MLF_KpD

Pushing and Pulling in the Arctic

The crew of the Arctic Joule continues to push ahead in the Arctic, and they’ve had a pretty good last couple of days (August 15-17). They’re now on shore just north of Bernard Harbor (not much but a little airstrip) and will be passing Chantry Island soon. I’ve added a new chart to show their progress a different way.

(Later: They’ve passed it, and are still going. They’ll be clear of the Dolphin and Union Strait and into the Coronation Gulf today at this rate, and can turn back east toward their goal.)

They’re facing a very cold summer indeed. Here’s a chart showing 2013′s Arctic temperature against the long-term average: We never even hit the average during the melt season this year, and it’s already dropped below freezing (average at 80° north and above):
Cold Arctic Summer
On the new MLF_DeHavelle.PDF, I added a new chart (on Page 2 of the PDF) showing their progress kilometers per day. That begs a question: What counts as a day?  What if they don’t have the GPS on, and thus most of their progress shows up when the eventually turn it on the next day? What end-of-day time is used? Universal Time? Pacific Time, where they started out? The timezone that the rowers are in at the moment (and they’re crossing through three of them)?

I’ve experimented with each of these. The GPS system sends out Universal Time on its pings, though the MainstreamLastFirst.com site translates these to the viewer’s local time zone. Since they’re still in “midnight sun” mode, they are not tied to notions of “day” and “night” in the normal sense. So, UT seemed to make sense.

What I started out with was to take the last ping of each day, whenever it was, subtract the last ping of the previous day, and determine the track covered in that time.  I then factored this by the difference between the two ping times versus a standard 24 hour day. In other words, if they covered 60 kilometers but there was a 36-hour gap between day 1 and day 2, I used 24/36 of the distance or 40 kilometers as their KpD. Similarly, if there was only 12 hours difference, I doubled the distance.

This seemed fair, but was unsatisfactory in two large ways: First, it assumed a reasonably steady rate of progress, and we know the crew has battled weather and has seen good runs alternating with days sitting it out waiting for the wind to abate. Anything but the steady, 24-hours-per-day rowing that they planned on. Second, the calculation also “manufactured” and “disappeared” distances that never did quite resolve themselves.  So now I’m simply summing up the distance covered on that date and calling it good. I’m also using Pacific time again, sort of arbitrarily, to keep certain calculations simpler. Here’s the result:

The KpD chart

They’re working hard and moving well today (Aug 18, as of 9am Pacific), and it seems that in the last couple of days they’ve broken free of their habit of pulling the boat by hand along the shoreline, or staying in the shallows so they could fall back to this technique. At one point, they spoke of pulling the boat for 100km. That “pulling together for climate change” wasn’t what they intended. But today they’re moving well — 40km so far, with many hours to go.

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

  • mogur

    Grin, I think we are both seekers of the truth. I don’t like closed minds on either side. The validity of one’s opinion seems to be inversely proportional to one’s conviction. And thank you for allowing me to ‘pollute’ your blog.

  • http://DeHavelle.com Keith DeHavelle

    I actually started to disagree with you about the crew, but then realized that “ground crew” is the FaceBook side. Yes, foo indeed.

    Still no official acknowledgment. Most of the Facebook/MLF viewers have no idea that they’re ending at Cambridge Bay.

    Incidentally, I realize that you’re a “catastrophist” and I’m a “denier,” but I’ve enjoyed your participation here. Thanks.

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

  • http://DeHavelle.com Keith DeHavelle

    Yes, and these winds are not expected to get calm enough for travel until late Sunday. A pity, too, as they’re blowing in the right direction. But way, way too much of a good thing in this case.

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

  • mogur

    45 mph westerlies at Cape Peel West, just ahead of them. Stay safe, boys, gotta be some scary whitecaps happening.

  • mogur

    Oops, again… I thought you meant you got banned at Steven’s site. I now have read most of the posts about your posts disappearing from the MLS site. That’s crap, and foo on the ground crew for hiding their decision to quit. I’ll bet anything that eradicating your excellent coverage on their progress was of course their attempt to minimize the disappointment about the imminent failure. I still like the crew and applaud their bravery and unimaginable effort to succeed. I don’t think climate change was an appropriate banner to raise for the venture, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that was solely the decision of the sponsor. Who knows? Hope they stay safe in any event. Winds are really cooking through Dease Strait, hope they carved a new centerboard out of walrus tusks or something. Wait… that’s illegal and politically incorrect, never mind.

  • http://DeHavelle.com Keith DeHavelle

    This year more than last, evidently. The ice this summer is very substantially higher than last year (and of course in Antarctica is at highs for the satellite-covered period).

    I’m okay with your use of the post — and I actually had not seen his response. Nor have I checked it out yet, though I reviewed briefly the steps you went through. I will follow up on this, and I’ll use your dissertation as a guide. Thanks.

    There are issues with ice concentration, ice extent, and ice area, and it is easy to go awry when looking at these numbers. Most of what Steve Goddard posts are simply references to other sites and data, and those do indeed check out. His original work is suspect, and I particularly do not like non-date-matching comparisons.

    Incidentally, you mentioned that he thought the minimum occurred in August (it might, actually, this year, but that would be unusual). I’ve seen comments from him referencing September minimums, so there’s some ambiguity about this point it seems.

