We've been following the approaching cyclone in the Arctic for a few days, and this morning the predictions are starting to come true. Out of all the various forecasting models we've looked at so far only ECMWF offers a "nowcast". That's the model's idea of what's happening in real time in the real world, and here's how it looked over the Arctic first thing this morning, as visualised by the Danish Meteorological Institute:
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Here at econnexus.org we're used to tracking hurricanes, but so far there's been a fairly quiet start to the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season. The strongest tropical storm so far has been Andrea, whose winds reached a maximum speed of 65 mph (100 km/h) around a minimum central pressure of 992 mbar. The National Hurricane Centre currently reports "No tropical cyclones at this time" for both the Eastern Pacific and the North Atlantic. Despite that an "extra-tropical" cyclone looks like it's on its way next week, far to the north of both those oceans.
More on A Storm is Brewing in the Arctic
We've recently been following the progress of the Arctic Joule as her crew attempt to row through the Northwest Passage, and now comes news of another expedition across the Arctic, this time powered by the wind.
More on The "Quest Through the Pole" Begins in Barrow
I first met Kevin Vallely in a rather unusual location for both of us. The British Ambassador's residence in Oslo! We were both holding a small glass of red wine, and started talking about Arctic sea ice. We agreed it was disappearing quickly, and Kevin assured me that he "wasn't crazy enough to try and walk to the North Pole" this year. He did however explain to me a bit more about his plan to row through the Northwest Passage, which he had earlier explained to the delegates attending the Economist Arctic Summit. He assured me that he and three companions would attempt to row through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago in "the last world first!". They were planning to start on July 1st 2013, rowing in teams of two for 24 hours a day, for about 75 days.
More on The Arctic Joule Races Towards the Beaufort Sea
The set of cracks in the Arctic sea ice across the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas that we showed three days ago have now refrozen, and some new ones have opened up nearer the north coast of Alaska. However whilst that has been going on another set of "cracks" over on the Russian side of the Arctic have been growing ever wider. Here's how the Laptev Sea looks from space this morning:
More on Has The Laptev Sea Ice Started Melting?
The ice covering the Beaufort Sea has already found itself split by fractures many hundreds of miles long more than once this year. Now it is cracking at the seams once again, as this picture taken by the Terra satellite yesterday reveals:
More on Beaufort Sea Ice Cracks Once More
You may recall that a couple of weeks ago we showed you some satellite images revealing that the Beaufort Sea north of Alaska had become covered with a vast spider's web of cracks. Then last weekend gaping fissures tens of miles across opened up in the ice cap north of Greenland. Today we take you back to the Beaufort Sea once more, where this is what the latest satellite images reveal:
More on Bigger Cracks Than Ever in the Beaufort Sea Ice
I'm currently engaged in a debate on Twitter with @Cornishview. His avatar doesn't reveal a gender, so I'm guessing here, but it does suggest that he understands the part that coal and the latent heat of vaporisation of water played in the beginning of the industrial revolution down here in not so sunny South West England. Cornishview says over on Twitter that:
More on Arctic Sea Ice is Cracking Under the Strain