What if Hudson Bay remained largely ice-covered for an entire year?

There is significantly more sea ice than average in Canada’s Hudson Bay as of today (July 26th).


What if Hudson Bay remained largely ice-covered for an entire year?

By H.B. Schmidt

There is significantly more sea ice than average in Canada’s Hudson Bay as of today (July 26th).

Canadian sea ice – 26 July 2018 – Note how much ice remains in Hudson Bay as opposed to ‘normal’ years.

As you can see on the map below, the 30-year average for July 23 is a very small amount of loosely-packed sea ice in the southwestern portion of the bay.

Canadian sea ice 30-year median

To me this says that it’s been below normal both in absolute temperatures as well as solar gain (# of sunny days.) The less solar gain to heat the waters of Hudson Bay, the colder it remains. The less heat retention, the faster it refreezes.

In addition to that, you have the albedo effect of the bright white ice reflecting back into space all that incoming solar insolation. This is something that AGW alarmists should celebrate, as is the gain in Greenland ice sheet mass balance. Anything to cool the planet and prevent Armageddon, right?

We are nearly at the beginning of August. The summer melt season is in decline and will reach its minimum within two months. While I do not believe Hudson Bay will retain its sea ice throughout the rest of the summer, the forecasted below-normal temperatures throughout much of middle Canada for Aug 1st mean that time is running short for adding all that thermal gain to its waters.

What would happen if the bay remained largely ice-covered for an entire year? How would that impact surrounding lands downstream of the prevailing westerlies? Would the cold ice depress temperatures and potentially allow for snowfall rather than rain? Possibly.

We already know that the climate of Michigan and lower Quebec is far more moderate—meaning fewer higher highs and lower lows—than surrounding areas, thanks to the Great Lakes’ thermal mass, especially in years following elevated lake ice extent. It is by no means a stretch to postulate that the same effect would occur with a Hudson Bay that remains largely ice-covered year round. But why should this matter?

How and where would a new ice sheet begin?

Consider where North America’s Laurentide ice sheet was located, and which direction it retreated as it melted: north and east of Hudson Bay. Climate scientists need to ask themselves and their fancy computer climate models this important question: How and where would a new ice sheet begin?

Absolute temperature and Milankovitch cycle precession are both important, but the mechanics of what that would look like should be equally important. It would give us an indication of where and how such a global event would affect humanity. And being that albedo at lower latitudes have an outsized contribution (due to angular solar gain) to overall global temperatures compared to albedo at high latitudes, is it crazy to postulate that going forward in time, Hudson Bay and the Canadian archipelago might be key to whether or not the Laurentide ice sheet returns?

Perhaps. I just find it interesting that all the ballyhooing from government officials and AGW alarmists is solely focused on mitigating coastal flooding from sea level rise when there is every reason to believe that large quantities of snow and ice might one day build up on the land for our neighbors to the north.

Source of maps:


25 thoughts on “What if Hudson Bay remained largely ice-covered for an entire year?”

  1. Polar bears would love it. Also, they say Iceland has had an average summer temperature of 45 degrees so far? Since tha article was written with mostly sarcasm about how balmy it is (so much, I can’t be sure exactly) this would have to be double checked for accuracy. Coolest since the early 90s there or something. Negligible warming anyway.

    • Not so sure about that. Polar bears need to eat. Which means they need open water to hunt for seals and other fine dining experiences.

  2. Hi H.B.- Interesting. A very good question And Timely. I have been monitoring the AccuWeather temperature at these cities- Kuujjuaq, Bonavista, Zackenberg, Labrador City, Churchill, Luleå, Essen.
    One thing I have not been able to find is did the laurentide ice sheet begin before after or at the same time as the Fennoscandian ice sheet.
    Minister of Future

    • That’s a great question to ask and one to be posited to the arbiters of climate science and their fancy computer algorithms. We know that the current interglacial has nearly run its course compared to previous interglacials, although hundreds or even thousands of years remain before the great re-icing of the Northern hemisphere takes shape. The question would be, Which one precipitates the other’s formation?

