Catlin Expedition: Impaired Judgment?

Guest post by Steve Goddard
Catlin Arctic Survey

Reading through the recent blog posts of the Catlin expedition, it has become apparent that they have made errors in judgment.  Team member Martin Hartley is suffering from frostbite, and hasn’t been able to sleep for nearly a week.

our sleeping bags are no longer frozen, but wet.  I’m not sure which is worse.  Martin’s is the most soggy and he’s hardly slept for 6 nights now.

The current temperature is -42C (-44F.)  The sensible course of action would be to evacuate Martin to someplace warm where he can receive proper medical attention.  Cold and lack of sleep make healing impossible and threaten his health.  I have camped in tents in -30C weather, and it is all about survival – nothing else has any meaning when you are that cold.
The wet sleeping bags are apparently the result of a poor decision.

Any seasoned expeditioner will tell you that pretty much anything is bearable, providing that one has the ability to enjoy a warm and dry night’s sleep. However, for various reasons the team chose not to take vapour barrier liners for their sleeping bags, and now with a sudden warming (up to a sultry -24 from a nippy -40 degrees Celsius) their frozen sleeping bags are just starting to feel like sorbets.

Indeed, the scientific merit of the expedition is questionable.

I made 48 snow measurements after we’d stopped walking today – the best yet.

What is the point of taking a lot of measurements at one location on the same day?  Arctic ice continuously shifts and melts or freezes, and the ice they are standing on will have moved hundreds or thousands of miles by next year.  The temperature is -42C.  No doubt the ice is getting thicker at that temperature.

Meanwhile, the expedition sponsor (HRH The Prince of Wales) has been jetting around South America enjoying the life of entitlement currently reserved for global warming patrons.  The formula is simple – as long as a celebrity keeps talking about global warming, their carbon footprint and lifestyle excesses are above reproach.  Perhaps if AIG had of named their bonuses “carbon offsets,” they could be partying in South America too.
Prince Charles dancing

As of today, global sea ice area is again above normal.

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195 thoughts on “Catlin Expedition: Impaired Judgment?

  1. I hope whoever is sponsoring that expedition is paying attention to their blog. They need to get those people out of there immediately, they seem to have lost the capacity to make rational decisions on their own.

    Not that there was anything rational about that expedition to begin with…

  2. Wow, the last two paragraphs say it all. The two pictures do a wonderful job illustrating the dichotomy between the two. We should all save the world by driving less, using less electricity and so forth. This way the leaders of the AGW movement can continue flying planes all over the world to go on ‘cultural missions’ to further educate us serfs. Also, we should stop reading blogs such as this, lest we threaten the landed gentry…

  3. Clueless? pathetic? They obviously have no business being where they are. I only hope they don’t become mortal victims of the AGW fallacy.

  4. Every cause loves a martyr. Maybe that’s what they’re shooting for.

    6 days without sleep and wet sleeping bags in the arctic? As you said, if they don’t get him out of there soon he’s gonna be a corpsicle.

  5. Take it from an old arctic hand, they are in a state of medical emergency and need to be evacuated. Early Arctic expeditions survived because they utilized native survival skills, e.g., FUR clothing, proper footwear (kamiks), and igloos for shelter. Too many armchair quarterbacks and jet-setting environmentalists got into the planning/training of this venture.
    As to the science, I’m puzzled how a single series of measurements will allow anyone to estimate the increase/decrease of any physical phenomenon.

  6. In a previous post, it was suggested that we should all have some degree of respect for this group as they attempt to do their survey. I’m sorry, but not from me. This is yet another example of zealots masquerading a scientists. (Though I’m sure they have earned various degrees from like minded providers) I’m not holding my breath in anticipation of any science coming out of this farce. If it looks good on TV then it can’t be science. Years of watching Discovery Canada’s “Daily Propaganda Planet” has proved this hypothesis.

  7. The Catlin Expedition is sounding more and more like the Scott Expedition, which was doomed from the start based on poor decisions and hard-headedness. They should have studied Amundsen if they wanted a successful Polar expedition.

  8. I noticed that dynamic too in other arenas. The other day, George Soros said “I’m having a good crisis.” Imagine if a libertarian or Republican said that! But it’s ok for Soros to make billions off the recession/depression, he supports the Democrats! Note that Warren Buffett also is granted immunity for his support of Obama. The same with Hollywood. It is all a big extortion racket. If you are rich, but support the “right” causes i.e. Global Warming, Obama, etc then you are exempt from criticism. But if not, then you will be attacked.

  9. The last two days of reporting have had the group travel exactly 10.00 km per day. Remarkable, isn’t it! A week ago, the team was lamenting the prospect of 70 more days on the ice. They better get some fresh ponies if they’re not going to spend more that 85 days from now.

    Seriously, I think the sponsors are jeopardizing the life and limbs of this team for nothing other that a PR stunt. What possible scientific benefit could a scheme like this really achieve. Measuring a shifting icepack is like herding cats. With the sponsors of this, we already know the press release: “Brave team gathers data showing icecap is melting faster than predicted!”

    Let the sponsors know what you think of this stunt. I’ve collected some e-mail addresses for most of the sponsors:

    catlininfo@catlin.com
    patrick.birley@ecx.eu
    press.services@nokia.com
    tburgess@hillandknowlton.com
    hasan.abdat@polarcapital.co.uk
    info@jenrickgroup.co.uk
    contact@triplepoint.co.uk
    enquiries@prometheusmed.com
    info@hidalgo.co.uk
    reception@canadiannorth.com
    mayday@bitc.org.uk
    serge.viranian@climatefriendly.com
    lwaters@london.newsquest.co.uk
    info@sickchildrenstrust.org

    BTW, I’ve gotten 2 responses back, both dismissive. Anyway, it lets them know they’re being watched and some people think they’re responsible.

  10. I once spent 3 nights camping in the mountains of northern BC during early March. Our little expedition was adequately prepared for -10C to -20C, but not for the -35C we got that week.

    We had trees, as we were near tree line, and so we were able to get a fire going each night. We even had a kerosene space heater for inside the canvas tent we used (which proved very inadequate at -35C).

    Still, we got about 2 hours of sleep each night and were extremely lucky to not get frost-bite as the fires allowed us to to take off our boots for a few hour each day.

    We learn from these experiences – or at least we should. I vowed never again to work for the cheap SOB who sent us out there and have not winter camped since, either for work or pleasure.

    The amazing thing was that we able to replicate a series of soil samples collected during the previous summer – which was the point of the exercise. Ah, the joys of science.

  11. There comes a point when the risks involved with public relations are just foolish. While I believe amateurs can do scientific work of quality, this isn’t it. Call off the ‘expedition’ and get warm.

  12. I have personally experienced that sort of wet sleeping bag situation at -30 deg F, and ended up with hypothermia. They are in big big trouble and need to get off the ice. Wet bags at those temps are not an annoyance, they are a life threatening emergency.

    Sponsors, take responsibility for these folks if they are cold,wet and sleep deprived they are no longer capable of rational judgment! Get them off the ice NOW!

    Larry

  13. The arrogant elitists such as the Prince and Gore (not to mention the Hollywood crowd) who demand we reduce our carbon footprint while spewing tons of CO2 jetsetting around the world makes me sick.

    At least those naive souls on the ice are putting their lives on the line for their beliefs. Not that that makes them any less foolish and wrong.

  14. OT, but according to the BBC reporting on the Red River floods in North Dakota: “Even as we face an economic crisis which demands our constant focus, forces of nature can also intervene in ways that create other crises to which we must respond – and respond urgently,” said Mr Obama. Forces of nature? Surely all this snow and ice is the result of cooling due to man-made global warming. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/7969106.stm

  15. The scientific merit of this expedition was doubtful from the start. The result was predictable. These deserve their lot.

  16. I have been on a couple of mountaineering expeditions where we had sub 30º temps.

    Here is the rule we followed. One problem is acceptable, we can deal with it. Two problems and we have to retreat. Three problems at once and we die. (Incidentally the same rule I use as a pilot)

    It is my opinion that the expedition is in the two problems at once category. Let’s hope that another problem doesn’t rear its ugly head.

  17. Darwin award candidates.Scott was prepared compared to this. What is really sad is that whomever rescues them is putting their life on the line to pluck them out-if they survive.
    BTW-I was frostbitten in a back country trip in the high Wallowas of NE Oregon-XC skiing -the patient should get the H*** out NOW.

  18. Why does this feel like a death-watch?
    Must we wait for a week-long storm to prevent resupply and finish them?

  19. Anyone know when the next resupply takes place? That would be a good time to evacuate Martin Hartley before something tragic occurs to him.

  20. To paraphrase Robert Service as one of the members of the Catlin Survey did earlier, “There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for…” martyrdom. At least in Robert Service’s version the men were moiling for gold; not foolishness!!!

