PolarView Sea Ice Concentration, 20-27 August 2013

The sea ice is critical to the success of our expedition – too little and we will be unable to cross from the Peninsula to Snow Hill and the other islands safely; too much and we won’t be able to approach the Peninsula at all in the Golden Fleece.  We’re all watching the radar charts like owls on a caffeine high.  The historical average peak ice concentration occurs in mid- to late September, and then rapidly decreases into October, but year-on-year variation is dramatic and conditions early in the season are not much good for predicting the outcome.  Some time in September we will begin to get access to the high-resolution satellite photographs of the region, which give much more detailed information, but it is a stressful time.  Three years of planning hanging in the balance…

I’ll post the images here when they are available.  The last week has shown some promising decreases in the concentration, but a cold spell can reverse the trend in less than a day.  We can expect to see the ice thicken, but hope to see a little less to the west to make us all breathe easier.

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Source:  PolarView/Universitat Bremen, http://www.iup.uni-bremen.de:8084/amsr2/