The Foxe Basin


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The Global Warming 101 Expedition Team will mush along the edge of the Foxe Basin on our way to Iglulik. Strong ocean currents flow though parts of the Foxe Basin, keeping the ice from freezing solidly like it does in some other areas. For this reason people who travel between Iglulik and Clyde River, instead of traveling in a straight line across the Foxe Basin, hug the coastline and cut over land in some areas to avoid open water.

The Global Warming 101 Expedition Team will mush along the edge of the Foxe Basin on our way to Iglulik. Strong ocean currents flow though parts of the Foxe Basin, keeping the ice from freezing solidly like it does in some other areas. For this reason people who travel between Iglulik and Clyde River, instead of traveling in a straight line across the Foxe Basin, hug the coastline and cut over land in some areas to avoid open water.

Marie Airut, the wife of expedition member Lukie Airut, has lived on the land and in an outpost camp for much of her life. She told me that in the past the ice in Foxe Basin would go out near the end of July or beginning of August. She says now the ice goes out at the end of June or beginning of July.

The Global Warming 101 Expedition Team hopes to arrive in Iglulik around the tenth of May, so that should give us plenty of time before the ice goes out. Even so, we have been looking on the web page of the Canadian Ice Service to check ice conditions. Every few weeks they publish a color-coded map of the ice conditions.

According to their maps, the ice in Foxe Basin is starting to thin. The map from February 26 showed thick ice across Foxe Basin. By March 12, however, the ice along the edge of Foxe Basin near Iglulik had started to thin. By April 9, the area of thin ice had increased around 600%.

Even though we will be skirting the edge of the Foxe Basin and cutting over the land to avoid open water and poor ice, it is difficult for me to not feel a tiny bit of apprehension about the thinning ice.

Elizabeth

(written April 25th, 2007)

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