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In Case You Missed It…Going By Car To The North Pole

2009/05/22 6 comments

Russian motorists drive to North Pole

27.04.2009

Russian motorists have reached the North Pole for the first time in an Arctic expedition. The new record has been set by a team of seven Russians. They set out for the Pole from the Severnaya Zemlya archipelago on two experimental Russian-made YEMELYA cars on the 20th of March, covered over 1,100 kilometres on pack ice, and reached the earth’s northern pole on Sunday, the 26th of April. The jubilant team of seasoned travellers is now receiving congratulations from across Russia.

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not exactly your average SUV but still…the vehicles look quite heavy, therefore the underlying ice must have been quite solid…

Who knows why Richard Black or Roger Harrabin don’t appear interested in the effort?

Mystery In The Sea Of Okhotsk

2009/05/04 6 comments
sea of Okhotsk

sea of Okhotsk

Whatever happened in the sea of Okhotsk, the area most conspicuously “free” now from polar ice when compared to 30 years ago?

Of the 400,000-odd sq km missing from the average, 300,000 concern the sea of Okhotsk, and 100,000 the sea of Barents.

In any case, anomalies are overrated as a tool to understand what happens at the Poles. For example the Arctic Basin anomaly is zero, simply because there is only so much ice cover possible for it. If the average is 100%, even the coldest year will never show a positive anomaly…

Arctic Sea Ice: Animation of Thirty Years

2008/10/31 7 comments

Among the general boredom of reading about the latest awfully hollow “demonstration” that humans are at fault by way of exclusion (and in the process, finding the fingerprint of human-induced rise in temperature in places such as Antarctica where temperature has not risen…unless it’s the Peninsula they are referring to), here some animations of how arctic sea ice has appeared between 1979 and 2008, around October 28, according to Cryosphere Today (note: some years are missing, and for other years I had to take the nearest available image)

Animated Arctic Sea Ice - around Oct 28

Animated Arctic Sea Ice - around Oct 28

You may have to click on the images above to be able to properly see the animated GIFs.

One could be forgiven to think the following:

  • there isn’t much of a polar ice cover “shrinking trend”, but rather a lot of expansions and contractions, plus a freakish small configuration in 2007
  • the 2008 cover is very simiar to 2000’s, apart from an ice-free area East of Novaya Zemlja
  • one can almost sea the warm water flowing in through the Bering Strait, sometimes reaching East as far as Banks Island (1987, 1998)
  • the “losses” in sea ice in the Baltic and northwestern Siberia may or may not relate to a change in data processing between 2003 and 2005

Note how different the last 3 years look, as they include the snow cover exactly when, say, the ice in the White Sea suddenly goes.

Was There Less Arctic Ice in 1932?

2008/09/01 15 comments

Arctic Becomes an Island for the first time in human history“…really???

On Dec 5, 1932, The New York Times reports the “feat, accomplished for the first time” of circumnavigation of Franz Josef Land (actually, an Arctic archipelago). The same expedition (led by a Professor N.N. Subkov) was also described in March 1933 in the pages of Nature.

Arctic Map

Arctic Map

(Franz Josef Land is between the North Pole and Novaya Zemlya in the map above)

Notably, in the words of the NYT, that circumnavigation had been “heretofore regarded as impossible“. It actually took just 34 days, from Aug 17. It was warm enough for the “Eva” and “Liv” islands to be recognized as one, joined by “a low stretch of land” and thereby renamed “Evaliv”.

Fast forward to 2008. Cryosphere Today shows two tongues of ice still clinging to Franz Josef Land as of Aug 31.

Prof. Subkov would not have been so lucky this time around.

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ADDENDUM: The map of end-Aug 1979 clearly shows that at the time, Prof Subkov’s trip would not have been possible

Arctic Sea Ice 1979 08 30

Arctic Sea Ice 1979 08 30

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