      If, as climate scientists are now saying, that warmer atmospheric temperatures (which hold greater water vapor potential) will precipitate out at high latitudes in ever-greater quantities of snow and ice, then you have to assume that greater quantities of snow and ice will be retained—eventually—through the summer melt season. When that happens, and it is not a one-off event but repeated over several years, you have the formation of firn and eventually, glaciers. Glaciers that are new, clean and pristine, will retain their high albedo effect which will reflect back out into space more of the incoming solar radiation which strikes it during the summer months. Where it goes from there, is anybody’s guess.

      The cold phase of the AMO, along with the increased water vapor content of the atmosphere, is supposed to result in greater quantities of snow falling across all of Scandinavia into far northwestern Russia. It would seem logical to conclude, based off of present decadal forecasts by today’s best climate scientists, that the Fennoscandian ice sheet would have been the first to form because of prevailing westerlies, a prolonged negative AMO phase which leads to colder temperatures at high latitude, and a lack of mountainous impediment as is seen in the Rocky Mountains of the western US and Canada.

      Of course, this is my speculative conjecture only … but whether or not they formed at the same time or one preceded the other, the ultimate truth is that they became self-sustaining through a number of climate forcings working in conjunction with one another and that until it happens again, we won’t know for sure what to know is truth.

  3. Sounds like some scientist is looking for grant money. Who cares where an ice sheet starts? Money is spent better elsewhere. Time to toughen up the power grid and prepare for the global cooling.

  4. and if the ice there and elsewhere starts to saty and build up?
    then sealevels arent going to rise but drop
    probably more and faster than the theorised rise would be
    mmm? that’d put a fair crimp in quite a few shallow harbours and loadig areas i reckon?

  5. Well this is why the North Atlantic sea surface temperatures have to be monitored. They are dropping as are overall sea surface temperatures in response to the very low solar activity.

    Again I say vey low solar activity equates to overall lower sea surface temperatures and a slight increase in albedo due to an increase in major explosive volcanic activity , increase in snow/cloud coverage.

    The geo magnetic field compounding given solar effects, due to the fact it is in sync with solar.

    • “AGW theory is considered a fraud by all but a few” Maybe then class action law suits may be started against politicians, the media, false scientists, actresses and popes who propagated the global warming/climate change swindle!

  6. Give it to 2020. By then the topic of this dicussion will have moved further South to the Great Lakes….

  7. Great post. I’ve noticed very low temperatures around the Hudson Bay this Summer due to the thick ice cover. I wonder as well what would happen if the ice sheet doesn’t melt during the summer months? I guess there will be no more summer, but a prolonged winter with some thawing in summer.

  8. The chart of snow and ice cover for the Northern Hemisphere has been interesting since the last seasonal low. Which is August-September.
    Last year it was slightly above the standard deviation band through October. Within the band during winter. Since early April it has been above the high-side of the band.
    Of course, the importance is in reflecting energy back into space.
    And all one needs for indication of a cooling trend is that the “melt season” melts less each year.
    Will history be into the second year of a cooling trend?
    We can watch the chart through to October.
    Bob Hoye

  9. Actually, your line of thinking is pretty sound in my eyes and mind. One of the interesting things that flitter through my gray matter, below my gray hair(what’s left of it and you can pick and choose what gray I refer to) is that we keep seeing these surges of heat from the oceans and seemingly less inbound heat to replace it.

    We see the warm air going to the poles so that its heat can be lost to space, and the cold air heading towards the equator looking for more heat. The cooler air draws yet more heat out of the ocean and then takes it back to the poles. Over all, I suspect that worldwide, there is a lower overall temperature, once you get outside of the urban regions.

    Thus those land masses nearer the poles are seeing cooler and cooler temperatures, even though el ninos might be making the equatorial latitudes warmer. Maybe, as enough water gets locked up in snow and ice, and the Arctic Ocean grows somewhat shallower, the undersea volcanoes in the Arctic region may slow the cooling locally and the Arctic region may still be livable, with the ice sheets moving from the shore inland and towards the equator. Interesting times, and a wonderful time to let the mind roam over possibilities. It would be nice, though, to live to see if you are right or wrong!

