Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The NW Passage Prize.

Eli has noted that there are not enough entries in his when the NW passage opens contest probably because the prize was only a foam blue bunny to place on your antenna. In order to encourage the laggards he now offers a genuine NASA Triana sticker, never used (sort of like the satellite).

We will follow Alastair

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.
In case of a tie, carrots at ten paces. Eli only got one of these. Don't complain, enter and it may be yours.


Nick Barnes said...

I'm sticking to August 8th. I don't much like your data source (and I note that the key says pink is "No Data"), but them's the rules.

It's a little cooler along the passage today, especially the deep-water channel - only 2 on Prince Patrick and at Resolute, compared to 6 at Cambridge Bay, 11 on Boothia Peninsula, 9 along Dolphin & Union. But that's plenty warm enough to melt.


Nick Barnes said...

Having said that, it looks as if McClure Strait is icing up. Weather.

Anonymous said...

@Nick - I think the pink Alastair refers to is the salmon pink meaning 'weather', rather than the barbie pink meaning 'no data'.

For some reason this graphic doesn't appear to have any white, so perhaps Alastair knows that 'weather' is a good proxy for 'ocean'. I dunno.


Coeruleus said...

I'll be in Canada on August 15, 2008...though not quite north enough to see the NWP open. So that'll be my guess. It's later than the rest of the guesses in case there's a spread.

Nick Barnes said...

Confounded cheap laptop screens.
Passage temperatures remarkable again today. 17 centigrade at Kugluktuk.

Nick Barnes said...

Do I believe this? 26 degrees at Kugluktuk? Must surely be a broken instrument.

Nick Barnes said...

Not a record; there was a freak heatwave in 1989 in Kugluktuk, when the temperature reached the mid-30s. But I guess my point is that nearby ice isn't going to survive many days of temperatures like this (night-time lows 13-14).

Anonymous said...

Eli has noted that there are not enough entries in his when the NW passage opens contest probably because the prize was only a foam blue bunny to place on your antenna.

I think it is because no one reads your blog.

TokyoTom said...

August 20, coz we all know that the world is actually cooling.

Is No One reading this?

Nick Barnes said...

Check out the passage this week. The Amundsen route - Simpson Strait, James Ross Strait, Peel Sound - is more-or-less navigable by Amundsen standards. Another week and who knows.

EliRabett said...

Yes, I noticed that (Eli has become a great fan of the U Bremen version and weather underground). It looks like another couple of weeks of warm weather up there and we will be close to 2007. As interesting, there are signs that it might be possible to sail over the top of Greenland by late September.

Nick Barnes said...

Check out this MODIS image from yesterday; zoom in to 500m and scan along the coastal polynya along the archipelago. It's >10km wide clear water from the Beaufort sea as far as Borden Island (110W). Then there's a >100km-wide loose zone of large floes and km+ leads, east to Ellesmere Island (94W). East of there the loose zone narrows, the leads are finer, floes are smaller, and it's hard to distinguish slushy surface water from leads veiled by fog. But it's slush of one sort or another all the way to Fram Strait. An Amundsen could do it.

Nick Barnes said...

I'm not sure about this NCEP hires chart. It disagrees with the other data sources I can find. It still shows a lot of ice in Peel Sound, and even some in Cambridge Bay although MODIS was showing that completely clear before the cloud cover came over.

By the way, in view of the low number of entries received, Eli should keep his Triana sticker if I win.

Anonymous said...

> Eli should keep his Triana sticker
me too.

That ought to be the prize for another round.
Maybe whoever best predicts the date Triana goes operational.
Or predicts which country adopts it and supplies the launcher and ground program to handle it, if the nitwits sell it for scrap.