The Northwest Passage

“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 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.
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.

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 – &
A List of the Full Transits of the Canadian Northwest Passage 1903 to 2006

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.

More info from the Canadian Ice Service – &