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Lord Soth

It will require winds from the south to keep the North West Passage open. The Canadian Ice Service has actually predicted that the NWP will be closed in the future years, as the ice becomes more fragmented and mobile.

In the past those channels between the northern islands of the Canadian Arctic was span by Ice bridges. If you had a good year, these ice bridges would break in September for a week or two before the freeze up.

Here we are before the middle of August and all the ice in the entire Canadian Archpelago has at least fragmented, and in may areas have cleared.

The only major piece of consoildated ice remaining is actually in North East Greenland, and im not sure if that qualifies as it appears to be shore fast ice. Even that is show cracks and may be history in a week or so.

Does anybody have a report on the expected export of ice out of the Arctic this winter. Last year witth the El Nina, export was below average. If this winter favors ice transport, then there will be considerable loss of 2nd and greater year ice.


Neven: another great animation.

If those channels open more, then we shall see more ice being exported out of the Arctic ocean. In the worst case scenario, the skies clear and ice is exported by wind and currents via the Canadian archipelago, Nares Strait and Fram strait. Ice extent plummets to below 3m km2 before the freeze sets in.

However, my forecast of 3.5 to 3.8 stands.

Off topic. The floods in Pakistan are receiving too little attention in the world's media.
I have written an article on this, with all advertising revenues from the article going to the relief fund.

Please do read it. Every time somebody opens the page it's a tiny bit more in the pot.

Andrew Xnn

Maybe it's just me, but when the animation has only 3 frames, I'd prefer to look at 3 static images.

Anyhow, thanks for the posting; still appreciate the work.

Account Deleted

The latest MODIS image for the CA - shows ice being pushed through the QE islands and entering the strait


Yes it does, and to my untrained eyes, far more volume is being exported than through Nares St. I wonder how many weeks this situation will remain in place and what scale of effect this will have on the remaining multi-year ice?


I've added two short animations that shows the transport through the channels, sea and strait.


Maybe the hindrence to navigation will not be as grave as classical knowledge would tell us due the changing state of the ice in the arctic basin above the CA.

If models are to give us any guidence, the change from one year ago http://topaz.nersc.no/topazVisual/matlab_static_image.php?action=NA_ARC_NWA_Function&file_prefix=ARC&match_date=20090812&depth=0005&variable_name=hice and now http://topaz.nersc.no/topazVisual/matlab_static_image.php?action=NA_ARC_NWA_Function&file_prefix=ARC&match_date=20100812&depth=0005&variable_name=hice is striking with all 3+m thick, 5+ years old ice gone from the basin beeing advected out to the Beaufort during winter, leaving younger, thinner, more fragmented and mobile ice left to enter the CA.

And litttle hope for that ice ever to return after a lap in the Gyre, since most of it is already in advanced stages of melt and soon gone too.

Account Deleted

It probably worth keeping an eye on what IAPB's buoy 79195 is doing. It's last 10 day track has been slowly southward. Buoy 12994 looks like it will also enter this area fairly soon.

I suspect that siili will be rght and that any ice that enters this area won't cause too much of a hassle - PIPS suggest that it is only a couple of meters thick and the SST in much of the area are a couple of degrees C above normal.


Also on the Greenland side of the arctic things are moving fast nowadays, buoy 90029 has moved some 50km in two days towards Fram strait pushed by a not to impressive low which looks like it is going to intensify in the coming days, like the "minidipole" combination of a low and high guiding more ice into the CA.


In a comment above, I said:
"If those channels open more, then we shall see more ice being exported out of the Arctic ocean. In the worst case scenario, the skies clear and ice is exported by wind and currents via the Canadian archipelago, Nares Strait and Fram strait. "

It seems to have started. The flows of ice in Nares and the Q.E. Islands are all tracking the west coasts of the channels. This is a sign of stable winds from the north and the coriolis effect.

Petermann Ice Island (2010) shows strong signs of being grounded, and so will not block Nares Strait.

Check out the current mosaic:

That's a huge floe flow, as Sepilok and Warzypants have observed - oh, yes - and Neven :-)

Account Deleted

Logicman, Neven et al.

There appear to be more "cracks" in the Petermann ice tongue on the latest MODIS Image (only really obvious at 250 meter resolution) - are these cracks or some form of erosion gulley due to meltwater?


Sepilok: The cracks in Petermann Ice Island are quite old now. The fissure in the tongue is also old, but is expanding. I already predicted it will calve by August 31 or else it's unlikely to calve until next year. A small piece has calved, about 2km2 - the current mosaic image doesn't quite capture it, but I'm looking at about another 50 to 150 km2 to go next. I'm currently checking out various other north Greenland glaciers to see if any are calving significantly faster than normal. That will be in my next Arctic Ice update.

Sorry to be brief - lots of lovely images to download, crop, rotate and annotate. :-)

Neven: not sure if you know about this link - NCEP MMAB.
main page -
select next -
nice graphic updated daily -
MMAB Sea Ice Concentration -- Northern Hemisphere high resolution
Valid Time 13 August 2010 00 UTC

Check those percentages! How's your color vision?
I make it no ice greater than 70% conc.

(Stops to chew fingernails, tear out hair and suck thumb while sobbing.)

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