Guest essay by Eric Worrall
From the “Global Warming Causes More Snow” department comes a claim that the substantially increased risk of maritime embarrassment for scientists trying to sail to the North Pole is the result of global warming.
New research documents a counterintuitive impact of global warming: sea-ice hazards to shipping
Human-caused warming is popping the frozen corks that normally bottle up thick sea ice in the Arctic Ocean, allowing it to pour south
Ships plying the North Atlantic Ocean in spring are facing increased hazards from floating Arctic sea ice as a result of human-caused global warming.
That might seem counterintuitive, but here’s what’s happening, according to a new study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters:
Warming temperatures are causing ice that normally blocks narrow ocean passages in winter and spring to break up earlier than in the past. Like a cork removed from a champagne bottle, the early break up in these passages is allowing thick, old sea ice to flow south from the Arctic Ocean into the North Atlantic, choking areas used by fishing, shipping and ferry boats.
“Heavy ice conditions along Canada’s east coast during spring 2017 presented hazardous conditions for the maritime industry at a time of year when vessels typically do not need to contend with sea ice,” the researchers note in their paper. As warming has caused Arctic sea ice to shrink and thin overall:
… it has become increasingly mobile. This has contributed to increased ice transport through narrow channels along the periphery of the Arctic Ocean … and increased the presence of thick multiyear sea ice from the High Arctic at more southern locations that have typically not contended with such sea ice.
The abstract of the study;
Increasing Mobility of High Arctic Sea Ice Increases Marine Hazards Off the East Coast of Newfoundland
D. G. Barber D. G. Babb J. K. Ehn W. Chan L. Matthes L. A. Dalman Y. Campbell M. L. Harasyn N. Firoozy N. Theriault J. V. Lukovich T. Zagon T. Papakyriakou D. W. Capelle A. Forest A. Gariepy
First published: 15 March 2018
Heavy ice conditions along Canada’s east coast during spring 2017 presented hazardous conditions for the maritime industry and required the Canadian Coast Guard to pull its research icebreaker, CCGS Amundsen, off its scientific cruise to provide ice escort services and conduct search and rescue operations along Newfoundland’s northeast coast. Greater ice concentrations and a thicker ice pack than are typical of this area created the anomalous ice cover. Within this paper we present in situ observations of the ice cover, confirming that pieces of multiyear sea ice from the high Arctic were present within the ice cover, and subsequently examine the transport pathway that connects the export of thick multiyear sea ice from the Lincoln Sea and Canadian Arctic Archipelago to coastal communities in Newfoundland. We conclude with a discussion on how an increasingly mobile Arctic sea ice cover may increase these ice hazards in the south.
Last year WUWT reported how the CCGS Amundsen scientific expedition to monitor Arctic melting had been cancelled due to too much ice.
There is obviously only one explanation which fits the evidence. Bitterly cold Northern winter and more icebergs in the Arctic Ocean. Global Warming is here.