  10. An ice covered Hudson’s Bay would result in less snow downwind, not more. The Lake Erie lake effect snow occurs when cold Canadian air draws moisture up from the open water of Lake Erie. Later in the winter when Lake Erie freezes over, the lake effect snow decreases, coming only from the open water on the much deeper Lake Ontario.

    • Not necessarily, Laurent.

      The entirety of the Great Lakes surface area is 94,250 mi² whereas Hudson Bay is 474,900 mi²—nearly five times larger. That much area frozen in ice cools the surrounding area downwind, which means that precipitation outside of winter has better odds of falling as snow or freezing rain on those lands rather than simply as rain. We see the same thing with the Greenland ice sheet wringing out water vapor as heavy snow as incoming winds blow up and over the cap. The difference would be one of elevation and location—Hudson Bay lies south and west of Greenland and at sea level. It could be that a frozen Hudson Bay would only increase albedo and that actual snowfall levels are dictated from other directional inputs (e.g. North Atlantic.)

      The question I would like answered is, How does new glaciation begin in the high latitudes of the northern hemisphere? No one—and I mean no one—puts any thought process into it. Why not? If we’re going to postulate and put global monetary policy on predictions 100 years from now for a singular potential, doesn’t it make sense to ask what if they’re wrong and peoples living at high latitude have to contend with an entirely different reality?

  11. I also noticed excess ice on Hudson Bay about a week ago but no one was mentioning it, so to me perhaps this wasn’t all that new ?

    A freezing/not melting Summer Hudson Bay would pose tremendous problems for agriculture and food supplies for the entire Northern Hemisphere, a virtual worst case scenario !!

    Can’t wait for those of the Earther Religion (Basically Satanic in nature) to suppress these real (Actual) Ice movements as they happen ?

    10 to 1 odds it will be blamed on Global Wooling (It’s a Religion so [ Wooling ] (Combining Warming with Cooling, hence “Wooling”) will be blamed for this, utter ultimate Propagandic Religion ??? !

    EOD, makes sense…

  12. The ice sheet doesn’t “begin” because it never ended. It will return from where the remnants presently exist. Greenland and the tops of mountains.

    Ice gain will happen first at elevations as lower temperatures and increased snow cause glaciers to grow. That will accelerate as they merge and cover ever lower elevations.

    Yes, along with that lower elevations will have persistent ice longer, and in the case of water bodies, that will likely reach a critical level where they stay iced over year round (and add a very sudden step function pulse of ice to the growing masses). But that will happen after the high elevations have started growing and merging. Maybe not long after though 😉

  13. “We already know that the climate of Michigan and lower Quebec is far more moderate—meaning fewer higher highs and lower lows—than surrounding areas, thanks to the Great Lakes’ thermal mass”

    – what a luck to live on the south shore of the ” fleuve saint laurent “…if the great lakes where not there,
    our climate would be worse than this ?
    (by this i mean warmer than + 45 C and colder than – 45 C )

    …and yes, between summer and winter, we can have 90 C
    of difference, during extreme conditions..

    i only think about the next ” gore minimum ”
    and i get the chills

    • Hey, hey, Pat !! Thank you for using the GORE MINIMUM label.

      Let us never forget this Fat Bastard and his lies. He needs to go into history with his name “GORE” linked to the mass starvation he is responsible for.

      Thank you.

  14. Out of interest, as the UK summer this year is like 1976, namely record heat and drought (some other countries in Europe similar), was 1976 a very cool summer in Hudson Bay with slow ice melt?

  15. No the wording is already wrong here at the end. It is “absolutely reasonable” to postulate that going forward in time, Hudson Bay and the Canadian archipelago might be key to when the Laurentide ice sheet returns.

    Each year we already have record breaking snow and cold in the higher latitudes of the northern hemisphere. It’s just now a matter of when, not whether.

Comments are closed.