Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Iqaluit May 16, 2018 - 8:00 am

Floe edge near Iqaluit closer than usual: Canadian Ice Service

Percentage of thick, durable multi-year ice has decreased

JANE GEORGE
A bird's eye view of the floe edge near Iqaluit, which is closer to the city than in some years, according to the Canadian Ice Service. (PHOTO BY JANE GEORGE)
A bird's eye view of the floe edge near Iqaluit, which is closer to the city than in some years, according to the Canadian Ice Service. (PHOTO BY JANE GEORGE)

The sea ice in Frobisher Bay is thinner than usual this time of year, and the floe edge is closer. Flying into Iqaluit, you can see blue open water not far from the city.

The floe edge is now about 30 nautical miles down Frobisher Bay. That’s closer than usual, and it’s not as extensive, confirmed Gilles Langis, a senior ice forecaster with the Canadian Ice Service.

“We’re ahead of the game,” Langis said of the early retreat of ice in Frobisher Bay.

But he said it’s hard to say at this point whether that means the ice will be out of the bay earlier than usual, that is, by some time in mid-July.

Pack ice in the Davis Strait could end up being blown into the bay, as has happened during some summers in the past, he said.

And over the past 25 years, there has been a lot of variation in when Frobisher Bay becomes ice-free, Langis said.

The ice went out of Frobisher Bay by July 9 in 2011, the earliest time recorded, but that was two full months earlier than in 1992, when ice persisted in the bay until Sept. 9.

This year the ice is young, mainly first-year ice. Last month, its thickness still measured about 1.4 metres, a little less than five feet, Langis said.

Recently, the CIS reported that the proportion of multi-year ice cover in the eastern Arctic varied from one to five per cent.

That means most of the ice cover in the eastern Arctic is first year ice, which is less thick and durable than multi-year ice.

First-year ice grows to a thickness of about 1.5 to two metres (five to 6.5 feet) tover a winter season, while older ice is often three to four metres (9.8 to 13.1 feet) thick, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Centre, which has tracked sea ice since 1979.

The data centre said last week that the Arctic Ocean’s total multi-year ice cover has declined from 61 per cent in 1984 to 34 per cent in 2018.

Only two per cent of the ice age cover is categorized as five-plus years, the centre said.

The relatively young age of the ice raises concern among scientists that, under a warming climate, Arctic sea ice might start to melt away completely in the summer by 2100.

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(1) Comments:

#1. Posted by Jim MacDonald on May 17, 2018

Interesting the article ends saying, “sea ice might start to melt away by 2100.”

Same old story, but now being pushed 82 years away.  Guess, to make it sounding more true? 

Polar bear have been scrubbed away and can no longer be used as scary climate change news, because their populations are healthy and growing. 

Polar Bears replaced with a must have carbon tax and massive Hamlet/Inuit Orgs wind turbines. For today’s climate change, indoctrination acceptance…  pay more tax / higher priced electricity. (Why Europe is dropping wind turbines.)

The Advertiser, April 4th 1923 edition, said seals and fish were disappearing because arctic is melting. BBC, science reported, arctic may be ice free by 2013. Gore at UN COP15 said arctic ice free by 2014. 

NewYork Times 1969; arctic may be ice free in one or two decades. While The Ottawa Journal June 19, 1972 reported “may happen by year 2000.

But of course shhh, arctic temperatures are within decade averages and cooling.

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