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Old 01-10-2014, 05:35   #31
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Re: Northwest Passage - 2014

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Originally Posted by DsquareD View Post
...Using that same logic it would seem like a small ice mass breaking off of a larger ice mass would theoretically end up on the upwind side. So staying downwind would be safer in my mind...
It may be that when sailing (as opposed to motoring) around icebergs you don't want to get downwind of one because it could blanket your wind, cause to you stall, then the berg could be pushed by the wind onto you.
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Old 01-10-2014, 06:02   #32
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Re: Northwest Passage - 2014

We are now past the minimum Arctic Sea-Ice extent. New ice is forming.


You can see the new ice forming between Greenland and Iceland, between Greenland and the islands of Ellesmere and Baffin, as well as in the Canadian Archipelago.

The minimum extent occurred about September 17.



While this year is nowhere close to setting a record for minimum ice extant, it is still well below the 2000-2009 average, and NASA is calling this year's Arctic Sea-Ice Extent the sixth-lowest on record (since 1978).


http://www.youtube.com/v/Q-8Vh4D3IjE
An animation of daily Arctic sea ice extent from March 21 to Sept. 17 – when the ice appeared to reach it’s minimum extent for the year. It’s the sixth lowest minimum sea ice extent in the satellite era. The data was provided by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.
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Old 02-10-2014, 12:37   #33
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Re: Northwest Passage - 2014

Not exactly a cruising boat:

Cargo Ship Makes 1st-Ever Solo Trip Through Northwest Passage

but the passage has now gone commercial.
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Old 02-10-2014, 14:55   #34
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Re: Northwest Passage - 2014

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A Danish coal carrier when through last year with an ice breaker escort.

NWP PROJECT

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Old 02-10-2014, 15:32   #35
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Re: Northwest Passage - 2014

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Originally Posted by Dsanduril View Post
Not exactly a cruising boat:

Cargo Ship Makes 1st-Ever Solo Trip Through Northwest Passage

but the passage has now gone commercial.
Only because they built a ship for the conditions:

"MV Nunavik is a polar class vessel that can break through ice nearly 5 feet (1.5 meters) thick at 3 knots (3.4 mph), the company said in a statement.
...
Though ice is thicker this year around the passage's islands and inlets than in previous years, the Nunavik never encountered any thick ice or chokepoints that hindered the crossing, according to the ship's blog."


Let me know when they do it with an "ordinary" cargo ship unescorted by an ice breaker.
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Old 03-10-2014, 03:19   #36
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Re: Northwest Passage - 2014

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Only because they built a ship for the conditions:

"MV Nunavik is a polar class vessel that can break through ice nearly 5 feet (1.5 meters) thick at 3 knots (3.4 mph), the company said in a statement.
...
Though ice is thicker this year around the passage's islands and inlets than in previous years, the Nunavik never encountered any thick ice or chokepoints that hindered the crossing, according to the ship's blog."


Let me know when they do it with an "ordinary" cargo ship unescorted by an ice breaker.

Nevertheless, I agree with the earlier statement that the NWP has gone commercial. If a company is willing to make a significant capital investment in an ice class bulk ore carrier (and hence higher daily operating costs), obviously it makes economic sense based on the cost savings by not going through the Panama canal. The shipping rates on normal routes would make it uneconomic to invest in this special class of vessel, so obviously the long term view is that the NWP will be open long enough each year or ice will be thin enough for the carrier to break through.

As far as unescorted ordinary cargo ship, the way the global climate is going, I'm sure that day will arrive very soon
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Old 03-10-2014, 07:41   #37
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Re: Northwest Passage - 2014

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...If a company is willing to make a significant capital investment in an ice class bulk ore carrier (and hence higher daily operating costs), obviously it makes economic sense based on the cost savings by not going through the Panama canal. ...
Exactly. While the Nunavik is a relatively new ship, her sisters (also ice-strengthened) have been operating bringing nickel down from the Nunavik project since the late '70s. Until now they have always gone the long way around. And for the rest of the year they will continue to do so (I suspect she will return the long way, they only got one shot this year).

But, it's an entirely different beast to operate a single ship at a reduced speed for some period to save 40% in overall fuel costs and who knows what in time, than to operate two ships, with two crews, and with two fuel bills so that one can break the ice for the other.

Between this and the walruses coming ashore because there was no sea ice (35,000 Walruses Come Ashore) it seems like the time is coming when we might reliably "expect" a summer cruising season in the NWP. And if we can see it so can the bean counters that decide which way the commercial traffic goes.
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Old 03-10-2014, 13:28   #38
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Re: Northwest Passage - 2014

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it seems like the time is coming when we might reliably "expect" a summer cruising season in the NWP.
That's what we all thought in 2012. We really all thought that time was already here.

