Northwest Passage Update 2019 08 28

Science Matters

Update on Northwest Passage Traffic August 29, 2019

Background information is reprinted later on.  Above shows the last 10 days of shifting ice concentrations in the NWP choke point, Queen Maud region. Aug. 19 Prince Regent Inlet, top center was plugged, while Peel Sound, top left opened up and allowed passage.  In just a week or so, Prince Regent turned green (<1/3 covered) to blue.  At the same time thick ice dissipated in Franklin Strait, center left, opening the way SW.

Note on the map right edge the reference to Foxe Basin, a body of open water south of Baffin Island.  The channel connecting into Gult of Boothia is blocked most years, but was open in 2016, and passable now.  This is an alternate NWP route when Bellot Strait is also open.

This is today’s map of vessels in the NWP.  Cargo ships in yellow, Passenger ships in green, yachts…

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