Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hottest year ever update: Ice at Churchill freezes much earlier than it has for at least the last 10 years?

Polar Bear Blog – Frozen! | Polar Bear Alley – Guide to the Polar Bears of Churchill
This whole season has been about a week ahead of last year so it is not a real surprise that the bay froze about a week earlier than last year. Yesterday [November 13, 2012], we watched the mass exodus of polar bears out onto the sea ice. Most of the day consisted of yellow bear butts wobbling and weaving out towards the floe edge.

Over the past week, there have been daily highs around minus 10-15C and some fairly consistent north winds.
Churchill Polar Bear Trip Nov 17/18 - Nov 24 - too late? - Churchill Forum - TripAdvisor
In 2011, I believe the freeze date was November 30th. In 2010, it was November 25th (I was working up there that year.) I think you'd need to go back over 10 years to find a freeze before the 20th.

While the past does not predict the future, the freeze date in Churchill has been fairly constant. If you go back 20 years, the average freeze was in early November. However, the pattern has changed and the last week of November is the expected freeze.

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