  21. We all know how it will end. They will be evacuated short of their goal. It will be blamed on AGW

  22. From their website:

    “The Catlin Arctic Survey combines a pioneering feat of human endurance with scientific discovery on a geographic scale most would think impossible in the 21st century, an accurate mapping of one of Earth’s largest geophysical surface features: the Arctic Ocean’s sea ice cover. ”

    Somebody needs to slap the bunch of them upside the head for the blatant stupidity of both the “feat” and of the purpose. The sponsors should do well to consider what may happen if this ends badly, liability and all…

  23. I think they’re running for a Darwin Award. I don’t know whether to root for them or not. If they don’t qualify, you can bet on seeing their faces in future AGW articles about the melting of the arctic ad nauseam. If they qualify, they’ll be hailed as martyrs to the “cause” and their faces will show up in future AGW articles about the melting of the arctic ad nauseam.

    [snip]

  24. At -20C how are their sleeping bags not stiff as boards.
    Do they have carbon burning heating equipment with them?

  25. The monarchy is the lesser of two evils and has saved us from the possibility of such heads of state as Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, The Peoples Princess, Elton John or Jade Goody. Charles’s mentors do him and us a great disservice in not advising at least a modicum of reservation in his perceived espousal of the AGW cause and are indeed allowing him to expose himself to possible future ridicule as the Prince with no clothes.
    As far as offsetting is concerned it is hardly remarkable that a man who famously talks to his plants should embrace the concept of planting a whole lot more trees.

  26. Have a look at this site from Danish Meteorological Institute. Daily mean temperature and climate north of the 80th northern parallel, as a function of the day of year.

    http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php

    See the archive 1958-2009 (nothing unusual) I can’t see the global warming. Right now the melting season starts…the temp dive below average (all heat-energy sucked out of the air) due the melting process

  27. I’ll chalk their expedition down as human achievement and nothing more. Their method for measuring ice melt is so flawed it deserves a Monty Python sketch.

  28. Well said Roger.

    The jade Goody epethet is pertinent.

    If people did not have ‘royalty’ they would invent it – in the guise of ‘notoriety’.

    And as the global warming anti globalisation anti G20 protesters so amply demonstrate – if we did not have religion we would have to invent it.

  29. Meanwhile back at the ranch…! According to Cryosphere Today, the Global sea ice area has again gone above the 1979-2000 average! :o)

  30. S.E.Hendriksen (09:07:37) :

    Interesting web site link, thanks. In doing a quick scan of various years, I was struck by the consistency of the ~90 day summer temps. The average summer temp barely gets above +1C. Most years track the average very closely, which would tend to indicate the melting is not atmospheric heat transfer. Convection of daylight warm temps and solar absorption may play a role, but one would have to think that warmer ocean circulation is the biggest factor. You’re right, however, that there appears to be no significant atmospheric warming during the summer months in this graphic display.

  31. A bit offtopic but relevant to the final line about AIG, I think the financial sector and energy companies mey earn money from cap and trade. It will look like this:


    I agree that this pointless expedition shall be stopped immediately. The last blog, “Psychological stressors”, by the consultant psychologist is about the peerless mental strength of the team, bla-bla… :/

  32. I wonder who is going to share the proceeds from the books, miniseries and movie that will show how these “heros braved unspeakable hardships” in order to help save the planet.

  33. Having wintered over in the Antarctic, and a proud member of the -200deg club (please don’t ask that is possible. It does relate to a sauna, bunny boots and a short jog) – all i can say is – these men are either foolish, or zealots. A combination of the two will be deadly.

  34. Look at it this way. when the Prince of Wails, aka, the Royal Buffoon-in-waiting, leaves England, the average IQ there jumps notably. When he gets where he is going, the average IQ takes a sudden big dive.

    Denigration by ridicule.

  35. The photo shows a possibly very dangerous situation for someone perhaps parked well below the peak of what looks like a sea-ice pressure ridge. These are formed by wind and ocean current forces that move the sea ice around on the surface and cause it to pile up in those ridges. Wnen I was working briefly at Point Barrow in the winter of 1948 (studying ice formations gosh — already 61 years ago!) I was warned by a native about pressure ridges, particularly the tall ones. In my younger day, I liked to climb them, and recall some were even a dozen feet higer than the surrounding rough ice surface. They should be approached with great caution because polar bears sometimes lurk just on the other side, waiting for a jucy meal. Worse yet, their coloration makes them virtually invisible against a white snow/ice background. Love those bears, but don’t feed them with a short-lived regret.

    bob p.

  36. “As of today, global sea ice area is again above normal.”

    Perhaps nit-picking, but it is quite arbitrary to give label “normal” to the 1979-2000 average. The long-run average might be significantly less (at least for the Arctic), but conceivably vice versa as well. But it is questionable mathematics to claim that a 21-year period yields a NORMAL level when oscillations can take 70 or more years.

  37. Steve,

    The global sea ice anomaly (red, bottom line) seems to contain the “failing sensor” data from Jan-Feb of this year. This is the “area” measurement. The ice “extent” data from here . . .

    . . . does not show a decline in this time frame. The third week of January shows a stall in the growth. In the last few days the increase stopped and the trend has turned down. While ice extent did not reach the 1979-2000 average it is well above (500,000 sq. km) the 2006-2007 line.
    Perhaps it is the “area” versus “extent” definitions causing my confusion about this. What is the better “number” to watch.

    Regarding the Catlin expedition measurements: The quote you use says

    “I made 48 snow measurements after we’d stopped
    walking today – the best yet.”

    While their top-of-web-site postings, under the heading “Pioneering technology” makes this statement . . .

    “The Catlin Arctic Survey has developed and tested a portable,
    ice-penetrating radar. This will take continuous and detailed measurements of both the snow and ice layers . . . ”

    Maybe I’m a little fuzzy on the meaning of “continuous.”

  38. I’d love to hear the reasons why the team chose to leave their vapor barrier bag liners behind. They must have assumed it would be a quick trip, with relatively warm temps. Even assuming that, why leave behind a piece of equipment that can save your life, fits in a pocket and weighs half a pound?

    Did these guys “adjust” their actual amount of Arctic experience?

  39. John,

    I would suggest ignoring the minor fluctuations and differences in the NSIDC graphs. Note that the current deficit is in the Sea of Okhotsk, which is an isolated basin that normally melts completely before the summer arrives.

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.14.html

    In other words, the fact that NSIDC ice extent is slightly below “normal” provides essentially no useful information with respect to the upcoming summer minimum.

  40. An Inquirer (10:28:59).

    I don’t really understand what you’re trying to say? The “normal” is the average a specified period of time, just as you say, but your own phrase “long-run average” have no definition. It’s impossible to understand what you’re argue… (The earth has becoming a lot colder since 7000-8000 years ago, and also since several millions of years ago; so what is the meaning of your phrase?)

    I’d suspect you to be one of these anthropogenic global warming proponent (in opposite of climate realist who denounce the doom and gloom, silly IPCC models etc.) who argues against realists, so I googled a comment by you half a year ago: “I believe that it is fair to say that melt levels in the last few weeks have exceeded the hopes of skeptics.”

    In another comment you say that emotions is important but lessimmportant than data — that’s wise! But are you consistent to that notion?

    Fluctuations in sea ice now doesn’t prove anything, but these are now used by global warming-“scientists” and proponents as the canary in the coal mine. Actually anyone who defend the idea that we have a anthropogenic global warming where the sea ice now is the canary in the coal mine has to accept arguments against that double error (both the idea that ice is now melting as a consequences from strong AGW and that a net melting actually occurs) where it’s natural to point out that the trend right now is positive in comparison with reference point measurements since the they started.

    Anthropogenic global warming proponents who argues at sites like this — apparently yourself — too much defend corrupt ideas used in a propaganda war, e g by saying that skeptics had hoped for other sea ice data. That’s not a valid argument, or even an argument at all. The hypothesis is objectively false and thus any hope for data who discredit the false statement is perfectly legitimate!

  41. : PFC (08:43:39) : Your quote from Catlin A. S. included this . . .
    “. . . an accurate mapping of one of Earth’s largest geophysical surface features: the Arctic Ocean’s sea ice cover. ”

    This was never possible unless the ice cover had shrunk to the size of NYC’s central park. All of this reminded me of the short story by Leo Tolstoy

    How Much Land Does a Man Need?
    Full text here: http://www.online-literature.com/tolstoy/2738/

    A much shorter summary is here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/How_Much_Land_Does_a_Man_Need%3F

  42. “I made 48 snow measurements after we’d stopped
    walking today – the best yet.”

    I can see some merit if in taking a large number of measurements that they are in a well documented area (grid) to allow them to characterize the roughness of the lower surface of the ice vs the apparent smoothness of the upper surface.

    The question is, was this a systematic grid of measurements that will be useful or just a random walk to multiple locations?

