Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2024-5
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2024-5
30 Jan 2024
 | 30 Jan 2024
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal CP.

The Southern Ocean marine ice record of the early historical, circum-Antarctic voyages of Cook and Bellingshausen

Grant Robert Bigg

Abstract. The circum-navigations of Cook’s Second Voyage (1772–1775) and Bellingshausen (1819–1821) were attempts to find any great southern land mass poleward of ~50° S and consequently involved sailing for three or two summers respectively in polar latitudes around Antarctica. Extensive sea ice eventually blocked each voyages’ southern probes, although Bellingshausen, unknowingly at the time, saw the Antarctic continent. However, these attempts meant sea-ice and iceberg records from the early historical period were collected near simultaneously from around much of Antarctica. Here, these records are extracted from journals, analysed, and compared to each other and the modern satellite record of both forms of marine ice. They generally show an early historical period with a more northerly record of both forms of marine ice than normal for today, but to a geographically varying degree. However, the early historical period in the Pacific sector of the Southern Ocean saw marine ice generally within the range of modern observations for the same time of year, but the Weddell Sea and Indian Ocean marine ice, particularly on Cook’s voyage, then extended several degrees further north than in today’s extreme ice years.

Grant Robert Bigg

Status: open (extended)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Review of cp-2024-5 letter', Seelye Martin, 15 Feb 2024 reply
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Grant Bigg, 16 Feb 2024 reply
Grant Robert Bigg
Grant Robert Bigg

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Short summary
The voyages of Cook (1772–1775) and Bellingshausen (1819–1821) were attempts to find a southern land mass. Sea-ice blocked each voyages’ southern probes, but sea-ice and iceberg records were collected from around Antarctica. They show more northerly records of both forms of marine ice than today. The early Pacific sector of the Southern Ocean saw marine ice within the range of modern observations, but the Weddell Sea and Indian Ocean marine ice then extended further north than today.