of Coronation Gulf (see previous post) and entered Dolphin and Union Strait.

9. Selma, traveling east-to-west via Bellot Strait and Gjoa Haven, has reached Cambridge Bay.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Phil. on August 28, 2015, 05:28:52 PM
Thanks dmarcus.  My guess is that those heading west will sit tight until the storm in the Beaufort eases off.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: dmarcus on August 28, 2015, 10:00:51 PM
Your welcome, Phil.

A couple further notes: Andros appears to be the first boat to ever go west-to-east via Hecla and Fury Strait and the Foxe Basin, and only the 4th in either direction. Of the 9 passages lsited for this year, Hawk is the only one following Amundsen's original 1903-06 route.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 29, 2015, 08:40:42 PM
The main Northwest Passage is within a whisker of being passable without encountering ice concentrations greater than 3/10. I’m therefore eagerly awaiting the August 29th release of the Canadian Ice Service sea ice concentration maps!
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 29, 2015, 09:29:52 PM
There may possibly be a way around the north of Byam Martin Island, but the CIS resolutely state “No analysis” in that area. I guess that wouldn’t really count as the Parry Channel either. For the moment at least, there’s still an area of 9-10/10 concentration blocking the way:
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 29, 2015, 11:12:44 PM
A slightly cloudy MODIS image is now available:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/resources/arctic-regional-graphs/northwest-passage/#Aug29 (http://GreatWhiteCon.info/resources/arctic-regional-graphs/northwest-passage/#Aug29)

With a bit of luck an intrepid navigator in a motor yacht could probably make it through the remaining ice via a circuitous route. Personally I don't think that's  enough to declare the passage "open" just yet, but others may disagree!
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: plinius on August 30, 2015, 12:27:42 AM
Well, at least one could state that even with their lead poisoning Franklin and his crew would not have died...
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: budmantis on August 30, 2015, 03:46:59 AM
A slightly cloudy MODIS image is now available:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/resources/arctic-regional-graphs/northwest-passage/#Aug29 (http://GreatWhiteCon.info/resources/arctic-regional-graphs/northwest-passage/#Aug29)

With a bit of luck an intrepid navigator in a motor yacht could probably make it through the remaining ice via a circuitous route. Personally I don't think that's  enough to declare the passage "open" just yet, but others may disagree!

I've been observing the arctic ice melt since 2009. This is the closest I've seen the Northwest passage to being open, without it being "officially" open.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Espen on August 30, 2015, 06:29:39 PM
Nansen Sound will soon be open to the north:
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 30, 2015, 11:39:42 PM
A nice clear view of the Parry Channel from Terra this evening:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/resources/arctic-sea-ice-images/summer-2015-images/#CAA (http://GreatWhiteCon.info/resources/arctic-sea-ice-images/summer-2015-images/#CAA)

Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: dmarcus on September 01, 2015, 07:29:39 AM
The 8/31 Uni Bremen close-up map at http://www.iup.uni-bremen.de:8084/amsr2/Resolute_AMSR2_visual.png (http://www.iup.uni-bremen.de:8084/amsr2/Resolute_AMSR2_visual.png) shows an ice-free route through the Parry channel, just 1-2 days after the photo Jim Hunt posted.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: diablobanquisa on September 01, 2015, 10:41:59 AM
However, looking at MODIS, I'd say that it's not open yet:

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Frapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov%2Fimagery%2Fsubsets%2FArctic_r04c02%2F2015243%2FArctic_r04c02.2015243.terra.721.2km.jpg&hash=d25b7296f2078e65f7866e1e8118102e) (http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/imagery/subsets/?subset=Arctic_r04c02.2015243.terra.721.2km)


(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimages.meteociel.fr%2Fim%2F8184%2F20150831180000_WIS37CT_0008447332_uyd5.gif&hash=7fcd00cdcaaf631422dfa4befea7cd8a) (https://www.ec.gc.ca/glaces-ice/)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on September 01, 2015, 01:40:57 PM
However, looking at MODIS, I'd say that it's not open yet:

You got here before me Diablo!

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2015/08/is-the-northwest-passage-open-yet/#comment-211688 (http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2015/08/is-the-northwest-passage-open-yet/#comment-211688)

I agree, and I feel sure that the CIS do so officially as well.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Lord M Vader on September 01, 2015, 08:38:03 PM
Jim & Diablo: according to the Canadian ice services ice maps my conclusion is that Amundsens Route now is entirely open.

Parry Channel may be closed right now but there is still an opportunity that it may open up temporarily as the surge of warm air in combo with southerlies will weaken the ice enough to call it "open".  Diablos ice chart shows that the ice blocking the channel actually have weakened as the ice there now "only" is of 7-8/10. From previous day it was 9-10/10.

The warm air seems to be in place in the area for about another 48 hours. Beyond that I don't expect much more melting in this area.

If my memory is correct, both passages were open simultaneously in 2008 and 2012. Were they both open in 2007?

/LMV
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on September 01, 2015, 11:28:45 PM
In today's chart the CIS have "no analysis" in the thickest remaining ice in the Parry Channel :(

Amundsen's route certainly looks "open" however.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: diablobanquisa on September 01, 2015, 11:57:20 PM
I agree, Amundsen's route looks entirely open.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Phil. on September 02, 2015, 06:07:48 PM
Salty Kisses is through the passage near the US/Canada border.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: ghoti on September 02, 2015, 07:19:22 PM
Salty Kisses reports that the wind has been at least as big an issue in the Canadian Arctic as the ice has been.

http://saltykisses.net/hanging-in-the-arctic-waiting-on-weather/ (http://saltykisses.net/hanging-in-the-arctic-waiting-on-weather/)

Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on September 03, 2015, 08:48:37 AM
According to the latest edition of Arctic Sea Ice News (http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/2015/09/steady-decline-summer-minimum-approaching/):

Quote
The southerly route through the Northwest Passage is open. Data from the AMSR-2 satellite, which uses passive microwave emission, suggests that this path is ice-free. The higher-resolution Multisensor Analyzed Sea Ice Extent (MASIE) product, based on several data sources and human interpretation, shows only a few areas of low-concentration ice.

The broader and deeper passage through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, between Lancaster Sound, Parry Channel, and McClure Strait, is still obstructed by ice, but at the end of August ice blocked only a short portion near Victoria Island. Before drawing conclusions about navigability, however, it is important to check with the operational services such as the National Ice Center (NIC) or the Canadian Ice Service (CIS).

Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Phil. on September 03, 2015, 12:52:04 PM
Salty Kisses reports that the wind has been at least as big an issue in the Canadian Arctic as the ice has been.

http://saltykisses.net/hanging-in-the-arctic-waiting-on-weather/ (http://saltykisses.net/hanging-in-the-arctic-waiting-on-weather/)

Yeah, they just left harbor half an hour ago.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Phil. on September 08, 2015, 07:46:27 PM
Salty Kisses reports that the wind has been at least as big an issue in the Canadian Arctic as the ice has been.

http://saltykisses.net/hanging-in-the-arctic-waiting-on-weather/ (http://saltykisses.net/hanging-in-the-arctic-waiting-on-weather/)

Yeah, they just left harbor half an hour ago.

Now passing through the Bering Strait.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: dmarcus on September 09, 2015, 04:41:14 AM
Parry Channel appears open, along with the rest of the main NW passage route:

http://www.iup.uni-bremen.de:8084/amsr2/Resolute_AMSR2_visual.png (http://www.iup.uni-bremen.de:8084/amsr2/Resolute_AMSR2_visual.png)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Lord M Vader on September 14, 2015, 07:48:26 AM
Parry Channel now appears more or less open but a complete analysis can't be done as the Canadian ice service doesn't show the entire channel. However, McClure Strait is open but the outer region of the Parry Channel is locally covered with very thin and fragile ice (1-3/10) according to CA.

//LMV
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: diablobanquisa on September 17, 2015, 12:17:07 AM
Last CIS regional map:

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimages.meteociel.fr%2Fim%2F6331%2F20150914180000_WIS56CT_0008474166_gwz9.gif&hash=26591e89f9636f2c7cd80b36ad32ca31)

Parry Channel has finally opened during last week. Mc Clure strait is also open, although ice drift could block it again.

Last map of Mc Clure strait:

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimages.meteociel.fr%2Fim%2F2886%2F20150916180000_WIS43CT_0008474688_qdt4.gif&hash=633a5536e156812167ade4c639e7dfdb)

http://www.ec.gc.ca/glaces-ice/default.asp?lang=En&n=D32C361E-1 (http://www.ec.gc.ca/glaces-ice/default.asp?lang=En&n=D32C361E-1)



Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on September 18, 2015, 01:49:10 PM
I reckon we can at long last confidently declare the main Northwest Passage to be OPEN!

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2015/08/is-the-northwest-passage-open-yet/#Sep18 (http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2015/08/is-the-northwest-passage-open-yet/#Sep18)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: ghoti on September 18, 2015, 05:17:42 PM
Remaining question is which route will the MV Andros take from Resolute west through their second northwest passage of this season?
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Andreas T on September 19, 2015, 09:11:52 PM
the most recent message from Andros on http://northwestpassage2015.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/week-10-can-mv-andros-complete.html?view=timeslide (http://northwestpassage2015.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/week-10-can-mv-andros-complete.html?view=timeslide)   was
Quote
20150918-1200 hrs Departing Mercy Bay to attempt a westward Route 1 along the shore through the 2/10 sea ice around Cape Prince Alfred enroute to Sachs Harbour.

Winds are E5 so the ice must be drifting in from the sea current flow.
Outlook for the next 24 hours is E5 but changing Sat night to N5 so we are OK to proceed.

DTG 117 @~6 (dodging ice) = +19 hrs ETA Cape Prince Alfred 20150919-0700 hrs
Sunrise 7:14 MDT
5 POB, all well.

If the sea ice becomes greatly concentrated we will reverse course to the east and escape south in Prince of Wales Strait on Route 2.

There may be no updates for a while since I expect all of us will be busy with ice navigation.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: diablobanquisa on September 20, 2015, 12:32:51 AM
New ice is starting to form at the Parry Channel:

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimages.meteociel.fr%2Fim%2F4822%2F20150919180000_WIS37CT_0008479660_jzn7.gif&hash=276c3de67257477011047016b8e79c00)

Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: diablobanquisa on September 20, 2015, 12:39:31 AM
McClure strait, september 18:

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.polarview.aq%2Fimages%2F106_S1jpgsmall%2FS1A_EW_GRDM_1SDH_20150918T151049_8612_N_1.jpg&hash=2f6d0e1440f637fbb610f4cc465ef896)

http://www.polarview.aq/images/106_S1jpgsmall/S1A_EW_GRDM_1SDH_20150918T151049_8612_N_1.jpg (http://www.polarview.aq/images/106_S1jpgsmall/S1A_EW_GRDM_1SDH_20150918T151049_8612_N_1.jpg)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on September 20, 2015, 01:26:35 PM
According to his website (http://www.charleshedrich.com/index.php?lang=english):

Quote
After 3 seasons, 2 wintering, 6 000km (3 700 miles), 165 days at sea, a Polar bear attack, a whale lift, winds ... Charles Hedrich has arrived around 4pm in Pond Inlet (Nunavut, Canada) this Wednesday 16th of September. He is now, the first man to have rowed solo the North-West Passage.




Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: ghoti on September 20, 2015, 05:13:10 PM
The characterization of this huge adventure as completing the Northwest Passage is being challenged because the eastern end point is neither Greenland nor some point south of the Arctic Circle.

Still a massive accomplishment.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Andreas T on September 21, 2015, 12:20:34 AM
MV Andros has reached Sachs Harbour having come through Mc Clure Strait.
http://northwestpassage2015.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/week-11-can-mv-andros-complete.html?view=timeslide (http://northwestpassage2015.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/week-11-can-mv-andros-complete.html?view=timeslide)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: anotheramethyst on September 22, 2015, 09:52:10 PM
The characterization of this huge adventure as completing the Northwest Passage is being challenged because the eastern end point is neither Greenland nor some point south of the Arctic Circle.

Still a massive accomplishment.

wow!! it IS still an accomplishment.  i just finished reading "a pearl in the storm" which is about the first woman to row across the atlantic.  very inspiring story. 
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: FrankS on September 26, 2015, 04:57:42 AM
I thought the people reading this thread would be interested in this article titled "Ice thickness in the Northwest Passage" in Geophysical Reserach Letters:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/wol1/doi/10.1002/2015GL065704/full (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/wol1/doi/10.1002/2015GL065704/full)

(found out about it because I know the second authour)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on September 26, 2015, 10:38:26 AM
Thanks for the heads up Frank. Interesting indeed!

Quote
Global climate models with their coarse resolution likely have difficulty capturing intricate sea ice dynamic processes within the narrow channels of the CAA. Specifically, the import, survival, and thickness of MYI are difficult to predict and may in fact increase during the transition to a sea ice-free Arctic with more mobile ice conditions in the Queen Elizabeth Islands which are located between the Arctic Ocean and NWP.  Presumably, MYI from the Arctic Ocean will be more heavily ridged and thicker than locally formed MYI, posing greater danger to transiting ships than locally grown MYI.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: ghoti on October 04, 2015, 05:23:46 AM
Quote
Today is October 1, 2015 and many routes still remain open today... amazing... never seen such a long period of navigation... TIPPING POINT?  THE ARCTIC IS OPEN FOR SHIPPING BUSINESS... if you build it will they come? Time tells all.

Says the Northwest Passage 2015 blog
http://northwestpassage2015.blogspot.ca/2015/10/which-one-of-seven-northwest-passage.html (http://northwestpassage2015.blogspot.ca/2015/10/which-one-of-seven-northwest-passage.html)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: dmarcus on October 09, 2015, 06:25:14 AM
Now it's a week later, and the October 8 AMSR2 images still show both the Northern Sea Route and the southern NWP route open. But probably not for long at all ...
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on April 07, 2016, 01:10:11 AM
Somewhat earlier than usual, my initial NWP analysis for 2016:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/04/the-northwest-passage-in-2016/ (http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/04/the-northwest-passage-in-2016/)

Quote
Our coverage of the Northwest Passage is starting somewhat earlier then usual in 2016. That’s because an educational comment of mine seems to have gone permanently missing over at Andrew Montford’s blog.

Here's last year's final video:

http://youtu.be/nWXvIYcdGWM (http://youtu.be/nWXvIYcdGWM)

Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Andreas T on April 09, 2016, 11:46:44 PM
A nice sentinel 1A image of cornwallis island might be interesting to compare later in the season
http://www.polarview.aq/images/106_S1jpgsmall/201604/S1A_EW_GRDM_1SDH_20160409T133203_4EE4_N_1.jpg (http://www.polarview.aq/images/106_S1jpgsmall/201604/S1A_EW_GRDM_1SDH_20160409T133203_4EE4_N_1.jpg)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Laurent on April 10, 2016, 12:02:13 AM
We are in advance compare to last year, it seems worse because last year the situation moved quite late (after June) but now it seems to evolve more quickly, this little thickness ice is going to connect with some on the other side...
http://go.nasa.gov/25RE9N4 (http://go.nasa.gov/25RE9N4)

On Nares strait it seems things are getting worse also (this day the 9th)... I think clouds are adding some pixels to the sea ice brightness 89V... ?
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on April 10, 2016, 01:17:28 AM
An interesting (to me at least!) conversation is developing on my GWC NWP article. See in particular:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/04/the-northwest-passage-in-2016/#comment-214181 (http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/04/the-northwest-passage-in-2016/#comment-214181)

Quote
These are human bones. That’s a hip, that’s part of a spine, a leg and a shoulder.

There is a moment of awed silence. Louie says: “I believe this is one of the graves from the Franklin expedition.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Mark Tough on April 10, 2016, 09:54:51 AM
Good to see your thread is up and running again! I'm sure we'll have one route open but not certain how soon. It doesn't appear as if we've had the blow torch of 2011 (from memory) in this area but pretty warm of course and records elsewhere.

I'm not quite sure of the dynamic in the next few years for the NWP - I think we may get a lot of thick glacial ice blocking up the passage as some mass calving events kick in (already happening) and land fast ice also breaks up and gets flushed out. It could delay the linear trend but once those glaciers retreat on to land - that production line will stop.

I've enjoyed reading the Great White Con, a great job but like Neven I have no idea how you both find the time to be on top of your varied subject matter - keep on though, humanity is/will be grateful. 
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on April 20, 2016, 09:16:50 PM
Thanks for your kind words Mark.

In the latest news from the NWP, Crystal Cruises have hired the British Antarctic Survey's Ernest Shackleton to provide dedicated ice breaker cover on their planned cruise this coming summer:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/04/the-northwest-passage-in-2016/#comment-214287 (http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/04/the-northwest-passage-in-2016/#comment-214287)

Quote
The RRS Ernest Shackleton, operated by BAS, is an ICE 05 classed icebreaker (exceeding the more common 1A Super class) that will provide operational support to Crystal Serenity, including ice breaking assistance should the need arise and carry additional safety and adventure equipment.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: charles_oil on April 21, 2016, 01:53:50 AM
China Wants Ships to Use Faster Arctic Route Opened by Global Warming

BEIJING, April 20 (Reuters) – China will encourage ships flying its flag to take the Northwest Passage via the Arctic Ocean, a route opened up by global warming, to cut travel times between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, a state-run newspaper said on Wednesday.

China is increasingly active in the polar region, becoming one of the biggest mining investors in Greenland and agreeing to a free trade deal with Iceland.

Shorter shipping routes across the Arctic Ocean would save Chinese companies time and money. For example, the journey from Shanghai to Hamburg via the Arctic route is 2,800 nautical miles shorter than going by the Suez Canal.

Full article:

http://gcaptain.com/china-wants-ships-to-use-faster-arctic-route-opened-by-global-warming/ (http://gcaptain.com/china-wants-ships-to-use-faster-arctic-route-opened-by-global-warming/)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on April 21, 2016, 10:06:58 AM
China will encourage ships flying its flag to take the Northwest Passage via the Arctic Ocean, a route opened up by global warming, to cut travel times between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, a state-run newspaper said on Wednesday.

An intriguing development. The Northern Sea Route seems far more practical, in the short term at least. Perhaps Xi Jinping prefers dealing with Justin Trudeau instead of Vladimir Putin? Here's the original article:

http://europe.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2016-04/20/content_24679014.htm (http://europe.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2016-04/20/content_24679014.htm)

Quote
In 2014, the administration offered guidance on Arctic navigation of the Northeast route, which crosses the Arctic following the coasts of Russia and Norway.

Despite the economic value of sailing through the Arctic, Wu said it poses many risks, including the potential for shipwrecks caused by ice and possible damage to the fragile Arctic ecosystem. He said the lack of support infrastructure and an unstable climate also lower the efficiency of Arctic transportation.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Feurope.chinadaily.com.cn%2Fchina%2Fimages%2Fattachement%2Fjpg%2Fsite1%2F20160419%2F180373d287301880c3232c.jpg&hash=076b9a00413447fc74112ce67a19d550)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: jdallen on April 21, 2016, 10:11:30 AM
China will encourage ships flying its flag to take the Northwest Passage via the Arctic Ocean, a route opened up by global warming, to cut travel times between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, a state-run newspaper said on Wednesday.

An intriguing development. The Northern Sea Route seems far more practical, in the short term at least. Perhaps Xi Jinping prefers dealing with Justin Trudeau instead of Vladimir Putin? Here's the original article:

http://europe.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2016-04/20/content_24679014.htm (http://europe.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2016-04/20/content_24679014.htm)

Quote
In 2014, the administration offered guidance on Arctic navigation of the Northeast route, which crosses the Arctic following the coasts of Russia and Norway.

Despite the economic value of sailing through the Arctic, Wu said it poses many risks, including the potential for shipwrecks caused by ice and possible damage to the fragile Arctic ecosystem. He said the lack of support infrastructure and an unstable climate also lower the efficiency of Arctic transportation.
Churchill may become a very busy port.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Feurope.chinadaily.com.cn%2Fchina%2Fimages%2Fattachement%2Fjpg%2Fsite1%2F20160419%2F180373d287301880c3232c.jpg&hash=076b9a00413447fc74112ce67a19d550)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: charles_oil on April 21, 2016, 12:12:19 PM
Thanks -


 I also found this - animation of all the shipping around the world in 2012 - you can change date, zoom in and watch individual areas / ships at the time & date you want.  Doesn't look like the Northwest route was used...

http://www.shipmap.org/ (http://www.shipmap.org/)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on April 21, 2016, 05:18:33 PM
MV Nordic Orion carried  a cargo of 73,500 tons of coal via the North West Passage to Finland in 2013.

