“Climate change might open up Northwest Passage to shipping by the middle of the century.”
Scientific American 2013
Well it’s nothing new; 1,000 years ago the Vikings were navigating around Ellesmere Island http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2012/11/vikings-and-indians/pringle-text – maybe the Climate changed before….without us !!
The warming and loss of Arctic sea ice in the last 30 years is popularly attributed to mankind’s recent production of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel use, but similar well documented events occurred in 1853, 1905 the 1920s, 1930s (1930- For the first time in its history three ships of the Hudson’s Bay Company made the North-West Passage in one season. The Fort James, a schooner of 130 tons, the smaller Macpherson, and the Baychimo, a vessel of 1,500 tons (all without sat nav)). & 1940s with disappearing sea ice, changing wildlife patterns, and the opening of the Northwest Passage.
HMS Investigator was abandoned in Mercy Bay, Banks Island 1853, and found close to the same spot, in July 2010. http://archive.archaeology.org/1203/features/hms_investigator_shipwreck_arctic_exploration.html
‘A Personal Narrative of the Discovery of the North West Passage’ by Alex Armstrong MD RN late Surgeon and Naturalist of HMS Investigator published 1857. http://www.archive.org/stream/apersonalnarrat00armsgoog#page/n264/mode/1up
Interesting that the ship was lost in 1853, right at the end of the Little Ice Age, and coincidentally just 3 years after the start of the HADCRU global temperature record, from which we are led to believe the earth has warmed about 0.7C. If “we are seeing unprecedented global temperatures and changes in Arctic sea ice”, how did the HMS Investigator get this far north at the end of the Little Ice Age??
History of the North West Passage – http://static.torontopubliclibrary.ca/ve/frozen_ocean/fo_intro.htm &
A List of the Full Transits of the Canadian Northwest Passage 1903 to 2006 http://www.nauticapedia.ca/Articles/NWP_Fulltransits.php
Marine charts from the 16th century by Gerard Mercator, show reasonably accurate outlines of the Arctic coastline, including the northwest passage, information that could only have been obtained from wooden sailing ships. http://libweb5.princeton.edu/visual_materials/maps/websites/northwest-passage/mercator.htm
- As none of those previous Arctic warmings were caused by human produced CO2 …why should it now ??
- Arctic Sea Ice Still TOO THICK For Ships To Regularly Traverse The Northwest Passage
“This is the first-ever such survey in the Northwest Passage, and we were surprised to find this much thick ice in the region” lead researcher Christian Haas.
September 2015 American Geophysical Union http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2015GL065704/full
- Animation of a normal ice season in The Northwest Passage
- Movement of Sea Ice in the Northwest Passage in Summer 2015
(Shows the limited opening in Aug; it’s less than previous 4 yrs )
- Chart of minimum sea ice coverage 1968-2014 (2015 data should be available Jan 2016)
More info from the Canadian Ice Service – http://www.ec.gc.ca/glaces-ice/default.asp?lang=En&n=D32C361E-1 & http://www.ec.gc.ca/default.asp?lang=En&xsl=IDOLSearchGUIRenderer