The US Navy recently released their new "Arctic Roadmap" for the years 2014 to 2030. According to the Navy's press release:
In the coming decades, as multi-year sea ice in the Arctic Ocean recedes, previously unreachable areas may open for maritime use for a few weeks each year. This opening maritime frontier has important national security implications and impact required future Navy capabilities.
More on US Navy 2014 to 2030 Arctic Roadmap
According to the Tara Expeditions web site:
Tara is a legendary boat built for extreme conditions.
We last heard of her from Vincent Berthet, who along with Sébastian Roubinet unexpectedly boarded Tara in Pevek, Russia before sailing in her across the Chukchi Sea and then disembarking in Tuktoyaktuk, Canada. Tara then continued from Tuk, sailing along the southern route of the Northwest Passage. In the latest news from Tara this morning, the expedition web site announced:
More on Tara Reaches the Open Waters of Lancaster Sound
Nordic Bulk Carriers A/S have just announced in a press release that:
The international shipping industry is these days witness to a historic event, when a vessel for the first time ever is sailing from Vancouver in Canada to Finland through Arctic waters. One of the world’s few modern ice-class bulk carriers – MV NORDIC ORION – will carry a cargo of 73,500 tons of coal via the so called North West Passage through Arctic waters to Finland. A Danish pioneer in operating ice-classed bulk carriers Nordic Bulk Carriers A/S is behind the historic North West Journey
Despite all the recent erroneous publicity about "ice bound" yachts in the Northwest Passage and "60% more ice", Christian Bonfils who is managing director of Nordic Bulk Carriers goes on to say that:
More on The Northwest Passage is Open for Business
This weekend The Mail Online published a story purporting to explain how "How [the Arctic] Ice Sheet Grew 920,000 Square Miles In A Year". The story was written by David Rose, so of course it did nothing of the sort! We've come across Mr. Rose before, when he regurgitated one of his "Great Green Con" stories earlier this year, so now let's take a closer look at his most recent "Great White Con". I quote David's opening words of "wisdom":
More on The Mail is Being Economical With the Truth About Arctic Sea Ice
The two Arctic voyages we've been following closely this summer have both come to a premature conclusion. Discussions about that have spawned a debate about how much ice there actually is in the Northwest Passage through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago this year, and whether the passage is or will be navigable this year without the assistance of an icebreaker. The main route through the Parry Channel and McClure Strait certainly looks as though it will remain impassable, but what of the southern route? A few days ago I found myself engaged in a heated discussion on Facebook (now sadly consigned to the great memory hole in the sky) with someone who insisted there was lots of ice in Dease Strait because RadarSat showed it to be there! To start with today, here's how the AMSR2 sensor sees things from space at the moment, courtesy of the University of Hamburg:
More on The Northwest Passage in 2013
Over the last few days both the Arctic expeditions we've been following since the beginning of July announced that they were abandoning their voyages before reaching their planned destinations. Although it doesn't seem to have been published on their web site yet, Séb Roubinet and Vincent Berthet on Babouchka have just abandoned their "Quest Through The Pole". According to their "La voie du pôle" Facebook page (and translated from the original French):
More on Arctic Voyages 2013 – Update 2
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