The Northwest Passage is Open for Business (http://econnexus.org/the-northwest-passage-is-open-for-business/)

Then the  Nunavik went in the opposite direction in 2014, carrying a cargo of nickel ore:

http://www.fednav.com/en/voyage-nunavik (http://www.fednav.com/en/voyage-nunavik)

Not exactly a steady stream of such traffic just yet!
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Sebastian Jones on April 21, 2016, 08:14:01 PM
Professor Laurence Smith, in his book "The World in 2050: Four Forces Shaping Civilization's Future" published by Penguin in 2010, eISBN: 978-1-101-44352-1 addresses how shipping patterns might evolve as arctic ice melts.
He posits that rather than seeing an explosion in trans arctic shipping, we shall instead see vastly increased intra arctic shipping. His reasoning is that until such a time as there is zero ice floating around in the arctic, low certainty and insurance rates will still be to high to justify extensive trans arctic voyaging. However, the cost and importance of shipping to a from arctic ports and communities is high enough to justify the high cost and reduced reliability of these routes..
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: charles_oil on April 25, 2016, 09:25:26 PM
And another possible series of vessels to add to the traffic:

http://gcaptain.com/kleven-to-build-up-to-four-expedition-vessels-for-hurtigruten/ (http://gcaptain.com/kleven-to-build-up-to-four-expedition-vessels-for-hurtigruten/)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: jdallen on April 25, 2016, 09:35:03 PM
Professor Laurence Smith, in his book "The World in 2050: Four Forces Shaping Civilization's Future" published by Penguin in 2010, eISBN: 978-1-101-44352-1 addresses how shipping patterns might evolve as arctic ice melts.
He posits that rather than seeing an explosion in trans arctic shipping, we shall instead see vastly increased intra arctic shipping. His reasoning is that until such a time as there is zero ice floating around in the arctic, low certainty and insurance rates will still be to high to justify extensive trans arctic voyaging. However, the cost and importance of shipping to a from arctic ports and communities is high enough to justify the high cost and reduced reliability of these routes..
Churchill, Manitoba may turn into a premier world port, primarily for grain export from the prairie provinces.  Russia may develop a number of the same.  We may see an explosion of rail lines run across various parts of the Arctic in both hemispheres, and places like Longyearbyen will become important locations providing support for trans-Arctic traffic.

I fully expect humanity to start moving north.  I think that will have profound implications for Russia and China's long term relationship.  I suspect Russian strategic planners are already thinking ahead to that.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Shared Humanity on April 26, 2016, 01:28:29 AM
I think rail lines are going to be a real problem with thawing permafrost.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: jdallen on April 26, 2016, 02:29:48 AM
I think rail lines are going to be a real problem with thawing permafrost.
I agree - maintenance will be a bugger - but still a pretty straight-forward engineering problem.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Archimid on April 26, 2016, 03:02:35 AM
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/07/140730-arctic-wave-height-sea-ice-climate-change-science/ (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/07/140730-arctic-wave-height-sea-ice-climate-change-science/)

This article makes me wonder if an iceless arctic ocean will be even navigable. Also I'm afraid that once the ice is gone the ocean starts "circulating" around he north pole creating a sort of vortex on the surface. Is that even possible?
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: oren on May 01, 2016, 06:34:47 PM
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/07/140730-arctic-wave-height-sea-ice-climate-change-science/ (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/07/140730-arctic-wave-height-sea-ice-climate-change-science/)

This article makes me wonder if an iceless arctic ocean will be even navigable. Also I'm afraid that once the ice is gone the ocean starts "circulating" around he north pole creating a sort of vortex on the surface. Is that even possible?

I liked a quote from the article:

Quote
The amount of open water varies annually in the Beaufort, with virtually no open water in April when sea ice is at its maximum

Unless of course it's 2016 and you have about 100,000 square km of open water at the end of
April  :o
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Juan C. García on May 02, 2016, 06:30:31 AM
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/07/140730-arctic-wave-height-sea-ice-climate-change-science/ (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/07/140730-arctic-wave-height-sea-ice-climate-change-science/)

This article makes me wonder if an iceless arctic ocean will be even navigable. Also I'm afraid that once the ice is gone the ocean starts "circulating" around he north pole creating a sort of vortex on the surface. Is that even possible?

I liked a quote from the article:

Quote
The amount of open water varies annually in the Beaufort, with virtually no open water in April when sea ice is at its maximum

Unless of course it's 2016 and you have about 100,000 square km of open water at the end of
April  :o

Quote
The 16-foot (five-meter) waves the scientists' instrument picked up occurred during a storm with strong winds on September 18, 2012.

That means that this storm is independent of the early August Great Arctic Cyclone.  :-\
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on May 02, 2016, 10:01:17 AM
That means that this storm is independent of the early August Great Arctic Cyclone.  :-\

Not entirely independent. The August storm opened up a larger ice free "fetch" which allowed the September storm to generate a more powerful swell. For a comparison of the two see:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2015/03/sea-ice-and-swells-in-the-beaufort-sea-in-the-summer-of-2014/#Sep-2012 (http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2015/03/sea-ice-and-swells-in-the-beaufort-sea-in-the-summer-of-2014/#Sep-2012)

See also the ASIF "Waves in ice" thread:

http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1222.0.html (http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1222.0.html)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: iceman on June 11, 2016, 05:02:16 PM
Looks like most of the remaining snow south of CAA will melt in next few days, and Climate Reanalyzer forecasts intermittent rain from the 15th through 18th.  Combination of runoff and precip portends a lot of fresh water over the surface of the ice.

Was it last year that CAA had a prolonged heat wave?  I'll guess the NWP opens this year a little later, say in early September.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: philiponfire on June 20, 2016, 08:18:00 AM
My "money" is on the last two weeks in August.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Meirion on June 24, 2016, 02:45:32 PM
Have you seen this lot http://polarocean.co.uk (http://polarocean.co.uk) @polaroceanchall David Hempleman Adams & co are circumnavigating North Pole over next few months. So far they've only got as far as Anglesey but will be in Murmansk 9 July plan to hit Bellot Strait early September.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Cate on June 25, 2016, 07:40:11 PM
Crystal Serenity has passed her Alaskan safety inspection, including fire and abandon ship drills.

She is due in Nome on August 21. From there, she will sail through the Bering Strait, the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, and onward through Canadian waters to Greenland, then south to reach NYC on 17 September.

1700 souls on board.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/crystal-serenity-alaska-inspection-1.3651215 (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/crystal-serenity-alaska-inspection-1.3651215)


If she comes to grief, SAR, coast guard, and military responses may well be limited and/or delayed.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/cruise-ships-safety-northwest-passage-1.3518712 (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/cruise-ships-safety-northwest-passage-1.3518712)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Andreas T on June 27, 2016, 01:01:03 AM
south of Prince Patrick island seems to be a huge sheet of water on top of the ice. It'll be interesting to see how that affects the further progress of the melt. Last year this was more localized http://go.nasa.gov/28Zo03m (http://go.nasa.gov/28Zo03m)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Andreas T on July 04, 2016, 08:23:56 PM
copying another post by A-team to where it can be found easily:
Quote
The animation is of the Canadian Archipelago. A large piece of ice in the Barrow Strait gets mobile.
Yep, opening up. that large piece is ~113 km in length.

sorry, can't make the gif appear in the quoted comment, if somebody knows how to do this feel free to jump in

edit: Thank you magnamentis!
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: magnamentis on July 04, 2016, 09:25:14 PM
sorry, can't make the gif appear in the quoted comment, if somebody knows how to do this feel free to jump in

was that it?

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fforum.arctic-sea-ice.net%2Findex.php%3Faction%3Ddlattach%3Btopic%3D382.0%3Battach%3D31913%3Bimage&hash=c84ab581184baf0f9a72ef5af39bb9f1)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: RoxTheGeologist on July 16, 2016, 11:42:11 PM

So... any odds on this being open before the end of July?
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Quantum on July 17, 2016, 12:38:15 AM

So... any odds on this being open before the end of July?
I would say extremely unlikely given the weather is now likely to be cold.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Andreas T on July 17, 2016, 09:18:17 AM
It depends what you mean by "this" and by "open"
Lancaster Sound (bottom right in the animation) seems to have open water with some chunks of ice floating around (bergy water) now, Regent Inlet (bottom)is also fairly open now, Barrow strait (right)
has little ice now but can fill quickly if ice breaks further west and drifts in from there.
The canadian ice service forcast is here http://iceweb1.cis.ec.gc.ca/Prod/page3.xhtml (http://iceweb1.cis.ec.gc.ca/Prod/page3.xhtml)
see Jim's link below
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on July 17, 2016, 11:04:37 AM
The canadian ice service forcast is here

That link doesn't work if you haven't already visited the "parent" page:

http://iceweb1.cis.ec.gc.ca/Prod/page2.xhtml?subID=2006 (http://iceweb1.cis.ec.gc.ca/Prod/page2.xhtml?subID=2006)

then click the  "Western Arctic" link.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Quantum on July 17, 2016, 04:14:33 PM
It depends what you mean by "this" and by "open"
Lancaster Sound (bottom right in the animation) seems to have open water with some chunks of ice floating around (bergy water) now, Regent Inlet (bottom)is also fairly open now, Barrow strait (right)
has little ice now but can fill quickly if ice breaks further west and drifts in from there.
The canadian ice service forcast is here http://iceweb1.cis.ec.gc.ca/Prod/page3.xhtml (http://iceweb1.cis.ec.gc.ca/Prod/page3.xhtml)
see Jim's link below
I think what people mean is the NW passage being open such that one could travel from the Atlantic to the Pacific ocean via the Canadian arctic without an ice breaker. At this stage this is not possible, and I would consider it highly unlikely to be possible before August.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on July 17, 2016, 07:23:26 PM
At this stage this is not possible, and I would consider it highly unlikely to be possible before August.

However the Southern Route is currently clearing fast:

http://youtu.be/EftyQAlSR9Y (http://youtu.be/EftyQAlSR9Y)

Compare and contrast with last year:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/resources/arctic-regional-graphs/northwest-passage/ (http://GreatWhiteCon.info/resources/arctic-regional-graphs/northwest-passage/)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: RoxTheGeologist on July 17, 2016, 08:09:13 PM
At this stage this is not possible, and I would consider it highly unlikely to be possible before August.

However the Southern Route is currently clearing fast:

http://youtu.be/EftyQAlSR9Y (http://youtu.be/EftyQAlSR9Y)

Compare and contrast with last year:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/resources/arctic-regional-graphs/northwest-passage/ (http://GreatWhiteCon.info/resources/arctic-regional-graphs/northwest-passage/)

Reanalyzer also shows that the eastern CAA is going to have anomalously high temperatures for the coming week. It might surprise us and melt out as fast as the western CAA did.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Nix on July 20, 2016, 07:28:01 AM
Remarkably it looks possible that by the end of July the Passage may be open
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Nix on July 20, 2016, 07:32:43 AM
(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.iup.uni-bremen.de%3A8084%2Famsr2%2FResolute_AMSR2_nic.png&hash=efc50a798180f66e6aefa1506139bc7e)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Neven on July 23, 2016, 12:07:43 AM
Here's how fast the ice melted in-situ back in 2012, between July 17th and August 3rd:

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fneven1.typepad.com%2F.a%2F6a0133f03a1e37970b01774404468a970d-pi&hash=fbbbe8fb5c04eaf75ccacb27bb87e317)

Could we see something similar this year?
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Tigertown on July 23, 2016, 12:41:06 AM
Very possible. Warm water is encroaching upon it, among all else.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: S.Pansa on July 23, 2016, 07:23:12 AM
(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.iup.uni-bremen.de%3A8084%2Famsr2%2FResolute_AMSR2_nic.png&hash=efc50a798180f66e6aefa1506139bc7e)

I think the concentration map from Uni Bremen is a bit missleading for the 22nd (at least the regional one). There is a big fat cloud hanging over the Parry Channel (see pic 1). The second pic shows the same area, just two days eralier.
100% concentration through most of the Channel seems to high & the Artic Map (http://www.iup.uni-bremen.de:8084/amsr2/Arctic_AMSR2_nic.png) seems to agree.
See also Wipneus' animation (https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,382.msg84386.html#msg84386) in the Home brew thread.

PS: Scratch that. Just saw that Nix posted the map on 20th, but it obviously updated itself. So much ado about nothing again  ::) (well the map for the 22nd is missleading, Nix's post though wasn't)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: S.Pansa on July 24, 2016, 09:28:44 AM
In an attempt to post finally something remotely useful on this thread. Here is a comparison of the Viscount - no! not Monckton - Melville Sound from the 20th and 23rd of July. The ice is melting quickly. Even though a low is currently hovering over the area, the fast melting might continue for some days (see sullschool map). Furthermore, latest forecasts suggest a heat wave towards the end of July. So we could see a repeat of the fast melt-out in 2012.
Enough nonsense for today.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Andreas T on July 24, 2016, 10:55:42 AM
some of that open water appearing is due to movement which can be seen if you look at the changing position of the whiter floes of last years ice. The islands are warming up and melting is clearly in progress. For navigation through there the older ice which is in the channel in a few bits but also poised in between the islands to the north will be a concern. But depending on which way the ice at the Beaufort moves I think there is a chance it would be possible later in the season to slip through like it was last year.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Andreas T on July 24, 2016, 07:21:51 PM
I copied this across to find it more easily, thanks Quantum
Just for reference, the dates that the NW passage (southern and northern routes) and the northern route open for the last few years. I always think this is an interesting bit of information.
(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d0/Northwest_passage.jpg)
Reference for the NW passage routes above. Note in some cases the routes may close again, these are the approx dates they first opened.

2012
Southern NW route: August 9th
Middle NW route: July 31st
Northern NW route: August 27th
Northern route: August 4th

2013
Southern NW route: August 22nd
Middle NW route: Does not open
Northern NW route: Does not open
Northern route: August 29th

2014
Southern NW route: August 30th
Middle NW route: Questionably around September 14th
Northern NW route: Does not open
Northern route: August 7th

2015
Southern NW route: August 13th (taking a ridiculous maze like path around the ice though)
Middle NW route: September 8th
Northern NW route: September 8th
Northern route: July 31st
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Andreas T on July 31, 2016, 12:07:57 AM
I think it is time to revisit an image I posted back in April and we will see how these chunks of older ice will stand up to the ongoing melt. They are still identifiable and are just starting to move from the positions into which they were frozen back in October.
(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.polarview.aq%2Fimages%2F106_S1jpgsmall%2F201604%2FS1A_EW_GRDM_1SDH_20160409T133203_4EE4_N_1.jpg&hash=cc6d9c5b9245463cda6f4f9902042153)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: ktonine on July 31, 2016, 04:13:31 PM
Per the latest (July 30) uni-bremen AMSR2 Sea Ice Map there is only a small blockage between Prince of Wales Island and King Williams Island preventing us from declaring the NW passage 'free'. 

Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Quantum on July 31, 2016, 07:00:31 PM
Per the latest (July 30) uni-bremen AMSR2 Sea Ice Map there is only a small blockage between Prince of Wales Island and King Williams Island preventing us from declaring the NW passage 'free'.
It could even already be open; there is just too much cloud to tell. Itl be open within days though certainly.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Cate on July 31, 2016, 09:15:07 PM
Crystal Serenity is gearing up for her scheduled August 16 departure from Anchorage, ports to NYC via the NW Passage.

I started a thread for this cruise over in Consequences---didn't want to clog this one up, in the event that news about this voyage starts to get...interesting, God forbid. Plus, it's a bit of a momentous event that should have its own thread, for the record perhaps? Neven, do please move it wherever you think best. 

http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1514.0.html (http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1514.0.html)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: A-Team on August 01, 2016, 06:26:12 PM
Quote
2012
Southern NW route: August 9th
Middle NW route: July 31st
Northern NW route: August 27th
Northern route: August 4th

2013
Southern NW route: August 22nd
Middle NW route: Does not open
Northern NW route: Does not open
Northern route: August 29th

2014
Southern NW route: August 30th
Middle NW route: Questionably around September 14th
Northern NW route: Does not open
Northern route: August 7th

2015
Southern NW route: August 13th (taking a ridiculous maze like path around the ice though)
Middle NW route: September 8th
Northern NW route: September 8th
Northern route: July 31st
It may be better to use a satellite channel that can see through the clouds than to wait on Modis visible (which would only have a half km resolution anyway). The large version at UH is especially designed to have extra resolution in and among the islands.

A clear path of zero sea ice concentration opened up today ... fully 3 pixels wide. We previously established over on the AMSR2 forum that the UH palette and map have exactly 100 colors, one for each percentage, which allows precise selection and re-coloration.

ftp://ftp-projects.zmaw.de/seaice/AMSR2/3.125km/
ftp://ftp-projects.zmaw.de/seaice/AMSR2/3.125km/Arc_20160731_res3.125_LARGE.png
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: A-Team on August 01, 2016, 07:02:44 PM
The image below shows the wildly different projection used in google earth, which has the advantage however of providing accurate WGS84 distance measurements. Those change from place to place on polar stereographic projection used at AMSR2 though in the animations above we are close to the location of true scale 70º. It looks like the bottleneck that just opened in the NW Passage is now clear for a ~21 km width (using a similar number of pixels at a more convenient site to the west).
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: jdallen on August 01, 2016, 09:53:06 PM
Your usual amazing work, A-Team;

Anyone have a date for the earliest the NW Passage has opened?
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Reggie on August 01, 2016, 10:33:50 PM
Yesterday ;)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 01, 2016, 10:46:41 PM
Anyone have a date for the earliest the NW Passage has opened?

It's not open just yet, according to the Canadian Ice Service definition at least:

http://iceweb1.cis.ec.gc.ca/Prod/page2.xhtml?CanID=11081&lang=en&title=Western+Arctic (http://iceweb1.cis.ec.gc.ca/Prod/page2.xhtml?CanID=11081&lang=en&title=Western+Arctic)

No way through at <= 3/10 that I can see.

P.S. On checking my notes (http://greatwhitecon.info/2015/08/is-the-northwest-passage-open-yet/) it seems that my memory is at fault,, even though the CIS link is now broken.

Quote
The CIS definition of “navigable” is “a criteria of less than 60% ice cover over all sections of the Northwest Passage”.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Neven on August 01, 2016, 11:00:28 PM
It'd be cool to have a list with dates from 2005-now like Quantum did, not just for the NWP, but for the NSR as well. I'd put it up on the blog as a reference.

What sources would be best to use? It would preferably be one that spans the entire period. We have the Uni Bremen SIC maps that Quantum used. Those maps from the Canadian Ice Service would be more detailed, but I'm not sure if there's an archive.

Precise definitions of the different NWP routes - like Quantum did - would be useful too. I know there's a paper out there somewhere doing something similar. I'll try and find it.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Reggie on August 01, 2016, 11:24:34 PM
Those are all great things to examine...it may also be worthwhile looking for announcements in the media.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: diablobanquisa on August 01, 2016, 11:25:16 PM
Those maps from the Canadian Ice Service would be more detailed, but I'm not sure if there's an archive.

Yes, they have a nice archive: http://iceweb1.cis.ec.gc.ca/Archive/?lang=en (http://iceweb1.cis.ec.gc.ca/Archive/?lang=en)  ;)



Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Neven on August 01, 2016, 11:45:43 PM
Cool, thanks, Diablo!

Now to find the time to sort through all this stuff (the main reason I never looked further into this).
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Reggie on August 02, 2016, 01:12:32 AM
I have gone through the black and white weekly regional ice charts and the earliest chart with an opening of the southern route was August 27 2012
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Shared Humanity on August 02, 2016, 01:44:45 AM
I have gone through the black and white weekly regional ice charts and the earliest chart with an opening of the southern route was August 27 2012

So we are in uncharted territory in a manner of speaking.  ;)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: A-Team on August 02, 2016, 01:51:33 AM
Quote
maps from the Canadian Ice Service
Oh I would imagine they are just using 89V just like everyone else. There's no cloud-penetrating radar coverage by their Radarsat or Sentinel 1AB.

It's not like the CIS has someone stationed nearby making daily dogsled runs out onto the ice or doing daily plane flow-overs of the NW Passage. The cloud deck is too low and what would be the point -- conditions can change within hours.