    It might have some value depending on what other data was collected at the same time, such as precise locations of the measurements and pictorial documentation of the upper ice surface appearance and any near by pressure ridge structures etc.

    Their media information, implied that they would make a chain of “continuous” measurements as they moved. From their comments, it would be logical for an outside observer to assume they were stopping every so many meters taking a measurement with the ground penetrating radar, and validating it (or some fraction of them) with a bored hole to physically measure the ice and snow cover thickness to compare to the instrumental readings.

    If I had to guess, I think their data gathering is degenerating into a random set of measurements without adequate controls, since they have not mentioned anything about their methodology and control measures for the measurements.

    You would think such efforts to provide good data would have been documented but I have not seen it if it was.

    Only time will tell on this issue I suspect.

    Larry

  43. from Twitter from Pen Hadow just now

    Temperatures of -39′C are being experienced once again, as the team continue to travel north for day 28 of the expedition.
    about 1 hour ago from web

    Today the Catlin Arctic Survey team are switching off their lights to support Earth Hour.
    about 5 hours ago from web

    Temperatures have dropped off the thermometer once again, reaching lows of -40 and lower!
    10:43 AM Mar 27th from web

    I’m celebrating human achievement day by turning all my lights on, what sort of empty gesture is that to turn your lights off in the circumstances the team find themselves?

    I think this is colder than they expected-temperatures should be -15C or so by now. I think this is a futile expedition but I admire their courage but it is bordering on stupidity.

    tonyB

  44. I AGREE STRONGLY WITH Dan Lee (07:17:43) :

    I hope whoever is sponsoring that expedition is paying attention to their blog. They need to get those people out of there immediately, they seem to have lost the capacity to make rational decisions on their own.

    Not that there was anything rational about that expedition to begin with…

    ************************

    Although these gentlemen probably deserve Darwin awards, they no doubt have loved ones who will suffer if they succeed in offing themselves.

    This expedition is a ridiculous risk, and a waste of life.

    Get them out now.

    Regards, Allan

  45. This is sad and laughably so. I wish no harm on my fellow man no matter their stupidity, religious or political standing but I do believe that people must face the consequences of their (stupid in this case) actions and if it brings them harm so be it. Maybe they hope the god of global warming will swoop down and save them from their plight. Have faith Caitlin Expedition, show the rest of the heathen world the dire “peril” of AGW!

    This amusingly reminds me of NBC sending the equally amateur Anne Curry and her camera crew on a trek to the top of Kilamanjaro (only to stop 3000′ before summit) so they can take pictures of retreating glaciers. Why must these amateurs be put in harms way when there are easier and more valuable ways of obtaining the same data without burning all those fossil fuels jet-setting around the world to show us idiots that we’re annihilating the planet with our SUV’s?

  46. I’m guessing that the Twin Otter supply plane which keeps them alive generates more CO2 than a light bulb.

    Last summer a group of artists chartered a large ship to Greenland, in order to release a small tank of CO2 on the ice – in a symbolic protest against the rest of polluters.

  47. So they were cold, wet, tired, and now they are in the dark.

    Who makes the decision to get them out ? Those on the ice don’t seem to be able to.

    G

  48. Latest Update

    With the temperatures looming near the -40C mark for yet another day, the team is now once again having to become acclimatised to some of the harshest temperatures that they’ll experience during the survey.

    With northeasterly winds working against them, the team has managed to cover approximately 7.5km today, setting up camp just short of a 50-metre stretch of open water, which they came across towards the end of the day. The hope is that by morning this lead will have re-frozen and the team will be able to cross unhindered. Failing the re-freeze, Ann, Martin and Pen will have two options: ski east or west until they reach a section narrow enough to bridge across with their sledges, or don their immersion suits and swim across the water, all of which takes time and energy.

    http://www.catlinarcticsurvey.com/live_from_the_ice.aspx

  49. It was obvious from the beginning that this was much more about PR than science, which is why they’re in the bind they’re now in. If achieving science was the goal, it would have been clear early on that their lack of preparedness had compromised any hope of accomplishing anything useful and they could have been pulled out to try again with better planning,but since the real goal was PR they must soldier on, endangering their lives and any that maybe called upon to rescue them eventually, because surrendering to the brutal cold strikes a major blow to warmist propaganda.

  50. As a respite from this grim tale, recall the late January ski trip of 300 folks aboard the CTMA-Vacancier stuck in the ice of the St. Lawrence river.
    Passenger James Gray, a filmmaker, said the cruise ship hit the icepack about 8 kilometers into the trip. . . . while the ship was stuck, the group ended up having a 24-hour party on board. “Musicians have been playing guitar, there are poets, people dancing, good food and wine, and we’re surrounded by stunning scenery,” said Gray. As for any poignant memories? “Well, what happens on the ship, stays on the ship,” joked Gray.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap_travel/20090127/ap_tr_ge/na_travel_brief_canada_trapped_cruise_ship

    A cargo ship, a passenger ferry and an ice breaker that was deployed to assist the vessels also became lodged in the frigid waters. Gray said the cruise ship eventually helped free the ice breaker in a “funny turn of events”. The cruise ship continued on toward the ski area, the company said.

    Some people know how to have fun. Some, not so much.

  51. John F. Hultquist (10:52:35) :

    “Regarding the Catlin expedition measurements: The quote you use says

    “I made 48 snow measurements after we’d stopped
    walking today – the best yet.”

    While their top-of-web-site postings, under the heading “Pioneering technology” makes this statement . . .

    “The Catlin Arctic Survey has developed and tested a portable,
    ice-penetrating radar. This will take continuous and detailed measurements of both the snow and ice layers . . . ”

    Maybe I’m a little fuzzy on the meaning of “continuous.”

    As am I, the “ice thickness data” and “biotelemetry” on the website has been in “standby” mode every time I visit the site. Maybe data is being received but not shown on the website. But then why include the graphic at all on the website in that case?

    “High-resolution cross-profiles of the snow and ice will be gathered every 10cm along the 1,200-km survey route. The raw data will then be processed by SPRITE’s own computer, before being transferred across to the central on-board sledge computer for compression, and then up-linked, via the Iridium satellites back to the survey’s UK Headquarters.
    It will then be re-formatted and distributed to our Science Partners. ”

    http://www.catlinarcticsurvey.com/technology_sprite

  52. I wanted to re-post this map as it has been a while since it was first noted.

    http://ice-glaces.ec.gc.ca/prods/WIS56SD/20090316180000_WIS56SD_0004276084.pdf

    This map is of the old/new ice in the western arctic. The numbers are a bit cryptic, but there is one great takeaway in the lower left, the mean 14 day comparison of temperature to normal up to March 16th 2009. It has been close to 5 degrees cooler than average for the past 2 weeks. I know that this is just weather, but that’s a good standard deviation cooler than average.

  53. Under English Health & Safety Legislation an employer has a Duty of Care to his Employees. Likewise an employee has a Duty of Care to fellow employees and his employer; curiously this also applies between the government and troops on active duty in Iraq and Afganistan.

    I suspect, but am not certain, that this “Duty of Care” also applies to any sponsors that are British based, or sponsors that have a business in Britain. I would encourage all sponsors to question the wisdom of carrying on with this mission. If anything happens to the “explorers” the Health & Safety Executive are likely to press charges against the sponsors for not doing a complete “Risk Assessment”.

    In the event of anything going wrong Health & Safety always ask, “With hindsight is there anything you can think of now that should have been done to prevent this accident?” As soon as you suggest something they have got you; an imcomplete “risk assessment” means prosecution.

    I wonder if anybody from our Health & Safety Executive read this blog? If so “Watch this Space”!

  54. Why didn’t they have the Twin Otter bring them some vapor barriers the last resupply? Or even some new sleeping bags.

  55. This is human nature people. It’s hard to believe, and terribly depressing, but human beings are indeed this stupid. They will continue to believe in and pursue something even when their imminent deaths, which prove the opposite, are staring them in the face.

    I thought James Hansen protesting a coal power plant in the middle of an unseasonal snowstorm, after an abnormally cold winter, was ignorant. But this takes the cake.

    I only wish that if they’re going to commit suicide on the ice in the name of AGW and “disappearing ice” that it would be televised. Let the world see them shivering, suffering, slowly freezing to death. Let their teeth chatter as they tell a news reporter by satellite feed “we’re reporting from the Arctic ice cap, where the…the…the ice is…iss…melting”, then pan the camera to show just how much ice is around them. Let the average person who has not placed their faith in almighty climate models see this first hand and declare “what a bunch of idiots.”

    I’m sorry to be mean, but you can’t save human beings from themselves. The most you can hope to do is protect other human beings. If these people want to die for their faith on the Arctic ice cap, let it be publicized wide and far so that perhaps other people won’t have to die for their faith.

  56. And now it’s very clear.
    Evolution’s next phase is here.
    “Survival of the smartest” is in full gear.
    Darwin, indeed, is at play here:
    Nature’s pruning out the merchants of fear,
    For want of common sense so dear.
    The skeptics, the Earth shall inherent, it’s now clear.

