Arctic Joule Calcs

I’ve updated how the Arctic Joule spreadsheet works, to give the rowing team (Facebook page here) every benefit of the doubt. This was after a considerable and interesting discussion of methodology and philosophy with my German friend Marmoe in the comments here, who digitized an Arctic route and sent me coordinates. Many changes were made as a result.  I’ve adopted his route into the sheet for ahead/behind tracking purposes.

The spreadsheet is too big now for a JPG to make sense, so from here on the full sheet is available as a PDF by clicking on the thumbnail:
Arctic Joule tracking chart

This chart reports the GPS data from MainstreamLastFirst’s SPOT tracker here. All the calculations are my own, and are subject to revision at any time. I’ve just added a heading indicator showing the direction of each little segment, and other supporting data.

They’ve been about a week behind schedule for nearly two weeks. Yesterday was a bad day, as they described. But so far, they are pushing on into the ice left by “one of the coldest summers on record” melt season. This site talks about the rowers a lot — but not kindly.

===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  • Incidentally, I’d like to commend you on your excellent prediction of where they would end the attempt. They evidently made the decision about two days after you posted this.

    And they had a few good days (pushed by wind) down the Strait and into the Gulf, resulting in their beating your prediction into Cambridge Bay by a couple of days. But not much, and of course it is all over now.

    Good show, and good call!

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  • mogur

    Of course, thank you.

  • Thank you, and no problem. I did read it. I’d commented to Steve Goddard on another post on ice percentages; I’d made out an increase of about 19% where he has more than 50%. I’ll continue to push on this, as it’s a credibility issue.

    I downloaded, but have not yet set up, the data you pointed to. Thanks. (My ice data was from elsewhere. I’d like to get JAXA data, but am a bit reluctant to pursue it.)

    I’d like to respond to your comment in more detail later, perhaps as a post if you don’t mind. Acceptable?

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  • mogur

    Keith, I want to draw your attention to a post that I made below, hope that isn’t untoward. Nice upgrade to the calcs.

  • Thank you. No update so far today; they’re still tucked into that cove.

    My calculations are hardly “authoritative”; I’ve just made this stuff up as it seemed reasonable. But I have been trying to be fair to the lads, and realistic in the calculations.

    If they can get to the north shore soon (instead of the south) their veer ratio should improve.

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  • Crashex

    I understand the difference now. It’s the VEER! Thank you.

    This is a great tool to keep track of their progress. Nice work.

  • The Track Left is (1) reduced by how far they’ve traveled, but changed (increased or reduced) by how much they are veering from the planned route.

    You’re exactly right on the “inefficient path” aspect. Let’s say that the coast aligns or the water is good, and they make straight toward Pond Inlet. This reduces their veer, thus reducing the expected voyage, and thus the track left to cover of that voyage is also shorter. But if they’re going fast but heading sort of sideways, the track left is still reduced by the distance, but the voyage increases slightly as they are adding to the pattern of veering more than the planned course.

    I am projecting the veer as following the pattern so far. It seemed reasonable (assuming an ideal path does not, to me), and would improve any time they change that pattern. As of now, they’re traveling 16% more distance than they planned (for the trip so far), so the voyage is projecting as 16% longer as a result. I hope they can change that, but it’s tough going up there. You can see how the veer compares on the second page of the chart section.

    Recently, I started doing something different for “days behind” that helps their outlook: Previously, I’d calculated the days behind for their arrival — right now it’s five weeks, roughly. That looked scary, so I’m now taking only the percent of the voyage’s portion of it. So if they’re projecting 30 days behind at the end of the voyage, but they’re one-third through, I’m showing that as one-third of the thirty days or only ten days behind as of now.

    I just uploaded current data. They’re still pinging, but it appears that they’ve gone to shelter. And much of the day’s progress has been at an angle to the course (heading southeast) so that affects things somewhat — again, a bit of an inefficient path.

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  • Crashex

    Kudos to you for making such dramatic update. You’re clearly putting in some work here.

    The Track Left is behaving better than before, decreasing with the rowers progress.

    However, I don’t understand why the change in TRACK LEFT for a given day is greater than the distance traveled for a given day. They aren’t taking any substantial short cuts. Their path is inefficient, which would typically imply that the TRACK LEFT would change somewhat less than the actual distance traveled. That inefficient path makes the total VOYAGE distance increase incrementally, so I can understand why that increases. I don’t fully understand your VEER term, but it makes sense that its a measure of the path inefficiency. Are you projecting that inefficiency onto the remaining distance? Maybe that’s why the TRACK LEFT term is changing so dramatically. I would think the TRACK LEFT term would be the remaining length of the IDEAL TRACK in closest proximity to their current position. No projected VEER, the ideal is that they would no longer be inefficient going forward.

  • mogur: “The ‘This site talks about the rowers a lot- but not kindly’ is a farce.”

    Hmm. I think both clauses are true, and they are not made untrue (which can happen) by being adjacent. I, too, lost a long comment — my original response here.

