Climate Craziness of the Week: NW Passage open “first time in history” and all that…

2007: Impassable Northwest Passage Open For First Time In History

2010: Ship find shows Arctic Sea Ice conditions similar to 1853

This 1851 illustration shows the HMS Investigator on the north coast of Baring Island in the Arctic. Arctic archaeologists have found the ship that forged the final link in the Northwest Passage and was lost in the search for the Franklin expedition. Image: Wikimedia

The international news media are hailing the archaeological find of a British naval ship the HMS Investigator on July 25 in an area far north (600 km) of the Arctic Circle that was previously unreachable due to sea ice. The HMS Investigator was abandoned in 1853, but not before sailing the last leg of the elusive Northwest Passage.

From AP/MSNBC:

Captained by Robert McClure, the Investigator sailed in 1850. That year, McClure sailed the Investigator into the strait that now bears his name and realized that he was in the final leg of the Northwest Passage, the sea route across North America.

But before he could sail into the Beaufort Sea, the ship was blocked by pack ice and forced to winter-over in Prince of Wales Strait along the east coast of Banks Island.

From the Hockey Schtick: The ship had been sent on a rescue mission for 2 other ships mapping the Northwest Passage. Now, thanks to “climate change,” archaeologists working for Parks Canada were finally able to plot a small window of time this summer to allow passage to the ship’s location:

Parks Canada had been plotting the discovery of the three ships for more than a year, trying to figure out how to get the crews so far north. Once they arrived and got their bearings, the task seemed easier than originally thought. It took little more than 15 minutes to uncover the Investigator, officials told The Globe and Mail last week. “For a long time the area wasn’t open, but now it is because of climate change,” said Marc-André Bernier, chief of the Underwater Archaeology Service at Parks Canada.

Interesting that the ship was lost in 1853, right at the end of the Little Ice Age, and coincidentally just 3 years after the start of the HADCRU global temperature record, from which we are led to believe the earth has warmed about 0.7C. If we are seeing “unprecedented” global temperatures and changes in Arctic sea ice, how did the HMS Investigator get this far north at the end of the Little Ice Age?

Here’s the location:

Video of the find:

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96 Responses to Climate Craziness of the Week: NW Passage open “first time in history” and all that…

  1. NSIDC implied in their recent newsletter that multi-year ice didn’t used to melt.

    If that were true, McClure would have run into ice many thousands of years old and many hundreds of feet thick.

  2. Huth says:

    History is short nowadays. It’s just a ‘shtory’.

  3. TomRude says:

    Parks Canada must justify its grant… and the ever green propagandist Globe and Mail to oblige in the PR…

  4. Don B says:

    So, even though open water in the Arctic is unprecedented,
    1. The British sailed there in 1853
    2. Norwegians sailed the Northwest Passage in 1903.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roald_Amundsen#Northwest_Passage
    3. Canadians crossed the Northwest Passage both ways in 1940-42 and 1944.
    http://www.ucalgary.ca/arcticexpedition/larsenexpeditions

  5. pablo an ex pat says:

    How did they get there in 1853 ?

    Fed – Ex ?

  6. PeterW says:

    “…and in the foreground rope and canvas…”

    Rope and canvas from a ship which sank in 1853 – extraordinary. The rest of the ship’s timbers and fittings look like they are in amazing condition too, especially the copper sheeting.

  7. Joe Crawford says:

    I guess it was teletransported from a teleconnected site further south.

  8. Robert says:

    so increase in CO2 that supposedly has warmed the globe since 1853 when the last ship was there. The fact that a ship made it that far in 1853, and then couldn’t until now means that it has to be natural cycles at work.

  9. Henry chance says:

    False claims again?

  10. Frederick Michael says:

    And what made them want to try? It couldn’t have been a single year of low ice; it would have taken many years to convince people to make an attempt. It’s quite possible that it would have been more successful had they sailed the year before. They may not have gotten ready until the ice was getting worse again.

  11. Theo Goodwin says:

    I am at a loss for words. BIG AGW and its propagandists are never at a loss for words. I paraphrase: “Vessels fitted for the Arctic reached the location of a sailing ship that was lost to the ice in 1853. They were able to do this only because of global warming.” Embracing glaring self-contradiction is one way to never be at a loss for words.

  12. Bill Tuttle says:

    Also in the news from Slashdot for 2007:

    “Recently released evidence is showing the North Pole ice is melting at the highest rate ever recorded. As a result, the Pole may be completely ice-free at the surface and composed of nothing but open water by September. ”

    http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/09/15/2023212

    Why am I not surprised that so many people seem to think the world was completely unchanging until after they were born?

  13. Dave F says:

    It took little more than 15 minutes to uncover the Investigator, officials told The Globe and Mail last week.

    I don’t understand the significance of this. I once saw the crew of the F/V Northwestern fabricate a drag hook and find an anchor they lost on the first try, with no buoy attached. What is the significance of how long it took to find it? It seems as though it is being linked to climate change, but like the Northwestern’s situation, I would be more inclined to call it luck.

    As to the HMS Investigator, that is an interesting story. I am pretty sure Dr. Evil’s big oil submarine towed it there from Bermuda.

  14. Guido Guidi says:

    Hey Antony,
    it looks like this time I got you!
    http://www.climatemonitor.it/?p=11973
    :-)

  15. Ric Werme says:

    I can’t find a site that last year kept track of some of the NW passage crossing last season.

    I did come across a report saying about 50 boats are going to attempt the passage, not all of them up to the hazards. From http://www.nationalpost.com/news/Thrills+chills+rescue+bills+Northwest+Passage+luring+poorly+equipped/3364836/story.html :

    Freshly navigable after confounding sailors for centuries, the Northwest Passage has suddenly become a tourism draw for the inexperienced, creating a dangerous and expensive burden for the Canadian Coast Guard.

    “Last year, which we thought was a big season, at this time of the year we had something like 30 ships in the Arctic waters. This year we have something like 50 vessels, which is a lot. This doesn’t even include the adventurers from the pleasure crafts and we expect a lot of calls from those guys,” said Jean-Pierre Lehnert, the officer-in-charge of marine communications and traffic services in Iqaluit.

    The mounting number of inexperienced adventurers navigating through Arctic ice and water will lead to a rise in public funds used to rescue them considering an icebreaker dispatch can range upward of $25,000, Mr. Lehnert said. He recalled one of several rescue missions last year that required the combined efforts of a Coast Guard station, Environment Canada and an icebreaker to help free a Seattle man’s pleasure craft from an ice jam.

    “He was really panicking because the ice was putting pressure on his boat and he was getting really scared,” said Mr. Lehnert. The man and his two friends were freed soon after; a weather specialist helped steer them through ice that had coincidentally broken due to high winds.