All we know at this point is that the Northwest Passage was open on July 31st at the time of the AMSR swaths -- the bottleneck was clear by a factor of eight of their experimental resolution. Using this archive with this definition only 2013-16 could be dated which is limiting.

The advantage is the objectivity, consistency, resolution and automated processing. The latter amounts to masking, in turn, all but one of the routes and exploiting the non-dithered palette, land/sea resolution, and topologically flawless operation of the restricted color wand in detecting simply connected regions.

To expand a bit on the UH large format and why they developed it for the CAA, 2x doesn't simply mean twice the resolution or 4x the pixels. It means the binary classification of the 1x version (land or sea) becomes a hexadecimal as that one pixel becomes a 2x2 array with 2-bits at each location. That is, there are 16 ways to color that array as land or sea so for curved channels and odd-shaped islands, that's quite an improvement in the land mask and so in reliably detecting clear passages.

Yes there are satellites with far better ground resolution than this but the tradeoff is a far narrower orbital swath, far less frequent return visits, and no prospects for a composite scene assignable a single day.

Note routine cloud interference acts the other way -- to whiten the blue. Here we are seeing a huge single connected block, thin at some places, thick at others, of the zero darkest blue.

Update: On the August 1st preliminary partial release of about 3 minutes ago, the key passage has become blocked again (yellow has replaced zero blue). So it is a fluid situation in terms of floating ice. This suggests that 'records' and 'trends' in first opening will prove of limited value in tracking climate change no matter what definition is used.

ftp://ftp-projects.zmaw.de/seaice/AMSR2/3.125km/Arc_20160801_res3.125_LARGE.png (reload periodically to see the August 1st final.)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Nix on August 02, 2016, 05:04:52 AM
Not all the canadian maps are upta date yet the ones that are are still Interesting
(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fice-glaces.ec.gc.ca%2Fprods%2FWIS35CT%2F20160801180000_WIS35CT_0008991245.gif&hash=3a2028b84774f70b24f3b7b4fd19e0a5)
Here is the link to the Canadian ice services http://ec.gc.ca/glaces-ice/?grp=Guest&mn=&lang=en (http://ec.gc.ca/glaces-ice/?grp=Guest&mn=&lang=en)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 02, 2016, 11:13:27 AM
There's no cloud-penetrating radar coverage by their Radarsat or Sentinel 1AB.

Not on a daily basis perhaps, but the CIS do produce their weekly Radarsat mosaics:

http://ice-glaces.ec.gc.ca/cgi-bin/getprod.pl?prodid=IPYMMR1WA (http://ice-glaces.ec.gc.ca/cgi-bin/getprod.pl?prodid=IPYMMR1WA)

Having been through this exercise last year (http://greatwhitecon.info/2015/08/is-the-northwest-passage-open-yet/), I'll quote myself:

Quote
Automated passive microwave based satellite Arctic sea ice concentration products can miss ice that’s visible to the naked human eye [on MODIS].

From August 13th 2015:



Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 02, 2016, 11:20:55 AM
The approach to Bellot Strait on August 1st 2016, plus the latest UH AMSR2:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/08/is-the-northwest-passage-open-yet-2/ (http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/08/is-the-northwest-passage-open-yet-2/)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: iceman on August 02, 2016, 12:44:27 PM
    .... So it is a fluid situation in terms of floating ice. This suggests that 'records' and 'trends' in first opening will prove of limited value in tracking climate change no matter what definition is used.

Good point, though at the margin earlier dates mean more shipping via NWP and NSR, and burning bunker fuel in the Arctic is a positive feedback mechanism.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 02, 2016, 01:05:49 PM
If we're also considering the Alaskan section of the Northwest Passage, then whilst the Barrow webcam stopped updating on July 31st it showed:

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Ffeeder.gina.alaska.edu%2Fdragonfly%2F2016%2F07%2F31%2F07_42_25_328_ABCam_20160731_154000.jpg&hash=2e5ba383cd6550436a2da0e5c6746acf)

Here too is an intriguing NWS ice chart (http://www.weather.gov/afc/ice) from August 1st.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: A-Team on August 02, 2016, 02:43:25 PM
Below is the 01 Aug 16 final and its analysis. According to UH AMSR2 3.1km large, the Northwest Passage is blocked now at 3 locations (X's in second frame) by pixels of non-zero sea ice concentration. The third frame (watch palette substitutions) measures how high the sea ice concentration gets in the limiting passageway: 23%.Yesterday it was all zero in this region.

The Northwest Passage, like open water at the off-center North Pole, is more of a nostalgia meme that the public might connect with, rather than a good way to monitor changes in the far North that will affect global climate.

As iceman notes, bunker fuel soot worsens albedo, hastening melt like peat fires and stove particulates, though we could question whether global commerce will continue to a significant extent as Arctic Ocean conditions deteriorate further.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: A-Team on August 02, 2016, 03:30:40 PM
Thx to JimH for posting a new sea ice resource. The map palette is missing but recoverable; the satellite link page still awaits five minutes of staff effort. Otherwise it seems like the CIS egg page without the eggs. It is unacceptable to not provide links to the imagery on which the analysis is based.

Many earlier posts have noted the sorry state of GFS relative to ECMWF but that is nothing compared to the decline in NWS, still in all-cap typewriter font of the 1950's, parked within the Commerce Dept, and focused on serving unspecified customers-who-don't-pay.

Quote
WE ADVISE OUR CUSTOMERS TO SEEK OUT THE LATEST DAILY SEA ICE
ANALYSIS...5 DAY SEA ICE FORECAST...AND SEA ICE ADVISORY PRODUCTS
AND TOOLS ON THE NWS ALASKA SEA ICE PROGRAM WEBPAGE TO FIND THE MOST
CURRENT SEA ICE INFORMATION.
 
Check back soon! We'll update this page when some amazing satellite imagery is available.
US Dept of Commerce
NOAA National Weather Service Anchorage,AK
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Rob Dekker on August 03, 2016, 09:37:10 AM
Thanks A-team and Jim on this analysis of the (not quite yet) opening of the North-West passage.
A-team notes three points where ice on the Aug 1 AMSR2 images re-appeared where on July 31 it was absent.

One of these points is in Larsen Sound, which became visible on Modis on Aug 2 due to clear skies at the time the satellite passed over :

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1272.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fy396%2FRobDekker%2FScreen%2520Shot%25202016-08-03%2520at%252012.05.06%2520AM_zpsyvoz1huj.png&hash=3065c6f3c015d3dc4abdcc10ae06b88b)

This is a band of ice that is clearly at the end of its proverbial rope, but I agree that to have a true "open" North-West passage (as in : a ship can move through without touching ice), we need to wait a few more days.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: A-Team on August 03, 2016, 03:21:34 PM
Here's the August 2nd situation in regards to not-quite-zero sea ice concentration. Frames 3 and 4 are 3x enlargements of the large version of UH AMSR2 3k.

This cannot add any real resolution but can make 1 pixel into a 3x3 square still of the original color if 'none' is chosen as the interpolation technique.

No clear visible (or radar) imagery exists for July 31st, the day the NW Passage first fully opened according to AMSR2 3k. It is unworkable to require supporting visible imagery to the rule because this area can go many months at a time without a truly clear day over the whole Passage (or even key areas). The definition then becomes cloud-cover driven.

The same problem arises over in the Barents in trying to determine the extent of the Emiliania huxleyi bloom which could be a proxy for elevated poleward near-surface water temperatures. There has not been a single suitable day the last month, even combining terra/aqua/suomi.

On the 02 Aug 16 Modis of Larsen Sound, we've been trying to remember to include the set-up link that WorldView provides, upper right corner. This allows others to verify that the resolution was maxxed out (to just before yellow warning bars in the layer menu) and that nothing shows in bands specialized to thin clouds. http://go.nasa.gov/2aMXhHJ (http://go.nasa.gov/2aMXhHJ)

What WorldView provides is quite dark so the as-is cycling through terra/aqua/suomi is followed below by non-destructive contrast normalization to fully use the brightness gamut. The snapshot feature assures that the intrinsic 250 m resolution of these instruments is not exceeded. However it has to be supplemented by a screenshot if palette squeezing has been used, as in the 4th frame below of terra, terra 367, terra 721, and terra band 31 day.

Cycling helps distinguish ice from faster moving clouds (eg upper left, Suomi only). Note there may be an algal bloom here too in shallower channels.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Andreas T on August 04, 2016, 12:03:28 AM
in fewer words: visible wavelength images are showing ice which AMSR does not "see".
That doesn't make the information from passive microwave invalid or useless, it just means we can't rely on it blindly.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: A-Team on August 04, 2016, 12:46:12 AM
Quote
visible wavelength images have higher ground resolution than AMSR
Right. 250 m pixels vs optimistic 3125 m. And we could purchase proprietary WoldView-3 satellite imagery for its 0.31 m resolution which is 806 times better than Modis, offering 650,000 pixels in place of that 1 aqua pixel that's bigger than 5 soccer fields butted together.

Yet a low flying CIS helicopter pilot could see snowflakes falling on ice cubes which even a small duck could brush aside even though the Northwest Passage is still not open according to a strict definition.

The advantage of AMSR is operational: open the daily product, click once with a contiguity tool set on the lowest palette bin at zero intolerance: if there is a continuous trail of pixels from Beaufort to Baffin, that route is open. Everyone gets the same outcome. A simple script can rip through every day of a multi-year archive in seconds, additionally quantifying all the open water each day in each specified scene.

That's not the case with Modis -- some people see slush, pancake and frazil; others see every speck of white as a solid floe; some see those blocking the way, others see ways to thread through them. Right now, this area would have a lot of color picking issues just due to the algal bloom. There's 38,579 distinct colors in the little Suomi image below and tomorrow's will have thousands of yet others.

Open to whom and for how long? Container ship, coal barge, cruise ship, small icebreaker, sailboat, kayak, large goose, small duck, copepods impeded by coccolithophores...

http://cms.mapmart.com/Products/SatelliteImagery/WorldView3.aspx?gclid=CKGEif-jps4CFZBbfgod0VoMKg (http://cms.mapmart.com/Products/SatelliteImagery/WorldView3.aspx?gclid=CKGEif-jps4CFZBbfgod0VoMKg)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Tealight on August 04, 2016, 01:59:21 AM
And we could purchase proprietary WoldView-3 satellite imagery for its 0.31 m resolution which is 806 times better than Modis...

Yeah and with the 700pixel restriction you can show an impressive 217x217m. Also known as nothing on the scale of the Arctic ice pack. We already struggle to show tiny glaciers like Jakobshavn at 10m resolution which really annoys me. My average monitor can display 1920x1200 pixel (4.7 times as much) and I would love to use it. Even my smartphone has Full HD and an easy to use zoom function.

I think we should choose data according to the Coastline paradox: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coastline_paradox
For the entire Arctic a resolution of several kilometers is fine. For a finding an ice free path for a cruise ship the resolution should be a few hundred meters or less.

If you have a nuclear submarine than the arctic is open all year round ;)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Rob Dekker on August 04, 2016, 08:15:45 AM
Open to whom and for how long? Container ship, coal barge, cruise ship, small icebreaker, sailboat, kayak, large goose, small duck, copepods impeded by coccolithophores...

I agree. Everything is relative.
Let's sum up the facts here.
AMSR2 is really good in detecting ice, yet in this case they don't detect these swirls of ice we see on Modis. AFAIK there can be at least three reasons for that :
- ice concentration is smaller than 15 %
- ice is dominated by melting ponds
- ice is thinner than 50cm (or even worse, 20cm or so)
And of course, a combination of the three would explain the observations even better.

From A-team's close-up (250m resolution) image of this ice, it almost looks like a small 'galaxy' with some explicit dots (floes) of more than one pixel, but mostly a gray type of hue which appears to move in 'organic' ways. That suggests that the ice in Larsen Sound right now has a really small granularity. Maybe something like this (from the Healy) :

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Ficefloe.net%2FAloftcon_Photos%2Falbums%2F2016%2F20160803-2201.jpeg&hash=340f577d2bd34f239050b1428b6960c1)

or even smaller granularity, like this :

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi.dailymail.co.uk%2Fi%2Fpix%2F2015%2F02%2F27%2F2622EFAD00000578-0-image-a-6_1425064958457.jpg&hash=c712adbdd9bbafc15c0d269d9bc41724)

or a combination of these two images.

Either way, for AMSR2 to miss this ice, it would have to be thin, and rather low concentration, and thus, regardless what kind of vessel may be able to pass through the North West passage right now (ship, yacht, or duck) this ice WILL clear out in the next couple of days.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Andreas T on August 04, 2016, 10:21:17 AM
To illustrate why I have learned to be suspicious of AMSR ice oncentrations I am showing something which is unlikely to have much similarity with this particular area.
West of Wrangel island AMSR has shown no ice for nearly a couple of weeks (as far as I can tell without the ability to analyse the slightest differences in the darkest hues) As A-team has shown the Uni Hamburg graphic has no 15% cut off, Rob. ftp://ftp-projects.zmaw.de/seaice/AMSR2/Arc_latest_yesterday_AMSR2_3.125km.png (http://ftp://ftp-projects.zmaw.de/seaice/AMSR2/Arc_latest_yesterday_AMSR2_3.125km.png)
The visible images on worldview show, when clouds allow, some drifting chunks of ice (don't think algal blooms fit the structure even if they might lighten the background) http://go.nasa.gov/2aC7JOI (http://go.nasa.gov/2aC7JOI)
This ice is dispersed but clearly not thin or neglegible because it must be melting, surrounded by some warm water, yet has lasted this long.
Ice in this part of the NW passage can't be as thick as ice southwest of Wrangel was at the end of winter but it cautions against declarations of "WILLL".
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: seaice.de on August 04, 2016, 01:29:41 PM
To illustrate why I have learned to be suspicious of AMSR ice oncentrations I am showing something which is unlikely to have much similarity with this particular area.
West of Wrangel island AMSR has shown no ice for nearly a couple of weeks (as far as I can tell without the ability to analyse the slightest differences in the darkest hues) ..

AMSR2 89 GHz channels are not very sensitive to low ice concentrations. It may be that there is up to 25% ice when the alorithms shows 0%. This is still in the range of uncertainty. You could use SMOS 1.4 GHz brightness temperatures, available at http://icdc.zmaw.de/, (http://icdc.zmaw.de/,) to check for low ice concentrations. SMOS measures however only with coarse resolution but is very sensitive to ice occurrence and not very much affected by the wind roughening. Influence of water vapour is neglectiable which is not the case for AMSR2. Open water shall have values around 100K while ice may be detected with TB>110 K.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: A-Team on August 04, 2016, 05:17:34 PM
AMSR rain layer?

The animation just shows a wild goose chase within the extended feature set of WorldView for August 3rd in the Northwest Passage. I set off in search of capture of the snapshot tool boundary which is necessary to replicate our set-up for others at the forum.

The lat/lon displays ok outside snapshot corners but is not to be found in the full length url capture tool which instead (v=etc) shows the corners of the overall tab window, possibly in some version of mercator coordinates (though seemingly not explained at info links).

August 3rd was notably cloud free. It may be better not to use the land mask because white that is ambiguous over sea has to be clouds when it extends over snow-free land. The algae bloom throws off any effort to set a fiducial color for open water and so complicates any segmentation scheme.

Maybe after melt season is over, there will be time to read the WV manual?
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: A-Team on August 04, 2016, 06:23:33 PM
Here is the NW Passage from 2015 within the context of what the Arctic Ocean was doing (according to UHH AMSR2 3k). The date range is 03 Aug to 15 Sept (with some dates omitted because of bad mask glitches and blank files at the archive, making me think I'm the only person who has ever used it!).

I'll add 2013 and 2014 to this post as time permits. To get at 2016 -- which obviously hasn't happened yet so isn't in the archive -- the 'melting momentum' technique described earlier (where blueish color bins are pushed up the palette) can be balanced by increasing 'freeze-up momentum' (whitish color bins are pushed down the palette).

Applying this method to 2013-15 (which have known outcomes), confidence in the 2016 prediction can be assessed. The freeze-up of 2015 can be seen clearly towards the end of the animation below as the intermediate concentration blues whiten up.

It's advantageous to gang up animations in gimp to 2x2 and higher arrays, the advantage being different years or different regions are forced to display in synch. These could be done at most as 4900 x 2800 pixels = (700x7) x 700x4) = 7x4 forum array (displayable on the large AAPL monitor) and only reduced to forum size at the end. The full size view might not animate at the speed that it is set for depending on the graphics card and cores but would still be advantageous for scientists trying to see all the data at once at source resolution.

The easiest way to multiplex animations in gimp is to first make the individual animations. Then for the first row of the big animation, rotate CCW by 90º and abut each with 'filmstrip' into a long column. Then save and import into the first columnated filmstrip as layers. Set the preferred final order and re-filmstrip. Repeat with the second, third ... rows of animations. Then use Image --> Guides --> Grid to set final animation frame boundaries and Filters --> Web --> Slice which saves the individual ganged frames into numbered files. Open the first and import the others as layers.
Set the pause on the long frame and let the others default.

In the example here, the width was taken as 349 which works out to 698 for the 1x2 shown which allows for a 2 pixel vertical separator at 700 pixel forum width. The color set as background will fill the gap if the alpha channel is removed. Otherwise forum background blueish grays will fill in, the darker for odd numbered posts relative to the top of page.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Andreas T on August 04, 2016, 09:07:16 PM
Thank you seaice.de! Good to have some input from someone with more background in the data sources.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: A-Team on August 05, 2016, 02:15:24 AM
Yes, great to have informed technical input.

However like Defense Minister Rumsfeld said, in rationalizing cheap troop vehicles with no protection against road explosives, "you have to go to war with what you've got". In our case that is UHH AMSR2 3.1k as there does not seem to be a better open source alternative multi-year whole Arctic Ocean cloud-penetrating archive online.

If there is, just post the link to the ftp archive and DOI's of supporting publications, sparing us excuses concerning task difficulty, UHH critiques and the image collections of dithered postage stamps in unspecified projections.

In any case, scripts have to be developed, they can run anywhere. While UHH sea ice concentration bin occupancies may not be spot-on, they provide adequate proxies for establishing closed operations on palette cross products. These are essential to analysis as it scarcely seems workable to perform topological procedures on netCDF numeric arrays.

For now, we have something a lot better for seeing through clouds than Modis, Landsat or S2AB. We've verified many times in cloud-free patches that UHH does an excellent job on sea ice edge, that it's often consistent with S1A in coverage patches, and that ground resolution is quite satisfactory in terms of rotation, displacement and splitting at the level of individual floes.

Here is the 2013 animation, at 7.3 MB not too large for the forum given a fast uploading connection. It runs from August 1st to September 25th. The dates are not embedded but available as the frame names if you download the gif. It is slightly compressed to retain the whole Arctic Ocean context.

Downloading the component files is very convenient as the UHH archive server allows anonymous ftp (user and password) and offers better image selection than the web page. I use Mac freeware called Fetch as ftp client.

Be careful what you ask for though or you could end up with a half hour download of Antarctica netCDF files by mistake. The one technical annoyance in UHH mage format is a 'png offset' that serves no purpose and is handled poorly by gimp.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: ghoti on August 07, 2016, 01:53:34 AM
I've been looking for info on small boats attempting the 2016 Northwest passage without finding much. I normally rely on http://www.thenorthwestpassage.info/ (http://www.thenorthwestpassage.info/) site but it still is showing 2015.

https://toptotop.org/2016/08/05/expedition-report-bering-sea-wild-winds-snow-ww2-ruins/ (https://toptotop.org/2016/08/05/expedition-report-bering-sea-wild-winds-snow-ww2-ruins/)  is the only boat I've seen heading for the passage so far.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: dmarcus on August 07, 2016, 05:47:35 AM
ghoti - you may be a bit early. At http://arcticnorthwestpassage.blogspot.com/2016/08/20160801-northwest-passage-roll-call.html (http://arcticnorthwestpassage.blogspot.com/2016/08/20160801-northwest-passage-roll-call.html) there is a list of boats from small (9m long Yvinec from France, temporarily impounded at Pond Inlet for firearm possession) to large (250 m long Crystal Serenity, in Sitka, Alaska and due to leave Seward on 8/16 for the Northwest Passage) that were planning, as of August 1, to attempt the Northwest Passage this year. The same website has articles about individual boats, including the Yvinec's encounter with Canadian customs at Pond inlet.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Quantum on August 08, 2016, 01:44:45 AM
I'll copy in the post with all the other years when 2016 opens. For the sake of consistency I'm using the same methodology I used with all the other years. As of the 7th August the southern NW route is still not open.