  57. Steven Goddard (10:08:04) :

    Per,

    Good news for you.

    http://www.catlinarcticsurvey.com/

    Saturday, 28th March 2009
    Today the Catlin Arctic Survey team are switching off their lights to support Earth Hour.

    Oh good. Because switching off what – a couple of lanterns will certainly go a long way towards compensating for the humongous “carbon footprint” of an expedition like this. Not. Are they serious? They must be losing it.

  58. @Riewe (09:28:25)

    Solar radiation and direct evaporation (ice to water vapour) due the dry air…the water temp. is about 0 C and air temp, and as you point out, about +1 C….all the heat-energy are sucked out of the air and water.

    About day 250 the water temp. is about minus 1-1,5 C and the opposite happends, when the water freeze the temp. rise about 1-5 C, sometimes up to 8 C.

    From day 1-100 and in the end of the year you will see some up/downs temperature between +8-10 and minus 8-10 C, it depends on the wind and air temp…..but it doesn’t matter, the temperature is about -40C, so 8-10 C more or less….it’s cold like hell.

  59. Posted on the Catlin facebook page:

    “Victoria, if you have any clout, give these 3 a pat on the back and get them out of there. They are frost-bitten and sleep deprived with no way of getting dry. It is ridiculous to assume that this is going to get any better, any time soon. If this is truly a science team, then let them fly out to various locations to do that work within the time frame that their funding will allow.

    There is no shame in changing a plan to preserve life.”

  60. I am concerned about their welfare.

    But . . .

    Is it possible they are exaggerating their condition a teeny bit?

  61. During the last 8 days, they’ve made their best progress and advanced about 70 km. At that rate they have 93 more days and won’t be to the pole until the end of June. The original estimate was at 100 days. This new math would put them at 123 days if they have no further setbacks. I wish them no ill, but the sponsors should get them off the ice!

    Let the sponsors know how you feel about this:

    catlininfo@catlin.com
    patrick.birley@ecx.eu
    press.services@nokia.com
    tburgess@hillandknowlton.com
    hasan.abdat@polarcapital.co.uk
    info@jenrickgroup.co.uk
    contact@triplepoint.co.uk
    enquiries@prometheusmed.com
    info@hidalgo.co.uk
    reception@canadiannorth.com
    mayday@bitc.org.uk
    serge.viranian@climatefriendly.com
    lwaters@london.newsquest.co.uk
    info@sickchildrenstrust.org

  62. @Steven Goddard

    The ice pack on the (cover) picture is fine conditions North of 80th, the ice pack can be up to the hight af a two floor house for hundreds af miles.

    http://sermitsiaq.gl/indland/article78954.ece?lang=EN

    The two guys knows what they are doing…Jesper M Ganc-Petersen and his mother (55 years) + 6 other senior citizens crossed the icecap Kangerlussuaq > Ammassalik last year (600 km in just 30 days.

    http://www.mounteverest.net/news.php?id=18138

  63. In previous postings I said that they will be there until All Fools Day.

    Martin had blister which was slowing them down.
    It turned out to be frost bite. They and their backup team could not tell the difference. Do not think I will be using Catlin.

    All Martin wanted for his birthday were twin Otters.
    He got them but he did not fly out.
    He has frost bite on his foot and does not fly out!!
    Brave you might say, I cannot possibly comment.

    48 measurement, from the one stop?
    Says it all. A future trend of -0.000865677366(4) approximately.

    http://www.catlinarcticsurvey.com/Progress_on_the_ice

    Is this the same guy who was chewing gum and explaining about the ice sheets crack up in his PARKA and no gloves; in the middle of the night.

    This is beyond me.

    But I know it will be a BBC scientific success.
    This morning the BBC had Tom Avery on; in a through away line, he said that the ice at the North Pole would disappear by 2013. No comment from the BBC presenters. Well they knew it was true

  64. “or don their immersion suits and swim across the water, all of which takes time and energy. ”

    And may aggravate frostbite a wee bit, no?

  65. Pen also says in his last blog entry: “It’s all part of the job, however, and we carry on regardless”

    that is exactly right … who are we to interfere with with other peoples’ wishes, goals, or even lives ?

  66. The second annual Arctic cockup originating in Blighty has gone very sour. I have said from the beginning that I feared for their well-being, now I’m extremely concerned.
    Does anyone know what, in this line of endeavor, is being planned for next year?

  67. Point of curiosity. So they dawn the immersion suits and swim across. How in the world do they get the sledges across?

  68. Maybe it is the skepticism I have learned to apply from blogs like this one, but I question just how serious their situation is. They keep taking useless ice measurements, the cameraman can hike out of the way for those great distance pics, they have been making their best progress, and most important they haven’t been evacuated already.

    They sure did enough sensationalizing on their website before this adventure. I am not surprised if they have kept it up since they reached the ice. You can’t become a hero if you don’t suffer, and a well-prepared vacation doesn’t sell anything but a travel guide. I hope their hunt for green glory doesn’t turn them into martyrs.

    FYI, it’s snowing hard in Wisconsin with 6-10 inches predicted. Should be our last blow since the Robbins are here and they always seem to make it in time for the last kicker.

    Light on,
    Daniel

  69. I didn’t notice until I hit “submit comment” but in the first picture, am I seeing a man drag a sled downhill? When is the last time anyone has had to drag a sled down hill? Enough said.

  70. If these are supposed to be experienced polar adventurers, then what in blazes are they doing heading out without vapor barrier liners for their sleeping bags? Are they so enamored of the AGW (and WWF) belief system that they dispensed with all sense?

    Oh wait — they’re facing an expanse of open water, so that’s where they decide to take their measurements. Talk about confirmation bias.

  71. “Oh wait — they’re facing an expanse of open water, so that’s where they decide to take their measurements. Talk about confirmation bias.”

    Shhhhhhhh! You aren’t supposed to notice stuff like that!

  72. they seem to have lost the capacity to make rational decisions

    That’s what I got, too. They are about to die.

  73. Don S (14:48:09) :

    The second annual Arctic cockup originating in Blighty has gone very sour. I have said from the beginning that I feared for their well-being, now I’m extremely concerned.
    Does anyone know what, in this line of endeavor, is being planned for next year?

    See what you get – and I’m just picking one example – when you allow free thought?

  74. Arn Riewe (07:53:22) :

    Let the sponsors know what you think of this stunt. I’ve collected some e-mail addresses for most of the sponsors:

    Additionally, I would also remind the sponsors that if they are dumb enough to support such a preposterous adventure, then they like exercise said same in the products that they produce and sell as well. Likely questionable products and not something I am willing to spend hard earned money on. This may get a little attention from them.

  75. Anyone not blinded by global warming hysteria can see them spiraling down.

    Funny thing about free will, you can’t stop people from doing what they’re dead set on doing. If I could take a plane up there, pick them up, literally, put them in the plane, and fly them to where it’s warm, with some hot food and warm beds, I’d do it. But I can’t.

    So I just have to sit here and watch this thing unfold.

    Maybe they’re in that ‘death spiral’ Mark Serreze talks about, for real.

  76. Pen Hadow, the one with the experience, should have all ready sized up what is happening to Martin Hartley and made the decision to get him on the supply plane out.

  77. “”” S.E.Hendriksen (09:07:37) :

    Have a look at this site from Danish Meteorological Institute. Daily mean temperature and climate north of the 80th northern parallel, as a function of the day of year. “””

    Howdy Sven,

    It’s good to see your shingle show up here from time to time.

    I’ll be sending you an e-mail when I get back to work next week. Are you up there picking the Viking Grape crop, or are you back on the mainland where it’s nice and warm.

    I need to ask you some questions about the typical fractional loss and regrowth of the arctic ocean ice each season; in other words; what is the seasonal max ice (area and or mass) and what is the seasonal min in the summer.

    I’m trying to figure out how much CO2 gets frozen out of the arctic ocean into the air when the fall refreeze starts up; so if you know what typical Arctic ocean water CO2 concentration is, that would be handy to know.

    I figure if you don’t know the Arctic ice, nobody does.

    Talk to you next week.

    George

  78. yyzdnl (14:56:21) :

    Maybe it is the skepticism I have learned to apply from blogs like this one, but I question just how serious their situation is. They keep taking useless ice measurements, the cameraman can hike out of the way for those great distance pics, they have been making their best progress, and most important they haven’t been evacuated already.

    Yep – spot on. I’m with you on this. This is a long expedition. The last thing they need is to be ignored. What better way to hold the public interest than with a series of “will they – won’t they make it” cliffhangers. It’s a key scenario in TV soap operas and, judging by the reaction to the post, the tactic is working.

  79. But these people have a problem; how can they they survive the headline:

    “Courageous attempt to test global warming ended by severe cold”?