  16. BarryW says:

    Shouldn’t things like this be causing cognitive dissonance among the CAGW crowd? Warming is unprecedented and the opening of the Northwest Passage is proof, except that we found a ship from 150 years ago where it could only have been if the Northwest Passage was open which must mean that it was warmer then….

    To paraphrase Lewis Carroll:

    When I use a fact… it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.’
    ‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you CAN make facts mean so many different things.’
    ‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master—that’s all.’

  17. Gary Pearse says:

    I’m disappointed that my alerting WUWT to this story a week or two ago (?), I believe in Tips and Notes, wasn’t followed up on – you could have scooped the Globe and Mail and others. I made the point that it was found at the western end of the NWP.

  18. Theo Goodwin says:

    From the introduction above:

    “If we are seeing “unprecedented” global temperatures and changes in Arctic sea ice, how did the HMS Investigator get this far north at the end of the Little Ice Age?”

    OK, I’ll bite. In 1853, the ship had wheels and travelled on water, land, or ice. It was sailing along nicely on the smooth and thick Arctic Ice of Ancient Age when it fell in a hole in the ice. The crew was found to be permanently pickled.

  19. Al Gore's Holy Hologram says:

    Notice the amount of seamoss and other plants that have enveloped the ship. This would not happen if temperatures were too cold and ice was blocking sunlight all year round. Therefore a lot of ice must have thawed many times in the last 157 years.

  20. Tenuc says:

    The true believers in IPCC CAGW will have no problem dealing with this blasphemous paradox. After all, if they can believe that a small amount of CO2 can cause the world to become an hot house, believing that a ship somehow found itself stuck in the middle of solid ice in 1853, is easy!

  21. Ken Hall says:

    It got stuck hundreds of miles away from that point in ice that moved further and further North?

  22. dorlomin says:

    Later in 1848, she accompanied Enterprise on James Clark Ross’s expedition to find the missing Sir John Franklin. Also aboard Investigator on this expedition was the naturalist Edward Adams. She was commanded for the return voyage by Robert McClure,[5] but became trapped in the ice, and was abandoned on 3 June 1853[1] in Mercy Bay, where she had been held for nearly three years. The following year, she was inspected by crews of the Resolute, still frozen in, and reported to be in fair condition despite having taken on some water during the summer thaw.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Investigator

    Words fail me.

  23. Vuk etc. says:

    Greenland’s Farmers Welcome Global Warming
    Sky News visited a sheep farm in Qassiarsuk, where the Vikings first set foot when they colonised this land. The business is run by young Greenlandic farmer Joorut Knudsen, 29, who took over from his father four years ago. He told us he had more than doubled the size of the farm since then, and if the weather conditions continue to improve he planned to do at least the same again.
    “It is warmer,” he said. “It would help us if it (got) warmer and warmer in South Greenland so we could have more farming.

    http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/World-News/Greenland-Climate-Change-Offers-Hope-For-Farmers-Rising-Temperatures-Helps-Grow-Local-Produce/Article/201008115678015?f=rss

    http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/World-News/Greenland-Climate-Change-Offers-Hope-For-Farmers-Rising-Temperatures-Helps-Grow-Local-Produce/Article/201008115678015?f=rss

  24. richard telford says:

    Try reading the account of the Investigator’s voyage into the Arctic and comparing that description with today before assuming the conditions were comparable. There’s a potted account on Wikipedia.

  25. Robert Field says:

    Ah, but you see… this time the melt cannot be explained by solar, volcanic or aerosol forcings, so this time it must be CO2. This is precisely what the pro-AGW crowd will conclude.

  26. Olen says:

    Pablo an Ex Pat may have something, Fed Ex. The ship got there by 10 AM in one day.

  27. Enneagram says:

    That wrecked UK ship is symbolic….she and the UK still waiting for sailing through free waters. Why not trying the good old ways?, those paths only lead to nowhere:

    He’s a real nowhere Man,
    Sitting in his Nowhere Land,
    Making all his nowhere plans
    for nobody.

    Doesn’t kave a point of view,
    Knows not where he’s going to,
    Isn’t he a bit like you and me?
    Nowhere Man, please listen,
    You don’t know what you’re missing,
    Nowhere Man, the world is at your command.

    He’s as blind as he can be,
    Just sees what he wants to see,
    Nowhere Man can you see me at all?
    Doesn’t kave a point of view,
    Knows not where he’s going to,
    Isn’t he a bit like you and me?
    Nowhere Man, don’t worry,
    Take your time, don’t hurry,
    Leave it all till somebody else
    lend you a hand.

    (The Beatles)

  28. A shame its taken WUWT to run this story, as its contradictions make a laughing stock of the warmist agenda.

    But hey, perhaps I’m the only one bored with daily Steve Goddard ice stories….

  29. We often see articles citing the “warmest temperatures in 70 years” as proof of “global warming.”

    It appears that the inability to think rationally is a key component of belief in AGW.

  30. Tim Clark says:

    “Gary Pearse says: August 6, 2010 at 8:32 am
    I’m disappointed that my alerting WUWT to this story a week or two ago (?), I believe in Tips and Notes, wasn’t followed up on – you could have scooped the Globe and Mail and others. I made the point that it was found at the western end of the NWP.”

    You are the WUWT Investigator. ;~P

  31. CRS, Dr.P.H. says:

    Gary Pearse says:
    August 6, 2010 at 8:32 am
    I’m disappointed that my alerting WUWT to this story a week or two ago (?), I believe in Tips and Notes, wasn’t followed up on – you could have scooped the Globe and Mail and others. I made the point that it was found at the western end of the NWP.
    —-
    I also posted the story about then to Tips & Notes, but “Fearless Leader” Anthony has, no doubt, been busy maintaining the #1 Science Blog (and, BTW, spending time with his family!) Thanks, Anthony, we know WUWT is quite a time consuming project!

    And, we don’t need no stinking Globe and Mail!

  32. Phil. says:

    Theo Goodwin says:
    August 6, 2010 at 8:34 am
    From the introduction above:

    “If we are seeing “unprecedented” global temperatures and changes in Arctic sea ice, how did the HMS Investigator get this far north at the end of the Little Ice Age?”

    They sailed there via the Pacific and the Bering Strait, so they barely entered the passage through the Archipelago at the time of the wreck. A point that doesn’t come through in the account above. McClure and his crew were the first to circumnavigate the Americas following their rescue by sled from the Resolute (the Eastern party) and return to England. Of the combined expeditions only one of the 6 ships survived the Arctic, the crews of the 5 trapped ships returned to England by a supply ship. As I recall there was a controversy arising about the claim of a prize by McClure for traversing the NW Passage.

  33. Tommy says:

    Isn’t it possible that a ship trapped in floating/moving ice could have been taken northward from there? Just because the wreck is at a location doesn’t mean the event that trapped it began above that spot. If this is the case, then I don’t see the contradiction.