In particular there is still a small amount of rubble in the Peel sound. Larson sound also has alot of ice still in it although there may be a route through it; its not always easy to tell with the cloud. It was unambiguously completely closed on the 3rd though - the last time we had completely clear skies.



Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Rob Dekker on August 10, 2016, 09:00:56 AM
The "Home brew AMSR2 extent & area calculation" thread had two important posts about the North-West passage which are worth repeating :

This animation from Wipneus :

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fforum.arctic-sea-ice.net%2Findex.php%3Faction%3Ddlattach%3Btopic%3D382.0%3Battach%3D34192%3Bimage&hash=bbd8fa246767f32e2eca1c9984f76cbd)

which shows that Larsen sound dropped off the AMSR2 radar since July 31, suggesting the NW passage is open since that time, and this post from seaice.de

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fforum.arctic-sea-ice.net%2Findex.php%3Faction%3Ddlattach%3Btopic%3D382.0%3Battach%3D34193%3Bimage&hash=daaa94c585fcf2cddc8087607f07f371)

which shows that even now Larsen sound still has a small band of low concentration ice that AMSR2 missed.

If the NW passage is open or not at this time depends on your definition of "open".
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Andreas T on August 10, 2016, 09:49:14 AM
Thanks for bringing these images over here, Rob, its good to have this information in one place. To be fair to AMSR2 the Uni Hamburg chart has a little more ice which gets lost in Wipneus' animations where the contrast is enhanced. But I think it is now well established that if those low concentrations matter, information has to come from other sources.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: ghoti on August 10, 2016, 03:01:25 PM
If I recall correctly a group of small boats which included S/V Salty Kisses completed the section between Bellot Straight and Cambridge Bay when the CIS maps showed 7/10 ice. Videos posted by Salty Kisses after the boat was safely in southern Alaska showed the 3 boats slowly moving through water that looked more like 9/10 ice with a person on the bow of each boat pushing blocks of ice out of the way with a pole.

There is currently much less ice visible in the passage now than when they sailed through last year.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: RoxTheGeologist on August 11, 2016, 01:09:08 AM
Hey, I know it's not the standard route, but would if be possible to use the Foxe Basin, Fury and Hecla Strait into the Gulf of Boothia, and then travel through the Bellot Strait to meet up with the 'southern' route for the northwest passage?

From what I have read the two narrow straits are usually iced up, but this year the warmth in the CAA is such that they may become ice free.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Quantum on August 11, 2016, 01:57:41 AM
Adding 2016 to the post I did. Again its not perfect but I'm using the same methods I used for the other years to keep consistency. I'm saying the southern part of the NW route opened on the 9th August (see attachment).

Just for reference, the dates that the NW passage (southern and northern routes) and the northern route open for the last few years. I always think this is an interesting bit of information.
(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d0/Northwest_passage.jpg)
Reference for the NW passage routes above. Note in some cases the routes may close again, these are the approx dates they first opened.

2012
Southern NW route: August 9th
Middle NW route: July 31st
Northern NW route: August 27th
Northern route: August 4th

2013
Southern NW route: August 22nd
Middle NW route: Does not open
Northern NW route: Does not open
Northern route: August 29th

2014
Southern NW route: August 30th
Middle NW route: Questionably around September 14th
Northern NW route: Does not open
Northern route: August 7th

2015
Southern NW route: August 13th (taking a ridiculous maze like path around the ice though)
Middle NW route: September 8th
Northern NW route: September 8th
Northern route: July 31st

2016
Southern NW route: August 9th
Middle NW route: -
Northern NW route: -
Northern route: -

So it opened on the same day as 2012 (although in 2012 the middle route had also opened remarkably by the 31st July), 4 days earlier than in 2015 and several weeks in advance of the other years. Its worth noting however at this point 3/4 of the examined routes in 2012 were open compared to just 1/4 so far in 2016, 2015, 2014 with only 2013 having all routes still closed at this point.

So in so far as the NW passage and N route in general goes; definitely less easy than 2012; definitely easier than 2013 and perhaps not yet clearly distinguishable from the other post '12 years. 
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: ghoti on August 11, 2016, 03:03:56 AM
Hey, I know it's not the standard route, but would if be possible to use the Foxe Basin, Fury and Hecla Strait into the Gulf of Boothia, and then travel through the Bellot Strait to meet up with the 'southern' route for the northwest passage?

I think that's know as route 7.

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-96EVgV2xPwk/V6icnwIUVuI/AAAAAAAA5T0/XuxcyP_k0PAUgXtYje4O_XmrR8l-99UPACEw/s1600/NWP_Routes-6.gif (https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-96EVgV2xPwk/V6icnwIUVuI/AAAAAAAA5T0/XuxcyP_k0PAUgXtYje4O_XmrR8l-99UPACEw/s1600/NWP_Routes-6.gif)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: RoxTheGeologist on August 11, 2016, 05:37:35 AM
Hey, I know it's not the standard route, but would if be possible to use the Foxe Basin, Fury and Hecla Strait into the Gulf of Boothia, and then travel through the Bellot Strait to meet up with the 'southern' route for the northwest passage?

I think that's know as route 7.

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-96EVgV2xPwk/V6icnwIUVuI/AAAAAAAA5T0/XuxcyP_k0PAUgXtYje4O_XmrR8l-99UPACEw/s1600/NWP_Routes-6.gif (https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-96EVgV2xPwk/V6icnwIUVuI/AAAAAAAA5T0/XuxcyP_k0PAUgXtYje4O_XmrR8l-99UPACEw/s1600/NWP_Routes-6.gif)

Thanks! Yes that's the one!
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 17, 2016, 10:10:00 AM
Hey, I know it's not the standard route, but would if be possible to use the Foxe Basin, Fury and Hecla Strait into the Gulf of Boothia, and then travel through the Bellot Strait to meet up with the 'southern' route for the northwest passage?

In a word. Yes. See the definitive reference on such matters:

www.americanpolar.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/NWP-2015.pdf (http://www.americanpolar.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/NWP-2015.pdf)

which mentions:

Quote
1975
14 Pandora II1 (hydrographic research vessel)
15 Theta (research vessel)
Travelled in company

2006
109 Kapitan Khlebnikov (icebreaker)


Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: APMartie2 on August 21, 2016, 01:17:45 AM
Article at today's Huffpost  (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/crystal-serenity-cruise-northwest-passage-arctic_us_57b75397e4b00d9c3a17902b? (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/crystal-serenity-cruise-northwest-passage-arctic_us_57b75397e4b00d9c3a17902b?)) about cruise ship just beginning a NW Passage attempt. Only near Nome, AK at moment but bow, starboard, and aft on-board streaming cameras might be worth a look once it gets into the passage.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 21, 2016, 01:30:03 AM
Article at today's Huffpost

Dare I mention my own musings on the self same topic?

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/08/crystal-serenity-sets-sail-for-the-northwest-passage/ (http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/08/crystal-serenity-sets-sail-for-the-northwest-passage/)

Quote
Listen to what Admiral Charles Michel, Vice Commandant of the United States Coast Guard, had to say in testimony before the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation in answer to questions from Congresswoman Janice Hahn.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: APMartie2 on August 21, 2016, 02:58:00 AM
: Jim Hunt  Today at 01:30:03 AM

Dare I mention my own musings on the self same topic?
http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/08/crystal-serenity-sets-sail-for-the-northwest-passage/ (http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/08/crystal-serenity-sets-sail-for-the-northwest-passage/)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yes, please! Should have checked Great White Con before posting. I added your site to my bookmarks bar and will check daily as a budding Arctic Ice enthusiast. Thanks.

I am to Wayne and Garth as you are to Aerosmith!  :)

Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: abbottisgone on August 21, 2016, 09:02:57 AM
Which would seem to be explained by this AMSR2 image from last September. Perhaps there should be a poll Neven?!
I think this still looks particularly interesting and relevant to todays discussion!

 :o
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Cate on August 21, 2016, 11:58:37 AM
Article at today's Huffpost  (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/crystal-serenity-cruise-northwest-passage-arctic_us_57b75397e4b00d9c3a17902b? (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/crystal-serenity-cruise-northwest-passage-arctic_us_57b75397e4b00d9c3a17902b?)) about cruise ship just beginning a NW Passage attempt. Only near Nome, AK at moment but bow, starboard, and aft on-board streaming cameras might be worth a look once it gets into the passage.

Welcome to the ASIF!  :)

Because this thread is focused on the science, a few months ago I started a dedicated thread for more general discussion about the voyage of the Crystal Serenity over in the "Consequences" section.

I thought it might be a good idea to keep a running record, as it were, of the CS voyage in real time in a separate space where the implications of this voyage (and others like it) may be addressed. Check out the thread "Cruising the Northwest Passage, anyone?" here:

 http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1514.0.html (http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1514.0.html)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 21, 2016, 12:54:10 PM
I think this still looks particularly interesting and relevant to todays discussion!

In which case here is the 2015 equivalent:
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 21, 2016, 12:57:59 PM
I am to Wayne and Garth as you are to Aerosmith!  :)

You are very kind. In actual fact I suddenly find myself a big fan of Hayseed Dixie!

https://twitter.com/jim_hunt/status/758692973408292864
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: abbottisgone on August 22, 2016, 08:55:36 AM
I think this still looks particularly interesting and relevant to todays discussion!

In which case here is the 2015 equivalent:

Really, I suppose it all comes down to the weather  ;D
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Polynya88 on August 26, 2016, 02:18:31 PM
Lucky for the CS that it can take the southern "shallow draft" route of the NWP. See in this Ice Chart how persistent westerly winds have now pushed the Polar Pack into McClure Strait closing it to normal ship traffic, as well as closing the entrance to POW strait. Should deter anyone thinking of regular deep-draft traffic...
Title: Northabout braves the Northwest Passage
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 27, 2016, 04:45:23 PM
The Polar Ocean Challenge team in their yacht Northabout have completed the first half of their polar circumnavigation by officially completing the Northern Sea Route:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/08/northabout-races-for-the-date-line/#Aug-27 (http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/08/northabout-races-for-the-date-line/#Aug-27)

After a couple of days R&R in Barrow they''ll be setting off through the Northwest Passage. The current route plan (http://polarocean.co.uk/calendar/) goes via Bellot Strait, but it looks like a variety of other possibilities are available:

http://youtu.be/XJUzHbMEpkw (http://youtu.be/XJUzHbMEpkw)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 29, 2016, 11:12:22 AM
Hey, I know it's not the standard route, but would if be possible to use the Foxe Basin, Fury and Hecla Strait into the Gulf of Boothia, and then travel through the Bellot Strait to meet up with the 'southern' route for the northwest passage?

The answer is definitely YES! David Scott Cowper in Polar Bound has just traversed that route in a westerly direction for the first time, since modern records began at least:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/08/david-scott-cowper-makes-history-again/ (http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/08/david-scott-cowper-makes-history-again/)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Andreas T on August 29, 2016, 11:42:40 AM
Do you expect Northabout to be visible on the Barrow webcam when the daily footage updates to the 28th? according to the track it has sailed past the spit of land east of Barrow and is now in the lagoon behind it. I know the camera does not point to where Northabout is now but could it have been seen as it was moving along the coast (I have no idea how far out it could be seen)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 29, 2016, 03:08:06 PM
Do you expect Northabout to be visible on the Barrow webcam when the daily footage updates to the 28th?

I did look at the webcam images, but saw no sign of Northabout. They passed the webcam several km offshore though:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/08/northabout-races-for-the-date-line/#Aug-29 (http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/08/northabout-races-for-the-date-line/#Aug-29)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: RoxTheGeologist on August 29, 2016, 04:25:44 PM
Hey, I know it's not the standard route, but would if be possible to use the Foxe Basin, Fury and Hecla Strait into the Gulf of Boothia, and then travel through the Bellot Strait to meet up with the 'southern' route for the northwest passage?

The answer is definitely YES! David Scott Cowper in Polar Bound has just traversed that route in a westerly direction for the first time, since modern records began at least:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/08/david-scott-cowper-makes-history-again/ (http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/08/david-scott-cowper-makes-history-again/)

I wish he had a webcam so we could see the traverse!
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on September 03, 2016, 04:22:57 PM
Polar Bound and Northabout are both currently stationary. However in an interesting development the yacht Pachamama is currently rapidly approaching Fury & Hecla Strait from the north-west:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/08/david-scott-cowper-makes-history-again/#comment-215506 (http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/08/david-scott-cowper-makes-history-again/#comment-215506)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on September 04, 2016, 04:10:37 PM
Northabout is on the move again:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/08/northabout-braves-the-northwest-passage/#Sep-04 (http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/08/northabout-braves-the-northwest-passage/#Sep-04)

and so is Polar Bound:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/08/david-scott-cowper-makes-history-again/#Sep-04 (http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/08/david-scott-cowper-makes-history-again/#Sep-04)

Maybe they'll meet up somewhere shortly?
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on September 06, 2016, 12:25:13 PM
Fury & Hecla Strait is a veritable highway this summer. Both Pachamama and Vagabond have now completed west to east transits:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/08/david-scott-cowper-makes-history-again/#comment-215531 (http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/08/david-scott-cowper-makes-history-again/#comment-215531)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Phil. on September 08, 2016, 09:29:37 PM
Northabout is on the move again:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/08/northabout-braves-the-northwest-passage/#Sep-04 (http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/08/northabout-braves-the-northwest-passage/#Sep-04)

and so is Polar Bound:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/08/david-scott-cowper-makes-history-again/#Sep-04 (http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/08/david-scott-cowper-makes-history-again/#Sep-04)

Maybe they'll meet up somewhere shortly?

They just did:
SHIPSLOG Half Day Update 8 Sept

08/09/2016
N68 52 W 105 01 pressure 1002, water 5.8C, Air 3C 15.15 UTC 8 Sept

"Still punching against the wind, and still choppy seas. Hoping the wind will turn in next couple of hours. Heading down the coast, Cambridge bay behind now. Into Queen Mauld Gulf,

Just saw Polar Bound."
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Tealight on September 09, 2016, 12:15:19 AM
Crystal Serenity south of Victoria Island on 28th of August. It is the only cloud free image I found of the ship during its jouney through the Northwest Passage.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Cate on September 09, 2016, 02:43:16 PM
"Mad dogs and Englishmen came to mind."

Northabout and Polar Bound meet in the NWP.

Pretty much in the area of Franklin's old stomping grounds.

http://polarocean.co.uk/cambridge-bay-last-place-really-winter-boat-i-hope-dont-retrace-steps/ (http://polarocean.co.uk/cambridge-bay-last-place-really-winter-boat-i-hope-dont-retrace-steps/)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: lurkalot on September 10, 2016, 07:44:20 PM
Northabout is through Bellot Strait.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on September 10, 2016, 08:05:10 PM
Northabout is through Bellot Strait.

She is indeed.  Her next problem is dodging a few bergy bits, and then the ice at the end of Prince Regent Inlet:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/08/northabout-braves-the-northwest-passage/#Sep-10 (http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/08/northabout-braves-the-northwest-passage/#Sep-10)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Andreas T on September 11, 2016, 10:43:00 AM
what I find interesting about this ice http://go.nasa.gov/2cN366B (http://go.nasa.gov/2cN366B) is that the area was clear 3 weeks ago http://go.nasa.gov/2cLRPTW (http://go.nasa.gov/2cLRPTW) and this ice is stuff which has drifted in from between the islands further north where in turn ice is topped up from the arctic ocean.
west of Resolute there are some floes floating about which came from the north last October and have survived until now.
 If there is a substantial inflow of this ice before it gets stuck between the islands in the freeze up it will be able to obstruct the passage next year.
I remember reading some time ago that increased mobility of the ice north of Resolute would be bad for the Northwest Passage. We will see how much of an obstruction it will be. This will of course depend on winds etc
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on September 11, 2016, 01:39:36 PM
An updated video of the NW Passage:

http://youtu.be/g9JHSs38G-Y (http://youtu.be/g9JHSs38G-Y)

The current ice on Northabout's route doesn't show up on AMSR2! Nonetheless you can see the recent advection into the CAA quite nicely.

As you say, everything depends on the winds. A stiff offshore breeze is developing, which may make Northabout's task much easier?

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/08/northabout-braves-the-northwest-passage/#Sep-11 (http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/08/northabout-braves-the-northwest-passage/#Sep-11)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Cate on September 11, 2016, 03:39:54 PM
Northabout in Bellot Strait, 10 Sept 2016. No ice anywhere.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_rH48q5YkU&feature=youtu.be (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_rH48q5YkU&feature=youtu.be)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: ghoti on September 11, 2016, 03:54:55 PM
This isn't in the NW passage but I think this is what is being pushed into it.

A photo from Chris Hadfield on an very recent Arctic trip.

https://twitter.com/Cmdr_Hadfield/status/774956911535980544

The jumbled pile of ice is impressive. Certainly looks thick. There are people and a tent visible on the land giving a bit of scale.

Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on September 11, 2016, 07:19:35 PM
Ice ahoy!

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/08/northabout-braves-the-northwest-passage/#Sep-11-PM (http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/08/northabout-braves-the-northwest-passage/#Sep-11-PM)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on September 12, 2016, 12:41:32 AM
Northabout looks to be past the old ice across her path. Time to start looking at the storm forecast!

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/08/northabout-braves-the-northwest-passage/#comment-215649 (http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/08/northabout-braves-the-northwest-passage/#comment-215649)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on September 12, 2016, 08:02:45 PM
After dodging more bits of ice in Lancaster Sound Northabout is setting off across Baffin Bay. Plus that storm forecast:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/08/northabout-braves-the-northwest-passage/#Sep-12 (http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/08/northabout-braves-the-northwest-passage/#Sep-12)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Rick Aster on September 12, 2016, 09:39:25 PM
The Guardian reports wreck of HMS Terror found:

Ship found in Arctic 168 years after doomed Northwest Passage attempt
Exclusive: Perfectly preserved HMS Terror vessel sank during disastrous expedition led by British explorer Sir John Franklin

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/12/hms-terror-wreck-found-arctic-nearly-170-years-northwest-passage-attempt (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/12/hms-terror-wreck-found-arctic-nearly-170-years-northwest-passage-attempt)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Andreas T on September 12, 2016, 10:31:19 PM
it is worth looking at the footage filmed by the Northabout crew https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_IfbWFW1RU (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_IfbWFW1RU) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lViwWrt5_M8 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lViwWrt5_M8)in comparison to the wispy bits of white stuff seen in the satellite images. While this looks like "froth" "slush" etc when sea ice is discussed in thousands of square kilometers, this ice which is too sparse to show in the AMSR images, can still be an obstacle to shipping without the strength to withstand collision with it.
worldview image is from 9.9. later date are too cloudy, but I doubt this ice actually grew in the meantime (it probably drifted closer to the coast while melting)
http://go.nasa.gov/2czdC3s (http://go.nasa.gov/2czdC3s)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on September 12, 2016, 11:06:30 PM
See also this September 11th Sentinel image from my link above:
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Cate on September 13, 2016, 03:01:16 AM
For the record: PRESS RELEASE

"The Polar Ocean Challenge successfully completed their quest to sail the North East Passage and North West Passage in one season.  The North West Passage was completed in an astonishing 14 days due to the fact that it was almost totally ice free.  They encountered ice only twice in their 1800 mile NW Passage part of the voyage.  This highlights an extraordinary loss of sea ice in the Arctic in the 30 years that David Hempleman-Adams has been coming to the area. He said, ‘ whilst we are all delighted to have succeeded, it is extremely worrying to see this lack of ice so starkly ‘ The objective of the expedition was to raise awareness of the change in the fragile climate in the Arctic. They left Lancaster Sound at the end of the NW Passage at 19.18 UTC on 12th September and are headed for Greenland."


http://polarocean.co.uk/ (http://polarocean.co.uk/)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on September 13, 2016, 08:51:32 AM
For the record: PRESS RELEASE

They left Lancaster Sound at the end of the NW Passage at 19.18 UTC on 12th September

That'll get the cryodenialistas in a tizzy! Northabout hasn't crossed the Arctic Circle! Twice!!
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Phil. on September 13, 2016, 02:32:00 PM
Well Amundsen announced to the world that he'd completed the NW Passage before he crossed the Arctic Circle so there is precedence.  ;)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Cate on September 13, 2016, 04:56:06 PM
Northabout makes BBC radar. ;)

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-37351271 (http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-37351271)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: lurkalot on September 15, 2016, 12:09:42 PM
Northabout has just arrived in Upernavik; Crystal Serenity will reach New York in a few hours.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on September 15, 2016, 02:27:56 PM
Northabout has just arrived in Upernavik

You beat me to it!