  80. I had put my money on Earth Day for the rescue mission…not sure they’ll make it that far, but I’m sticking with it for now.

    JimB

  81. Regarding the flooding of the Red River. Google Lake Agassiz. You will be surprised. The people who live there (I once did) need to learn their paleo history. I live in Calgary now, and I found it humorous that people south of here were surprised when their town flooded. The name of the town is High River, ….D’oh!!

  82. The story will be that abnormal warming so early in the spring caused unexpected melting that got them wet and almost killed them.

  83. hotrod (08:07:34) :

    I have personally experienced that sort of wet sleeping bag situation at -30 deg F, and ended up with hypothermia. They are in big big trouble and need to get off the ice. Wet bags at those temps are not an annoyance, they are a life threatening emergency.

    Sponsors, take responsibility for these folks ,,,, they are cold, wet and sleep deprived they are no longer capable of rational judgment! Get them off the ice NOW!

    Katherine (08:53:36) :

    I think they’re running for a Darwin Award.

    They need to get the — H, E, double Mann hockey sticks, out of there!!!!!
    But of course I am a stupid —CO2 denier, flat earth er, ice age—so they can stay and die….. oh well
    God help them.

  84. So they dawn the immersion suits and swim across. How in the world do they get the sledges across?
    I wondered about that, too, so looked at their equipment, and they have a Sledge Flotation Device, which attaches to the underside.

  85. OK. I can’t sit here and snicker about Darwin Awards. I sent this e-mail to the addresses posted by Arn Riewe (07:53:22) :

    Please, for the love of God, you helped put those people out there, get them off the ice now. Please.

    R.E. Phelan

    I don’t really expect that to happen…

  86. I wonder if they have a base camp medical safety officer with the authority to pull them off the ice regardless of their own wishes.

    If they are in fact in the early stages of hypothemia, that makes them suseptible to cardiac irregularities if they take a fall. When body temperature is lower than normal and if they are dehydrated which is not uncommon in sever cold, the heart can get a bit cranky.

    When in Mountain Rescue they advised us to be very gentle with hypothermic patients because a hard shock such as dropping the stretcher due to one of the rescuers tripping could send the patient into cardiac arrest (actually fibrillation same end result).

    The recommended method of emergency warming in the field is the administration of hot IV’s and hot moist O2 as the lungs provide a very effective non-invasive method of heat transfer to the blood stream.

    http://www.hypothermia.org/jama.htm

    http://books.google.com/books?id=KnVu7VNPOP4C&pg=PA130&lpg=PA130&dq=rescue+Hypothermia+cardiac+arrhythmia&source=bl&ots=YR3xYwC8aE&sig=5z0yv5OsXPk08bx35qYO770485o&hl=en&ei=2uXOSZu5LdzinQeKuKTeCQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result

    I wonder if their equipment list include any means to accomplish either?

    Larry

  87. @Tom in Florida (09:47:40) :

    “I wonder who is going to share the proceeds from the books, miniseries and movie that will show how these “heros braved unspeakable hardships” in order to help save the planet.”

    Their heirs or assignees. Dead people can’t spend a nickel.

    Sponsors: get them the heck off the ice NOW, please.

  88. I hadn’t previously bothered to watch the short piece of video with the Catlin logo part way down this page. But I just did.

    http://www.catlinarcticsurvey.com/

    The video barely seeks to hide that this whole thing is a paid promotional stunt for a large insurance company. Catlin. These guys.

    http://www.catlin.com/

    The video makes it clear that the aim is to keep the name Catlin in front of the public. Anyone’s guess how much the reports are tailored to produce the dramatic effect to sustain this.

    Something has been nagging for a while now. Something’s not right. As many posters note, these people should be hauled off the ice pronto IF their ‘ordeal’ is as described. Why has it turned into a Hollywood-type cliffhanger? Catlin makes clear it wants the eyes of the world on its name, its logo. It presumably ‘directs’ the whole show… there’s no independent verification of anything … the state of the players’ health, the ice measurements and methodology, the reportage of anything and so on.

    I wonder whether we’re looking at a staged and scripted ‘happening’. Will there be a miraculous series of ‘escapes’ as out brave trio battle against overwhelming odds, risking their very lives to save the planet, blah, blah…

    Now I’m just bored. I’ve already seen that movie dozens of times.

    Sigh…

  89. This entire expedition is insane. Supposedly AGW should have ameliorated the weather conditions. But they were blind to see it wasn’t what they were told to expect. Being dropped into -40 degree conditions with howling winds instead of balmy conditions should have woken them up. Someone is going to die.

  90. Steve, (17:09:40)

    The Calgary Herald story you provided the link for includes this:
    “The parties agreed that long-term conservation of polar bears depends upon successful mitigation of climate change,”

    It is interesting to note the use of the newly acceptable phrase “climate change”, rather than “global warming.”

    But let’s assume the global climate is now cooling. Will they want to “mitigate” that. How? Produce more CO2?

    I think these folks are all smoking something and it is not long-leaf tobacco.

  91. My old Chief Pilot:”Son it isn’t so much the fear of dying that bothers me, its the mortal fear of screwing up WHILE dying…”

  92. John Finn (17:21:12) :
    A fellow skeptic says I have to agree. I give them full marks for dumb but I also give them full marks for chicken. I think they’ll be out of the like the Roadrunner once things get dicey.

  93. I think they’ll be out of the like the Roadrunner once things get dicey.

    Lets hope their radios were not made by ACME and have a coyote logo on them.

    Larry

  94. No doubt when their “expedition” is finished they’ll conclude the Arctic ice is doomed and it’s all due to mankind.

  95. Katherine (08:53:36) :
    I think they’re running for a Darwin Award. I don’t know whether to root for them or not. If they don’t qualify, you can bet on seeing their faces in future AGW articles about the melting of the arctic ad nauseam. If they qualify, they’ll be hailed as martyrs to the “cause” and their faces will show up in future AGW articles about the melting of the arctic ad nauseam.

    [snip]

    Huh? What was offensive about the polar bear comment? I didn’t put a single imprecation or invective in that line.

  96. alec kitson wrote:

    I wonder whether we’re looking at a staged and scripted ‘happening’. Will there be a miraculous series of ‘escapes’ as out brave trio battle against overwhelming odds, risking their very lives to save the planet, blah, blah…

    Now I’m just bored. I’ve already seen that movie dozens of times.

    Good call. Yeah, I’ve seen that movie, too. Didn’t both with the popcorn. Time to put Catlin on the block channel list.

  97. insurance companies make huge profits from tihs.

    their mathematicians compute much higher costs for their customers due to agw, and later, nothing happens.

  98. The scientific merit is that if they survive or at least if their memory chip get to the hands of others after the polar bear enjoys his yummy dinner, we will know how much snow there was at places along a particular random path that a gang of crazy people chose as the most convenient one in their attempted march towards the pole.

    The statistical ensemble of the places will be weighted by the number of sleepless wet nights in their obsolete sleeping bags. ;-)

    This set of measurements will arguably have a lower objective importance for climate science than the satellite data but it could actually be helpful for historical psychiatrists, at least those who have also learned to analyze the ice data in order to help their patients. ;-)

  99. I USED TO THINK THAT THE FASTEST WAY TO GET 10 OPINIONS WAS TO PUT 5 PSYCHIATRISTS TOGETHER.

    LOOKS LIKE THE MANTLE HAS BEEN SWITCHED TO 10 “SCIENTISTS.” ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO TODAY ESPOUSE “GLOBAL WARMING: BUT WHO, 35 YEARS AGO, WERE DEAD SET ON “GLOBAL COOLING” AND “THE COMING ICE AGE.”

  100. The Telegraph reports that the ice is thinning at minus 40 degrees, and that the explorers had to start the expedition in the winter – before all the ice melts due to global warming.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/5061498/Lacy-underwear-secret-tool-of-polar-expedition.html

    Something about the mention of global warming causes some people to completely discard with any remaining common sense. If it was minus 40 in London, they would probably expect the Thames to freeze. Not so in the Arctic.

  101. How do they know where they are if their compass and GPS are not working? Following the wind, it’s no wonder they are so off course. Hope they have a nice swim to the north pole.

  102. From their website
    Total distance travelled
    112.23 km
    Average daily distance
    4.0 km
    Estimated distance to North Pole
    806.73 km
    Time on Arctic Ocean
    28 days
    800km to go @ 4km/day
    200 Days!

  103. If these three people die on the ice than we can at least say that “Global warming really kills people”. They are out there to measure the thickness of the artic sea ice, but i can’t measure the depth of this research idiocy.

  104. The results of the Catlin expedition, which is supported by WWF and Prince Charles, will be fed to scientists and used to inform an international deal on climate change at the end of this year.

    The data from walking in a straight line over ever-changing and always moving ice will be used to form policy this year. The data will not be compared to future data sets covering the same period of the year along the same route because there are no plans to repeat this trek yearly or this method of measuring the ice. It’s a publicity stunt adventure trying to pass for science.

