Canadian Ice Service, Coast Guard Warns Most Ice In 25 Years

March 12, 2014, by Ken Jorgustin

most-atlantic-ice-in-25-years
images: Environment Canada

From data provided by Environment Canada – the Canadian Ice Services, and from real world conditions on the ground (on the ice), the Canadian Coast Guard is pleading with merchant ships to plan their voyages well in advance this year as their icebreaker fleet is confronting the worst ice conditions they’ve seen on the Atlantic Ocean in decades.

Global warming? Not here…


 
“We probably haven’t seen a winter this bad as far as ice for the past 25 years,” said Mike Voight, the Atlantic region’s director of programs, referring to both the amount and thickness of the ice.

Reported in CBCnews |Nova Scotia, Voight said “We’ve got a pretty bad or challenging ice year.” “Plan your voyage and we’ll all get through this.”

For example, the Gulf of St. Lawrence is completely covered and some areas are “quite severe.”

Voight said the coast guard has been updating the shipping companies about ice conditions so they can reroute their vessels, while they do have a few icebreakers based on the East Coast which can help commercial ships, oil tankers and ferries travel in the winter.

They are recommending ships go around the ice this year, but if they choose to attempt passage through – at least go through the areas of thinnest ice. “If they do become beset then we will send one of our icebreakers to assist them as best we can.”

Even as the ice flushes out of the gulf, Voight said wind can continue to make breaking up thick ice in the Northumberland Strait a challenge. He said it’s hard to predict what will happen over the next few months, but “it will break up and go away eventually.”

 
Ice in Canadian Waters, March – 2014
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image: CIS DAILY AND REGIONAL ICE CHARTS: CARTES QUOTIDIENNES ET REGIONALES DES GLACES DU SCG

 
Arctic Ice Concentration, March – 2014
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image: Naval Research Laboratory 1/12° Arctic Cap