Thursday, March 29, 2018

Navy ICEX 2011

Originally Published March 17, 2011; Last Updated  March 29, 2018; Last Republished March 29, 2018:

Navy Arctic Submarine Laboratory and APLIS have set up their ice camp near Purdhoe Bay1 in support of navy submarines2, submariners, and Arctic researchers, collectively referred to as ICEX 2011.

ICEX 2011 APLIS Base Camp
ICEX 2011 APLIS Base Ice Camp

Guidance for Arctic ice camp (Marvin Gardens) submariners:
  • Use first year ice for jerry-rigged showers; just kidding, there are no showers.
  • Use second year ice for jerry-rigged cooking; refer to instructions on "therma pouch".
  • Use third year ice3 for jerry-rigged coffee; ok, so it's not Starbucks.
  • Remember that "hot-bunking" has a slightly different meaning in the Arctic.
  • Return to submarine as soon as possible; tell crewmates sea stories about the "beautiful Arctic"—after a hot shower, meal and coffee.

UPDATED 03/19/2016 DMDA, Massive US Submarines Breaking Through Ocean of Ice in the Arctic  (video includes some beautiful underneath ice shots of deployed dives) and Navy, video gallery, Hartford breaking through Arctic ice and ICEX 2016, airdropping Camp Sargo pics.

Los Angeles-class submarine USS Hartford (SSN 768) breaks through Arctic ice, during ICEX 2016, stressing its retrofitted sail after the 2009 sail-bending collision with the surface ship USS New Orleans.

More substance, please.

UPDATED 07/15/2013 How Icebergs Produce Ocean [Very Loud] Noise

UPDATED 06/09/2012 Submarine Short of below decks on Seawolf-class, Connecticut SSN 22; cropped snap shots include sail ladder; aft ops and pilot station; wide torpedo room; and mess (below).

Seawolf-class Submarine2

UPDATED  06/06/2017 Nature, Threshold in North Atlantic-Arctic Ocean circulation controlled by the subsidence of the Greenland-Scotland Ridge
UPDATED 08/16/2013 NSIDC, IceBridge MCoRDS L3 Gridded Ice Thickness, Surface, and Bottom, Version 2
UPDATED 11/23/2012 TEOS10, Thermodynamic Equations of Seawater
UPDATED 11/22/2012 PCMDI, WCRP CMIP3 Multi-Model Dataset Archive at PCMDI and Wiki, SeaRISE Assessment and Argo, Oceans Temperature and Salinity Floats

Thermal steric expansion of oceans (i.e. 0-700m and deep ocean) and polar ice melt runoff (terrestrial water mass relocated to ocean) are two major contributors to sea level rise—both are related to global warming (natural and anthropomorphic).

Reconciling various data sets and models is an important and challenging task.

UPDATED 05/24/2012 Wikipedia, [Partial] List of Arctic Programs and ANL, Newton

The Newton site may be useful to students with Arctic questions—also there is a searchable database of archived questions.

UPDATED 01/21/2012 U.S. Global Change Research Program

GCRP, A US Carbon Cycle Science Plan

UPDATED 01/21/2011 GAO, ARCTIC CAPABILITIES DOD Addressed Many Specified Reporting Elements in Its 2011 Arctic Report but Should Take Steps to Meet Near- and Long-term Needs (pdf)

UPDATED 12/04/2011 NOAA, Arctic Report Card 2011 and NOAA, Arctic Report Card 2011 Highlights and YouTube, Arctic Report Card 2011 Video and NOAA ClimateWatch, Old Ice Becoming Rare in Arctic (Time Lapse Video of multi-year ice gyre - 1987-2010 - notice the amount of black beginning 2007).

