Aug.24 Update Arctic Ice Recovery and Ships

Today’s MASIE ice chart shows more recovery of ice extent following the recent cyclone, mostly in BCE region (Beaufort, Chukchi, E. Siberian seas).  This happens to be the location of two ships exploring the ice extent: Northabout (Polar Ocean Challenge) and Serenity (Celebrity Cruiseliner).


Imagery date refers to Google Earth capture of land forms. Ice edges are August 23, 2016 from MASIE. Click to zoom in.

As the image shows, Northabout has passed the ice tongue and can proceed to cross longitudinally. Serenity has also passed through an icy area, now above Barrow with open water ahead.  The bigger picture below shows that the southern route through the Archipelago is open at this time, but that can change in the days to come.


The Arctic Cyclone operating near the north pole has compressed the ice extents, The graph below shows the results: Overall ice extent which had recently stabilized lost 924k km2 in just 5 days. 472k km2 was lost in BCE (Beaufort, Chukchi and East Siberian seas) and another 139k km2 in CAA (Canadian Arctic Archipelago).

In the last 2 days MASIE shows an overall recovery of 323k km2, with 216k m2 in the BCE region.  The graph below shows the indices converging.

MASIE 2016 day236

For more context on Arctic ice extent see Arctic Ice Watch July 31.  For background on Polar Ocean Challenge see Laptev Wall and Nunavut Gauntlet.  For those who wish to browse Arctic ice in Google Earth, the procedure is simple.  Go to MASIE homepage and download the kmz file.  Clicking on the file should open it in Google Earth (presuming it is on your computer.) Then you can browse, zoom in and out, and take images.

Celebrity Serenity

I was once told by a fellow cruise passenger not to call our ship a boat.  He said in the Navy they knew if you were in a boat it meant something awful had happened to your ship.

The Good Ship Northabout






One comment

  1. Sara Hall · August 25, 2016

    Northabout appears to have switched her AIS tracking off as of sometime yesterday(24th Aug) evening, so I hope they haven’t come to grief. There was a very menacing looking tongue of ice ahead of them as they progressed through the Chukchi Sea and headwinds were forecast. Could a significant amount of ice been pushed right into the path of the yacht?


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