  105. I tip my hat for their courage.
    But I also think a lot of scientists in this field have to be shaking their heads at the sheer amateurism of this venture, or publicity stunt. Reminds me of the CNN crew attempt to climb Kilamanjaro last year.
    Very foolish and naive.

    As I said, nature has an uncanny way of eliminating stupid genes.

  106. Text of my email to their HQ.

    “Hello,

    This performance on the ice is pointless. One set of ice thickness measurements and no other data to compare them with. What’s the value of that? You admit the ice moves and presumably also thins and thickens, so the values measured at each grid reference point are wrong within minutes. Get them off the ice now or they’ll so lose more than their reputations. You must accept that the planet is moving into its regular cooling cycle and that setting out with the stated objective of confirming thinning ice is a PC programme to confirm your feelings. Proper science is about setting out to take the measurements and then evaluate the results, not just decide to try and confirm your religious beliefs. You are as silly as that fool in his kayak last year.”

  107. Steven Goddard (00:34:43) :
    “The Telegraph reports that the ice is thinning at minus 40 degrees, and that the explorers had to start the expedition in the winter – before all the ice melts due to global warming.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/5061498/Lacy-underwear-secret-tool-of-polar-expedition.html

    Something about the mention of global warming causes some people to completely discard with any remaining common sense. If it was minus 40 in London, they would probably expect the Thames to freeze. Not so in the Arctic.”

    According to the above link the expedition has only made 62 miles as of March 29… Good grief, at the rate they’re moving, it’ll be next Christmas before they get to the North Pole!

  108. “I wonder whether we’re looking at a staged and scripted ‘happening’. Will there be a miraculous series of ‘escapes’ as out brave trio battle against overwhelming odds, risking their very lives to save the planet, blah, blah…”

    Like the crap of the Apollo landings being filmed on Earth?
    Hmm, so the accusation is that there aren’t three people out there on the ice and this is all being staged somewhere a lot more convenient as an insurance multi-national marketing exercise…
    Probably unfair, but sure to get a lot of cultist feathers ruffled :D :D

  109. has anyone ever seen any activity on either the biotelemetry monitors or the ice thickness data display? I’ve been to the site dozens of times, and I’ve never seen anything but “Standby mode enabled” on all that stuff?
    Is it a bunch of stuff that’s not working, or is it clever website design meant to add to the techie appeal?

    JimB

  110. I was stationed by the Army for eighteen months in and around Fairbanks, AK During my first winter in the Tanana valley, all ‘chechakos’, i.e. rookies in the ‘Yuke’ had to camp out for two nights when the temperature hit -40. The first night was spent in a home-made lean-to. Even fully dressed, including parka, and tucked into a double sleeping bag with a scarf over nose and mouth, which had to be moved every few minutes so that frozen breath would not adhere to flesh, it was cold beyond belief. At one point, I went to the company campfire to fill my thermos with hot coffee just shy of the boiling point; a minute later, it was frozen solid.

    However misguided this Catlin expedition is, I feel for these guys. Frostbite and hypothermia are not included in my celbratory attitude toward cold weather.

  111. I would like to thank Steve Goddard for allowing the cold heart and ignorance of some of the posters here.
    Some wishing their deaths, some hoping for their deaths, most expecting them to fail and die in their endeavours.
    Their sponsers have paid for this trip. One would imagine they desire a few photos with their names prominently displated. Is this so bad?

    Ignorance:
    A fixed buoy measures the thickness of its surrounding ice in its current location (moving)
    I understand they are making a reasonably continuous record of their track to the pole. Their results will not just be a few fixed points in the ice but a random slice of thicknesses ove the length of their track. You will also note that the fixed buoys are clustered around the coast.
    The average daily distance is just that. It cannot be used to estimate the time to the pole. They are currently making better time owing to easier conditions. These conditions may become better or worse with corresponding changes to the total walk time.
    The ice thickness changes according to its position in the sheet (always changing) at the edges it will not be -40C and the difference that GW or GC make will show it here, first.
    Bill

  112. Did anyone ever suspect that this Catlin romp could be just another shell game? It could all be pulled off so easily in cyberspace and no-on would be the wiser. Hell! even greenpeace can stoop to this a lot of the time, as shown by their footage of seal clubbings (staged by them). There was also the reporter’s story on the opening day of the seal hunt some years ago, as dutifully posted in several major newspapers. It described the blood bath on the first day of the hunt written by a reporter with first hand front row seating. Snag is, she had never got there, and she was a day or two premature, with her story invention, as the seal hunt had been delayed, but she hand’t known that. Big expose. Lots of egg on face.

  113. The planned satellite transmission of the measurements has not worked. They have to store it in memory and then will download when they are done with their trip. My hunch is that even if the re-supply craft is taking the data back to the lab, the standard conditions under which the measurements were taken will make it very difficult to determine much of anything other than “ice packs shift”. Most of us here know that just by looking at the 30 day animation on cryosphere. It is sad that these people are compelled to live under very harsh and dangerous conditions to bring back something we already know.

  114. Sandy

    Nah, no suggestion that this is taking place on a back lot in Hollywood (chuckle). Hadn’t thought about that interpretation.

    No, rather that since ice-thickness data is conrtinuously monitored by a series of buoys deployed by the US Army (I think it’s the Army), there is, has been and will continue to be better overall data available than these dudes’ one-off reality TV show.

    It’s fun to imagine this was the TexacoArcticSurvey with Texaco calling all the shots, the conclusion already having been reached that the ice is thickening and the brave Texaco-funded explorers confirming daily the brutal cold etc. Lordy can you imagine the apoplexy from the warmers … “Oil company risks lives of hired publicists in the cruel and heartless pursuit of headlines and profit” and so on.

    This jaunt amounts to the equivalent of an editorial instruction to ‘go out these and get me a story that proves gang violence is running out of control’. That’s different from ‘go out there and find out what’s happening with gang violence’.

    Interesting that Catlin is an insurance outfit. I mean, we know how popular some of them are these days. What a delicious irony had it been AIG!

    The timing is interesting, of course. Every year the Arctic ice thaws from hereon in for the next six months. Look at this link. Then it refreezes. The whole hemisphere does the same, I think it’s called ‘summer’ or something like that.

    http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm

    Shouldn’t be hard to report, er, melting ice between now and the end of September. Given the Gore effect, I wonder whether the summer melt will be less than normal this year… (chuckle again)

  115. The sponsors could at least fly in new sleeping gear and possibly replace UK type winter wear with Canadian stuff. We kids in Winnipeg in the 40s and into the 50s walked to school every day as far away as a mile or two in January’s 30 -35 below – there were no school busses then and in Wpg you couldn’t shut down schools because it was cold outside. Moreover, we also played for hours outside. But our mothers outfitted us for the trek better than HRH did for these three. No friends of mine lost fingers or toes and a six year old doesn’t have the body mass to handle the cold like an adult.

  116. bill,

    You display the standard irrational thought process of the AGW community.

    If anything happens to the explorers, it will be the fault of the people involved with the expedition – not those of us here suggesting that they be evacuated to receive proper warmth and medical attention.

  117. Roger (09:03:14) :

    The monarchy is the lesser of two evils and has saved us from the possibility of such heads of state as Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, The Peoples Princess, Elton John or Jade Goody. Charles’s mentors do him and us a great disservice in not advising at least a modicum of reservation in his perceived espousal of the AGW cause and are indeed allowing him to expose himself to possible future ridicule as the Prince with no clothes.

    Unfortunately, he chooses his own advisers and, as we know from 60 years of watching him, he listens to nobody else. He believes he is NEVER wromg!

  118. bill (07:43:51) :

    I would like to thank Steve Goddard for allowing the cold heart and ignorance of some of the posters here.
    Some wishing their deaths, some hoping for their deaths, most expecting them to fail and die in their endeavours.
    Their sponsers have paid for this trip. One would imagine they desire a few photos with their names prominently displated. Is this so bad?

    I don’t see anyone here “wishing” for the deaths of these people. In fact very much the reverse; let’s see them withdrawn before a death occurs. What they are doing is not worth the risk to these people just to achieve publicity for the “sponsors.”

  119. Unlike some more cynical posters, I am very reassured to learn that Catlin is an insurance company.
    Their risk assessment computer models are among the most sophisticated pieces of wizardry in the modern world. When fed with high quality speculative data and the best probable underlying principles the outputs are almost infallible and would certainly enable our intrepid trio to avoid all hazards.
    Furthermore, in the unlikely event that some accident of nature, like extreme cold or some such, should overtake the expedition, I have no doubt that pay-out would be prompt and generous.

