Thursday, January 2, 2014

On a clear sunny day in East Antarctica...

Sou | 9:47 PM Go to the first of 7 comments. Add a comment

...passengers from MV Akademik Shokalskiy were airlifted off by helicopters from the Chinese icebreaker Xue Long and will eventually board the Aurora Australis.  From there they will travel to Tasmania, arriving in mid-January.

You can read more here on the live blog at the Guardian, and on Twitter.

H/t John Russell.


  1. Yes, they're following in Mawson's footsteps... well kind of, sort of.

    Then again, there wasn't a whole lot of ice in Commonwealth Bay a hundred years ago for Mawson to walk on.

    1. But there was plenty of ice along their route in 1913.

  2. Thus also the information of John Coleman of KUSI-TV that the weather would not allow for helicopters was wrong. Did that guy say anything that was right?

  3. "...passengers from MV Akademik Shokalskiy were airlifted off by helicopters"


    Sou that should have read... "Climate SCIENTISTS looking like puppy dogs with their tails between their legs and ...passengers from MV Akademik Shokalskiy were airlifted off by helicopters"

    This expedition could turn out to be a success though, if they collected any data that they could compare with Mawsons data it would likely prove CGC (Catastrophic Global Cooling)


    1. Wait, this is the same Karen that couldn't find a single citation to prove that Antarctica wasn't warming to back up the claim? The one citation that came up was for single cherry-picked area, said, "The record shows that this region HAS WARMED since the late 1950s, at a similar magnitude to that observed in the Antarctic Peninsula and central West Antarctica" and then references global warming at the end of the article:
      "This is not inconsistent with the exceptional recent global warming, during which approximately 20% of the observationally covered Earth’s surface still does not show 100 year trends that are
      significantly larger than internal variability [Karoly and Wu, 2005]."

      Karen, did you ever read Karoly and Wu? Here's the link: http://weather.ou.edu/~dkaroly/pdf%20files/Karoly_Wu_JClim_05.pdf

  4. I'm amused by references to previous expeditions finding little ice here, when they talk as though nothing else had changed in the area. True or false, such claims are irrelevant.

    Until recently, the George V coast was relatively protected from large amounts of drifting sea ice, as any movement had to go around the Mertz Glacier Tongue. Typical surface drift was to the west, and the MGT created a fairly persistent polynya in its lee, but equally, ice pushed eastwards by storm winds could not build up heavily on the coast to the east of the tongue, where the Akademik Shokalskiy is now beset.

    But all that has changed. People may remember that Iceberg B-9B smashed off the MGT in February 2010, which has totally changed drifting sea ice movements along the coast. I'm reluctant to draw any direct connection to AGW - B-9B was part of a large calving from the Ross Ice Shelf in 1987, but such events are expected on a 5-10 year timescale - and the fact that it smashed off the MGT was an "accident" of wind and weather. But "accident" or not, obviously removing a 78 km long barrier is going to change drift ice patterns until the tongue regrows substantially, which will take decades yet.

    There is no great "irony" here - removing the MGT has radically and rather unpredictably changed surface flow. It's like opining about changes to the Connecticut coast without noting that someone towed Long Island out into the Atlantic. AGW may or may not have impacted on the situation, but fundamentally this is the result of a couple of weather events, not climate. Typically, such subtleties as the absence of an 800 billion ton barrier are lost on the intellectual giants at WUWT in their race to gloat on the misfortune of others.



    1. There's something I didn't know.

      BTW Sorry for the delay, Frank. Your post got caught in the spam filter for some inexplicable reason.


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