  34. Brian Johnson uk says:

    Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble and Grub – they have all been that way haven’t they? [Google ' Trumpton; if confused]

    Or was it Lewis Pugh and Pen Hadow ?

    Friday afternoon irony has engulfed me…….
    Didn’t a Chinese Admiral [+ massive fleet] pass through the North West Passage in the mid 1400′s?

  35. Verity Jones says:

    A lot of the attempts this year seem to have misguided aspirations over reporting the effects of climate change and there are some high profile publicity-seeking attempts as well as adventurous amateurs (often with blogs). I had fun looking many of them up last week for a blog post (here). Interestingly I also found that the minimum ice coverage in the NW passage was 1998 (max. 1978) and the graph 2007 looks to be ranked 5th lowest.

  36. jim hogg says:

    http://vinubuzz.com/hms-investigator-ship-discovered-at-mercy-bay-banks-island-150-years-old-hms-investigator-ship-found-hms-investigator-recovered-ship-pics/

    For those wondering whether or not the Investigator has been swept a significant distance northwards in the interim, it was abandoned in Mercy Bay, Banks Island 1853, and found close to the same spot apparently, in Mercy Bay, Banks Island in July 2010.

    To put this in clearer perspective could do with some further precise information on whether or not any substantial craft have managed to get through the NW Passage this summer . . – without the use of ice-breaking gear not possess by the Investigator.

  37. Verity Jones says:

    Ric Werme (August 6, 2010 at 8:31 am) – it might be Explorers Web (link)

  38. John from CA says:

    THE INTERNATIONAL BATHYMETRIC CHART OF THE ARCTIC OCEAN (IBCAO)
    http://www.ipy.noaa.gov/education/4-Posters/ibcaoposter.pdf

    The strait is named M’Clure Strait on this International map.

    Look at the floor of the Arctic Basin — a number of the formations look like volcanoes. Maybe it was the Northwest hot tub in 1850.

  39. jim hogg says:

    Usual typos . . here’s that missing “we” . . and also the missing “ed” . . . apologies . . age or something – surfeit of Co2 impairs mental functioning . .!

  40. James Goneaux says:

    Just a quibble: “HMS” means “His (or Her) Majesty’s Ship”.

    Therefore, when it is written “the HMS Investigator “, it really means “the Her Majesty’s Ship”…makes no sense.

    Sorry to be pedantic, but the ghost of my old English teachers won’t let this pass: it is either “HMS Investigator”, or “the Investigator”, but never, never, ever, “the HMS Investigator”.

    Its ok, though, the BBC gets this wrong on a regular basis. I tells ya, checking grammar ain’t what it used to be…

  41. Enneagram says:

    Vuk etc. says:
    August 6, 2010 at 8:56 am

    Greenland becoming green again, though the UK and Europe will not follow the same trend, is this so?

  42. Enneagram says:

    BTW, don’t be mistaken by the current warm temperatures in the northern hemisphere, prepare for harsher winters every passing year.

  43. Gail Combs says:

    They forgot the Norse not to mention the Romans. The Norse were seafarers and they hunted on the Arctic Seas, so they were aware of the sea ice. Here are the Greenland temperatures from Ice Core data The temperature at that time was 2C warmer than today. http://jonova.s3.amazonaws.com/graphs/lappi/gisp-last-10000-new.png

    Late 16th century world map of the Arctic based on old Icelandic writings shows details of the Arctic including islands. http://www.heritage.nf.ca/exploration/vmap.html

    The warm clime enticed Eric the Red:
    http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2010/06/viking-weather/folger-text

    The Norse in Vinland (Canada) http://www.heritage.nf.ca/exploration/norse.html

    This article claims soil fertility loss as part of the demise of the Norse in Greenland http://www.archaeology.org/online/features/greenland/

    But this scientific paper that actually LOOKED at the soil found it was not true (so what else is new in science by political agenda) The Norse did not leave because of soil erosion or loss of soil fertility. http://pubs.aina.ucalgary.ca/arctic/arctic48-4-324.pdf

    Here is information about where the Norse were found:

    “..In 1875, members of the British Arctic Expedition under the command of George S. Nares discovered two ancient-looking stone cairns on Washington Irving Island at the entrance to Dobbin Bay, eastern Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada. At least one of these cairns was destroyed by the expedition members to construct their own cairn. The possibility that these cairns were built by Norse voyagers to Kane Basin is supported by the large number of Norse artifacts recovered from Thule culture Inuit sites …” http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract;jsessionid=AC7B2F3425B6C9BB79C8C1B9493B2201.tomcat1?fromPage=online&aid=5421640

    “…The settlers found that the area to the north of the Western Settlement, called the Nordseta, was good for hunting, fishing and gathering driftwood. A stone inscribed with runes has been found telling that in 1333, three Greenlanders wintered on the island of Kingigtorssuaq just below 73 degrees north. There is also evidence of voyages to the Canadian arctic. Two cairns have been discovered in Jones Sound above 76 degrees North and two more have been found on Washington Irving Island at 79 degrees north….” http://www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/prehistory/vikings/Greenland.html

    Rewriting history à la George Orwell’s 1984… so he was a half century off.

  44. Ray says:

    Don B says:
    August 6, 2010 at 8:16 am

    If they want to change history they will need to destroy the Vancouver Maritime Museum where the St-Rock is sitting. They actually built the museum around the boat.
    http://www.athropolis.com/arctic-facts/fact-st-roch.htm

    “Between 1940 – 1942 the Canadian RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) vessel St. Roch sailed through the Northwest Passage (Map). It left Vancouver in June 1940, and after spending two winters frozen in the ice, finally docked at Halifax on October 11, 1942. It was the second ship to navigate the passage, and the first to go from west to east.

    In 1944, St. Roch returned to Vancouver by way of a more northerly Northwest Passage route – cutting the time down to just 86 days.”

    It would seem that the original mission of the St-Rock was to scout for possibly invading and occupying Greenland… http://pubs.aina.ucalgary.ca/arctic/Arctic46-1-82.pdf

  45. Henry chance says:

    What if the Southern Passage froze up?

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-08-03/argentina-colder-than-antarctica-spurs-record-power-imports-shuts-plants.html

    Argentina is importing record amounts of energy as the coldest winter in 40 years drives up demand and causes natural-gas shortages, prompting Dow Chemical Co. and steelmaker Siderar SAIC to scale back production.

    Frozen Cape horn? 56 degrees south?

  46. Pamela Gray says:

    If they start finding WWII planes near that site, I’m going back to church.