    He is caustic, sarcastic, and bombastic — approaches which I try to avoid. Nevertheless, his basic thrust is largely correct, which is that there are large problems with “new extreme weather” and adjustments to older data, with ever-increasing alarmism, and with the notion that skeptics have (and are driven by) huge industrial funding.

    As an aside, there’s another area of difference I have with not just Goddard, but Watts as well: The Mann v Steyn et al. case. While I disagree with Mann in nearly every way regarding climate issues, the idea that Steyn and co. wanted out after bragging about discovery struck me as very peculiar, and this point is being stepped over by skeptical sites that I’ve seen. (I don’t spend much time cruising such sites, so this may have been discussed elsewhere.) Mann was baited into the suit, and referencing that point in his (lawyer’s) brief is not inappropriate. I think his case should fail on the merits, and I too am interested in the discovery, but as a veteran of some thirty depositions and many weeks on witness stands (and millions of dollars in legal fees), I am keenly aware of how expensive they can be.

    I still owe you a post on another topic.

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

  • mogur

    Sorry to hear that, Keith, I know that you enjoyed his site. I don’t have a blog to rant on, so I ranted in this photobucket story- http://s965.photobucket.com/user/gary_seymour/story/16985 about his phony ice comparison maps. Hope you don’t mind me using one of your posts to his blog in the story. I will instantly remove it if you aren’t good with it. But thank you for that post, because it finally allowed me to figure out his scam. Also, I just read your article about the Joule giving up at Cambridge Bay. Wow, must be tough up there this year (actually probably every year).

  • mogur

    Sorry to hear that, Keith. I know you liked his site. Since I don’t have a blog, I ranted about those stupid 50% ice increase maps, here- http://s965.photobucket.com/user/gary_seymour/story/16985/embed Hope you don’t mind me using one of your posts, but it helped me figure out the scam.

  • http://DeHavelle.com Keith DeHavelle

    Here’s a list of groups (as of a couple of weeks ago) all in one spot:

    http://northwestpassage2013.blogspot.com/2013/08/northwest-passage-2013-arctic-boats.html

    The writer is an experienced captain who has made his own voyages there.

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

  • http://DeHavelle.com Keith DeHavelle

    You and I differ here as well, sadly, though my preferred broccoli is adulterated with butter and/or cheese and/or sauce after being well-cooked. Raw, or “lightly steamed” as they say, would leave it in a condition that I expect both of us would find unpalatable.

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

  • http://DeHavelle.com Keith DeHavelle

    It was tedious putting in the pings until I started using the back-door XML feed.

    The wind is apparently at their backs today, which should help a lot.

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

  • http://DeHavelle.com Keith DeHavelle

    Thanks for the link. That wind is mild (10mph) and behind them today, according to the Cape Peel West station. It should be a good day for them, and yesterday certainly was.

    Incidentally, you’re still welcome here, even though I am no longer welcome there.

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

  • Douglas_Kubler

    A pointless race to the bottleneck of ice as they approach Bellot Strait. The ice has stalled a number of boats at Fort Ross. Giving up has entered their calculations. Dangerous Waters has stayed put for 3 days – stalled by ice?

  • LexingtonGreen

    They are making progress. 2.75 mph so the weather must be cooperating. They really have the worst website and update system. Thanks to Keith for putting this together.

  • mogur

    Twenty groups? That’s great. I wish them all luck and god speed, regardless of their politics, religion, race, sexual orientation, belief in science, or love of broccoli. Gotta love those that do, instead of those like me, and I personally really, really, hate broccoli.

  • http://DeHavelle.com Keith DeHavelle

    It’s where they are heading, but is perhaps a week away. A bit behind and south, the winds are only about 9 KpH — but even that’s enough to give them pause. (I keep wanting to write “KdH” instead, the initials of “Keith deHavelle” — though I use the monogram variants dKh or DkH as well.)

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

  • http://DeHavelle.com Keith DeHavelle

    Hedrich, the lone loner, has had quite a time of it. Tough bird! I see that the firemen are making about three times the speed of the Arctic Joule through that same stretch — some combination of row and sail. The Dream of Ice (and the Dangerous Waters jetski team) are doing something different enough to not count the same way, it seems, but it’s interesting nonetheless. There are about 20 groups or individuals up there making the attempt this year.

    And your comments are welcome here.

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

  • mogur

    Hope I’m not posting too frequently here, but Beyond the Circle is on the move, only 20km behind the Joule, while Dream Ice is still sleeping. Hedrich, unfortunately, is still 100km from Canadian waters, apparently out of this race, unless he brought a Mercury outboard along, grin.

  • mogur

    Here is the Wunderground weather station site- (http://www.wunderground.com/wundermap/?lat=68.40000&lon=-113.00000&zoom=5&type=satellite). Kugluktuk is closest to them at NNE at 12 mph, but Cape Peel West is ahead of them at NE at 27mph. Looks like all three crews are sleeping off their recent efforts.

  • LexingtonGreen

    I am not sure where to get weather for where they are at, but this link to “Dease” shows winds from the North East at 23 knots. That is going to slow them up for some time I would think. http://weather.gc.ca/marine/weatherConditions-currentConditions_e.html?mapID=07&siteID=03200&stationID=WPX

  • mogur

    It’s a race! The Dream Ice crew, the Beyond the Circle crew, and the Arctic Joule crew are all about the same distance from Cambridge Bay. It will depend on the winds, since the Joule has the most windage and has to hunker down in strong breezes. But with fair winds, the Joule can row 24/7. We’ll just have to watch and wait.