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/09/northabout-heads-for-home/#Sep-15 (http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/09/northabout-heads-for-home/#Sep-15)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on September 15, 2016, 05:08:34 PM
Watch Northabout on ITV news until 23:00 UTC tonight:

http://www.itv.com/hub/itv-news-at-ten/2a4409a0183 (http://www.itv.com/hub/itv-news-at-ten/2a4409a0183)

Starts at ~26 minutes.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: ghoti on September 22, 2016, 11:20:30 PM
Polar Bound made it west of Pt Barrow and reports that the NWS claim of 9/10 ice there was exaggerated:

http://arcticnorthwestpassage.blogspot.ca/2016/09/mv-polar-bound-turns-corner-in-sea-ice.html?view=sidebar (http://arcticnorthwestpassage.blogspot.ca/2016/09/mv-polar-bound-turns-corner-in-sea-ice.html?view=sidebar)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on September 23, 2016, 12:15:05 AM
I don't think it was 9/10 according to the NWS. My own version of events:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/08/david-scott-cowper-makes-history-again/#Sep-21 (http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/08/david-scott-cowper-makes-history-again/#Sep-21)

Quote
It seems Polar Bound somehow managed to wend her way through 7-8/10 concentration sea ice, does it not?

Orange is 7-8/10
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: ghoti on September 23, 2016, 12:44:40 AM
The claim was Polar Bound's not mine. They used the Sept 20 ice map because they left on Sept 20.

Interesting how large the difference is each day. I'd never be able to handle the stress of navigating the Arctic - way too exciting for me.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on September 23, 2016, 11:51:16 AM
The claim was Polar Bound's not mine.

Actually I think you'll find the claim was Doug Pohl's, and he has an "agenda"!

I guess one can safely assume that the NWS errs on the side of safety? And sea ice can move a hell of a long way when there's a hell of a storm blowing!

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/09/september-arctic-cyclone-alert/ (http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/09/september-arctic-cyclone-alert/)

Quote
I'd never be able to handle the stress of navigating the Arctic

I managed to conduct a brief "email interview" with David Hempleman-Adams. He tells me:

Quote
For me [the most difficult aspect of the voyage] was the responsibility of a crew, a long way from rescue and safety.

Always in the back of my mind was an over winter.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on September 28, 2016, 01:50:37 AM
The first signs of the Northwest Passage refreezing?

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/09/is-the-northwest-passage-freezing-or-melting/#Sep-27 (http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/09/is-the-northwest-passage-freezing-or-melting/#Sep-27)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Cate on October 06, 2016, 12:51:28 AM
Oh dear.

To finish off a very active season in the NWP, how about a wee turf war?

Knickers are getting into twists at several levels of bureaucracy as parties dispute who was allowed or not allowed to find HMS Terror.

The burning question must be asked: If HMS Terror was not allowed to be found, must it now be unfound, and if so, how?

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/hms-terror-find-under-review-by-feds-1.3791664?cmp=rss (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/hms-terror-find-under-review-by-feds-1.3791664?cmp=rss)

 ::)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Rick Aster on October 17, 2016, 05:37:56 PM

To finish off a very active season in the NWP, how about a wee turf war?


O the irony: a turf war offshore where there isn't any turf!
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: TerryM on October 20, 2016, 10:32:00 PM
Oh dear.

To finish off a very active season in the NWP, how about a wee turf war?

Knickers are getting into twists at several levels of bureaucracy as parties dispute who was allowed or not allowed to find HMS Terror.

The burning question must be asked: If HMS Terror was not allowed to be found, must it now be unfound, and if so, how?

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/hms-terror-find-under-review-by-feds-1.3791664?cmp=rss (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/hms-terror-find-under-review-by-feds-1.3791664?cmp=rss)

 ::)


Cate
As one who lives in a region that has benefitted hugely from the largess of Mr. Balsillie, Mr. Lazaridis, and early investors in RIM, I somehow don't find it strange that TPTB are attempting to discredit the work of ARF.
I had hoped that with Harper out of the picture our government would lightened up on RIM's founders.
Terry
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on October 20, 2016, 11:24:53 PM
Not entirely off topic, Northabout finally arrived back in Bristol today. Yours truly with Ben Edwards, who is going back to school tomorrow!
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: mati on October 21, 2016, 02:51:11 AM
Awesome Jim
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Cate on October 21, 2016, 05:43:57 PM
Cool shots, Jim. What a fantastic voyage it was. So glad they are all home safe and lucky you, getting to meet them.

Well done to Ben in particular. He has so much of value now to share with the young folk of the planet now, of his Arctic experience, observations, and reflections.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Cate on December 05, 2016, 12:03:04 PM
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/hms-erebus-sir-john-franklin-expedition-arctic-parks-canada-inuit-artifacts-1.3877150 (http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/hms-erebus-sir-john-franklin-expedition-arctic-parks-canada-inuit-artifacts-1.3877150)

In the UK? Don't miss this "first major exhibition" of Franklin artifacts at the National Maritime Museum in 2017. Very exciting!

Meanwhile, discussions/disputes continue about who owns what wrt the wreck and where it all properly belongs in the end.
 
"Canada signed a memorandum of understanding with the United Kingdom in 1997, acknowledging that Britain owned the Franklin wrecks and their contents whenever they might be found. Britain agreed to assign ownership of artifacts to Canada, with the exception of any gold or any objects of "outstanding significance to the Royal Navy." Britain also agreed to compensate Canada "all reasonable costs associated with the recovery, conservation and transportation of such artifacts."

But the wording of the memorandum is murky in places, so "Canada wants Britain to sign a clearer, "legally binding" memorandum of understanding, as well as an ownership-transfer protocol, and a third agreement on loans and research."

Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Cate on January 14, 2017, 03:43:01 PM
http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/emails-from-discovery-of-hms-terror-show-bad-blood-secrecy-behind-the-scenes (http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/emails-from-discovery-of-hms-terror-show-bad-blood-secrecy-behind-the-scenes)

Ottawa Citizen, 9 Jan 2017

"Emails from discovery of HMS Terror show bad blood, secrecy behind the scenes

Internal Parks Canada emails show how the final days of the search for HMS Terror last September — ending in a discovery that should have been pure triumph — degenerated into secrecy and recrimination."

So were the emails leaked----or hacked!!??.... ;)

Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: woodstea on June 29, 2017, 11:16:31 PM
With high pressure forecast for the CAA in upcoming days, it seems like a lot of progress could be made towards opening the Parry Channel route of the NWP:
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Shared Humanity on June 30, 2017, 02:21:06 AM
Definitely a lot of melt ponds.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on June 30, 2017, 09:58:22 AM
Definitely a lot of melt ponds.

The O-Buoy 14 webcam image hasn't updated yet today, but here's the view last night (UTC) from the heart of Viscount Melville Sound:
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Shared Humanity on June 30, 2017, 05:45:50 PM
Lot of water and sun. Not a good combination.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: dingojoe on July 12, 2017, 05:16:57 PM
And bets on when the NW passage opens for business this year?

The remaining ice between Tuktoyaktuk and Cambridge Bay should melt out over the next week.  While there is a history of random strands of ice lingering along the Alaskan coast, it looks like it has a decent chance of being clear by the end of July.  That leaves Peel and especially Larsen Sound as the X factors.  Breakup started a few days earlier this year than last, but there may be a little more old ice in Larsen this year than last. 

I'm going to go with Aug 4th.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: silkman on July 13, 2017, 01:12:42 AM
Crystal Serenity sails from Achorage on August 15th:

http://www.crystalcruises.com/voyage/details/northwest-passage-explorer-7320#details (http://www.crystalcruises.com/voyage/details/northwest-passage-explorer-7320#details)



Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Feeltheburn on July 13, 2017, 01:25:29 AM
Crystal Serenity sails from Achorage on August 15th:

http://www.crystalcruises.com/voyage/details/northwest-passage-explorer-7320#details (http://www.crystalcruises.com/voyage/details/northwest-passage-explorer-7320#details)

That would be a lot of fun to be on that boat. Will it be accompanied by an ice breaker?
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: silkman on July 13, 2017, 09:44:23 AM
It was accompanied by the RRS Ernest Shackleton last year which stirred up a fair amount of controversy here in the UK:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-36541583 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-36541583)

It also used its helicopter and inflatables for moving the tourists around and for sight seeing.

Mixed feelings I think amongst the local population, torn between the economic benefits and the ecological damage.

Given the current sea ice trend it's difficult to see the attraction of the currently pristine environment not being exploited by others. It's another very worrying sign of the times.

Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: silkman on July 13, 2017, 09:58:56 AM
Here's a couple of links to cruise ship environmental impact to illustrate the problems. It's bad enough on the open ocean so it has to be a major concern in the Arctic.

Counting crew and passengers there will be close to 2000 people on the Serenity, lots of them living the high life. That's a lot of sewage and grey water usually dumped at sea with minimal treatment to dispose of somehow and somewhere....

https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/jan/05/cruise-ship-holidays-environmental-impact (https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/jan/05/cruise-ship-holidays-environmental-impact)

https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2017/jul/03/air-on-board-cruise-ships-is-twice-as-bad-as-at-piccadilly-circus (https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2017/jul/03/air-on-board-cruise-ships-is-twice-as-bad-as-at-piccadilly-circus)


Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: numerobis on July 13, 2017, 03:30:17 PM
Mixed feelings I think amongst the local population, torn between the economic benefits and the ecological damage.

I'm not hearing much fear of ecological damage over here. Concerns seem to be rather lower down on Maslow's hierarchy. Seismic blasting off of Clyde River was a big deal because it was directly chasing away the wildlife they were expecting to eat for dinner.

Tourism seems like a great alternative to the current government's big idea, which is mining and drilling. There's a lot of pride in food and arts here; having cruise ships come by gives those a good outlet -- particularly since you can't reasonably market fur in Europe anymore, but you can sell it to wealthy tourists who are visiting.

The big concerns I've heard are: how the heck does a hamlet of 800 handle a giant ship that shows up with 2,000 passengers? And you can't set up much in the way tourist accommodations if there's only tourists for a day, so how do you handle that? What happens when the community gets a huge 1-day injection of funds (biweekly payday and monthly welfare cheque day is already not a good scene, and there are no bank branches in the smaller hamlets)? And is it just a fad that will melt away when the novelty of the fabled northwest passage fades?
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on July 13, 2017, 10:15:59 PM
That leaves Peel and especially Larsen Sound as the X factors.

On the southern route it looks as though the old ice in Larsen Sound and Victoria Strait will be the last to go:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/resources/arctic-regional-graphs/northwest-passage/ (http://GreatWhiteCon.info/resources/arctic-regional-graphs/northwest-passage/)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Polynya88 on July 13, 2017, 11:24:00 PM
Larsen Snd. has a lot of Old Ice in it now, but the supply of Old Ice for it runs NW all the way to Barrow Strait which should continuously feed it all season. This should give anyone transitting the NWP ice to look at all year!  Last year passengers complained there was no ice to see, but things look much different this year.  Old ice feeding into Larsen Snd./Victoria Strait making it difficult to transit used to be very common in past years - ask Frankllin!
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on July 14, 2017, 12:47:24 PM
Old ice feeding into Larsen Snd./Victoria Strait making it difficult to transit used to be very common in past years - ask Frankllin!

However I can't help thinking that the "old ice" in 2017 is much less substantial than in 1846?
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Tor Bejnar on July 14, 2017, 02:47:59 PM
So are you one of those old fogies who declare everything was better in the olden days?  :o :P ::) ;D (sorry about that  :-\)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on July 14, 2017, 05:42:22 PM
I might be old but I'm certainly not a fogie!

Be that as it may, depending on the wind and weather over the next few weeks it's not beyond the bounds of possibility that the small vessels currently heading in the direction of the Northwest Passage might encounter some problems by the time they reach the central section of the southern route:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2017/07/the-northwest-passage-in-2017/ (http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2017/07/the-northwest-passage-in-2017/)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: TerryM on July 15, 2017, 05:17:03 AM
Sept 2 1969
McClure Strait


When in the McClure strait however, ice 15' to 20' high and sometimes as deep as 100 feet proved too much for the Manhattan.
[/size]
[/size]S.S.Manhattan and the North West Passage
[/size]http://sunshiporg.homestead.com/manhattan.html

[/size]The times they are a-changing
[/size]Terry




Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: oren on July 15, 2017, 10:17:58 AM
Thanks for the link Terry.
Quote
On Sept 2, 1969, the S.S.Manhattan turned her huge armored bow toward Baffin Island and started encountering her first ice floes at approx. 14 feet thick. The Manhattan, cracking off half-acre floes, sailed on without a quiver.  As the blocks grew larger,  more power was required and the Manhattan broke though ice floes as thick as 60 feet.
14ft thick in early Sept in Baffin? 60ft thick floes? Changing times indeed.

Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Polynya88 on July 16, 2017, 06:32:19 PM
Although there can be some discussion on the current thickness of the Old ice poised to drift down to Larsen Snd. this coming summer, in the attached clip of Lndst is one of several ice island fragments that will come down with the mix,  and will certainly be thick even if nothing else is!
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: numerobis on July 17, 2017, 03:32:14 PM
This is what nunavummiut think about the cruise ships: $$$

http://www.nunatsiaqonline.ca/stories/article/65674ship_to_shore_cruise_season_begins_next_week_in_iqaluit/ (http://www.nunatsiaqonline.ca/stories/article/65674ship_to_shore_cruise_season_begins_next_week_in_iqaluit/)

Meanwhile, heavy fuel oil is likely to soon be banned in the Arctic because it causes too much pollution -- black carbon and sulphate in particular. That development mitigates the damage of all the new shipping.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on July 23, 2017, 06:33:54 PM
The Finnish icebreaker Nordica has successfully negotiated Larsen and Peel Sounds and is entering the Parry Channel:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2017/07/the-northwest-passage-in-2017/#comment-222475 (http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2017/07/the-northwest-passage-in-2017/#comment-222475)

No pictures of the sea ice in the area have been published yet though.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: RikW on July 24, 2017, 09:41:53 AM
Well, then at least one ship succesfully used the passage this season, since the rest of the route is as good as ice-free
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on July 24, 2017, 04:39:13 PM
Well, then at least one ship succesfully used the passage this season

However the Nordica is an icebreaker, so the part of the NWP she has just negotiated is not yet "open" for less sturdy vessels.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on July 25, 2017, 07:12:47 PM
Plenty of pictures of the Nordica breaking ice in the Victoria Strait:

https://apimagesblog.com/blog/2017/7/25/icebreaker-leaves-jagged-beautiful-arctic-icescapes

(https://static1.squarespace.com/static/57cf18ae6b8f5ba693497e1a/5977576b414fb50c464d1029/5977576ecf81e0f87c8153f9/1500996325744/AP_17205647007854.jpg)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on July 26, 2017, 04:41:03 PM
From David "Duke" Snider (https://twitter.com/icenav57/with_replies?lang=en), ice pilot aboard Nordica:

Quote
Less [MYI in Larsen Sound] than charts indicate. More Second Year than old ice but still a challenge. Would stop non icebreakers in their tracks.

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DFqakSxWsAAcb4D.jpg)

Plus thick FYI in Peel Sound:

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DFqX2M8XgAAtfeP.jpg)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: slow wing on July 26, 2017, 10:18:55 PM
Really nice pics! Thanks Jim.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on July 27, 2017, 01:39:13 AM
Here's another one from Larsen Sound:

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DFsidoIXgAAodr2.jpg)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Hyperion on July 27, 2017, 09:53:20 AM
Wow Jim! that 2.5m thick stuff in peel sound sure looks solid. (red square)
Especially compared to the 1.5 m stuff in Larsen. (red circle)
 ::)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on July 27, 2017, 11:33:18 AM
Wow Jim!

I'm not quite sure of the point you're trying to make? Your red square seems to cover Barrow Strait, and I'm afraid I don't have much faith in the DMI thickness map at the best of times. Here's the CIS stage of development map (http://iceweb1.cis.ec.gc.ca/Prod/page2.xhtml?CanID=11081&lang=en&title=Western+Arctic) of the area instead. Larsen Sound is shown covered in brown "old ice". Victoria Strait and Peel Sound are full of "thick first year ice".
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: numerobis on July 29, 2017, 10:06:39 PM
I put up a picture of "thick first-year ice" on the picture-of-the-day thread. The stuff is pretty porous, but it's still big!

News today is the Nordica set the record for the earliest crossing, reaching Nuuk on the 29th. The previous record was going the other way, Barrow on the 30th:
http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/north/northwest-passage-msv-nordica-1.4227619 (http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/north/northwest-passage-msv-nordica-1.4227619)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: ghoti on July 31, 2017, 07:39:17 PM
There's a Canada 150 expedition heading through the Northwest Passage. They've posted a link to a live feed/image gallery.

https://canadac3.ca/en/expedition/live-feed/ (https://canadac3.ca/en/expedition/live-feed/)

Strange thing though they don't include location details so hard to tell what we are looking at. Just says "Nunavut"

There is a separate map charting the boat's progress. Again no indication how up to date this map is. Still gives an idea of location.
https://canadac3.ca/en/expedition/expedition-map/ (https://canadac3.ca/en/expedition/expedition-map/)

Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Andreas T on July 31, 2017, 08:49:26 PM
according to that site the MV Polar Prince should be in have been recently in Iqualuit, maybe Numerobis has some information?
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: ghoti on August 02, 2017, 02:41:42 AM
MV Prince is in Baffin Bay near Iqaluit. The ice looks extremely thin but would show up on satellite as lots of area and extent...

Stop motion video is available:
https://canadac3.ca/en/expedition/live-feed/ (https://canadac3.ca/en/expedition/live-feed/)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Andreas T on August 04, 2017, 03:12:20 PM
On 3,6,7 bands Terra https://go.nasa.gov/2wruFuO (https://go.nasa.gov/2wruFuO) it looks like this:
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Andreas T on August 04, 2017, 03:29:14 PM
Further west the first year ice in Victoria sound is gone but what remains between there and Bellot strait had a scatterering of old ice mixed in at the end of last season and will be a bit more resilient. It could of course be replenished from the North.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: numerobis on August 05, 2017, 11:34:16 PM
The C3 expedition left Iqaluit a few days ago en route to Qik. I'm looking forward to stories from a friend who's on it for just that leg of the trip; next week I think.

There had been a worry whether it would be able to sail, but there's a relatively clear path through the ice now. In part from melting, in part from winds being southerly for a while.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: ghoti on August 06, 2017, 01:03:41 AM
Looks like their August 5 cruise into the fjords of Auyuittuq National Park were ice free.

Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: numerobis on August 06, 2017, 03:27:46 AM
The fiords yes, Cumberland Bay not so much:
http://ice-glaces.ec.gc.ca/cgi-bin/getprod.pl?lang=en&&prodid=WIS33C&wrap=1 (http://ice-glaces.ec.gc.ca/cgi-bin/getprod.pl?lang=en&&prodid=WIS33C&wrap=1)

The green stuff you don't need a fancy ship for, you just sail slowly and steer around the ice (or bump into it once in a while -- you can hear the sound from that for miles). But it's still "extent" being at 20% concentration.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Andreas T on August 06, 2017, 10:55:44 PM
all the same overlaying the ship track map over the 3,6,7band MODIS of the 5.AUG shows the ship chose a path of least resistance, it possibly makes for more economical (and ecological) use of the ships fuel?
https://go.nasa.gov/2vEPt5u (https://go.nasa.gov/2vEPt5u)
https://canadac3.ca/en/expedition/expedition-map/ (https://canadac3.ca/en/expedition/expedition-map/)
I changed the colour of the track to green for contrast
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 06, 2017, 11:00:43 PM
I cannot help but wonder if prospective Northwest Passage cruise customers have been reading my blog:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2017/07/the-northwest-passage-in-2017/#comment-222664 (http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2017/07/the-northwest-passage-in-2017/#comment-222664)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: numerobis on August 07, 2017, 05:24:27 AM
Andreas: I'm not sure about ecological, but definitely economical -- you can steam much faster if there's no ice to hit.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Andreas T on August 07, 2017, 03:19:59 PM
I was thinking of fuel consumption and therefore carbon footprint etc. It might be more economical to burn a lot of fuel to go quicker along a longer route if cost of the ship and crew is factored in, but it may also be  burning less fuel on a longer route if propulsion through ice is less efficient. I don't know but have read about large efficiency gains possible with novel icebreaker designs which suggest that running through ice increases fuel consumption significantly.
Just making some guesses on motivation for the more circuitous route.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Polynya88 on August 07, 2017, 03:56:11 PM
One of the main reasons for such a route is typically for schedule purposes - ships keep speed to about 4kts in ice to avoid heavy impacts with ice (plus avoidance maneuvers), whereas they will do probably 16kts in Open Water. I've heard many ice pilots say a mile of ice is like 10 miles of open water.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: numerobis on August 09, 2017, 05:47:45 PM
Going West, looks like you can make it to Resolute via Baffin. Might want to pay close attention for the last few miles into port.