  120. JimB (03:56:30) :

    Both Biotelemetry and Ice thickness telemetry are not just in “Standby Enabled” mode – they simply do not work. The team has yet to uplink any data and instead is storing it on flash cards. Hmm. One reason for “Standby” biometrics is to avoid the world seeing how poorly their health may be. The minus 40C temps will continue to freeze Martin’s frostbitten flesh and likely result in permanent disability or amputation.

    To lose an appendage in the name of a falsified theory seems a rather unnecessary sacrifice. It is up to the sponsors at this point to pull the plug – get these poor souls off the ice and perhaps save three lives in the process.

  121. Oliver Ramsay (09:43:46) :

    “Unlike some more cynical posters, I am very reassured to learn that Catlin is an insurance company.
    Their risk assessment computer models are among the most sophisticated pieces of wizardry in the modern world. When fed with high quality speculative data and the best probable underlying principles the outputs are almost infallible and would certainly enable our intrepid trio to avoid all hazards.”

    Are these like the sophisticate programs at AIG, Lehman Bros., etc. that were “almost infallible”.

  122. If it’s too cold for GPS to work, how do they know where they are measuring? How do they know how far they have traveled?

  123. Steven Goddard (09:01:45) :
    You display the standard irrational thought process of the AGW community.
    If anything happens to the explorers, it will be the fault of the people involved with the expedition – not those of us here suggesting that they be evacuated to receive proper warmth and medical attention.

    I have displayed no thought processes – I would not ask, do not expect, and will not endorse dangerous exploits – everest, k2, matterhorn, either pole – If someone wants to attempt expeditions to such places I am sure they know the dangers, and hope they have been educated into health in such places. If rescues are required, then again I am sure that the rescuers have taken this profession of their own free will.

    Some of the comments here must be very hurtful to their families and friends.

  124. Fascinating read. I’m changing my mind about this trek as I read. Any one remember “The Day After Tomorrow”? Starting to look familiar?

    We assume honesty and integrity in matters scientific, forgetting the role ‘science’ has played in the not so distant past. Seal hunt simulations? I never heard about them, but I believe you. Science supported the destruction of the Irish during the potato famine, the slaughter of Jews in WWII, the same science of Eugenics justified everything from slavery to abortion, to genocides taking place worldwide. It will, no doubt, play a role in global warming as government is forced to decide who should live and who should die. Obviously those who tend to over-populate are not helping mankind mitigate our common carbon footprint.

    WE have taught our children to believe the lie. My wife just read a WSU student blog that “sustainability” could not be accomplished until we eradicate “Individualism” and embrace “Communal Societies”. One day, sooner that I wish, such expressions will reach the “tipping point” as we hand over the future to the generation we allowed to be fed this garbage.

    I suspect these may not be fools at all; and the suffering they endure is little more than 8 hours each day in “make-up”. Kudos to the special effects team.”

  125. if what their blog says is true, then it made no sense for them to take 48 samples in a small area. Well, the whole thing makes no sense. They could just look up the ice data on the internet.

    But If it’s true they are in over their heads. Who will pull them out?

    Then again, maybe they are exaggerating for effect and $.

  126. all the information is being stored on flash cards and no one ever alters those do they?.

    i have a feeling they are doomed.. from their lack of equipment, to the lack of intelligence.

    REPLY: The low temperatures make me wonder if the data will come back intact. Even they purchased an industrial hardened flash drive, they aren’t even in the ballpark for low operating temperature. For example, this one

    http://www.pcuniverse.com/Transcend-Industrial-Flash-memory-card-1-GB-CompactFlash/TS1GCF45I-D/pd/p4265031

    from a leading company (Transcend) is only good down to -40F which is also -40C coincidentally. Will it fail at lower temperatures? Who knows? I hope they made paper backup. – Anthony

  127. You can check this out. A number of you excuse Pen Hadow because you assume he has a degree in some climate related science. I am sure I read an article by him before the expedition started. He is a Harrow School old boy and takes pride that he was so stupid he could barely pass any GCSEs. (For Americans – a high school (very high school) drop out.) Now, I hope I am not maligning him but I think this is the case. He should not be leading an expedition of this sort.

  128. bill (11:32:35) :

    “I have displayed no thought processes”

    Touche! Umm, do you see now how easy it can be to make the meaning of a quote appear totally different than what was said?

  129. “High-resolution cross-profiles of the snow and ice will be gathered every 10cm along the 1,200-km survey route. The raw data will then be processed by SPRITE’s own computer, before being transferred across to the central on-board sledge computer for compression, and then up-linked, via the Iridium satellites back to the survey’s UK Headquarters.”

    How the heck are they powering all this equipment?

  130. Perry Debell wrote (02:24:27) :

    “…
    Get them off the ice now or they’ll so lose more than their reputations.
    …”

    No need to worry about that. Already done.

  131. For anyone wondering about the depth of inquiry and rigid protocol in place to insure truly scientific results from the “brave trio’s” intrepid adventure just refer back to the Catlin Arctic Survey site and read the intro blurbs which rotate under the first dramatic photo. Here are a couple of them.


    “For the sake of our children and grandchildren, I pray that we will heed the findings of the Catlin Artic Survey, and I can only commend this remarkably important project to you.”

    HRH The Prince of Wales

    “Your planned measurements will provide an unprecedented data set of snow and ice that will allow us to better characterize the current state of the Arctic sea ice cover and project its declining trend.”

    Dr. Ron Kwok – Senior research scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA

    Well, there we have it. Certainly no bias evident there huh?

  132. It seems the last tweet of the expedition was at 10.40 am on 28th March.

    Has anybody come across anything more recent? This is a long gap.

    Tonyb

  133. wilson Flood

    Pen Hadow is by no means stupid and is also a highly experienced polar explorer. He also gives motivational speeches and is just the sort of person to lead an expedition.

    http://centres.exeter.ac.uk/cls/documents/PenHadowJuly04.pdf

    However, the conditions are very severe and with the onerous scientific duties-for a project which I think is pointless-he may have bitten off more than he can chew.

    The last I heard they were pondering whether to swim across some open water in an immersion suit. Hopefully they thought better of it.
    Lets hope they all make it back safely but I am beginning to have serious concerns for their well being.

    Tonyb

  134. Prince Charles has hit on the solution to really improve the world: Salsa.

    Its great exercise and so much more fun than getting frostbite and freezing in the Arctic while trying to prove how warm things are. Just do a Charles and go where it is really sizzling!

  135. Why were they playing with the black lacy panties while still on the airplane? Was that their preference in windsocks or does the team normally trot out their used underwear before every expedition? It’s very, very odd.

  136. Ah, here is the explanation: http//www.catlinarcticsurvey.com/Knickers

    As I have never been on an Arctic exploration, I will assume that this is usual.

  137. “I made 48 snow measurements after we’d stopped
    walking today – the best yet.”

    I suspect they’ve found the thinnest ice cover so far.

    GET OUT OF THERE! PLEASE!!!

    DaveE.

  138. April E. Coggins (15:48:06) :

    Why were they playing with the black lacy panties while still on the airplane? Was that their preference in windsocks or does the team normally trot out their used underwear before every expedition? It’s very, very odd.

    See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/5061498/Lacy-underwear-secret-tool-of-polar-expedition.html for context.

    My guess is that was a gag gift given to Ann Daniels as they left for the start of the trek. Exactly why she brought them along is unclear, but they only weigh a few grams. Perhaps she figured she could tie up a bundle of something while still wearing heavy gloves – the leg holes make big handholds.

    My guess about the GPS receivers not being used is more from concern about battery efficiency at low temperatures than units being non-functional. They probably power one up to get a fix at the start and end of each day.

  139. This is not a comment, but rather a question. I have come across news that there’s another expedition heading towards the North Pole, as of now. It’s been undertaken by the International Peary-Henson Centennial North Pole Team.

    http://www.pr-inside.com/international-peary-henson-centennial-north-r1148220.htm

    http://www.humanedgetech.com/expedition/pe/

    http://www.polarexplorers.com/expeditions/PearyHensonExpedition.htm

    Why is it that there’s been hardly any press coverage about the latter, whereas the Catlin non-sense draws so much attention? Both started out almost simultaneously, but despite the historical importance the Peary-Henson endeavour appears to bear, it seems there’s nobody up there apart from the Catlin people.

    Thanks,
    M.

  140. ” Oliver Ramsay (09:43:46) :

    Furthermore, in the unlikely event that some accident of nature, like extreme cold or some such, should overtake the expedition, I have no doubt that pay-out would be prompt and generous.”

    No chance!

    Insurance doesn’t cover ‘act of God’

    & no, unlike some others, my sarcasm detector IS working!

    If their situation is as bad as they claim…

    GET THEM THE F**K OUT OF THERE!

    DaveE.