  47. Travis says:

    With all due respect to HockeySchtick, McClure and the “Investigator” never sailed “the last leg” of the Northwest Passage. He is credited with discovering it, but was unable to traverse it himself after being thwarted by pack ice for four summers. Why, then is he credited with discovering it? Because after getting iced in in the fall of 1850, he took a sledge party north to the north end of Banks Island, climbed a mountain, and was able to fill in the unexplored gaps in the map of that part of the Canadian Arctic. He ultimately did traverse the Northwest Passage over the next three years, but not without traveling over land and being forced to abandon not just his own ship, but two ships that came to rescue him. By no means did he sail it on his own.

    Amundsen’s trip in the early 20th century took three years, similarly beset by pack ice, which forced him to spend a couple winters trapped in pack ice. Even then, he was unable to traverse the northerly deep-water route we traditional think of as the Northwest Passage, but rather took some shallower routes to the south.

    The difference between those expeditions and the summer of 2007 was that in 2007, all of the ice in the northern deep-water passage melted out completely, as did all the ice to the south, and stayed that way for about a month. This year the ice will probably not melt quite to that extent, but already this year the Northwest Passage is almost free of ice. If Amundsen or McClure or Franklin were to sail their expeditions again today, there would be no need to mount any recovery efforts, and they would not get stuck in pack ice for two or three winters.

    For more on Robert McClure:
    http://biography.yourdictionary.com/sir-robert-mc-clure

  48. Rhys Jaggar says:

    I guess we should assume that amplitudes of temps differ across the globe therefore it could be warmish up there but cooler at Dallas???

  49. Robert says:

    Pamela Gray says:
    August 6, 2010 at 10:12 am

    If they start finding WWII planes near that site, I’m going back to church.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kee_Bird

  50. Francisco says:

    Yachts going through the Northwest passage unaided
    From:
    http://www.norwegianblue.co.uk/history.htm

    In 1977 the Belgian sailor Willy de Roos and his steel ketch ‘Willywaw’ became the 3rd yacht to go through, largely single handed.

    To date (2003), only 20 yachts have ever completed the NWP, of these 14 made it through in one season, and fewer than 10 (including ‘Norwegian Blue’), without ice breaker assistance.

    The first and until now, only British yacht to have completed the Passage was Rick Thomas’ ‘Northanger’. He sailed her East to West, overwintering in Inuvik in 1988. He was closely followed by David Scott Cowper in his converted British lifeboat ‘Mabel E Holland’. It took David 4 seasons to complete his transit, having suffered three consecutive bad ice years.

    On 18 July 2003, father and son team, Richard & Andrew Wood with Zoe Birchenough sailed ‘Norwegian Blue’ into the Bering Strait which marks the entrance to the NWP. Exactly two months later, in what proved to be a very difficult ice year and without ice breaker assistance, she sailed into the Davis Strait to become the first British yacht to transit the Northwest Passage from West to East. She also became the only British vessel to have completed the Northwest Passage in one season.

    The ‘Norwegian Blue’ crew were happy to have spent the last few weeks of their time on ice in the company of Eric Brossier’s ‘Vagabond
    ‘ and his fantastic crew. Of a record seven attempts at the NWP in 2003, ‘Vagabond’ & ‘Norwegian Blue’ were the only two yachts to successfully complete their transit. Both were fortunate enough to have been in the right place for the one day of the year the ice opened in Larsen Sound & Franklin Strait, traditionally the most difficult part of the NWP.

    On 10 October 2003, having set out from New Zealand only five months earlier, Zoe & Andrew sailed ‘Norwegian Blue’ into St Mary’s Harbour in the Isles of Scilly, having covered over half the globe via one of the world’s most challenging and difficult sea routes… The Northwest Passage.

  51. Kitefreak says:

    Theo Goodwin says:
    August 6, 2010 at 8:23 am
    …..
    Embracing glaring self-contradiction is one way to never be at a loss for words.
    —————————-
    Spot on!

    That’s what AGW proponents are increasingly reduced to – glaring self-contradiction – which they are forced to embrace, because they have painted themselves into a corner with their failed predictions.

    Actually, the truth doesn’t seem to matter to the elite of this movement, but we knew that (they’ve even said it themselves).

  52. Billy Liar says:

    Guido Guidi says:
    August 6, 2010 at 8:30 am
    Hey Antony,
    it looks like this time I got you!
    http://www.climatemonitor.it/?p=11973
    :-)

    Hey Guido, it’s in Italian! :-)

  53. Stephan says:

    The warmistas worst nightmare is NOW OCCURRING
    http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/icecover.uk.php

  54. Peter Walsh says:

    I came across this some time back and kept a copy. I also read somewhere, but can’t find it just now, that a Chinese squadron, in the 1400s, sailed around all of the area north of Canada and there wasn’t a sign of ice. Is there anyone out there who knows about this?

    Travellers through the Northwest Passage 1906 to 2007 A.D.

