Thursday, July 03, 2008

What's the earliest the NW Passage ever opened?



When will it open this year? Enter the Bunny Labs office pool first prize is a blue bunny. . .

24 comments:

llewelly said...

You should have placed your previous bets in Euros. (I admit they didn't seem too likely to me at the time.)

Kevin Johnstone said...

Checked my shipping schedules and Aug 3 is a good day for shipping blue bunnies down under.

Steve Bloom said...

Eli, you need to define "open" for a given value if Northwest Passage (of which latter there are three.)

Nick Barnes said...

The deep-water channel will be fully open on August 8th.

Arun said...

Based on the passage here -
http://www.pelagic.co.uk/newsinfo/chronpressrels/050728_nwp_indexpage.htm

I'd guess a month more - Aug 4?

Alastair said...

Without Eli setting an objective criteria it is impossible to make an informed guess.

However, I'll go for 31st July. If it does open early then I am likely to be closest.

Bah! That's given my game away :-(

Cheers, Alastair.

Vincent said...

http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/
no comments

EliRabett said...

Alastair, Eli is open to suggestions.

Hank Roberts said...

Successful transit by a non-icebreaker with a draft of, er, I dunno, more than a rowboat?

Or an official statement by whatever Canadian maritime agency you can find that has in past years said the passage was open to navigation on some particular day each year it happened, if such exists?

grenow said...

September 1st. I may be an alarmist, but I am a prudent one. (Going to dig up some of last summer's carrots for tomorrow's lunch...)

Dano said...

9/4/2008.

9/11 changed everything, ya know.

Best,

D

Arun said...

FYI, Liberal/reality-based community reporting on the Arctic ice:
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/7/7/11276/53855/508/547673

Nick Barnes said...

Criterion: how about MODIS pictures showing a clear blue water channel of at least half the passage width? To be judged by Eli, of course.

Hank Roberts said...

Mmmmm, crunchy:
http://modis.gsfc.nasa.gov/gallery/images/image07092008_md.jpg

Chris Colose said...

Anyone know the history of the NW passage? There has been popular reports that it has recently opened up such that it is navigable for the first time in recorded history, but also responses to the contrary. It's not something I really care about, so I haven't looked into it.

EliRabett said...

As for many such things the Wikipedia is an excellent starting point on the NW passage. Eli would especially recommend reading about the St. Roch and its captain, Henry Larsen

Alastair said...

Eli,

Since I get to choose I will propose this chart which is updated daily: http://polar.ncep.noaa.gov/seaice/hires/nh.xml

When there is a clear passage in pink from the Beaufort Sea to the Baffin Bay then we declare the NW Passage open. Otherwise we may have to wait for ESA to produce a report which the Telegraph picks up and then four weeks later appears in Wikipedia.

Here is an example of what I mean, 9th Aug 2007 but since you are awarding the prize the final decision on whether it is clear will have to be yours.

Alastair said...

Here's a link to that chart. As you can see it is produced by Bob Grumbine of NOAA.

Cheers, Alastair.

EliRabett said...

Eli is an easy bunny, Alastair has a fine way of handling the issue.

Anonymous said...

You are all to late. It was passed thru in 1820 or 1920 I thought.
Yours
Canadian Paddler

A said...

I'll go with the statistical mean of the group wisdom thus far and make a wager for August 14.

Alex

hankroberts said...

August 11th.
3:47 pm, local time

Hank Roberts said...

http://www.69nord.com/english/expe/logbook.html

Seems likely that the risk now is going to be running into other boats, not running into ice.

Hank Roberts said...

Well, I anyhow got the NSIDC's announcement date right:

> August 11, 2008
> Sea ice decline accelerates, Amundsen's
> Northwest Passage opens

Pending, of course, decision of the judges, acknowledged in advance as final and beyond appeal.

Ready for the 2009 Challenge?