Northwest Passage

The other day, when I mentioned the irony of the AP publishing a story about Artic ice melting on the same day it was announce the Artic ice was growing at a record rate, I forgot to deal with the bogus claim in the article that this was the first time the Northwest Passage had ever opened.

This myth is discussed here.   In summary:

the Northwest Passage was successfully navigated in 1906, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1944, 1957, 1969, 1977, 1984, 1988, and 2000.

  • Larry Sheldon

    Seems like I remember reading that the Coast Guard rushed building a station to handle all the cruise ship traffic in the Northwest passage.

    Did they get the ships back out before it froze up again?

    And on the never before aspects…didn’t I read in Boys Life or somewhere eons ago stuff about “ice breakers” (meaning ships–the Esquire usage of the term came later)?

  • anon

    Nice post as usual. I have an off-topic question for you.

    I was debating global warming with somebody who claimed that it’s impossible to come up with a model that is consistent with recent temperature increases without including AGW/CO2 in the model; and that therefore AGW is necessary to explain recent temperature increases.

    This strikes me as likely BS. Do you have an argument, or better yet, a reference that speaks to this claim?

  • Steve

    Just for fun, I plotted the successful navigations of the NWP against a graph of North American (US) temperature. Now, it’s not the most scientific thing I’ve ever done, but it’s obvious that there’s no correlation. It was navigated several times when it was much colder than it is now. Especially 1969, at the end of the last cooling cycle, when average temperatures were at their lowest for several decades.

    It seems that they really can’t use the opening of the NWP to indicate high temperatures. It opens when it feels like it.

  • Larry Sheldon

    Steve: Is the graph somewhere where we can see it? Sounds like a fun exercise. Be interesting to see “successful navigations” against “random chance”, but I don’t even know how to start that.

  • Steve

    I’ll post something after Christmas shopping. I keep promising myself to do it ahead of time….

  • Larry Sheldon

    Christmas shopping.

    I always do my early.

    Early Christmas Eve.

    This year I did it even earlier–day before yesterday. I have a daughter getting married Christmas Eve this year.

  • Steve

    You can see my little graph here:

    http://www.harddrive13.com/NWP-graph.jpg

    It won’t be up for more than 3 weeks, so don’t link it everywhere, just download and do whatever you like with it.

    I’ll also email it to Coyote.

  • Steve

    BTW, Larry, congratulations!