    Amundsen expedition
    Main article: Roald Amundsen
    The Northwest Passage was not conquered by sea until 1906, when the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, who had sailed just in time to escape creditors seeking to stop the expedition, completed a three-year voyage in the converted 47-ton herring boat Gjøa. At the end of this trip, he walked into the city of Eagle, Alaska, and sent a telegram announcing his success. Although his chosen east–west route, via the Rae Strait, contained young ice and thus was navigable, some of the waterways were extremely shallow making the route commercially impractical.
    [edit] Later expeditions
    The first traversal of the Northwest Passage via dog sled[30] was accomplished by Greenlander Knud Rasmussen while on the Fifth Thule Expedition (1921–1924). Rasmussen, and two Greenland Inuit, travelled from the Atlantic to the Pacific over the course of 16 months via dog sled.
    In 1940, Canadian RCMP officer Henry Larsen was the second to sail the passage, crossing west to east, from Vancouver to Halifax. More than once on this trip, it was unknown whether the St. Roch a Royal Canadian Mounted Police “ice-fortified” schooner would survive the ravages of the sea ice. At one point, Larsen wondered “if we had come this far only to be crushed like a nut on a shoal and then buried by the ice.” The ship and all but one of her crew survived the winter on Boothia Peninsula. Each of the men on the trip was awarded a medal by Canada’s sovereign, King George VI, in recognition of this notable feat of Arctic navigation.
    Later in 1944, Larsen’s return trip was far more swift than his first; the 28 months he took on his first trip was significantly reduced, setting the mark for having traversed it in a single season. The ship followed a more northerly partially uncharted route, and it also had extensive upgrades.
    On July 1, 1957, the United States Coast Guard cutter Storis departed in company with U.S. Coast Guard cutters Bramble (WLB-392) and SPAR (WLB-403) to search for a deep draft channel through the Arctic Ocean and to collect hydrographic information. Upon her return to Greenland waters, the Storis became the first U.S.-registered vessel to circumnavigate North America. Shortly after her return in late 1957, she was reassigned to her new home port of Kodiak, Alaska.
    In 1969, the SS Manhattan made the passage, accompanied by the Canadian icebreaker Sir John A. Macdonald. The Manhattan was a specially reinforced supertanker sent to test the viability of the passage for the transport of oil. While the Manhattan succeeded, the route was deemed not to be cost effective, and the Alaska Pipeline was built instead.
    In June 1977, sailor Willy de Roos left Belgium to attempt the Northwest Passage in his 13.8 m (45 ft) steel yacht Williwaw. He reached the Bering Strait in September and after a stopover in Victoria, British Columbia, went on to round Cape Horn and sail back to Belgium, thus being the first sailor to circumnavigate the Americas entirely by ship.[31]
    In 1984, the commercial passenger vessel MS Explorer (which sank in the Antarctic Ocean in 2007) became the first cruise ship to navigate the Northwest Passage.[32]
    In July 1986, Jeff MacInnis and Wade Rowland set out on an 18 foot catamaran called Perception on a 100 day sail, West to East, across the Northwest Passage.[33]link CBC panel discussion. This pair is the first to sail the passage, although they had the benefit of doing over a couple summers.
    In July 1986, David Scott Cowper set out from England in a 12.8 m (42 ft) lifeboat, the Mabel El Holland, and survived 3 Arctic winters in the Northwest Passage before reaching the Bering Strait in August 1989. He then continued around the world via the Cape of Good Hope to arrive back on 24 September 1990, becoming the first vessel to circumnavigate the world via the Northwest Passage.[34]
    On July 1, 2000, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police patrol vessel Nadon, having assumed the name St Roch II, departed Vancouver on a “Voyage of Rediscovery”. Nadon’s mission was to circumnavigate North America via the Northwest Passage and the Panama Canal, recreating the epic voyage of her predecessor, St. Roch. The 22,000 mile Voyage of Rediscovery was intended to raise awareness concerning St. Roch and kick-off the fundraising efforts necessary to ensure St. Roch’s continued preservation. The voyage was organized by the Vancouver Maritime Museum and supported by a variety of corporate sponsors and agencies of the Canadian government. Nadon is an aluminum, catamaran-hulled, high-speed patrol vessel. To make the voyage possible, she was escorted and supported by the Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Simon Fraser. The Coast Guard vessel was chartered by the Voyage of Rediscovery and crewed by volunteers. Throughout the voyage, she provided a variety of necessary services, including provisions and spares, fuel and water, helicopter facilities, and ice escort; she also conducted oceanographic research during the voyage. The Voyage of Rediscovery was completed in five and a half months, with Nadon arriving back at Vancouver on December 16, 2000.
    On September 1, 2001, Northabout, an 14.3 m (47 ft) aluminium sailboat with diesel engine,[35] built and captained by Jarlath Cunnane, completed the Northwest Passage east-to-west from Ireland to the Bering Strait. The voyage from the Atlantic to the Pacific was completed in 24 days. The Northabout then cruised in Canada for two years before it returned to Ireland in 2005 via the Northeast Passage thereby completing the first east-to-west circumnavigation of the pole by a single sailboat. The Northeast Passage return along the coast of Russia was slower, starting in 2004, with an ice stop and winter over in Khatanga, Siberia—hence the return to Ireland via the Norwegian coast in October 2005. On January 18, 2006, the Cruising Club of America awarded Jarlath Cunnane their Blue Water Medal, an award for “meritorious seamanship and adventure upon the sea displayed by amateur sailors of all nationalities.”
    On July 18, 2003, a father and son team, Richard and Andrew Wood, with Zoe Birchenough, sailed the yacht Norwegian Blue into the Bering Strait. Two months later she sailed into the Davis Strait to become the first British yacht to transit the Northwest Passage from west to east. She also became the only British vessel to complete the Northwest Passage in one season, as well as the only British sailing yacht to return from there to British waters.[36]
    On May 19, 2007, a French sailor, Sébastien Roubinet, and one other crew member left Anchorage, Alaska, in Babouche, a 7.5 m (25 ft) ice catamaran designed to sail on water and slide over ice. The goal was to navigate west to east through the Northwest Passage by sail only. Following a journey of more than 7,200 km (4,474 mi), Roubinet reached Greenland on September 9, 2007, thereby completing the first Northwest Passage voyage made without engine in one season.[37]

  55. 1DandyTroll says:

    Ah, but the hobnobs and their weather is climate change crap.

    They got there by weather, but were found due climate change.

    Hadn’t the climate changed enough to make the weather favorable in the first place?

  56. Ric Werme says:

    Verity Jones says:
    August 6, 2010 at 9:37 am

    > Ric Werme (August 6, 2010 at 8:31 am) – it might be Explorers Web (link)

    It was indeed! It looks like they’ll be covering this year’s follies well too. Good to see you’re following the Arctic circumnavigation effort, on Northern Passage, they caught my eye a few months ago by seeming to understand what they’re up against.

    The folks with the boat powered by bioethanol, on the other hand, seem to have their priorities misordered.

    WUWT readers – monitor the Arctic passages (and other stuff) at http://www.explorersweb.com/oceans/ . It will provide a whole different perspective compared to what we get from the satellite data.

  57. rbateman says:

    The ship had been sent on a rescue mission for 2 other ships mapping the Northwest Passage.
    Neither HMS Investigator nor modern efforts have yet to find the ‘other two’ ships.
    Did these 2 ships get even further North?
    Are they encapsulated in multi-year ice that (gulp) hasn’t melted yet?
    The ‘other two’ ships were on mapping missions.

  58. Robert E. Phelan says:

    Peter Walsh says: August 6, 2010 at 11:52 am

    You’re probably thinking of Gavin Menzies’ book 1421: The Year the Chinese Discovered America. He makes the claim there that a Chinese fleet sailed into the Atlantic, circled Greenland ,aking maps and may have actually reached the North Pole. He makes an interesting circumstantial case, but there don’t seem to be any definitive accounts: just fascinating tid bits that are open to a variety of explanations. As a long-time Sinophile, I’d like to think it was all true, but I’m convinced.

  59. Robert E. Phelan says:

    sheesh. “But I’m NOT convinced.” Read twice before hitting the post comment button.

  60. Peter Walsh says: August 6, 2010 at 11:52 am

    … a Chinese squadron, in the 1400s, sailed around all of the area north of Canada and there wasn’t a sign of ice. Is there anyone out there who knows about this?

    Yes. Go to Amazon books and look up “1421″ by Gavin Menzies.

    This is another area, like Climate Science, where the evidence has so affronted the academic orthodoxy that they set up a website, RealClimate-like, to debunk this tour-de-force of enterprising discovery.