But the past two years have been quite difficult ones (for sail boats) in the NWP. And I expect next year also will be difficult, because there was a lot of ice left at the end of this season, which will become harder 2nd year ice next year.

So I have to say my crystal ball is a bit cloudy at the moment about the future of the NWP.
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Old 03-10-2014, 13:57   #39
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Re: Northwest Passage - 2014

Absolutely. Even though the long term trend is a warming planet, and the rate of temperature increase accelerating, there are still significant variations year on year. If there is a "normal" arctic winter, then chances for yachts going through the NWP next year are probably going to be more challenging than this year.
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Old 03-10-2014, 14:30   #40
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Re: Northwest Passage - 2014

Not sure I'll ever make a NWP in my life time, as global cooling, which is expected to continue until 2030, will probably keep it closed for my time.

This is a natural 30 year cycle. Warming will resume in 2030 until about 2060. Maybe that cycle will be higher than this one.


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Old 03-10-2014, 15:37   #41
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Re: Northwest Passage - 2014

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Originally Posted by Dsanduril View Post
Between this and the walruses coming ashore because there was no sea ice (35,000 Walruses Come Ashore) it seems like the time is coming when we might reliably "expect" a summer cruising season in the NWP.
Another one who has fallen for the WWF propaganda.

You may like to read this:

Mass haulouts of Pacific walrus and stampede deaths are not new, not due to low ice cover | polarbearscience
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Old 03-10-2014, 21:01   #42
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Re: Northwest Passage - 2014

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Originally Posted by DsquareD View Post
Not sure I'll ever make a NWP in my life time, as global cooling, which is expected to continue until 2030, will probably keep it closed for my time.

This is a natural 30 year cycle. Warming will resume in 2030 until about 2060. Maybe that cycle will be higher than this one.


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Solar scientists do not agree.

From the Stanford Solar Center

Global Warming -- Research Issues

And

"The sun's activity is in free fall, according to a leading space physicist. But don't expect a little ice age. "Solar activity is declining very fast at the moment," Mike Lockwood, professor of space environmental physics at Reading University, UK, told New Scientist. "We estimate faster than at any time in the last 9300 years."

Lockwood and his colleagues are reassessing the chances of this decline continuing over decades to become the first "grand solar minimum" for four centuries. During a grand minimum the normal 11-year solar cycle is suppressed and the sun has virtually no sunspots for several decades. This summer should have seen a peak in the number of sunspots, but it didn't happen.

But Lockwood says we should not expect a new grand minimum to bring on a new little ice age. Human-induced global warming, he says, is already a more important force in global temperatures than even major solar cycles. "
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Old 03-10-2014, 21:03   #43
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Re: Northwest Passage - 2014

A cruise line is planning some NWP trips.

Travel Scene: Global warming opens Northwest Passage to pleasure cruises - PostBulletin.com: Travel
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Old 03-10-2014, 21:35   #44
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Re: Northwest Passage - 2014

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
Another one who has fallen for the WWF propaganda.

You may like to read this:

Mass haulouts of Pacific walrus and stampede deaths are not new, not due to low ice cover | polarbearscience

Don't really think I've fallen for the propaganda, you can think so if you like. The article noted it's the largest 'documented' haulout, which to me is just one more sign of ice retreat. If the haulouts are getting bigger...

Fact is I have personally sailed 60 miles further into Glacier Bay than Cook did, because that is how far the ice there has retreated since the 1700s. Pretty much no debate that it has retreated. I won't enter the debate on how or why (because I don't have the education or science to make a meaningful contribution) but it clearly has. The question to me is what (and when) will be the extent of maximum retreat. Despite human hubris, I suspect at some point the earth will see another ice age and there will be nothing we can do about it. But what will happen between now and then?

In between, if the signs indicate further and further retreat during the remainder of my lifetime I could be interested in exploring the NWP by boat, which is why I joined this discussion.
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Old 03-10-2014, 21:50   #45
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Re: Northwest Passage - 2014

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Absolutely. Even though the long term trend is a warming planet, and the rate of temperature increase accelerating,
How long a term? Temperatures have been decreasing for the last 8,000 years or so as we slide towards the next glacial and we are still lower than any of the last "climate optimums" in that period.

If you mean the linear trend since we came out of the little ice age in the 1850s, then using what data set?


RSS - which shows zero warming for over 18 years?
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss...trend/plot/rss
HADCRUT4? Looks like the cyclic pattern is repeating and we will be going into another "ice age" scare like the early 70s.

Wood for Trees: Interactive Graphs
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