Thursday, August 5, 2010

Ship find shows Arctic Sea Ice conditions similar to 1853

Bow of the HMS Investigator
The international news media are hailing the archaeological find of a British naval ship the HMS Investigator on July 25 in an area far north (600 km) of the Arctic Circle that was previously unreachable due to sea ice. The HMS Investigator was abandoned in 1853, but not before sailing the last leg of the elusive Northwest Passage. The ship had been sent on a rescue mission for 2 other ships mapping the Northwest Passage. Now, thanks to "climate change," archaeologists working for Parks Canada were finally able to plot a small window of time this summer to allow passage to the ship's location:
Parks Canada had been plotting the discovery of the three ships for more than a year, trying to figure out how to get the crews so far north. Once they arrived and got their bearings, the task seemed easier than originally thought. It took little more than 15 minutes to uncover the Investigator, officials told The Globe and Mail last week. “For a long time the area wasn’t open, but now it is because of climate change,” said Marc-André Bernier, chief of the Underwater Archaeology Service at Parks Canada.
Interesting that the ship was lost in 1853, right at the end of the Little Ice Age, and coincidentally just 3 years after the start of the HADCRU global temperature record, from which we are led to believe the earth has warmed about 0.7C. If we are seeing "unprecedented" global temperatures and changes in Arctic sea ice, how did the HMS Investigator get this far north at the end of the Little Ice Age?

Links: Globe & Mail   CTV News  CNN


  1. how did HMS investigator get this far north at the end of the Little Ice Age?"

    You are asking a difficult question, which might make some people a bit uncomfortable. If you're not careful, someone might mistake you for a climate denier, which of course is the same as a holocaust denier. Holocaust denier!!!

  2. Ahhh, but in the 1850's Canada was further south.

  3. And, seeing the Demons Reason and Evidence, the magician was hear to utter "Consensus!" and lo! the demons were driven back, and good prevailed.

  4. A worthy Bronze for Mr/Ms Anonymous; and Bullpup deserves a Silver for the treble of: 1 - stating the obvious, 2 - telling us something we all knew and, most egregiously, 3 - for knowingly confusing the issue with a fact

    But the top gong goes to Dave : a real lump former and sublime as well

  5. If the ice conditions in 1853 were similar to those of today, why didn't the HMS Investigator just sail free in the summer. (Like the 30 sailboats which went up there last year), instead of getting trapped for 2 years and then being abandoned?

  6. Anonymous,
    Because in 1853 the ship was able to sail so far north due to ice-free conditions that Parks Canada was finally able to plot a window of time this summer to get that far north. Sea ice extent varies naturally year to year and just because the following 2 years were iced-over doesn't change the fact that that spot was initially free of ice in 1853, at the end of the little ice age to boot.

  7. Ship is trapped in ice; ice continues to drift ... for two years.

    Why would anyone suppose that the spot where the wreck was found is the same spot it sailed to freely?

    1. Uh, because ice drifts away from the poles, not toward the poles where there is already ice. Therefore, the ship was either at the same spot where it sank or further North when it sank.