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Toner
08-02-2009, 12:40 PM
Northwest Passage choked with ice

Ship traffic slowed on sea route this year, unlike last 2 summers

By RANDY BOSWELL, Canwest News ServiceAugust 2, 2009

An unusual combination of factors is making navigation in the Northwest Passage more difficult this year after two straight summers of virtually clear sailing, the agency that monitors Canada's Arctic waters says.

Pockets of more extensive winter freezing and concentrations of thicker, older ice at key "choke points" in the passage are hampering ship travel, the Canadian Ice Service says.

In today's era of rapidly retreating sea ice, the fabled trans-Arctic shipping route is seen as a potential highway to resource and tourism riches.

A record number of vessels passed through Canada's Arctic islands last year, and experts have predicted a steady rise in ship traffic in both the Northwest Passage and the Northern Sea Route, which connects Europe to eastern Asia along Russia's Arctic coast.

"In the southern route," Canadian Ice Service officials said, there is "more ice coverage than normal. This is partly due to the fact the ice in the Amundsen Gulf consolidated this past winter, something it didn't do in 2007 and 2008."

In the central part of the passage, where the wide, deep-water northern corridor and the narrow, shallow southern branches merge near Prince of Wales Island, the Canadian Ice Service has observed "greater than normal concentrations of thicker, multi-year ice. This is the result of an increased flow of older ice from the Beaufort Sea into the Canadian Arctic archipelago last year."

The result, the agency said, is that ice conditions "are delaying any potential navigability of the Northwest Passage this year. This is opposite to what Environment Canada observed in the last week of July in 2007 and 2008."

The unprecedented 2007 shrinkage of the polar ice cover to 4.13 million square kilometres - nearly matched in 2008, when an expanse of only 4.52 million square kilometres was left by mid-September - has led to forecasts of a virtually ice-free Arctic.

While ice clogs Canada's trans-Arctic sea route, the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Centre predicts another near-record meltdown by the end of this year's summer thaw.

Copyright (c) The Montreal Gazette
http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/todays-paper/Northwest+Passage+choked+with/1853829/story.html

Fiddlerdave
08-04-2009, 06:40 PM
So, despite the melting, the acceleration of flow of ancient glaciers into the passage is jamming it up for a little while longer.

But soon, oil wells, condos, and military bases! Isn't our new world grand?

Auburn Boy
08-05-2009, 01:44 AM
So, despite the melting, the acceleration of flow of ancient glaciers into the passage is jamming it up for a little while longer.

But soon, oil wells, condos, and military bases! Isn't our new world grand?

Hmmmm..,

That does not at all seem evident from the ARCTIC-le..,

rc
08-05-2009, 02:49 PM
So, despite the melting, the acceleration of flow of ancient glaciers into the passage is jamming it up for a little while longer.

But soon, oil wells, condos, and military bases! Isn't our new world grand?

I'm already picking out my bathing suit for the January cruise through the Northwest Passage.

Like you, I read on the internet that it will soon be ice-free year round, so I want to be one of the first people to visit this new warm tourist destination!

kanuck57
08-16-2009, 06:41 PM
Current Arctic Sea Ice Extent
http://www.socc.ca/cms/en/socc/seaIce/currentSeaIce.aspx

The image / animation below depicts recent Northern Hemisphere sea ice extent and concentration as estimated from the Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I) on board a U.S. Defence Meteorological Satellite. Sea ice concentrations are estimated from the 19.3 and 37 GHz channels of the sensor using the Canadian sea ice algorithm. This image is updated weekly.

There is a animation feature on the page of images for the last 4 months.


http://www.socc.ca/CMS%20FTP%20Data/seaIce/images/current.png

Auburn Boy
08-17-2009, 02:06 AM
Maybe this image says it better..,http://www.nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_daily_extent_hires.png

Ross
09-19-2009, 08:05 PM
I think rejoicing may be premature .

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/imagerecords/40000/40250/seaice_graph_2009258%202.png

Auburn Boy
09-20-2009, 04:48 PM
Sea Ice in del norte is still rather below average..,

No! We aren't in any kind of warm spell. :bob: Nope, nothing to sea here.