Sea Ice Early July 2010 - NorthWest Passage Poised to Open

My favorite sea ice site is not been maintained the past two weeks unfortunately, but we have this instead.  It lacks a comparable to previous years but rest assured we are well ahead of things.

Normally we use:

Which I am posting since it will return soon enough.

Observe particularly that the Beaufort Sea has cleared into and the west side of banks island and the northern ice pack is far away.  There is still a blockage in the usual place in Lancaster Sound but otherwise the North West Passage is already clear.  Unless we have a major shift in wind direction, it is safe to say that the North West Passage will open this year and will possible be open for several weeks.  A ship captain could set sail now for the Passage for an august passage with an excellent possibility of success.

It is still too early to speculate for the North East Passage which is still full of ice.

Beyond all that, my sense is that this year will possibly see a collapse of the balance of the multiyear ice.  This will continue to allow faster spring time erosion of the ice pack, as we are observing since 2007.

Again, I see no evidence that the decadal injection of heat into the Arctic has either abated or reversed.  The report from the submarine survey seems to suggest just that but so far I am seeing no confirmation at all.

In fact, the existence of a millennial cycle suggests that we might see this trend strengthen over the next two centuries.

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