    I just saw a post by Steve that I don’t like at all, and I’ll comment on it.

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  • mogur

    Crap, I just lost a long post here when I signed in. Oh well, grin, I should have saved it first.

    Thank you, Keith for the welcome and the excellent spreadsheet on the Arctic Joule. I apologize for being strident to you in my post, I was actually just frustrated with Steven. The links do work in my post, I mistakenly thought that they didn’t because they appear truncated.

    I finally managed to get a few comments in on Steven’s blog before he re-banned me without admitting his errors. ( You are obviously good with spreadsheets, Keith, please check out his errors in that blog thread that I linked to. The data he referenced is here- ( Scroll down to line 1995.6603. That as you can see is a temporary minimum sea ice extent (third column). First he is wrong because the fractional date 1995.6603 is Aug 30th, not Aug 28th as he claims. Second, the actual minimum date is Oct 1, 1995 as you can see by scrolling down to line 1995.7479. He even claims in that blog thread that the average date of minimum extent is usually in the month of August. That is just plain ridiculous, there never has been any August minimum, much less the average.

    I know that we don’t agree with each other about some of this climate stuff, Keith, but I think we both agree that there is a too much hyperbole and mocking on both sides of this issue.

  • I’m back to updating now. I make them at about 30% now, but their path has been far from ideal. Hence the expanded voyage length, which will contract as the shoreline is (somewhat) less away from their path soon.

    They’ve had a few good days, which have helped. But I think you and I agree that it does not help enough.

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  • Thanks. A project consumed me for a few days, but I’m back to updating it now.

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  • Thanks. Chart updated now though 8/12.

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  • It’s not the current proximity to the track, it’s the pattern of behavior. If they expected to go 1.6km to move 1km toward their goal, but the actual ratio has been 1.9km instead, the spreadsheet expects that this will continue, creating the longer voyage. Recently, as the shore-hugging had gone in a good direction, this improved.

    I did change the “days behind” — showing how far they’re behind now, not how far they’d expected to be behind at the end. But I fixed another bug (on the projected arrival) that had been working in their favor, so this roughly balanced out.

    It’s updated through last night, and I’ll put in today’s data shortly.

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  • I’m surprised that links don’t work. I’d increased the number of links allowed in a comment from the standard “one” to “three,” as spambots are defeated here by other means. Care to try again, or to post it over on the LiveJournal side? (See upper right for the link.)

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  • Hah. I thought you were pointing out my typos. It took me a while to realize what you were saying, as I hadn’t seen your other comments yet. Perhaps you’ve noted by now that I do not focus on such things; I make many mistakes, even while trying to be careful, and I am lenient to others. Especially with WordPress: It has a spell checker, which consists of hitting “submit” and instantly grumbling or cursing because now the typo is clearly evident.

    Not to worry.

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  • I will fix these, thanks.

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  • You start out with a challenge of sorts, an implication that I would delete your comment simply for voicing opposition. To the best of my knowledge, the only comments I’ve deleted are those of spambots, and the very occasional poisonous troll. And when I say “very occasional,” I think it’s three comments in twelve years. I have posted points in opposition to him on his site, and in fact one of my (too few) recent blog posts here is about such an opposition. He was wrong, I believe, about the Carter and Reagan issues in Afghanistan in the late 1970s. He watched the conversation develop with another poster, and said little more about it. There have been other challenging comments from me on his site. But, as you suggested, I strive to be fair. I wouldn’t be “consistently against” a person, I would be in support of facts as best as I can determine them.

    Steve Goddard’s attitude is pretty caustic. One could surmise from your first sentence that such a charge could be leveled at you, but it is too small a track record to support a fair judgment. Nevertheless, Goddard performs a valuable service, placing perspective on current events by noting media and scientific treatment of the past. He also frequently points out adjustments made to history by various agencies and entities, an effect I’d been tracking for decades but had never had so many details on. (The great loss of stations post-Soviet Union produced interesting effects.)

    But he does not fabricate those old articles. His data on the adjustments has been accurate when I’ve gone to check. Commenters rarely indeed complain that the data is wrong — the usual complaint is that pointing out one bit of data that shows an issue is “cherry picking.” But Goddard is a busy poster indeed — I treat his posts as a sort of background news feed — and the amassing of information winds up as larger than cherry picking and evidence of patterns. I was already aware of the patterns, but appreciate the details that he provides.

    The catastrophists — those who are convinced that global warming is going to (or already has) created a catastrophe for humans — are frequently every bit as caustic, prone to exaggeration, and selective in their data. Or, often, more so. The difference is, their positions are more-or-less official government ones, and are in support of more government to solve the “catastrophe.” They have the weight of law and funding and corrupt cronyism, against people like Goddard (and like me) who are generally unfunded hobbyists who oppose blatantly bad science, mistrust overblown government, and are appalled at the behavior of the scientists involved here.