UPDATED 10/22/2011 NAP, National Security Implications of Climate Change for U.S. Naval Forces

Our fast changing Arctic presents our submariners, submarine platforms, and supporting scientists with significant challenges in the areas of: communication; navigation; ASW; acoustics; sea-ice-atmosphere interfaces, predictive model building-modification; and learning-training.
Arctic Council
NASA, Aquarius satellite focused on measuring sea surface salinity.
The National Snow and Ice Data Center. The annual Arctic 2011 ice coverage equals the 2006 minimum maximum.
NAP, National Security Implications of Climate Change for U.S. Naval Forces.
IPCC, Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007 (AR4).
NSF, Ultraviolet (UV) Monitoring Network.
NSF, Cooperative Arctic Data and Information Service (CADIS).
ESRL, Barrow, Alaska Observatory.
ESRL, Barrow Radiation Climatology
Irradiance Measurement and Instrumentation Data Center (MIDC). Primarily Colorado, Utah, Nevada, California and Arizona stations.
NREL, Solar Radiation Research Laboratory (BMS; Customized Current Conditions Display - non-graphic, updated every 60 secs.
NREL, Renewable Resource Data Center (RReDC).
Env Canada, Canadian Ice Service.
NOAA, National-Naval Ice Center.
IBCAO, Arctic Bathymetry.

UPDATED 02/18/2011 SCICEX Phase II Science Plan— Part 1: Technical Guidance for Planning Science Accommodation Missions
AAAS, Recent Warming Reverses Long-Term Arctic Cooling.
"...We present a synthesis of decadally resolved proxy temperature records from poleward of 60°N covering the past 2000 years, which indicates that a pervasive cooling in progress 2000 years ago continued through the Middle Ages and into the Little Ice Age...The cooling trend was reversed during the 20th century, with four of the five warmest decades of our 2000-year-long reconstruction occurring between 1950 and 2000."--Science, Vol. 325. no. 5945, pp. 1236 - 1239, September 4, 2009--
GRL, Decline in Arctic sea ice thickness from submarine and ICESat records: 1958–2008.

Recently declassified US submarine sonar measurements of Arctic ice thickness has enable researchers to update and extend the data set (historic submarine sonar combined with recent ICESat data).

The overall mean winter ice thickness has decline an astonishing 1.75 m since 1980 (3.64 m in 1980 to 1.89 m in 2008)!
National Snow and Ice Data Center, Arctic Sea Ice News and Analysis


Alaska Dispatch, Arctic Ocean grows 20 percent fresher, but don't flee Manhattan yet. Short discussion with interesting research links (Arctic layer mean salinity change).


UPDATED 03/29/2018  NavyAH, Three Submarines ICEX 2018 Arctic Exercise and DVIDS, ICEX 2018 and Defense, Navy’s Arctic Ice Exercise Features Multinational Participation

UPDATED 03/04/2016 Navy, Navy Sets Course for the Arctic Circle, Kicks Off ICEX 2016
UPDATED 08/04/2014 UW, Tracking the breakup of Arctic summer sea ice and GRL, Swell and sea in the emerging Arctic Ocean
UPDATED 03/26/2014 NavyNews, Navy Commences Participation in ICEX 2014

Public data coming out of this year ICEX 2014 (and "Ice Camp Nautilus") are non-substantive, uninteresting and uninformative.

Perhaps, this reflects a hasty last minute decision to conduct an ICEX in response to President Putin’s latest "shirt removing" charade (annex Crimea)? Officially, ICEX 2014 was scheduled before his charade—hopefully he'll put his shirt back on before he catches a cold.

Also, Navy Live, Ice Exercise Is Back and DVIDS, ICEX 2014 [Not very interesting-Images 1 of 13] ( and YouTube,USS New Mexico present for #ICEX 2014 (surfacing through ice slurpy) and YouTube, Rear Adm. Kenneth Perry talks about #ICEX2014 (the very well insulated Commander of Submarine Strike Group Two gives pep talk from the thinning Arctic ice)

UPDATED 02/28/2014 Reuters, U.S. Navy eyes greater presence in Arctic  (U.S. Navy Task Force on Climate Change February 2014 Updated Arctic Roadmap)

In short, Arctic ice floes are melting fast and our navy wants to just as speedily switch from Arctic asset "window shopping" to a "layaway plan". Much more definition, detail and debate must precede any navy Arctic asset "layaway plan".