    Clue: read the book – ignore the daleks’ D.E.A.T.H.-it approach (Don’t Even Attempt To Hear It)

  61. Dave Wendt says:

    “Parks Canada had been plotting the discovery of the three ships for more than a year, trying to figure out how to get the crews so far north. ”

    Imagine what those intrepid old timers back in the 19th century might have accomplished with the benefit of near realtime satellite ice mapping, GPS navigation, modern communications equipment, and an auxiliary fleet of nuclear powered icebreakers.
    This is the same kind of apples and oranges thinking that discovered dramatically increasing tornadoes and hurricanes at exactly that point in time where our technological capability to detect them experienced a quantum improvement.
    These clowns couldn’t think their way out of a paper bag.

  62. Rational Debate says:

    This is probably the ignorance question of the week… so have mercy folks! :o) Hopefully someone with a better understanding of the geography, currents and ice flows will be willing to address this one and save some of us from having to research it ourselves – but is it possible that rather than managing to sail to where it was found, the ship was trapped in the ice and moved by ice flow a significant distance, to the position in which it was found? Like Nansen’s expedition? Or would ice flow currents have moved the ship an entirely different direction? Or were there records of the ship sailing to this latitude & longitude and that’s how they found it so easily? Thanks in advance for a bit of enlightenment on this issue!

  63. Jimbo says:

    Correction:
    What history?

  64. tty says:

    “A stone inscribed with runes has been found telling that in 1333, three Greenlanders wintered on the island of Kingigtorssuaq just below 73 degrees north.”

    That is not quite true. There is no year on stone but it is stylistically dated to about 1250-1350. There is no mention of any wintering either, only that the stone was written on April 25. And as “everybody knows” that there couldn’t be open water that early it has just been assumed that they were wintering there. However it is quite possible that there may have been open water that far north in late April during the MWP. The sea off SW Greenland never freezes and it would only take a very slight warming compared to the present to extend this open water to Kingigtorssuaq.

  65. Bill Tuttle says:

    Gail Combs: August 6, 2010 at 9:58 am
    They forgot the Norse not to mention the Romans.

    Slightly south, but my neighbor (when I’m home) is an archaeologist — last time I was home, he showed me three pictures and asked me where I thought he’d taken them. I looked for a couple of minutes and said, “Crete. It looks like a tholos tomb, but the roof is intact.” He said, “Pocono Mountains.”

    Pamela Gray: August 6, 2010 at 10:12 am
    If they start finding WWII planes near that site, I’m going back to church.

    If they find one on Banks Island, it means the pilot *didn’t* — it’s 1,400 miles west of the ferry routes…

  66. tty says:

    “Neither HMS Investigator nor modern efforts have yet to find the ‘other two’ ships.
    Did these 2 ships get even further North?
    Are they encapsulated in multi-year ice that (gulp) hasn’t melted yet?”

    These two ships were the Franklin expeditions’ HMS Erebus and HSM Terror. We know approximately where they are from the one remaining written record from the Franklin expedition and from inuit testimony. One sank off the northwest coast of King William Land and the other near the mainland coast SW of King William Land. However the positions are only known approximately, and since even in this era of “unprecedented” polar warmth the sea is at best ice-free a few weeks each year they are very diffiocult to find.

  67. Billy Liar says:

    Rational Debate says:
    August 6, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    Read it yourself at the link below. It was 27 days from 17 September to 10 October 1850 from the first encounter with young ice to the time a party first went ashore from the ship. During that time the ship drifted back and forth but less than 20 miles from her first encounter with the young ice on 17 September. On 13 October the ship is described as quite stationary in position 72 47′N 117 35′W.

    ‘A Personal Narrative of the Discovery of the North West Passage’ by Alex Armstrong MD RN late Surgeon and Naturalist of HMS Investigator published 1857

    http://www.archive.org/stream/apersonalnarrat00armsgoog#page/n264/mode/1up

  68. Bill Tuttle says:

    Rational Debate: August 6, 2010 at 1:21 pm
    This is probably the ignorance question of the week…

    Relax — asking questions cures ignorance.

    …were there records of the ship sailing to this latitude & longitude and that’s how they found it so easily?

    Absolutely correct! The ship’s location was known, and the seams had been opened by the ice after three years, which is probably why it was abandoned — it was no longer seaworthy. One summer, enough seawater had collected in the hull to sink it, and when the ice couldn’t support the ship’s weight any more, down she went.

  69. Tyler says:

    If you want to know how they got there, read

    The Arctic Grail: The Quest for the Northwest Passage and The North Pole, 1818-1909 by Berton.

    A terrific comprehensive history. The natives, whalers, and later English learned centuries ago that there were good ice years and bad ones, sometimes consecutively. The difference between finding a route or seeing an strait of open water or getting out of a winter anchorage was often luck. Bad luck often meant scurvy, starvation and death. Were they not rescued, it’s doubtful anyone would have credited McClure with the first discovery. The party was mounting up for a sledge trip out to rescue themselves, nearly starved, after 3 years of entrapment that certainly would have killed them all (read what happened to Franklin and his party).

    Also interestingly, the fundrasing hype of the day for exploration then was that north of the Canadian archipelago there existed an “open polar sea” that was almost tropical in nature, and open water if one could just reach it.

    Read the book and you’ll wonder how anyone in their right mind can believe that all the ice will melt, ever.

  70. toby says:

    Sir John Franklin’s two ships made their way into the NorthWest Passage in 1849 & were never seen again. They were the ships that McClure was searching for.

    Investigator was similarly iced in, and was rescued by chance. Luckily, a lot of ships were in Arctic looking for Franklin and McClure luckily bumped into one. Otherwise, he and his crew would have been similarly lost. The fact that McClure had to finish the NorthWest Passage on foot tells us something.

    Amundsen only completed the Paassage with sail and engine. Up until recently, only an icebreaker could be trusted to make it.

    I believe that 2008 and 2009 were the first recorded years that BOTH the NorthWest and NorthEast passages were open. Here are two intrepid Norwegians circumnavigating the Arctic for the first time in history.

    http://www.corsairmarine.com/UserFiles/Image/The%20North%20Pole%20Passage_Ousland%281%29.pdf

  71. Billy Liar says:

    Rational Debate says:
    August 6, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    I regret I have misled you. The account I gave above was of the Investigator’s first winter spent in the ice. They sailed into the Bay of Mercy where the ship now lies on 23 September 1851. There was no drifting in the ice.

    The account of the entry in the bay that became the Investigator’s final resting place is here:

    http://www.archive.org/stream/apersonalnarrat00armsgoog#page/n497/mode/1up

  72. Billy Liar says:

    Some interesting pictures of HMS Investigator’s expedition:

    http://ve.torontopubliclibrary.ca/frozen_ocean/s4f_cresswell.htm

    Funnily enough, she escaped the precarious position illustrated in the dramatic picture at the head of the post only to be trapped in an apparently more benign environment in Mercy Bay (see picture 7 at the link).