Going East, it's clear sailing all the way to Taloyoak.

Between the two, there's a few spots of 50% concentration ice (labeled P in the ice chart) -- 20% thick (>1.2m) first-year ice and 30% ice less than 70cm thick, floes in the tens to hundreds of meters diameter. So it's very close to open.

You'd still need a fair bit of recklessness to go through without an icebreaker though: winds blow the wrong way and you get 90+% concentration ice moving in to close off the passage.

But hey, for a mere $40k for a couple, how can we resist hopping on that cruise ship?
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Phil. on August 09, 2017, 09:14:50 PM
Looks like Bellot strait will be the way to go this year.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 09, 2017, 09:33:22 PM
Albeit an icebreaker, CCGS Amundsen has made it through the hard part travelling east to west:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2017/07/the-northwest-passage-in-2017/#comment-222696 (http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2017/07/the-northwest-passage-in-2017/#comment-222696)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: numerobis on August 12, 2017, 11:10:18 PM
You'd still need a fair bit of recklessness to go through without an icebreaker though: winds blow the wrong way and you get 90+% concentration ice moving in to close off the passage.

Winds blew the wrong way!
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: silkman on August 16, 2017, 02:52:25 PM
Crystal Serenity has left Seward on its way to the Arctic and the NW passage:

https://my.yb.tl/CrystalSerenity

What sort of ice conditions will it face when it gets beyond Cambridge Bay? Time will tell.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Polynya88 on August 16, 2017, 03:53:51 PM
There appears to be some confusion as to what Serenity may encounter in Larsen Sound. Note in the above ice chart area B is 7/10 Old ice, and now in the chart below, that area (now C) has been changed to 7/10 First-year... Something not right about that!
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: silkman on August 16, 2017, 10:06:28 PM

The RRS Ernest Shackleton is currently in Baffin Bay, a long way from its home at Port Stanley in the Falklands.

It's clearly on the way to the NW Passage to support the Crystal Serenity with its ice breaking capability, helicopter and zodiacs as it did last year.

A nice little earner for the British Antarctic Survey I'm sure but at the cost of the mixed blessing of increased high cost eco-tourism.

It will be interesting to watch the progress of this second Serenity trip nonetheless.  At least it delivers a clear message about the dramatic changes taking place in the Arctic.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: numerobis on August 17, 2017, 03:25:04 AM
Polynya88: The stages of development in the figure are 7 and "4." which are both first-year ice stages. I don't see any older ice mentioned.

7 is 70cm ice; 4. is 120+ cm ice. The dot is significant.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Polynya88 on August 17, 2017, 04:46:33 AM
Sorry to say, but that is not correct. Note that there is a dot (.), and all numbers to the left are assumed to have a dot. Thus the 7 is actually 7.  which is old ice.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: numerobis on August 17, 2017, 01:04:06 PM
Oh, I've been misreading these charts! Good thing I'm not a captain.

Indeed, seems odd the ice got from mostly old ice to mostly thick new ice, just about overnight.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Peter Ellis on August 17, 2017, 01:36:24 PM
I suspect the categorisation is only nominally based on age and in fact depends more on thickness.  This is irrelevant during the freeze-up, when thickness depends on age (new ice being thin, older ice being thicker), etc.  However, during the melt season it's perfectly plausible to have "old" ice that is only 20cm thick because most of it has melted.  Note that there is no category for thin old ice, and even the categories for thinner first-year ice are structured around the formation process.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Polynya88 on August 17, 2017, 02:06:17 PM
Correct. The inability of the Canadian ice codes to indicate stage of melt does show 10m thick Old ice and (as you mentioned) 20cm. thick Old ice as the same thing. On a technical note however, in the WMO Sea Ice Nomenclature (WMO-No.259), all ice less than a year old is categorized by thickness, and all ice older is categorized by age.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: numerobis on August 17, 2017, 02:46:46 PM
There is another classification, which is the size of the floes. In practice, does thin old ice actually exist, or does it simply break up into floes before getting thin?
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Peter Ellis on August 17, 2017, 03:58:48 PM
Correct. The inability of the Canadian ice codes to indicate stage of melt does show 10m thick Old ice and (as you mentioned) 20cm. thick Old ice as the same thing. On a technical note however, in the WMO Sea Ice Nomenclature (WMO-No.259), all ice less than a year old is categorized by thickness, and all ice older is categorized by age.
Sure, I know how it's supposed to work.  In practice though I suspect that the shift you point out where an area was dominated by old ice one week and young ice the next is because the thickness has dropped far enough that it's now being scored as effectively equivalent to young ice.  Remember these are operational products designed to tell ship captains how hard a given area will be to traverse.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 18, 2017, 07:15:16 PM
Crystal Serenity is heading for Dutch Harbor as we speak, whilst the Ernest Shackleton is about to negotiate Bellot Strait on its way to meet her:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2017/08/crystal-serenity-sails-the-northwest-passage-in-2017/ (http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2017/08/crystal-serenity-sails-the-northwest-passage-in-2017/)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Phil. on August 18, 2017, 08:25:52 PM
There appears to be some confusion as to what Serenity may encounter in Larsen Sound. Note in the above ice chart area B is 7/10 Old ice, and now in the chart below, that area (now C) has been changed to 7/10 First-year... Something not right about that!

Looking at the weather forecast for Talyoak for the next week they expect highs of 60+ and clear sunny weather so maybe we'll see some significant changes.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: numerobis on August 19, 2017, 02:04:49 PM
Shackleton will be facing some 50% ice and a short bit of 70% ice. Other than that, the coast is clear... unless the winds turn.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: solartim27 on August 19, 2017, 05:32:23 PM
Interesting article on transiting the Bellow Strait
https://www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/08/18/we-went-through-one-of-the-most-infamous-and-narrow-straits-of-the-northwest-passage/ (https://www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/08/18/we-went-through-one-of-the-most-infamous-and-narrow-straits-of-the-northwest-passage/)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 19, 2017, 11:30:17 PM
A glimpse through the haze suggests a passage could open up along the shores of the Boothia Peninsula soon, should favourable winds prevail:
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: silkman on August 20, 2017, 01:24:55 PM
The Shackleton has now negotiated its passage of the Bellot Strait and is well on its way down the Franklin towards ice free open water:
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Killian on August 20, 2017, 06:58:11 PM
A glimpse through the haze suggests a passage could open up along the shores of the Boothia Peninsula soon, should favourable winds prevail:

In what way is it not already open? What in the world is your criteria? There's blue water and mush the entire way along the southern part of the image. How is that not "open?" Seriously, what is your criteria?
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Neven on August 20, 2017, 07:34:35 PM
To me it's open when all the ice is gone on sea ice concentration maps, such as Uni Bremen (http://www.iup.uni-bremen.de:8084/amsr2/Arctic_AMSR2_nic.png)'s.

I wouldn't call this entirely open, let alone the central route (which to me signifies a truly open NWP), but it will be soon.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: ghoti on August 20, 2017, 07:38:21 PM
Bagheera, Snow Dragon II and Salty kisses did their passage (2015 I think) with more ice then than is now in the passage. "Open" is a function of boat design details and the captain's judgement.

We now see that Bagheera and Snow Dragon II think they can handle 60% concentration.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Dharma Rupa on August 20, 2017, 08:41:32 PM
To me it's open when all the ice is gone on sea ice concentration maps, such as Uni Bremen (http://www.iup.uni-bremen.de:8084/amsr2/Arctic_AMSR2_nic.png)'s.

I wouldn't call this entirely open, let alone the central route (which to me signifies a truly open NWP), but it will be soon.

Any chance we can find a more nuanced vocabulary?   How about "passable" and "open" as a first try?  The NWP is passable if an icebreaker can get through it, and open if some idiot can sail it without being killed by an overturning berg.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: silkman on August 20, 2017, 09:12:38 PM
Meanwhile Serenity has made its way to Nome and was caught on the Webcam there.

Nice day for a cruise!
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 20, 2017, 09:52:18 PM
Seriously, what is your criteria?

Although the link now seems to be broken, the one used by the CIS. i.e. <= 3 < 6/10 concentration along the whole route. Here's their latest concentration map:

Edit - Diablo reminded me of my dodgy memory!
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Killian on August 21, 2017, 01:49:05 AM
To me it's open when all the ice is gone on sea ice concentration maps, such as Uni Bremen (http://www.iup.uni-bremen.de:8084/amsr2/Arctic_AMSR2_nic.png)'s.

I wouldn't call this entirely open, let alone the central route (which to me signifies a truly open NWP), but it will be soon.

Neven, I do not see how you justify open as only ice-free. There is no logical reason for this and makes the sense of the ice a bit ridiculous. By that metric, the Arctic ocean will likely never be ice-free in any of our lifetimes. What is functional reality is what matters, not some esoteric target. Can ships get through the ice without an icebreaker? Yup.

Then it's open.

I mean, if multiple ships make the trip each year, but we are here saying it is not open, we look silly. The metric for a NWP was never that you'd see no sea ice, it was a viable sea route. Ships sink in all waters of the world. Absolute safety is simply not a metric anyone uses.

I do, however, tend to think of the NWP as the Parry Channel... Still, if you get from A to B, well...
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Adam Ash on August 21, 2017, 01:53:26 AM
Meanwhile Serenity has made its way to Nome and was caught on the Webcam there.

Nice day for a cruise!

Nice!
Somewhat evocative of the waterfront at Marseilles!
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: ghoti on August 21, 2017, 02:58:54 AM
Here's the C3 expedition tonight in a zone labeled 2/10 ice by the CIS. Almost all of the rest of the NWP route is either 2/10 or 3/10 with a tiny patch with more ice. Looks open to me.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Neven on August 21, 2017, 05:43:15 AM
Neven, I do not see how you justify open as only ice-free. There is no logical reason for this and makes the sense of the ice a bit ridiculous. By that metric, the Arctic ocean will likely never be ice-free in any of our lifetimes. What is functional reality is what matters, not some esoteric target. Can ships get through the ice without an icebreaker? Yup.

Of course there's a logical reason. You just hadn't thought of it.  ;)

How do I compare to the past this way? There aren't any true-colour images before 2011, and ships didn't try to make the NWP like they do every year now by adventurers. I'm sure researchers have other criteria because they have more data at their disposal (I believe there are some papers on the subject of an open NWP), but I stick with passive microwave data.

Anyway, I'm not some organisation that officially announces the NWP to be open or not.

If the point is that the southern routes of the NWP are open every year now, and the central route sometimes, well, that point was already made several years ago. And it's almost certainly because of AGW.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Adam Ash on August 21, 2017, 06:44:25 AM
Perhaps a less ambiguous metric may simply be the number of vessels which have traversed the passage between one Arctic ice maximum extent and the next.  Sub-categories could be a) Ice breakers and ice hardened vessels b) non-ice hardened vessels >= 100 GRT and c) small ships <100 GRT.

The trick, of course, is that as ice conditions enable more traffic, then numerous intermediate destinations will be utilised for trade and no doubt export of resources which can now be exploited.  This traffic may entail fewer all-the-way-through traverses, and more 'coastal' traffic between such origins/destinations.

Such metrics will give an activity-based value relating to the quality of the eastern and northwestern routes.

However a ship-count metric is not directly relevant or 'impressive' when it comes to trying to inform the great unwashed about the critically sad state of the Arctic ice.  For that a combination of images, charts and tables depicting views of ice conditions at annual intervals for key sites may be needed to ensure the message gets to the data and 'picture' receptors of the audience.

And before we expend too much energy on that work, we should ask "What difference will it make to the present downward vector?"
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Adam Ash on August 21, 2017, 07:47:42 AM
Bagheera, Snow Dragon II and Salty kisses did their passage (2015 I think) with more ice then than is now in the passage. "Open" is a function of boat design details and the captain's judgement.
We now see that Bagheera and Snow Dragon II think they can handle 60% concentration.
Interesting to compare current ice conditions with last year's near where these yachts are:
 
A lot more clear water on their route, tho they will be bumping into the edge soon.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 21, 2017, 10:27:24 AM
There aren't any true-colour images before 2011

Worldview now goes back to 2009.

Quote
Anyway, I'm not some organisation that officially announces the NWP to be open or not.

Whereas the CIS is, and unlike us mere mortals they have RADARSAT-2 imagery to peruse. In this day and age we do have Sentinel 2A though:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2017/07/the-northwest-passage-in-2017/#Aug-20 (http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2017/07/the-northwest-passage-in-2017/#Aug-20)

Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 21, 2017, 10:34:23 AM
And occasionally we even get images beamed back from the NWP itself. This is from Ernest Shackleton (https://legacy.bas.ac.uk/webcams/archive/cam.php?cam=1&date=2017-08-20%2010:03:03&position=7) on the morning of August 20th:

(https://legacy.bas.ac.uk/webcams/shack/eswebcam_20170820_100303_02_m.jpg)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Adam Ash on August 21, 2017, 11:26:00 AM
That stuff looks like piles of sunken snow, rather than remnants of solid ice!? ? ! ??
(Tho I would have a couple of reefs in if sailing thru it in the old lugger!)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 21, 2017, 11:27:56 AM
Interesting to compare current ice conditions with last year's near where these yachts are:

There's a thread dedicated to that sort of thing:

http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,2118 (http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,2118)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: diablobanquisa on August 21, 2017, 12:16:37 PM
Seriously, what is your criteria?

Although the link now seems to be broken, the one used by the CIS. i.e. <= 3/10 concentration along the whole route. Here's their latest concentration map:

Hi Jim, If I remember correctly, the treshold used by CIS was: <= 6/10 concentration along the whole route.

With your own words:



The CIS definition of "navigable" is "a criteria of less than 60% ice cover over all sections of the Northwest Passage". See:

http://ec.gc.ca/glaces-ice/default.asp?lang=En&n=765F63E4-1 (http://ec.gc.ca/glaces-ice/default.asp?lang=En&n=765F63E4-1)


(Anyway, even according to this criteria the southern route is still closed, due to a couple of orange strips at Larsen Sound. Although I think we will be able to declare open the southern route very soon)

Cheers



Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 21, 2017, 12:52:29 PM
Hi Jim, If I remember correctly, the threshold used by CIS was: <= 6/10 concentration along the whole route.

As you can see, when I went to check the link to check my (admittedly ageing!) memory all I got was a 404 error.  I'll see if I can work out where it's moved to.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: ghoti on August 21, 2017, 06:34:23 PM
The C3 expedition is now at the point where Peel Sound meets Larson Sound. No icebreaker needed.

Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 21, 2017, 07:10:31 PM
Here's MASIE's view (http://masie_web.apps.nsidc.org/pub/DATASETS/NOAA/G02186/png/1km/2017/masie_all_r09_v01_2017231_1km.png) of the current state of play:
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 21, 2017, 11:39:00 PM
The CIS have started coverage of the Parry Channel. Here's the latest from Queen Maud:
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: ghoti on August 22, 2017, 01:22:04 AM
I just clicked through the C3 expedition archived images for this afternoon looking for ice in the CIS map in orange labeled K in Larson Sound. The most concentrated ice shows up around 14:30 Eastern time.

It clearly didn't slow them down much but the neat thing is a few very small sail boat photo bombed their "selfie". I don't think there are any communities nearby for these boats to be local. I wonder where they sailed from.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: numerobis on August 22, 2017, 01:33:50 PM
That stuff looks like piles of sunken snow, rather than remnants of solid ice!? ? ! ??
(Tho I would have a couple of reefs in if sailing thru it in the old lugger!)

Looks are deceiving. That ice is a couple meters thick. You could maybe kayak through there -- until one of those chunks flips over and takes you out -- but a larger boat can't make it without bumping ice all the way, and could easily get stuck.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Adam Ash on August 22, 2017, 02:22:08 PM
That stuff looks like piles of sunken snow, rather than remnants of solid ice!? ? ! ??
(Tho I would have a couple of reefs in if sailing thru it in the old lugger!)

Looks are deceiving. That ice is a couple meters thick. You could maybe kayak through there -- until one of those chunks flips over and takes you out -- but a larger boat can't make it without bumping ice all the way, and could easily get stuck.

Thanks.  So those small yachts in the photo above were choppered in then?
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 22, 2017, 04:07:53 PM
So those small yachts in the photo above were choppered in then?

I think you'll find that numerobis was referring to a different image.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: numerobis on August 22, 2017, 10:29:14 PM
Thanks Jim.

I find it odd how emotionally invested some people are in believing the NWP must be open right now. No matter how navigable 99% of the path is, if 1% is not navigable, the way is closed. But it's right on the cusp of being navigable -- what's the rush of declaring it?
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: silkman on August 23, 2017, 09:23:09 AM
The Shackleton has just emerged from the NW Passage and is now in the Amundsen Gulf to the Southeast of Banks Island.

The air and sea temperatures are interesting. I'm not sure at what depth the sea temperature measurement is made at (others may know) but 7.6C seems to indicate a significant amount of heat in place after a long ice free summer.

"Oceanographic research ship Ernest Shackleton (UK/Norway)

Last reported at 2017-Aug-23 03:00 UTC. Time now 2017-Aug-23 06:52 UTC.
Position N 70°00' W 118°30'.

Wind from 140 at 18 knots
Barometer 1008.3 mb
Air temperature 9.3 ° C
Visibility: greater than 10.8 NM a
Dewpoint 9.3 ° C
Water temperature 7.6 ° C "
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Phil. on August 23, 2017, 09:31:53 PM
C3 is now at Gjoa Havn

https://canadac3.ca/en/expedition/live-feed/

It was rather different in 1905 when Amundsen left the ice.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 24, 2017, 12:21:05 AM
The latest dispatch from Queen Maud.

Meanwhile Crystal Serenity is racing towards the Amundsen Gulf!
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Bill Fothergill on August 24, 2017, 10:59:26 AM
Jim H is not the only one with memory problems.  ;)

The two quotes shown below have triggered a memory, but only partially...

...
The trick, of course, is that as ice conditions enable more traffic, then numerous intermediate destinations will be utilised for trade and no doubt export of resources which can now be exploited.  This traffic may entail fewer all-the-way-through traverses, and more 'coastal' traffic between such origins/destinations.
...
However a ship-count metric is not directly relevant or 'impressive' when it comes to trying to inform the great unwashed about the critically sad state of the Arctic ice.
...

&

C3 is now at Gjoa Havn
...

On Jim's Great White Con blog sometime last year (I can't remember when) , one of the Flat Earth brigade made the claim that, as far back as 1929, no fewer than 3 ships from the Hudson Bay company had made the traverse in a single year.

It would have seemed an obvious thing to check with the HBC archives whether such a thing had indeed happened, but had somehow been kept secret from the rest of the world. However, as most here realise, genuine scepticism is in extremely short supply amongst self-styled climate change sceptics.

In response to my query, one of the HBC archivists very kindly - and quickly - came up with the answer. What had happened was that 3 ships did indeed overwinter around the Cambridge Bay/ Gjoa Havn region, but that was simply the limit point for their respective trading/supply routes.

Two of the ships (Fort James and Fort Macpherson) had started from different ends of the NWP in 1929, but each had made it no further than Gjoa Havn before overwintering and then reversing their course. The third ship (Baychimo) worked the Vancouver - Cambridge Bay route throughout the 1920's, and also happened to overwinter "near" the other two in 1929.

Yet another example of misinformation and deliberate twisting of the facts from the usual suspects.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Bill Fothergill on August 24, 2017, 11:11:24 AM
Regarding the thickness of the ice shown in various photographs further up this thread, one should always try to remember that something in the order of 7/8ths is below the waterline.

The complex topography of the ice makes the determination of the freeboard:draught ratio something of a nightmare, as evinced in the following paper...

