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Old 29-04-2014, 19:06   #1
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Northwest Passage - 2014

For those who have a Northwest Passage on their bucket list, the summer of 2014 may be your year.



Arctic Sea-Ice Monitor
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Old 12-05-2014, 19:04   #2
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Re: Northwest Passage - 2014

Scientists Warn of Rising Oceans as Antarctic Ice Melts | NEW YORK TIMES
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The collapse of large parts of the ice sheet in West Antarctica appears to have begun and is almost certainly unstoppable, with global warming accelerating the pace of the disintegration, two groups of scientists reported Monday. The finding, which had been feared by some scientists for decades, means that a rise in global sea level of at least 10 feet may now be inevitable. The rise may continue to be relatively slow for at least the next century or so, the scientists said, but sometime after that it will probably speed up so sharply as to become a crisis…

Two papers scheduled for publication this week, in the journals Science and Geophysical Research Letters, attempt to make sense of an accelerated flow of glaciers seen in parts of West Antarctica in recent decades. Both papers conclude that warm water upwelling from the ocean depths has most likely triggered an inherent instability that makes the West Antarctic ice sheet vulnerable to a slow-motion collapse. And one paper concludes that factors some scientists had hoped might counteract such a collapse will not do so…

Whatever the mix of causes, they appear to have triggered a retreat of the ice sheet that can no longer be stopped, even if the factors drawing in the warmer water were to reverse suddenly, the scientists said. At this point, a decrease in the melt rate back to earlier levels would be “too little, too late to stabilize the ice sheet,” said Ian Joughin, a glaciologist at the University of Washington and lead author of the new paper in Science. “There’s no stabilization mechanism..”…

He added that while a large rise of the sea may now be inevitable from West Antarctica, continued release of greenhouse gases will almost certainly make the situation worse. The heat-trapping gases could destabilize other parts of Antarctica as well as the Greenland ice sheet, causing enough sea-level rise that many of the world’s coastal cities would eventually have to be abandoned.
With any luck our grandchildren will be able to sail to the south pole, and they will call Miami the ‘Venice of America’. See The Flooding of Florida




The above map shows the subglacial topography of Antarctica. As indicated by the scale on left-hand side, blue represents portion of Antarctica lying below sea level. The other colors indicate Antarctic bedrock lying above sea level. Each color represents an interval of 2,500 feet in elevation. Map is not corrected for sea level rise or isostatic rebound, which would occur if the Antarctic ice sheet completely melted to expose the bedrock surface.
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Old 12-05-2014, 19:41   #3
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Re: Northwest Passage - 2014

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For those who have a Northwest Passage on their bucket list, the summer of 2014 may be your year.
Perhaps,

but there is a lot of 2nd year ice up there right now.

And as you can see from the graph 2012 line, the April/may position does not really tell the story.
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Old 13-05-2014, 00:21   #4
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Re: Northwest Passage - 2014

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Perhaps,

but there is a lot of 2nd year ice up there right now.

And as you can see from the graph 2012 line, the April/may position does not really tell the story.
Of course, you are correct. It's too early in the season to know for sure what the minimum sea ice extent will look like in September. But if you're wanting to give the Northwest Passage a try, the signs are looking good for this year.

Not only is the 'area' of Arctic sea ice low for this time of year, but the 'volume' of Arctic sea ice is low too. Here's a graph and a video showing the trend for Arctic sea ice volume.



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Old 01-06-2014, 17:55   #5
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June 1, 2014 Arctic Sea Ice Extent

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Old 01-06-2014, 21:43   #6
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Re: Northwest Passage - 2014

Latest NOAA prediction is for above average ice throughout July-October with a minimum close to 7 million sq kms (which puts it right back to the 1990's average) :

http://origin.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/prod...nd3/sieMon.gif
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Old 03-06-2014, 05:01   #7
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Re: Northwest Passage - 2014

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
Latest NOAA prediction is for above average ice throughout July-October with a minimum close to 7 million sq kms (which puts it right back to the 1990's average) :

http://origin.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/prod...nd3/sieMon.gif
Here's the NOAA Arctic Ice Extent prediction that StuM linked to. It will be interesting to see how close it is to what actually happens.