  73. dr slop says:

    This reminds me a little of the theological argument that fossils were a contrivance to test the faithful.

  74. T Gough says:

    A few comments – mainly adding to what Peter Walsh has to say (11.52 a.m.)
    Amundsen chose voluntarily to spend an extra year at Gjoa Haven in order to learn dog/ sledge handling from the Inuit. There is no apparent reason that the voyage could not have been completed in 2 instead of 3 years. (He later put his new-found skills to good use when he became the first to the South Pole).
    The media, in ignorance, tend to assume that the NWP is the ‘obvious’ route. i.e. straight West through Lancaster Sound and its continuation through Barrow Strait, Melville Sound, McClure Strait. However the western end of this route is rarely passable other than to an icebreaker. The ‘normal’ route after Barrow straight is South down Peel Sound. Then the logical route would appear to be SSW througn Victoria Strait. This was apparently the attempted route for the ill-fated Franklin expedition. The problem is that there are a number of islands in the strait and the ice feeding down from the north piles up against them and makes the passage more difficult than it looks on paper. The easiest route after negotiating Peel sound is clockwise round King William Land (Amundsen’s route). This however is bared to anything other than small vessels as part of the passage is shallow.
    As an update, in 2007 Jeffrey Allison of yacht ‘Luck Dragon’ (a Bowman 49)from England, completed a passage from East to West (and so was presumably the first British yacht to make the passage E to W in one season and the second British yacht in this direction.) En route at Cambridge Bay a list of previous passages was obtained from Peter Semotiuk (the radio operator). It was compiled mainly from various earlier sources but also from his own experiences. It is an interesting document comprising 4 small print pages – I have a copy.
    TOTAL number of different vessels completing the NWP in either direction and any route up to the end of 2006 :- 74 of which 24 were yachts. I believe I am correct in saying that there were 4 yachts making the passage in 2007; 2 in each direction.

    Recommended reading is:-
    Barrow’s Boys by Fergus Fleming. The British naval efforts in the Arctic and the NWP in particular. 1819 – mid 1850s
    Fatal Passage by Ken McGoogan About John Rae who worked for the Hudson Bay Co. and explored much of the area to the NW of Hudson Bay around 1840 – 1855. He found the last link in the ‘easy’ NWP route – Ray Strait. He also determined in essence what became of the Franklin Expedition and received little thanks from the British government.
    TTG

  75. AndyW says:

    As Steve Goddard pointed out temps have gone down in the Canadian side recently but it is still going to be a nice weekend up there

    http://www.weatheroffice.gc.ca/city/pages/nu-25_metric_e.html
    http://www.weatheroffice.gc.ca/city/pages/nu-10_metric_e.html
    http://www.weatheroffice.gc.ca/city/pages/nu-27_metric_e.html

    I definitelty think the northern route of the NW passage might be possible this year, a first as far as I can tell.

    Andy

  76. Dave Springer says:

    Amundsen’s northwest passage is a bit of history taught in grammar school.

    Not everyone is as smart as a fifth grader, evidently.

  77. David W says:

    Copied straight from Bear Grylls website for his up coming Northwest Passage journey.

    “1906, Roald Amundsen – First Successful Transit
    Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen raised money, acquired equipment, and bought and outfitted a former 47-ton herring-boat named Gjöa, casting off from Oslo (called Christiania at the time) to the Arctic Sea on June 1903.

    The little sailing ship boasted a 13-hp engine, stowed enough food and supplies for five years, and carried an experienced Arctic crew of seven. He completed a three-year voyage, excluding three winters simply trapped in ice.

    1906 onwards – Later expeditions
    1921 – 1924: Greenlander Knud Rasmussen and two Greenland Inuit completed the first traversal of the Northwest Passage, travelling from the Atlantic to the Pacific, via dog sled.

    1940: Canadian officer Henry Larsen was the second to sail the passage, crossing west to east, from Vancouver to Halifax.

    1969: the SS Manhattan, a reinforced supertanker sent to test the viability of the passage for the transport of oil, made the passage. The route was deemed not to be cost effective.

    1977: sailor Willy de Roos left Belgium and crossed the Northwest Passage in his 13.8 m (45 ft) steel yacht Williwaw, reaching the Bering Strait in September.

    1984: the commercial passenger vessel MS Explorer became the first cruise ship to navigate the Northwest Passage.

    July 1986: Jeff MacInnis and Wade Rowland set out on 18-foot catamaran Perception on a 100-day sail, west to east, across the Northwest Passage.

    July 1986: David Scott Cowper set out from England in a 12.8 m (42 ft) lifeboat, the Mabel El Holland, and survived three Arctic winters in the Northwest Passage before reaching the Bering Strait in August 1989.

    July 2003: a father and son team, Richard and Andrew Wood, sailed the yacht Norwegian Blue into the Bering Strait. She became the first British yacht to transit the Northwest Passage from west to east.

    May 2007: a French sailor, Sébastien Roubinet, and one other crew member left Anchorage, Alaska, in Babouche, a 7.5 m (25 ft) ice catamaran designed to sail on water and slide over ice. They navigated west to east through the Northwest Passage by sail only.”

    So I find it a little mystifying of talk the Northwest Passage could be opening up for the first time. Unless I’m missing something?

  78. Phil. says:

    Rational Debate says:
    August 6, 2010 at 1:21 pm
    This is probably the ignorance question of the week… so have mercy folks! :o) Hopefully someone with a better understanding of the geography, currents and ice flows will be willing to address this one and save some of us from having to research it ourselves – but is it possible that rather than managing to sail to where it was found, the ship was trapped in the ice and moved by ice flow a significant distance, to the position in which it was found?

    It could have done, indeed this did happen to HMS Resolute, one of the other ships of the expedition which was abandoned to the east. It was salvaged by american whalers as it floated free of the ice about a year or so later, wood from it was used to make a desk which was presented to the President of the US and resides in the Oval Office as I recall.
    In this case the ship was abandoned in a bay rather than in the open and we know the exact location, that is where the expedition looked first and is why it only took 20mins to find, it hadn’t moved!

  79. starzmom says:

    15 Minutes?? to find a sunken ship? It would take that long to climb up to the bridge or down to the sonar room. Obviously the ship got there before human emissions were a concern. How? The Arctic has been solid ice forever until 30 years ago. Excuse my sarcasm.

  80. u.k.(us) says:

    Phil. says:
    August 6, 2010 at 5:34 pm
    ===============================
    Per Wikipedia:
    “Three ships of the Royal Navy have borne the name HMS Resolute. A fourth was planned but never completed.”
    I doubt President Obama sits behind a desk made from a salvaged wreck.
    Check your history.

