Category Archives: Concentration

The Northern Sea Route in 2017

Depending on whether you’re reading an “alarmist” or a “skeptical” web site you may have been told either that the Northern Sea Route is already “open” or that the “icebreaker stuck in the sea ice off Pevek” escaped very late this summer. Here at Great White Con we like to think of ourselves as “realists”, so what are the actual facts of the matter.

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Is the Northwest Passage Open Yet?

We asked this question last year, albeit a couple of weeks later. It looks like it is if you only peruse passive microwave visualisations such as this one:


However if you were the captain of a yacht attempting to sail through the Northwest Passage this year you might well have some reservations. For example, the Barrow webcam (currently stuck on July 31st) reveals this:

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Has The Ice Clearly Broken Completely In Two Now?

In the spirit of providing some spurious “balance” to the contentious Arctic sea ice “debate” our quote for today comes fairly fresh from the Arctic Sea Ice Forum:

idk how people are confusing the gaping fissures that span from Siberia to Canada with melt ponds but it seems like half the people here have blinders on to what is ongoing.

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The Beaufort Gyre Goes Into Overdrive

According to the US National Snow and Ice Data Center, the Beaufort Gyre is:

A clockwise circulation (looking from above the North Pole) in the Beaufort Sea, north of Alaska. This circulation results from an average high-pressure system that spawns winds over the region.

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The Northwest Passage in 2016

Our coverage of the Northwest Passage is starting somewhat earlier then usual in 2016. That’s because an educational comment of mine seems to have gone permanently missing over at Andrew Montford’s blog. Over there commenter “Golf Charlie” suggested that:

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HadISST Historical Arctic Sea Ice Concentration Data

Commenter Henry P over on “Steve Goddard’s” (un)Real Science blog poses the following question:

Unfortunately, we do not have any record of ice around 1929. But there was an eyewitness report of the melting of ice around 1923. Noting that Antarctic ice is currently increasing, my question to you Jim is simply this: why do you think that Arctic melt now is more than 87 years ago?

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The 2016 Arctic Winter Sea Ice Puzzle

Professor Judith Curry recently posed the following rhetorical question on her “Climate Etc.” blog:

Arctic sea ice extent has been anomalously low this winter. The greatest anomalies are in the European sector, specifically in the Barents Sea. To what extent are the anomalies associated with warm temperatures?

Which she answered as follows:

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