Heavy ice off East Coast 2017 caused by winds, cold temperatures, and icebergs

A typically insightful post by Susan Crockford. If this field of icebergs persist it seems likely to chill the SST in that part of the Atlantic. Watch to see if the cold water encourages high pressure of a “Newfoundland Wheel” sort. Joe Bastardi suggests high pressure to the north can lead to stronger hurricanes to the south.

Typically the media reports such a shift to the south of sea-ice as a loss of ice to the north. It seldom reports the chilling of the water to the south. Sea-ice can achieve such chilling where a cold current can’t, because a cold current, being denser than the milder water it moves into, tends to sink. Icebergs bob merrily onward, refusing to sink, and greatly chill the waters they move into. This can allow colder currents to move further south at the surface, because they are no longer moving into milder waters. I sometimes wonder if it is such a shift in a field of ice that causes a “flip” from a warm AMO to a cold one.


Heavy sea ice off Newfoundland and southern Labrador has been an issue for months: it brought record-breaking numbers of polar bear visitors onshore in early March and April and since then has hampered the efforts of fisherman to get out to sea.

Newfoundland fishing boats stuck in ice_DFO_May 26 2017 CBC

Let’s look back in time at how the ice built up, from early January to today, using ice maps and charts I’ve downloaded from the Canadian Ice Service and news reports published over the last few months.

The tour is illuminating because it shows the development of the thick ice over time and shows how strong winds from a May storm combined with an extensive iceberg field contributed to the current situation.

Bottom line: I can only conclude that climate change researcher David Barber was grandstanding today when he told the media that global warming is to blame for Newfoundland’s record thick sea ice conditions this year. …

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3 thoughts on “Heavy ice off East Coast 2017 caused by winds, cold temperatures, and icebergs

  1. I see the intriguing confluence of Labrodor and East Greenland currents with the North Atlantic flow. Also the sort of a gyre in Davis Strait which may have been part of those strong winds dumping snow on Greenland. We may be able to see the expected sign-reversal of AMO/C/AO etc. as it happens. Our old friend at ‘climate4you’ will be watching this too, with his databank.

    Bermuda, on the other hand, is only going to get hotter. Hopefully for Oracle and ‘Jimmy the Lip’. Be a change if sailors not lawyers could win….

    • Keep observing. We are getting to see the AMO switch in a way my grandfather could only dream of seeing.

      Those America’s Cup yachts are pretty bizarre. Wonder what my grandfather would have thought of sailing ships skimming along on foils! He was an engineer, so he probably would have liked the idea, but would have doubted the materials could be developed.

      I wonder how the new boats do in a near-calm. Back around 1964 the huge old boats used to bog down, and if you had the nerve to take a tiny sailfish (basicly a surfboard with a sail) out where the big boats were, south of Cape Cod, you could sail rings about the millionaires! My older brother used to do this, risking his neck, because when the wind picked up abruptly, the big boats went zooming away, and he had to struggle to get back to shore, capsizing constantly.

      Ah! To be young, strong, and stupid again!

      • They just go back to being Cats again. Such as Jimmy Connors used to thrash NZ’s J Boat in yet another New York lawyered round of the ‘rich man’s game’. So, we had to come back at them. Also a good way of redistributing massive wealth back to hard-worlking and skilful people. With the usual ingenious technological advances. Dangerous as ever, but no mass slaughter like other power games.

        What I have found so far about Denmark Strait (Bismark), and North Cape (Scharnhorst, also sunk), speaking of power games, from my RN records etc, is that seasonal ice conditions were not much different then. Allowing for AMO cycle states etc.. I have a lovely photo of the ice edge taken from HMS Suffolk as she dogged the behemoths. Also, it was seasonal ‘ducks and drakes’ above and below Bear Island ice limits until the ‘Duke of York’ with brave destroyers and cruisers did for the Nazi Heavies. there. As well as more Escort Carriers to see off the Luftwaffe and Uboats.
        And frogmen ditto the Tirpitz before bombers saw her off too. Happen we fooled Adolf into thinking we would invade Norway to block his Steel supplies from Sweden, is why the big ships stayed as sitting ducks. Wheels within wheels….

        Berg pulses such as now and a la Titanic, might they move to a different drummer?

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