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2008JC005074/full (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2008JC005074/full)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: ghoti on August 24, 2017, 04:09:21 PM
On August 22 the C3 ship went through a patch of somewhat dense ice. From the image archive it seemed to took them less than an hour. The ice didn't look all that thick in the images but they tweeted that they encountered 2 metre thick ice.

https://twitter.com/canada_c3/status/900057753435197441 (https://twitter.com/canada_c3/status/900057753435197441)

Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: numerobis on August 24, 2017, 06:42:42 PM
The pictures don't do the thickness of the ice justice. In person you realize that there's a lot lurking below -- you can actually see it with your own eyes (rather than being forced to believe Bill Fothergill).
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: numerobis on August 26, 2017, 08:44:17 PM
Winds and record-breaking temperatures over the region have pushed that red region way back in the past couple days, so it's down to a few km of high-concentration ice:
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 27, 2017, 11:56:36 PM
It looks as though the Northwest Passage can finally be declared "open" according to the CIS's criterion:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2017/07/the-northwest-passage-in-2017/#Aug-27 (http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2017/07/the-northwest-passage-in-2017/#Aug-27)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: numerobis on August 28, 2017, 12:22:38 AM
Wow. All that 90+% thick ice collapsed in just two days?
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: ghoti on August 28, 2017, 03:42:06 AM
What is the coverage of that area by Radarsat? I'm pretty sure it isn't daily. The thick ice map might have been at least partly out of date when published. I think it has a 24 day repeat cycle.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: numerobis on August 28, 2017, 02:34:07 PM
The full maps I put up have the legend, which provides the time of the radarsat observation. They also sometimes use other imagery.

A repeat of 24 days means you'll see the same place at the same time of day every 24 days. You'll see the same place much more often, especially at high latitude.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: numerobis on August 28, 2017, 11:26:35 PM
Today's image shows continued fast melting in Queen Maud, and the weather report (and news) says it's been very warm all weekend in the area.

Temperatures are back to seasonal today -- chance of flurries in Cambridge Bay and Taloyoak -- but warm again on Wednesday.

How far along is Crystal Serenity?
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 29, 2017, 12:21:50 AM
How far along is Crystal Serenity?

Cambridge Bay:
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Phil. on August 29, 2017, 04:57:46 AM
How far along is Crystal Serenity?

Cambridge Bay:

And so far no ice!
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 29, 2017, 11:41:49 AM
And so far no ice!

Still no ice to be seen, but it can't be long now!

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2017/08/crystal-serenity-sails-the-northwest-passage-in-2017/#Aug-29 (http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2017/08/crystal-serenity-sails-the-northwest-passage-in-2017/#Aug-29)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 29, 2017, 12:30:38 PM
Ice ahoy!
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 29, 2017, 04:33:07 PM
'Nuff said?

(https://legacy.bas.ac.uk/webcams/shack/eswebcam_20170829_150305_02_m.jpg)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 29, 2017, 06:46:03 PM
Fun & games amongst the floes:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2017/08/crystal-serenity-sails-the-northwest-passage-in-2017/#Aug-29-1730 (http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2017/08/crystal-serenity-sails-the-northwest-passage-in-2017/#Aug-29-1730)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 30, 2017, 10:53:40 PM
Crystal Serenity is now trailing in the wake of two icebreakers:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2017/08/crystal-serenity-sails-the-northwest-passage-in-2017/#Aug-30 (http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2017/08/crystal-serenity-sails-the-northwest-passage-in-2017/#Aug-30)

Heading for the open water?
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Phil. on August 31, 2017, 01:48:34 PM
Crystal Serenity is now trailing in the wake of two icebreakers:


Heading for the open water?

Looks like their journey has mainly been in open water, it looks like they're going to head through the Bellott Strait next, not much ice en route.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Ninebelowzero on August 31, 2017, 07:02:56 PM
They might meet the Xue Long in a short while. The Snow Dragon will be the first Chinese vessel to go through the passage. Notable in itself for a great seafaring nation  but also as a test of viability of it as a future trade route.

http://www.atimes.com/article/chinese-icebreaker-enters-canadas-northwest-passage/ (http://www.atimes.com/article/chinese-icebreaker-enters-canadas-northwest-passage/)

What they might think of a large luxury passenger vessel passing by in the other direction is open to conjecture.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: FredBear on September 05, 2017, 06:22:12 AM
No more cruises sheduled for the NW Passage by the Crystals for the next 2 years   .   .   .   !?
(Has Crystal Serenity got through this year's ice unscathed?)

http://www.crystalcruises.com/cruises (http://www.crystalcruises.com/cruises)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Ninebelowzero on September 05, 2017, 01:41:20 PM
She dawdled in  the main channel of the passage a few days ago (not sure if she went anywhere near the ice) before exiting the area. Current location in the Davis Stait thereabouts

http://www.sailwx.info/shiptrack/cruiseships.phtml (http://www.sailwx.info/shiptrack/cruiseships.phtml)

The view from the starboard camera shows a leaden sea and grey skies almost identical to the starboard view from the Crystal Symphony wherever she may be so if you want an "adventure" cruise in the Arctic getting onboard a Russian icebreaker would seem the best bet.

The Xue Long is soon to exit the Coronation Gulf.

http://www.sailwx.info/shiptrack/researchships.phtml (http://www.sailwx.info/shiptrack/researchships.phtml)

And keen eyed web browsers will note Irma is bearing down rapidly on several cruise ships. Now that would be an adventure holiday. :)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Andreas T on September 10, 2017, 02:14:32 PM
a clear view on the 9th shows ice between Victoria strait and Bellot strait fairly spread out, possibly passable for non icebreakers taking a chance? Is there a equally recent chart from canadian ice service? I can't find one.
Ice drifting south towards other narrow part of the passage though, not sure what the name is.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on September 11, 2017, 12:11:59 AM
Is there a equally recent chart from canadian ice service?

There is indeed:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2017/07/the-northwest-passage-in-2017/#Sep-10 (http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2017/07/the-northwest-passage-in-2017/#Sep-10)

In addition, David Cowper has left Cambridge Bay in Polar Bound and is heading east.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: numerobis on September 26, 2017, 06:47:06 PM
Seems the passage is closed again by new ice (40% new ice in that 'M' region, plus 30% old ice).

An ice-hardened ship would be able to get through still.

Today will be our first full day at/below freezing in Iqaluit.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: gerontocrat on September 26, 2017, 08:48:54 PM
Seems the passage is closed again by new ice
The NE passage will be open for some time. The Russkies will be glad.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 19, 2018, 02:57:45 PM
Rather later than last year, "Snow White's" detailed analysis of the Northwest Passage prospects for the small yachts endeavouring to sail (or more likely motor) through the Northwest Passage this summer:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2018/08/the-northwest-passage-in-2018/

Quote
The central section between Bellot Strait and Gjoa Haven and/or Cambridge Bay is still chock a block.

Cumming Inlet looks very inviting though:
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 20, 2018, 01:00:58 AM
The CCGS Amundsen passed the entrance to Cumming Inlet recently. S/V Crystal has ventured out even more recently, but the Amundsen is long gone:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2018/08/the-northwest-passage-in-2018/#comment-245024
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: charles_oil on August 21, 2018, 04:30:44 AM
A slightly bigger - 11,000 ton - vessel about to head through on a €€€ cruise (fully booked this year AND in 2019 AND in 2020 - sorry).   
As its about to start it will be interesting to see progress against schedule (bottom jpg file).

Webcam - may be on a loop we will have to see...  https://en.ponant.com/le-soleal-so-2 (https://en.ponant.com/le-soleal-so-2)

Source:
https://en.ponant.com/cruises/the-arctic-the-northwest-passage-s270818-kn0645-2 (https://en.ponant.com/cruises/the-arctic-the-northwest-passage-s270818-kn0645-2)

From website:


We are inviting you to set sail for the Far North, well beyond the Arctic Circle, to a legendary, highly coveted maritime route: the Northwest Passage, the only possible shipping route between the Atlantic and the Pacific.

In Winter, this “roof of the world” is transformed into a majestic white desert; whilst in Summer, for a few short weeks, the temperature rises enough for the ice to melt. Life reappears, nature is reborn, the mythical route is finally free and we can breathe in the unique scent of great adventure.

Subject to ice and weather conditions.

The expedition highlights and itineraries described above illustrate possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed.

• Length . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 466 ft
• Beam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 ft
• Draft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15.3 ft
• Cruising speed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 knots
• Ice class . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 C
• Classification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bureau Veritas
• Flag . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . French
• Guest decks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
• Guest capacity (double occupancy) . . . . . . . . . . . . up to 264 PAX
• Normal crew size . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140
• Fleet of expedition Zodiac® . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Mark V HD)
• Gross tonnage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 992 UMS
• Electric motors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 x 2300 KW
• Installed power . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 200 KW
• Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Fincantieri-Ancône-Italy
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: gerontocrat on August 21, 2018, 04:23:04 PM
Quote
the Northwest Passage, the only possible shipping route between the Atlantic and the Pacific.

Like the Russian Northern Sea Route does not exist? Alternative facts rule, OK?
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 25, 2018, 11:42:40 AM
The crew of Crystal have avoided being eaten by polar bears and contrary to the advice of the Canadian Coastguard are currently heading for Fort Ross:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2018/08/the-northwest-passage-in-2018/#comment-245285

Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 25, 2018, 03:54:28 PM
Akademik Ioffe is aground and taking on water with ~160 people aboard:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2018/08/the-northwest-passage-in-2018/#comment-245290

Apparently there is no immediate danger to life, limb or environment though.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Phil. on August 27, 2018, 07:49:48 PM
Barely out of the harbor and ran aground on a rock on the first day!
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: NACK on August 28, 2018, 12:24:26 PM
Akademik Ioffe is a purpose built icebreaker and used for hydro-sonic studies of the Arctic.
Hydro-sonics is used to count fish and of course would give extremely accurate depth readings.
Ironic that a vessel outfitted like this would run aground! When I look at the published coordinates on google Earth I can clearly see the shoals beneath the surface where it went aground.

Their original route was through the Bellot Strait but for some reason the Ioffe chose not to enter the Strait. Was this decision based on the ice condition on the back side of the Bellot?

Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Phil. on August 28, 2018, 06:11:40 PM
Akademik Ioffe is a purpose built icebreaker and used for hydro-sonic studies of the Arctic.
Hydro-sonics is used to count fish and of course would give extremely accurate depth readings.
Ironic that a vessel outfitted like this would run aground! When I look at the published coordinates on google Earth I can clearly see the shoals beneath the surface where it went aground.

Their original route was through the Bellot Strait but for some reason the Ioffe chose not to enter the Strait. Was this decision based on the ice condition on the back side of the Bellot?

Their original schedule was to leave from Resolute but instead left from Kugaaruk probably because ice in the approach to Resolute.  I think in both cases the intention was to sail via Bellot to Cambridge bay.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 30, 2018, 07:50:49 PM
Some insider information reveals that the Louis S. Saint Laurent will escort some ships through the Bellot Strait in the not too distant future:


http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2018/08/the-northwest-passage-in-2018/#comment-245751
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 31, 2018, 10:55:21 AM
The yacht Anahita has sunk in the Bellot Strait:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2018/08/the-northwest-passage-in-2018/#comment-245858

Quote
JRCC Trenton deployed a Hercules aircraft and the icebreaker CCGS Henry Larsen to the scene.

No injuries to the passengers have been reported, and they are in excellent condition.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Feeltheburn on August 31, 2018, 04:36:29 PM
<snip; please, no concern trolling; N.>
Title: Images from the French sailing over the pole.
Post by: Kognsfjorden on September 01, 2018, 08:36:59 AM
Not strictly the Northwest Passage but the French Catamaran / Ice Yacht who planned to sail / drag their boat / sledge over the pole are now on da 73 heading back to Sachs Harbour on Banks Island after taking too long to get over the pole before winter. Some great photos of condtions on the ice.

A very tough and well prepared group, but condtions were against them this year.

http://www.sebroubinet.eu/la-voie-du-pole_nouvelles.html

Title: Re: Images from the French sailing over the pole.
Post by: Jim Hunt on September 01, 2018, 01:10:30 PM
The French Catamaran / Ice Yacht who planned to sail / drag their boat / sledge over the pole

N.B. See also: https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,435.0.html
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: gerontocrat on September 01, 2018, 03:12:20 PM
The yacht Anahita has sunk in the Bellot Strait:
While looking for something else I came upon this  (I wonder if there are some plonkers floating around up there):

https://www.mardep.gov.hk/en/msnote/pdf/msin1276anx1.pdf
Quote
INTERNATIONAL MARITIME ORGANIZATION
4 ALBERT EMBANKMENT
LONDON SE1 7SR
Telephone: 020 7735 7611 Fax: 020 7587 3210 Telex: 23588 IMOLDN G
Ref. T1/3.02
MSC/Circ.1056
MEPC/Circ.399

23 December 2002
GUIDELINES FOR SHIPS OPERATING IN ARCTIC ICE-COVERED WATERS
1 The Maritime Safety Committee, at its seventy-sixth session (2 to 13 December 2002), and
the Marine Environment Protection Committee, at its forty-eighth session (7 to 11 October 2002),
recognizing the need for recommendatory provisions applicable to ships operating in Arctic
ice-covered waters, additional to the mandatory and recommendatory provisions contained in
existing IMO instruments, approved Guidelines for ships operating in Arctic ice-covered waters, as
set out in the annex.
2 Member Governments are invited to bring the annexed Guidelines to the attention of
shipowners, ship designers, shipbuilders, ship repairers, equipment manufactures and installers and all other parties concerned with the operation of ships in Arctic ice-covered waters.

G-2.2 No pollutants should be carried directly against the shell in areas at significant risk of ice
impact. Operational pollution of the environment should be minimized by equipment selection and
operational practice.
G-2.3 Key safety-related, survival and pollution control equipment should be rated for the
temperatures and other conditions which may be encountered in the service intended.
G-2.4 Navigation and communications equipment should be suitable to provide adequate
performance in high latitudes, areas with limited infrastructure and unique information transfer
requirements.
G-2.5    Sea suction(s) should be capable of being cleared of accumulation of slush ice.

G-3.2 —Arctic ice-covered waters“ - solely for the purposes of these Guidelines, means those waters which are both:
.1 located north of a line from the southern tip of Greenland and thence by the southern
shore of Greenland to Kape Hoppe and thence by a r
thumb line to latitude 67º03‘9 N,
longitude 026º33‘4 W and thence by a rhumb line to Sørkapp, Jan Mayen and by the
southern shore of Jan Mayen to the Island of Bjørnøya, and thence by a great circle
line from the Island of Bjørnøya to Cap Kanin Nos and thence by the northern shore
of the Asian Continent eastward to the Bering Strait and thence from the Bering
Strait westward to latitude 60º North as far as Il‘pyrskiy and following the 60th North
parallel eastward as far as and including Etolin Strait and thence by the northern
shore of the North American continent as far south as latitude 60º North and thence
eastward to the southern tip of Greenland (see figure 1); and
.2 in which sea ice concentrations of 1/10 coverage or greater are present and which
pose a structural risk to ships.

POLAR CLASS GENERAL DESCRIPTION
PC 1 Year-round operation in all Arctic ice-covered waters
PC 2 Year-round operation in moderate multi-year ice conditions
PC 3 Year-round operation in second-year ice which may include multi-year ice inclusions
PC 4 Year-round operation in thick first-year ice which may include old ice inclusions
PC 5Year-round operation in medium first-year ice which may include old ice inclusions
PC 6Summer/autumn operation in medium first-year ice which may include old ice inclusions
PC 7Summer/autumn operation in thin first-year ice with which may include old ice  inclusions

And then followed by exhaustive lists of requirements concerning the ship and the crew.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: NACK on September 04, 2018, 11:30:40 AM
News today from the Northwest Passage blog that S/V CRYSTAL has given up after hanging around Fort Ross hoping for a storm or melting to break the ice barrier blocking their way west.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on September 04, 2018, 03:28:18 PM
News today from the Northwest Passage blog that S/V CRYSTAL has given up.

Stale news!

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2018/08/the-northwest-passage-in-2018/#comment-246255

What was your source?

Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on September 08, 2018, 04:04:37 PM
Thanks to a heads up from snrjon there comes news that S/V Thor has made it through the worst that the Northwest Passage has had to offer this summer:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2018/08/the-northwest-passage-in-2018/#Sep-07

Now Thor's only got the Beaufort Sea to contend with:

Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Phil. on September 08, 2018, 08:33:20 PM
Thanks to a heads up from snrjon there comes news that S/V Thor has made it through the worst that the Northwest Passage has had to offer this summer:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2018/08/the-northwest-passage-in-2018/#Sep-07

Now Thor's only got the Beaufort Sea to contend with:

Thor's currently closing in on the eastmost section of region I at about 6 knots.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Phil. on September 11, 2018, 05:06:27 PM
Thor's passed Prudhoe Bay at a good clip (6.7 knots)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: NACK on March 25, 2019, 10:20:10 AM
Since the remelt season has begun I thought I would resurrect this idle thread last posted 9/11 last year:

Recently I found a buried treasure in the Internet Archives:

Roald Amundsen's "The North West passage" : being the record of a voyage of exploration of the ship "Gjöa" 1903-1907 by Amundsen, Roald, 1872-1928; Hansen, Godfred, 1876-1937 Publication date 1908

Volume 1 link:
https://archive.org/details/roaldamundsensth01amun/page/n10
Volume 2 link:
https://archive.org/details/roaldamundsensth02amun/page/n10

This is a multi-faceted book that will surely delight anyone who is interested in the history of the NW passage. Amundsen had a dual purpose mission:
1-Be the first to transit the NW Passage
2-Setup an observatory to locate the Magnetic North Pole

He was extremely lucky in both regards as he was able to sail via Davis Strait, Lancaster Sound, Bering Strait, Peel Inlet, Rae Strait to what he christened "Gjoa Haven" on the SW coast of King William Island relatively unimpeded while sailing right past the 1903 position of the MNP on the Boothia Peninsula.

He and his small crew wintered on KWI for several winters to complete observations of the MNP during which time he befriended the local Inuits, who taught him many things that would be crucial for his success during his South Pole expedition. Amundsen was an uncanny observer and his detailed descriptions of the paleolithic way of life of the Inuits of KWI is worth the read in itself. The brilliance of their arctic survival skills passed down by word-of-mouth for hundreds of years is fascinating.

He also found artifacts from the Franklin Expedition tragedy which had unfolded on KWI some 60 years before and also heard reliable reports on what had transpired from the Inuit point of view.

His exit out of the CAA via Simpson Strait, Coronation Gulf, Amundsen Gulf, Beaufort Sea, Chukchi Sea and the Bering Strait was more problematic than his entry voyage in terms of sea ice and entailed some harrowing experiences in the diminutive "Gjoa".

This chronicle of the Amundsen's expedition in a converted herring fishing boat with a skeleton crew also contains amazing photos, that coupled with Amundsen's first-hand account, make for a captivating read as he succeeded in a venture that had stymied the great wealth and power of England's maritime genius for hundreds of years.

All in all, this book will provide many hours of enjoyment whilst sitting in the rocking chair waiting for the sea ice to melt  8)

 






Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on March 25, 2019, 12:43:30 PM
Recently I found a buried treasure in the Internet Archives:

Thanks for the heads up.

See also more NWP history, including some musical accompaniment!

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/04/the-northwest-passage-in-2016/
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: gerontocrat on May 18, 2019, 12:27:14 PM
Will the North-West Passage open this year? Early signs suggest  - yes

Baffin Bay , the Canadian Archipelago Area,the Beaufort and the Chukchi seas are all showing above average sea ice loss, and it looks like temperature anomalies will remain mostly above average over the next week to ten days at least.

Also check out Aluminium's latest gif showing the Beaufort disintegrating at
https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,2591.msg199798.html#msg199798

But - early days yet.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Phil. on May 20, 2019, 03:33:02 AM
Since the remelt season has begun I thought I would resurrect this idle thread last posted 9/11 last year:

Recently I found a buried treasure in the Internet Archives:

Roald Amundsen's "The North West passage" : being the record of a voyage of exploration of the ship "Gjöa" 1903-1907 by Amundsen, Roald, 1872-1928; Hansen, Godfred, 1876-1937 Publication date 1908

Volume 1 link:
https://archive.org/details/roaldamundsensth01amun/page/n10
Volume 2 link:
https://archive.org/details/roaldamundsensth02amun/page/n10

This is a multi-faceted book that will surely delight anyone who is interested in the history of the NW passage. Amundsen had a dual purpose mission:
1-Be the first to transit the NW Passage
2-Setup an observatory to locate the Magnetic North Pole

He was extremely lucky in both regards as he was able to sail via Davis Strait, Lancaster Sound, Bering Strait, Peel Inlet, Rae Strait to what he christened "Gjoa Haven" on the SW coast of King William Island relatively unimpeded while sailing right past the 1903 position of the MNP on the Boothia Peninsula.