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Old 08-06-2014, 19:12   #8
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Jimmy Cornell to attempt NW Passage this summer

Jimmy Cornell's Official Website | Cornell Sailing Publications and Events
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This summer Jimmy Cornell will attempt a transit of the Northwest Passage aboard his new boat Aventura, as part of the Blue Planet Odyssey round the world rally.
The Northern Route Gets Underway

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By Jimmy Cornell on June 1, 2014

The Blue Planet Odyssey had a symbolic start today when London’s iconic Tower Bridge was opened twice, first to let Aventura through into the Pool of London, half an hour later to bid us farewell at the start of the long voyage to Greenland and the Northwest Passage.

John and Linda Andrews’s Suilven, the other Blue Planet Odyssey boat to sail the northern route, will start from Oban, on the west coast of Scotland, on 14 June. Our first destination is also in Scotland, the port of Stromness in the Orkney Islands, 500 miles away across the North Sea...
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Old 01-07-2014, 06:08   #9
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Re: Northwest Passage - 2014


Arctic Sea-Ice Monitor





Still a lot of ice in the Canadian archipelago, plus some along the northern coast of Alaska
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Old 30-07-2014, 19:52   #10
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Re: Northwest Passage - 2014

Interesting story in the Washington Post about ice and waves in the Beaufort Sea. Seems the area is getting rougher.

Giant waves found in Arctic Ocean could be accelerating sea ice loss

Sixteen-foot swells reported in once-frozen region of Arctic Ocean - The Washington Post
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Old 01-08-2014, 13:06   #11
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Re: Northwest Passage - 2014





The Arctic Ice Extent chart shows this year's melt not keeping pace with the record years of 2012, 2007, and 2011.

Looks like Baffin Bay and Lancaster Sound on the east are clear of ice, and the southern Beaufort Sea north of Alaska and the Yukon, plus areas south of Victoria Island, are pretty much clear, but points in between are still pretty choked.

Anyone interested in the Northeast Passage, AKA Northern Sea Route?
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Old 01-08-2014, 13:12   #12
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Re: Northwest Passage - 2014

If you'd like to do the Northwest Passage, but piloting your own boat isn't your cup of tea, starting in August of 2016 you can see it all from the comfort of a deck chair.

The Melting Arctic Makes Way for $20,000 Luxury Cruises
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Because of climate change and the melting of the Arctic, the cruise line Crystal Cruises plans to send passengers on what it bills as the first luxury ship to “traverse the Northwest Passage.” The ship, Crystal Serenity, will set sail beginning in August 2016 on ”a mystical Pacific-Atlantic sea route far beyond the Arctic Circle that for centuries captured the imaginations of kings, explorers and adventurers.” The cruise will last 32 days and fares start at $20,000.
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Old 29-08-2014, 16:26   #13
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Re: Northwest Passage - 2014

I couldn't find any other topic for this, but has anyone sailed to Nuuk, Greenland? I was thinking of heading there in July or August 2015 when the waters are warmer. My boat is fiberglass and that makes me nervous (as opposed to steel). I don't know if anyone has experience sailing that far north in summer. Thoughts?
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Old 29-08-2014, 16:43   #14
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Re: Northwest Passage - 2014

I did this summer.

This summer was the worse iceberg year since 2003.

There was a bit of a 'Russian roulette' aspect to the sailing. You could see the big bergs on radar, and you sailed upwind of them hoping all the small (eg car sized) bits were floating off the downwind side. But sometimes there were not.

That all said, lots of fiberglass boats go up there, and have no problem at all.

Its very pretty.

Bring bug nets and mosquito coils!

BTW . . . with respect to the NWP this summer - a very thin route has opened up along the eastern shore of the main choke point. There are still two blockages but I believe with a man up the mast you would find leads thru. So I believe it is going to be 'open but a bit tricky'.
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Old 29-08-2014, 17:32   #15
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Re: Northwest Passage - 2014

What type of radar do you have and how large of icebergs were you able to detect? My boat is a fin keel with 1/2 inch? glass hull, so a car size berg could spell disaster. My plan would be to sail about 20 miles off the coast of Canada then sail east to Nuuk.
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