  81. Caleb says:

    Concerning the lore about the Chinese fleets of exploration that may have gone all about the world, including to the North Pole, back before China, for some odd reason, withdrew into isolation:

    There is Puritan lore which states that, when the Puritans first arrived, there were the hulks of large ships, much larger than the Puritan’s, on the shores of Boston Harbor. They were of little use, (much like the hulks of old schooners you can still see in salt marshes up in Maine,) because the wood was so rotten, but they were a curiosity that made Puritan’s wonder.

    Not long before the Puritans arrived a terrible pandemic had wiped out a sort of Pre-Boston, numbering several thousand people, who are described as members of the Massachusetts tribe. They were ruled by a king, and later a queen. We know next to nothing about them, and likely never will learn if China influenced the local Algonquin clans. However there is a slight chance that, buried in the landfill of Boston neighborhoods, the keel of a huge Chinese junk still awaits discovery.

    (I wouldn’t try to raise funds to dig up Boston neighborhoods any time soon. People are still in a bit of a bad mood about the last Big Dig.)

    Intellectual academics, who have trouble hoisting themselves from the plush, leather armchairs of the Harvard Club, have doubts about whether other people can hoist sails and go on crazy voyages. However I am fortunate, because rather than going to Harvard I went on crazy voyages, and therefore I have no doubts crazy voyages are possible, and crazy weather is possible, including even an ice-free Arctic Ocean in the 1400′s.

    Of course “possible” is a very different thing from “established fact.” But it’s a Friday night after a long, hard week, and facts bore me. Therefore I will entertain myself by dreaming up a scene from the ice-free Arctic Ocean in the 1400′s.

    Two ships round a point from opposite directions, and spot each other at the same time. One is a huge Chinese Junk, big enough to hold over a hundred sailors. The other is a longboat holding eight Greenland Vikings. As they pass each other the Chinese look down and the Vikings look up, with equally dumbfounded expressions.

  82. Rattus Norvegicus says:

    I would suggest that you all read The Man Who Ate His Boots a fine history of the search for the NW Passage.

    Shorter version: the HMS Investigator was sailing *east* and got entrapped in heavy pack before being abandoned at the *western* entrance to the the NW Passage (well, one of them). It is interesting to read the account of journey of the Investigator in this book. The ship was entombed at Mercy Bay for two winters, in the intervening summer it was unable to move being a captive of the ice. They were saved because of a sledge journey which McClure took in the spring of 1852 in search of a cache (which did not exist) at a place called “Winter Harbor”. The cache did not exist. He did leave a note there and the subsequent year a sledge party found the note left at Winter Harbor and came looking for him.

    It is interesting to compare McClure’s experience with the experience of the party which found the wreck of the Investigator this summer. Get your history straight.

  83. CRS, Dr.P.H. says:

    Two ships round a point from opposite directions, and spot each other at the same time. One is a huge Chinese Junk, big enough to hold over a hundred sailors. The other is a longboat holding eight Greenland Vikings. As they pass each other the Chinese look down and the Vikings look up, with equally dumbfounded expressions.
    ——-
    My money is on the Vikings!!

    http://users.wolfcrews.com/toys/vikings/

  84. UK Sceptic says:

    When are these people going to run out of straws to grasp?

  85. John Marshall says:

    This report does not say where the ship floundered. When it became ice fast it would have been carried by the moveing ice pack and released when the ice melted to sink where it was found. The time from ice fastness to sinking is not known neither is the position of ice fastness or ice movement between the two events.
    Apart from that an interesting report though biased to the AGW theory.

  86. Bill Tuttle says:

    John Marshall : August 7, 2010 at 2:21 am
    This report does not say where the ship floundered. When it became ice fast it would have been carried by the moveing ice pack and released when the ice melted to sink where it was found. The time from ice fastness to sinking is not known neither is the position of ice fastness or ice movement between the two events.

    It wasn’t frozen into the pack ice in open water — it was trapped in bay ice, which is largely attached to the shore. Bay ice will break into smaller pieces than sea ice due to tidal stresses, so it won’t support a large, heavy object long enough to carry it anywhere.

  87. Jim Powell says:

    1853 would have also been during the peak of the AMO.

  88. Phil. says:

    u.k.(us) says:
    August 6, 2010 at 6:30 pm
    Phil. says:
    August 6, 2010 at 5:34 pm
    ===============================
    Per Wikipedia:
    “Three ships of the Royal Navy have borne the name HMS Resolute. A fourth was planned but never completed.”
    I doubt President Obama sits behind a desk made from a salvaged wreck.
    Check your history.

    Perhaps you should, here’s a photo (not photoshopped) of President Obama sitting at the eponymous desk.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Barack_Obama_sitting_at_the_Resolute_desk_2009.jpg

  89. simpleseekeraftertruth says:

    A map & info on known traverses of the northwest passage (and other arctic info) is at

    http://www.athropolis.com/map9.htm

  90. u.k.(us) says:

    Phil. says:
    August 7, 2010 at 7:54 am
    =========
    Thanks for the gracious reply. I realized my error before my hasty (stupid) comment cleared moderation.

  91. Anthony Watts says:

    Dorlomin, I would suggest that you might wish to stop referring to me as an “astrologer” in places like CIF.

    Your childish behavior is not appreciated. – Anthony Watts

  92. Emilio says:

    Well, if you like stories of badass ships crossing the Artic sea, I introduce you to Fridtjof Nansen and his 1893 attempt to reach the north pole in the Fram, a wooden ship he himself designed. Notice how close the ship drifted to the north pole, it’s a pity that they had missed it due to sea conditions:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fridtjof_Nansen#Into_the_ice

    it is also remarkable that a 19th century wooden ship (not an ice-breaker for clear) had reached that far just drifting through what nowadays is called by some a “50 million year old, one kilometer thick ice block”.

    So… the artic ice caps are supposed to be 50 million year old, but a guy in 1893 crossed it in a wooden ship…

  93. Phil. says:

    AndyW says:
    August 7, 2010 at 3:13 pm
    I’m still betting the NW northern route will be open this year

    http://ice-glaces.ec.gc.ca/prods/WIS56CT/20100802180000_WIS56CT_0005118933.gif
    http://ice-glaces.ec.gc.ca/prods/WIS35CT/20100807180000_WIS35CT_0005124008.gif

    That will be quite remarkable.
    Andy

    It looks like it is already.

  94. Phil. says:

    T Gough says:
    August 6, 2010 at 4:02 pm
    A few comments – mainly adding to what Peter Walsh has to say (11.52 a.m.)
    Amundsen chose voluntarily to spend an extra year at Gjoa Haven in order to learn dog/ sledge handling from the Inuit. There is no apparent reason that the voyage could not have been completed in 2 instead of 3 years.

    Except if you read his own account published in 1908 (which I have), where you’ll find that he had no chance of leaving before he actually did. Also he wasn’t there to learn how to handle dogs from the Inuit, if you read the book you’ll see that he spent the time making scientific measurements.

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