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ICECAP in the News
Sep 05, 2007
Thoughts on the Arctic Passage

By Gary Sharp, Scientific Director, Center for Climate/Ocean Resources Study

Read in this blog, the thoughts from Gary Sharp on the Arctic passage. We posted a recent story about Wrong Way Flanagan getting trapped in the arctic ice during an effort to be the first yachtsman to traverse the arctic in modern times to illustrate global warming. Although there will be stories about the melting of ice in the western arctic in the news, Gary discusses why this is not unusual historically. You will find some of his links fascinating and his stories about Joseph Fletcher inspiring. We hope to link to some of the videos and lectures of Dr. Fletcher on Icecap. See also Gary’s website Its All About Time here.

About arctic passages Gary notes “Joe pointed out several times to me in his B/W movies that there were seasons of nearshore ice-free situations - and others when skis or overflights were the only way in or out. Unfortunately - not enough years of observations - or guys with the right questions out there. Between 1956 and 1989 there were 33 passages. They are listed in the book Northwest Passage by Edward Struzik published in 1991. One was by K. Horie aboard the Japanese sloop Mermaid, who made an east to west passage in 1981-83. Another was by W. De Roos in a 42 foot ketch named Williwaw, who made the first single handed Passage in 1977 when the Northern Hemisphere was rather cold. Then, of course, there were all those US and Russian submarines cruising under the polar ice in the late 1950-90 Cold War period that would occasionally find a hole and pop up for a look-see.”

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