He and his small crew wintered on KWI for several winters to complete observations of the MNP during which time he befriended the local Inuits, who taught him many things that would be crucial for his success during his South Pole expedition. Amundsen was an uncanny observer and his detailed descriptions of the paleolithic way of life of the Inuits of KWI is worth the read in itself. The brilliance of their arctic survival skills passed down by word-of-mouth for hundreds of years is fascinating.

He also found artifacts from the Franklin Expedition tragedy which had unfolded on KWI some 60 years before and also heard reliable reports on what had transpired from the Inuit point of view.

His exit out of the CAA via Simpson Strait, Coronation Gulf, Amundsen Gulf, Beaufort Sea, Chukchi Sea and the Bering Strait was more problematic than his entry voyage in terms of sea ice and entailed some harrowing experiences in the diminutive "Gjoa".

This chronicle of the Amundsen's expedition in a converted herring fishing boat with a skeleton crew also contains amazing photos, that coupled with Amundsen's first-hand account, make for a captivating read as he succeeded in a venture that had stymied the great wealth and power of England's maritime genius for hundreds of years.

All in all, this book will provide many hours of enjoyment whilst sitting in the rocking chair waiting for the sea ice to melt  8)

Yes I read those several years ago, well worth it.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on May 24, 2019, 02:58:21 AM
It seems Mike Pompeo is keen on the idea of sending a US Navy vessel through the Northwest Passage this summer:

http://www.rcinet.ca/en/2019/05/07/u-s-navy-arctic-freedom-of-navigation-operation-northwest-passage/

Unfortunately:

Quote
"You would need an ice-strengthened vessel of some kind to do a FONOP in the Arctic region whether you’re going through the Northwest Passage or Northern Sea Route (NSR),” Pincus said. “The United States Navy doesn’t have ice-strengthened surface vessels, period.”
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on May 24, 2019, 02:41:26 PM
It seems Mike Pompeo is keen on the idea of sending a US Navy vessel through the Northwest Passage this summer

In other (related?) news:

Quote
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced a renewal of the Canadian Coast Guard fleet. As a first step, this renewal will provide up to 18 new large ships built in Canadian shipyards, helping the Coast Guard continue to deliver its important services, and creating good, middle class jobs across the country.

https://pm.gc.ca/eng/news/2019/05/22/prime-minister-announces-renewal-canadian-coast-guard-fleet
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on May 24, 2019, 03:04:40 PM
Moli (Mo for short) is an interesting "small vessel" intending to travel through the Northwest Passage this summer. Piloted singlehandedly by Randall Reeves she has already circumnavigated Antarctica and is hell bent on circumnavigating America too:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2019/05/the-northwest-passage-in-2019/

According to Randall's last but one update (http://figure8voyage.com/why-st-johns/) he'll be stopping in St. Johns before heading for the Arctic Circle:

Quote
“Have you explained why your first stop is St John’s?” asked a friend recently, “Not New York, Boston, Camden, Lunenberg, Halifax, to name just, well, five?”

It is a good question, and the answer is simple: I never considered going anywhere else because a) St John’s is decidedly on the Figure 8 route and b) it has the required marine facilities and big grocery stores. And did I mention, it’s right on the route?

Actually, I did flirt briefly with the idea of Boston, thinking that goods there would be cheaper and marine facilities, more diverse. And though it does save some 500 miles of sailing on this inbound leg, Boston is so far west that it adds 1,000 miles to the leg up to the Arctic. So, I’ve decided to stick to the most logical stop.

St. John’s is less than a thousand miles north now. In any worthy wind, we’d be there before the end of the month. But when your average speed is 3.9 knots…you don’t do the when-do-we-make-port math.

Interestingly the background to Moli's live tracking map (http://) is Windy.tv:
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Tor Bejnar on May 24, 2019, 05:23:27 PM
I'm reminded of Matt Rutherford's record-setting (http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/106564-first-person-to-circumnavigate-the-americas-sailing-non-stop-solo) circum-Americas voyage. (See August 9, 2011 comment on ASIB (https://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2011/08/heat.html))  I followed Matt's voyage from then, but hadn't visited the http://solotheamericas.org/ website since about 2014, so I didn't know about the movie “Red Dot on the Ocean (https://reddotontheocean.com/)". 
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: HapHazard on June 11, 2019, 09:12:19 PM
In other (related?) news:

Quote
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced a renewal of the Canadian Coast Guard fleet. As a first step, this renewal will provide up to 18 new large ships built in Canadian shipyards, helping the Coast Guard continue to deliver its important services, and creating good, middle class jobs across the country.

https://pm.gc.ca/eng/news/2019/05/22/prime-minister-announces-renewal-canadian-coast-guard-fleet

Further info:

http://www.rcinet.ca/en/2019/06/10/davie-shipyard-canada-polar-icebreaker/ (http://www.rcinet.ca/en/2019/06/10/davie-shipyard-canada-polar-icebreaker/)

Quote
To help support these additional requirements, the Government of Canada is launching a competitive process to add a third Canadian shipyard as a strategic source of supply to help ensure the timely delivery of additional vessels to the federal fleet.

We have the design completed and are confident that when it is built, the new polar icebreaker will be a great addition to the fleet in support of Arctic sovereignty and northern science research.

As well as the polar icebreakers (of which two are required), there are approximately 10 other medium and heavy icebreakers required by the Canadian Coast Guard...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CCGS_John_G._Diefenbaker (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CCGS_John_G._Diefenbaker)

Quote
CCGS John G. Diefenbaker is the name for a Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker that is expected to join the fleet in 2021–2022.

John G. Diefenbaker will be classified by Lloyd's Register of Shipping. Her ice class is Polar Class 2, the second highest ice class according to the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) Unified Requirements for Polar Class Ships. Furthermore, the class notation Icebreaker(+) will result in additional structural strengthening based on analysis of the vessel's operational profile potential ice loading scenarios. John G. Diefenbaker is one of the first vessels to hold this class notation.
John G. Diefenbaker is designed to break level ice with a thickness of 2.5 metres (8.2 ft) and with a 30-centimetre (12 in) snow cover at over 3 knots. In terms of icebreaking capability, this ranks her just below the largest Russian nuclear-powered icebreakers.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Sebastian Jones on June 12, 2019, 02:14:59 AM
Moli (Mo for short) is an interesting "small vessel" intending to travel through the Northwest Passage this summer. Piloted singlehandedly by Randall Reeves she has already circumnavigated Antarctica and is hell bent on circumnavigating America too:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2019/05/the-northwest-passage-in-2019/

According to Randall's last but one update (http://figure8voyage.com/why-st-johns/) he'll be stopping in St. Johns before heading for the Arctic Circle:

Quote
“Have you explained why your first stop is St John’s?” asked a friend recently, “Not New York, Boston, Camden, Lunenberg, Halifax, to name just, well, five?”

It is a good question, and the answer is simple: I never considered going anywhere else because a) St John’s is decidedly on the Figure 8 route and b) it has the required marine facilities and big grocery stores. And did I mention, it’s right on the route?

Actually, I did flirt briefly with the idea of Boston, thinking that goods there would be cheaper and marine facilities, more diverse. And though it does save some 500 miles of sailing on this inbound leg, Boston is so far west that it adds 1,000 miles to the leg up to the Arctic. So, I’ve decided to stick to the most logical stop.

St. John’s is less than a thousand miles north now. In any worthy wind, we’d be there before the end of the month. But when your average speed is 3.9 knots…you don’t do the when-do-we-make-port math.

Interestingly the background to Moli's live tracking map (http://) is Windy.tv:


Mol has docked at Halifax Nova Scotia, where Randall is being feted by the Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron.
Apparently a combination of wear and tear and a flotilla of ice bergs south of Newfoundland decided him to alter course. He is re-fitting and awaiting the melting of the Northwest Passage that Gerontocrat assures us is likely this summer
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Tor Bejnar on June 12, 2019, 03:35:42 AM
I realized I could watch the 1-hour version of the movie, and just watched it with my social worker wife.  This link might work only in the USA. (https://reddotontheocean.com/watch-the-film/) Once there I clicked on the "Watch the one-hour PTV version on line" button. It's a great documentary about turning an upside down life upside up, and there are images from the Arctic (of course).

I'm reminded of Matt Rutherford's record-setting (http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/106564-first-person-to-circumnavigate-the-americas-sailing-non-stop-solo) circum-Americas voyage. (See August 9, 2011 comment on ASIB (https://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2011/08/heat.html))  I followed Matt's voyage from then, but hadn't visited the http://solotheamericas.org/ website since about 2014, so I didn't know about the movie “Red Dot on the Ocean (https://reddotontheocean.com/)".
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on June 16, 2019, 12:04:56 AM
He is re-fitting and awaiting the melting of the Northwest Passage that Gerontocrat assures us is likely this summer

Actually I reckon it's likely this summer too, albeit not a certainty. There's still plenty of "old ice" in the vicinity of "Amundsen's route".
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: NACK on June 16, 2019, 02:46:48 AM
2007, 2012, 2016...

I think next year (2020) is the big melt year that will open all seven routes per the approx 4 year cycle above and this melt is a preconditioining year; we'll see...

Downloadable spreadsheet at the bottom of this link shows all the transits up until 2017 (there are 287 listed):

http://thenorthwestpassage.info/transits
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on June 16, 2019, 10:43:17 AM
Cross posting from the "Melting Season" thread (https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,2591.msg206080.html#msg206080). Bellot Strait appears to be largely free of sea ice already:

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=2591.0;attach=123357;image)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on June 16, 2019, 11:21:46 AM
See also this new poll:

"When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2019? (https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,2759)"
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: NACK on June 18, 2019, 01:07:17 AM
This image was posted on the melting season thread:

https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=2591.0;attach=123534;image

Looks like sometime in the near future we will have a NWP Route #8:

From the Bering Strait, follow the crack along the north side of the CAA around Ellesmere and then slide down through the Nares..and into Baffin Bay.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on June 18, 2019, 10:24:20 AM
Looks like sometime in the near future we will have a NWP Route #8:

Another job for the plucky little yacht Northabout?

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2018/08/could-northabout-circumnavigate-greenland-in-2018/
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: vox_mundi on August 10, 2019, 01:49:10 AM
Flashback Friday: Opening the Northwest Passage, August 1969
https://www.nationalfisherman.com/alaska/flashback-friday-opening-the-northwest-passage-august-1969/

(https://gxupo1jm9f43zm27w18sxp98-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/0726_SSManhattan-728x420.png)

S.S. Manhattan off Baffin Island, 1969. Before the Trans-Alaska pipeline, oil companies took a shot at delivering Prudhoe Bay oil by tanker via the Northwest Passage. A 65-foot ice-breaking bow was added to the six-year-old 940-foot supertanker Manhattan, and she made the historic east-to-west passage as the first commercial vessel ever to do so. But there were problems beyond ice. Canada claimed rights to the waterway, and natives had to grant permission for the passage.

Manhattan's route began in August 1969 on the east coast of North America and transited the passage from east to west via the Baffin Sea and Viscount Melville Sound. The master of Manhattan was Captain Roger A. Steward. Heavy sea ice blocked the way through M'Clure Strait, so a more southerly route through Prince of Wales Strait and south of Banks Island was used. A single, token barrel of crude oil was loaded at Prudhoe Bay and then the ship went back. She was escorted by the Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker CCGS John A. Macdonald. At various times during the expedition, Manhattan was supported by the icebreakers CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent, USCGC Staten Island, and USCGC Northwind.

The official reason for the voyage revolved around oil that had been discovered at Prudhoe Bay in 1968. Oil companies reasoned that sea transport of oil by icebreaking supertankers would be cheaper than the building of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System to Valdez. A second attempt to cross the passage in winter proved impossible, and there were numerous environmental concerns with the project, so it was cancelled and the Trans-Alaska pipeline built.

https://www.cbc.ca/archives/entry/ss-manhattan-breaks-through
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Manhattan_(1962)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 12, 2019, 10:08:42 AM
Some alternative interpretations concerning whether the Northwest Passage is currently "open" or not (https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,2759.0.html).

MODIS (https://go.nasa.gov/33l6Wh0) v CIS/RADARSAT2 (https://iceweb1.cis.ec.gc.ca/Prod/page2.xhtml?CanID=11090&lang=en&title=Eastern+Arctic)  v MASIE (https://nsidc.org/data/masie/browse_regions) v AMSR2 (ftp://ftp-projects.cen.uni-hamburg.de/seaice/AMSR2/3.125km/)

Discuss!

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=2759.0;attach=129737;image)

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=2759.0;attach=129927;image)

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=2759.0;attach=129930;image)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 12, 2019, 10:23:36 AM
Discuss!

According to the Canadian Ice Service the weather in the vicinity of the Bellot and Franklin Straits was "overcast" yesterday. MODIS agrees, whilst AMSR2 attempts to see through the clouds:

https://go.nasa.gov/33trfJa
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 14, 2019, 11:41:27 AM
Following closely behind CCGS Terry Fox, MS Bremen successfully sailed south through Peel Sound and into Franklin Strait on August 12th:

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=2759.0;attach=130030;image)

Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 14, 2019, 11:50:45 AM
Yesterday's Sentinel 1 (https://www.polarview.aq/arctic) image of the Franklin/Bellot Straits region:

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=2759.0;attach=130075;image)

Plus the Canadian Ice Service map for the Queen Maud Gulf:
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 14, 2019, 11:54:59 AM
A still unidentified (by me at least) "pleasure craft" has made it past the western entrance of Bellot Strait and into Franklin Strait. Based on the CIS (https://iceweb1.cis.ec.gc.ca/Prod/page2.xhtml?CanID=11090&lang=en&title=Eastern+Arctic) and Marine Traffic (https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/home/centerx:-87.8/centery:73.2/zoom:6) maps it looks as though they sheltered on the west coast of Somerset Island whilst the 8/10 concentration "Orange G" area of sea ice drifted north past them.

A few more "yachts" are currently heading south through Peel Sound. See also Breskell's tracking map:

https://us0-share.inreach.garmin.com/SailingwithJosh
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Sebastian Jones on August 17, 2019, 05:44:35 PM
I'm excited, happy and somewhat nervous to see that my cousin Randall Reeves is heading south down Peel Sound. She won't be the first small boat to transit the NWP this year, but I'm quite sure Moli will be the only one to have circumnavigated Antarctica along the way from San Francisco!
http://figure8voyage.com/figure-8-map/ (http://figure8voyage.com/figure-8-map/)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Lord M Vader on August 17, 2019, 10:50:48 PM
The southern route of the Northwest Passage, Amundsens route is now more or less navigable. A few floes remains in the eastern part of the route but should melting out soon. Look at todays view at EOSDIS NASA satellite pic.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on August 21, 2019, 10:55:11 AM
MS Bremen has found some sea ice in the Beaufort Sea:

https://www.hl-cruises.com/ships/ms-bremen/explore-ship/webcam-ships-position?webcam=20190821
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: binntho on August 21, 2019, 11:10:01 AM
Somewhere here?
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: petm on August 21, 2019, 01:24:17 PM
They went looking for it?  :D
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: philopek on August 21, 2019, 03:08:12 PM
They went looking for it?  :D

Absolutely, there is sufficient open water further south ;)

A cruise through open waters can be had in warmer places and so far of the cost there is not much to see, hence I think you're spot on, it's part of the attraction. Costa Concordia is greeting in a certain way.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Phil. on August 21, 2019, 03:32:45 PM
They've been about a week since they were last in the ice and have since been sailing in flat calm ice-free waters so they probably wanted to generate some excitement?  Unlike the earlier ice though no-one was up on the bow looking at it (although it only took half an hour to transit).
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: philopek on August 21, 2019, 06:39:38 PM
They've been about a week since they were last in the ice and have since been sailing in flat calm ice-free waters so they probably wanted to generate some excitement?  Unlike the earlier ice though no-one was up on the bow looking at it (although it only took half an hour to transit).

The observation lounges are rarely at the bow, in most cases the bow-section is off-limits, prohibited to access to passengers because it's a dangerous place.

Observation lounges would be in a nice warm saloon behind strong windows though.

Either way I don't know of course, it was just an idea because why else should they take the ice-route when a safer ice-free route is available in abundance further south ;)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Phil. on August 21, 2019, 10:42:15 PM
They've been about a week since they were last in the ice and have since been sailing in flat calm ice-free waters so they probably wanted to generate some excitement?  Unlike the earlier ice though no-one was up on the bow looking at it (although it only took half an hour to transit).

The observation lounges are rarely at the bow, in most cases the bow-section is off-limits, prohibited to access to passengers because it's a dangerous place.

Observation lounges would be in a nice warm saloon behind strong windows though.

Either way I don't know of course, it was just an idea because why else should they take the ice-route when a saver ice-free route is available in abundance furthe south ;)

(https://static.hl-cruises.de/fileadmin/_processed_/8/a/csm_f_2019_08_211550_4ead14cec0.jpg)
Some did come out later.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: philopek on August 21, 2019, 10:46:19 PM
They've been about a week since they were last in the ice and have since been sailing in flat calm ice-free waters so they probably wanted to generate some excitement?  Unlike the earlier ice though no-one was up on the bow looking at it (although it only took half an hour to transit).

The observation lounges are rarely at the bow, in most cases the bow-section is off-limits, prohibited to access to passengers because it's a dangerous place.

Observation lounges would be in a nice warm saloon behind strong windows though.

Either way I don't know of course, it was just an idea because why else should they take the ice-route when a saver ice-free route is available in abundance furthe south ;)

(https://static.hl-cruises.de/fileadmin/_processed_/8/a/csm_f_2019_08_211550_4ead14cec0.jpg)
Some did come out later.

OK, so it's not the way I assumed it would be.

I have to make a note about the Cruise Company, a nice thing if one can watch from the bow section.

Thanks for the heads-up
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Phil. on August 22, 2019, 03:21:49 AM
You're welcome, they even do group photos.
(https://static.hl-cruises.de/fileadmin/_processed_/b/a/csm_f_2019_08_211800_78a23b2c94.jpg)
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Tom_Mazanec on August 27, 2019, 09:39:31 PM
A Northwest Passage Journey Finds Little Ice and Big Changes
https://e360.yale.edu/features/a-northwest-passage-journey-finds-little-ice-and-big-changes
Quote
After decades of travel in the Far North, E360’s Arctic correspondent joins a voyage through the Northwest Passage and witnesses a world being transformed, with ice disappearing, balmy temperatures becoming common, and alien invaders – from plastic waste to new diseases – on the rise.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: gandul on September 04, 2019, 06:12:33 PM
The latest Univ Hamburg chart suggests an open way along the most direct route but I am sure navigation charts will find plenty of blocking ice especially around McClure Strait and the Beaufort sea.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: tama manu on September 05, 2019, 07:06:48 PM
Anyone know what is up with these two remaining "pleasure craft" at Gjoa Haven?  Looks like they will have a hard time making it out
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on September 13, 2019, 03:57:40 PM
A couple of articles from David Charbonneau aboard Ocean Endeavour:

https://cfjctoday.com/news-team-david-charbonneau/

Quote
You would think that a rapidly-warming Arctic would make navigation easier. But Canadian Coast Guard representatives aboard said that warming has only loosened existing ice so it can shift around, making it less predictable. Without the benefit of reliable ice charts, we too might have found ourselves blocked.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: Jim Hunt on September 13, 2019, 05:03:15 PM
Royal Wagenborg successfully completes three polar voyages:

https://www.wagenborg.com/news/wagenborg-successfully-completes-three-polar-voyages

Quote
The MV Amazoneborg travelled from China to Canada via the Northwest Passage, while the MV Thamesborg sailed the exact opposite route from Canada to China.

The Northern Sea Route (NSR) is a shipping lane between the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean along the Russian coast of Siberia and the Far East. The MV Atlanticborg was nominated as Wagenborg's first vessel to sail this route. After loading in Tornio (Finland) and Flushing (the Netherlands) the vessel sailed northwards instead of the traditional route via the Suez Canal.
Title: Re: Northwest Passage thread
Post by: NotaDenier on December 14, 2019, 02:52:10 PM
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/dec/12/bering-strait-northwest-passage-arctic-ice-melts