UPDATED 07/17/2013 NSF, NSF-Funded Research Sheds New Light on How Surface Water Lubricates the Bottom of the Greenland Ice Sheet
UPDATED 07/15/2013 OSU, The sounds of science – melting of iceberg creates surprising ocean din and TOS, Life and Death Sounds of Iceberg A53a and YouTube, How Icebergs Produce Ocean Noise
UPDATED 03/11/2013 DefenseNews, Talking to the Silent Service: Operators Push Back Against Emerging Technology

A quick status of submerged submarine communications—communications at speed and depth is out (i.e. too expensive and uni-functional), multi-functional autonomous vehicles and network nodes are in.

UPDATED 09/24/2012  NAS, Advancing Climate Modeling
UPDATED 01/20/2012 CSIS, A New Security Architecture for the Arctic: An American Perspective

UPDATED 10/22/2011 NOAA, 4th Symposium on the Impacts of an Ice-Diminishing Arctic on Naval and Maritime Operations

UPDATED 10/13/2011 AWI, Young and thin instead of old and bulky and Nature, Scientific challenges in the Arctic: Open water (also, Nature Special, After the Ice).

Researchers have collected Arctic ice thickness data for the summer 2011 for comparison with 2007 ice thickness  data.

CNN, 'Ice Wars' heating up the Arctic.
NavyTimes, Sub surfaces after oxygen generator fails.
Fuel Cell Nation, Hamilton Sundstrand's ILPE - Oops!.
Reuters, Exclusive:U.S. submarines show force amid race for Arctic riches.
Reuters, Raytheon seeks ways to help submarines stay in touch.

Virginia-class USS New Hampshire (SSN 778) uses Deep Siren Tactical Paging (two one-way communications), developed under the navy's Communications at Speed and Depth Program to evacuate a submariner with appendicitis.

The Arctic's mean sea surface temperature can quickly immobilize and kill an uninsulated immersed human.

USS New Hampshire (SSN 778)
Hence three divers wearing black insulation suits standby to rescue anybody unlucky enough to fall in (Reuters Photo/Lucas Jackson).
AWI, Arctic on the verge of record ozone loss - Arctic-wide measurements verify rapid depletion in recent days
“Our measurements show that at the relevant altitudes about half of the ozone that was present above the Arctic has been destroyed over the past weeks,...Special attention should thus be devoted to sufficient UV protection in spring this year,”--AWI--

1. Purdhoe Bay (70°19′32″N 148°42′41″W) is above the Arctic Circle (66° 33′ 44″) at the end of the Dalton Highway , about 314 km South East of Barrow, Alaska.

2. Virginia-class USS New Hampshire (SSN 778) and Seawolf-class USS Connecticut (SSN 22) have been designated for the ICEX 2011 exercises.

UPDATED 10/23/2011 Notwithstanding Virginia-class images its structures and systems are not currently capable or optimally configured for extended autonomous under-ice Arctic operations. Some have recommended that these deficiencies be remedied, at least for some current VCS platforms.

The significant costs associated with these recommendations will likely delay implementation until later VCS blocks or follow-on VCS-improved platforms. Until then current VCS platforms will likely utilize specialized ad hoc ice-packages for limited operations in higher northern under-ice latitudes.

3. Arctic submariners will immediately understand that an Arctic sea ice salinity gradient impacts more than their shower, meal, and coffee.

The salinity of Arctic sea ice changes with the ice's age. As older and less salinated Arctic ice melts it changes the ocean salinity—dramatically impacting a submarine's hearing, maneuvering, and tactics.

Climate researchers have a global interest in the thermohaline cycle—how it impacts on global temperatures.

UPDATED January 10, 2011 Those wanting a general undergraduate level understanding of the carbon cycle and the oceans' role in modulating climate may enjoy the David Archer's global warming video lectures and related textbook.

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