    When Goddard posts bad data, point it out. If he deletes your comment, point out the bad data to me; I’ll pursue it and write about it. I have no very large audience (though my LiveJournal version of this blog gets lots of comments, and I have a few hundred regular readers there), but I am known on various climate blogs and I’ll correct errors.

    But Goddard pointing out that ice is larger, only to have others say “but it’s rotten ice” does not count as an error. There is no valid “rottenness index” for ice from the 1970s, and the 1940s ice extents and thickness had not been methodically measured at all. Our records then were poor, and our records now both too short and subject to certain biases. But if Steve Goddard says “NASA’s data said xxxx” and he fabricated data to say this, please point that out. For that is, indeed, bad science. And so far, that’s the kind of thing that Goddard effectively targets, rather than being guilty of, it seems to me. His personal style is not one that I would adopt, but I am not looking for style, I’m looking for data.

    And you’re welcome here, by the way.

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  • Updated yesterday. I’m back, having just completed a massive project … and catching up on sleep now.

  • LexingtonGreen

    Great blog. Thank you for your work in developing the spreadsheet!

  • Crashex

    A bit disappointed that this hasn’t been updated. Played with Google earth myself to evaluate their progress.

    They continue to average about 30 km/day over the last 4-5 days.

    The overall ideal voyage distance looks to be about 3300km. They’re about 1000 km along that path; ~30%.

    The distance remaining is ~2300 km. At their average pace, they reach Pond Inlet in ~77 days, that’s October 27/28.
    Their actual path along the shoreline is less efficient than this ideal path, so it would actually be a bit later.
    The onset of freezing weather makes such a late arrival virtually impossible and dangerous.

    To reach the end at a reasonable date say mid September, they need to average closer to 40 km per day for the rest of the trip.
    They have only attained that pace on a couple days so far.

    At their current pace, rowing until the end of September, they’ll do about 1500 km. That’s ~800 km short of Pond Inlet, near the Tasmania islands(?).

    They will reach Cambridge Bay (~650 km ideal path) some time in early September. Nominally, the 2nd, but with their path inefficiencies likely closer to the 7th. With the forecast onset of freezing weather by that time; that looks like the place they will call the adventure over.

  • Douglas_Kubler

    Curious – updating to 8/6?

  • mogur

    go ahead, keith, and delete these posts like your bud, ‘Steven’, does for posts that are not sycophant to his ideas. He encourages people to disparage MFL on their site, yet ‘purifies’ his own site. You seem open to fairness, why would you put up with his one sideness? Here’s an idea, post a single negative post on his site, and see if you get banned. Probably not, but then if you are consistently against him, see how that goes, since he can not stand anyone that doesn’t agree with him. I suppose that is okay with a blog, but that is not science, and it certainly isn’t ‘real science’.

  • mogur

    To correct a couple typos- [There ARE A few small problems…] and [a hair over 11% … MORE]. (Don’t want the grammar police to issue a citation.)

  • mogur

    Okay, I guess links don’t work, here. But just click on Keith’s link, “This site-” above and search that site for “53%”. You will see a total fabrication of an arctic ice extent png. Then use that post’s link to the source data, and see for yourself. It doesn’t even come close to what is claimed in that post. ‘Steven’s’ blog is pure crap.

  • mogur

    The ‘This site talks about the rowers a lot- but not kindly’ is a farce. Steven Goddard is a pseudo-name, and whoever he is, is a liar. Take one small example- he claims today that the arctic ice extent this year is 53% greater than last year. However, he makes that claim by showing the difference in ice extent by comparing what he says is August 5, 2013 to August 7, 2012. There is few small problems with his claim- first, when he posted earlier today, there was no data on the link he posted for August 5, 2013. Even comparing Aug 4, 2013 to Aug 7, 2012 shows that his published “difference” is an outright lie. Check it out yourself, here is the link- Enter 2012, 8, 7 in the ‘another overlay’ category at the bottom of the page and see for yourself. It doesn’t even resemble the image that he posted on his blog, “Real Science”. Here is his post-

    Second, why would he compare a later date in 2012 to an earlier date in 2013 if he wasn’t trying to skew the data? In fact, to come up with his purported ‘53%’ difference, he had to actually use August 20, 2012 to achieve that big of a difference between last year and this year. Again, enter 2012, 8, 20 to see what I mean. Now THAT is what he published. The actual difference on Aug 4, 2013 to the arctic ice extent on Aug 4, 2012 is a hair over 11% ( less. Why would he twist data like that if he was either ‘real’ or a ‘scientist’?

  • Crashex

    TRACK LEFT today is 3414 km, which is greater than the TRACK LEFT at the start of the expedition. There actual path is clearly inefficient and not along the ideal TRACK; but they have made some headway! The TRACK LEFT can increase on occasion as they turn away from the TRACK to follow the shoreline, but they aren’t going backwards. You must be accumulating the TRACK errors or not properly updating their current proximity to the TRACK. There is still a problem with your analysis.

  • Stewart Pid

    Excellent Keith … my third visit to see how you have broken down the adventure. Keep up the good work.