  141. Arctic science? You want science? How about

    http://www.crrel.usace.army.mil/library/specialreports/AOS_SR96_23.pdf

    The 1994 Arctic Ocean Section: The First Major Scientific Crossing of the Arctic Ocean (2.6 M)

    * Walter Tucker and David Cate, Editors
    * Special Report 96-23
    (No Abstract Available)

    — Historic Firsts —
    • First U.S. and Canadian surface ships to reach the North Pole
    • First surface ship crossing of the Arctic Ocean via the North Pole
    • First circumnavigation of North America and Greenland by surface ships
    •Northernmost rendezvous of three surface ships from the largest Arctic nations—Russia,
    the U.S. and Canada—at 89°41¢N, 011°24¢E on August 23, 1994
    — Significant Scientific Findings —
    •Uncharted seamount discovered near 85°50¢N, 166°00¢E
    • Atlantic layer of the Arctic Ocean found to be 0.5–1°C warmer than prior to 1993
    • Large eddy of cold fresh shelf water found centered at 1000 m on the periphery of the
    Makarov Basin
    • Sediment observed on the ice from the Chukchi Sea to the North Pole
    • Biological productivity estimated to be ten times greater than previous estimates
    • Active microbial community found, indicating that bacteria and protists are significant consumers
    of plant production
    •Mesozooplankton biomass found to increase with latitude
    • Benthic macrofauna found to be abundant, with populations higher in the Amerasia Basin
    than in the Eurasian Basin
    • Furthest north polar bear on record captured and tagged (84°15¢N)
    •Demonstrated the presence of polar bears and ringed seals across the Arctic Basin
    • Sources of ice-rafted detritus in seafloor cores traced, suggesting that ocean–ice circulation
    in the western Canada Basin was toward Fram Strait during glacial intervals, contrary to the
    present Beaufort Gyre
    • Cloud optical properties linked to marine biogenic sulfur emissions
    •Near-surface fresh water found to be derived from river runoff except in the Nansen Basin
    where it comes from melting ice
    • Arctic Ocean determined to be a source to the atmosphere and Atlantic Ocean of some
    organic contaminants, rather than a sink
    • Predominant sources of radionuclide contaminants in the ocean found to be from atmospheric
    weapons testing and European reprocessing plants

  142. Oops _ I forgot to save the better formatted version.

    Arctic science? You want science? How about

    http://www.crrel.usace.army.mil/library/specialreports/AOS_SR96_23.pdf

    The 1994 Arctic Ocean Section: The First Major Scientific Crossing of the Arctic Ocean (2.6 M)

    * Walter Tucker and David Cate, Editors
    * Special Report 96-23
    (No Abstract Available)

    — Historic Firsts —
    • First U.S. and Canadian surface ships to reach the North Pole
    • First surface ship crossing of the Arctic Ocean via the North Pole
    • First circumnavigation of North America and Greenland by surface ships
    • Northernmost rendezvous of three surface ships from the largest Arctic nations—Russia, the U.S. and Canada—at 89°41¢N, 011°24¢E on August 23, 1994

    — Significant Scientific Findings —
    •Uncharted seamount discovered near 85°50’N, 166°00’E
    • Atlantic layer of the Arctic Ocean found to be 0.5–1°C warmer than prior to 1993
    • Large eddy of cold fresh shelf water found centered at 1000 m on the periphery of the Makarov Basin
    • Sediment observed on the ice from the Chukchi Sea to the North Pole
    • Biological productivity estimated to be ten times greater than previous estimates
    • Active microbial community found, indicating that bacteria and protists are significant consumers of plant production
    • Mesozooplankton biomass found to increase with latitude
    • Benthic macrofauna found to be abundant, with populations higher in the Amerasia Basin than in the Eurasian Basin
    • Furthest north polar bear on record captured and tagged (84°15’N)
    • Demonstrated the presence of polar bears and ringed seals across the Arctic Basin
    • Sources of ice-rafted detritus in seafloor cores traced, suggesting that ocean–ice circulation in the western Canada Basin was toward Fram Strait during glacial intervals, contrary to the present Beaufort Gyre
    • Cloud optical properties linked to marine biogenic sulfur emissions
    • Near-surface fresh water found to be derived from river runoff except in the Nansen Basin where it comes from melting ice
    • Arctic Ocean determined to be a source to the atmosphere and Atlantic Ocean of some organic contaminants, rather than a sink
    • Predominant sources of radionuclide contaminants in the ocean found to be from atmospheric weapons testing and European reprocessing plants

  143. I don’t consider myself to be a polar expect although I have been above the Circle about a dozen times. My cold weather experience was in April 1998 when I and 4 others spent six days at Victory Pt (King William Island) to commerorate the 150th anniversary of the Franklin men coming ashore. Landed a Twin Otter on a frozen lake. We had good cold weather gear, insulated underwear, Sorel boots, fleece pants with covering shells. The temp was about zero F daytime and -20F at night. Spent two nights in tents and froze our asses off event though we had -40F sleeping bags. Then we got smart and built igloos. Extremely comfortable, even a bit warm at night. From the pictures there is no reason not to build snow houses. Also we had caribou and muskox skins to place the sleeping bags on. Other than some problem with drying my Sorel liners (and they will freeze dry but you need multiple pairs) all else was fine.

  144. Adding to the absurdity of this expedition, the UK telegraph is reporting the following:

    “When compasses and GPS fail the Catlin Arctic Survey expedition, they go with a low tech “gadget” to help them navigate the freezing wastes and find their bearing: A lacy pair of panties.”…
    Limk: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/5061498/Lacy-underwear-secret-tool-of-polar-expedition.html

    Even the techy crowd at Gizomod is getting a chuckle out of it:
    “The panties serve as a wind sock of sorts, as the team attaches them to a ski pole and uses wind as a guide to the North Pole”.
    Link: http://i.gizmodo.com/5189268/panties-help-guide-700+mile-arctic-expedition-when-gps-compasses-fail.

    I wonder if the typical check list of things to bring on an Arctic expedition includes a lacy pair of panties?… WUWT?…

    Don Penim

  145. “The panties serve as a wind sock of sorts, as the team attaches them to a ski pole and uses wind as a guide to the North Pole”.

    Must be very reliable wind if you can navigate by it.

  146. Tallbloke wrote

    “How the heck are they powering all this equipment?”

    I looked the other day and their website has info. Here. For power, scroll down to the piece by Perran. I’m only semidemi informed on therse matters and cannot comment on the soundness of the strategy.

    http://www.catlinarcticsurvey.com/technology

    I was at the time looking for their computers when I found this. -40 is beyond the operating range of most, but I found a newish Dell laptop that would work. This one. And presumably there are more such specialised devices.

    http://www.dell.com/xfr

    http://www.augmentix.com/products/xtg630_fully-rugged_notebook

    Unrelated, how interesting that such as this fabulous device costs three grand or so, the same kind of dough the earliest ‘portables’ cost in the early eighties, such as the Osborne with its mighty 5″ monochrome screen!

    From the tropics, where as has been noted before in these pages, the melting ice is confined to the epipelagic layer of gin & tonic and the like, and is under more or less continuous observation in tens of thousands of locations at any given moment. Discounting those locations situated near airports and on hot asphalt (Anthony), and confining the sampling to shady courtyards and such, I think we expats can provide more accurate estimates of local melt rates and the (frequently rapid) replenishment cycle than the insurance company will be able to do after the present more northerly exercise.

    Alec

  147. Well they are now showing respiration and heart beats, so the team members cannot be dead, but 2 of them show 0 deg C core temps and the third (Ann) is showing core temps near 20-28 deg C.

    Looks like their bio data is not too useful at the moment.

    Certainly not good enough for a base camp medical team to make much judgment about their actual core temps.

    Larry

  148. Heart rate under 100bpm with respatory rates of over 150 and as high as 300 breaths per minute. Hyperventilating? Can’t be right. Skin temps of 30.5 BRRR.

  149. 4 days without sleep, frostbite, and improper equipment? I would be calling in an evac and looking to come with with proper equipment.

  150. This from today’s ‘Latest Update’

    This reads sort of odd to me. Way too dramatic for someone journaling. Maybe I am just tainted and overly sceptical. On the other hand maybe there is a bit of elaboration going on in the telling of this tale.

    I can’t wait for the part where they have to swim the last 600 km. That really will be exciting. I hope they can keep up their ‘Updates’ without too much problem.

  151. [that last comment should have read]

    This from today’s ‘Latest Update’

    “The ice in the area they are crossing is very active and the team need to be alert to sudden changes at all times, as Ann found out when she sat down on a pressure ridge for a break in the middle of the day, only for the ice to suddenly start breaking up underneath her. Needless to say she cut her tea break short and moved on rather quickly. ”

    This reads sort of odd to me. Way too dramatic for someone journaling. Maybe I am just tainted and overly sceptical. On the other hand maybe there is a bit of elaboration going on in the telling of this tale.

    I can’t wait for the part where they have to swim the last 600 km. That really will be exciting. I hope they can keep up their ‘Updates’ without too much problem.

  152. I recently wrote to Jonathon Amos at the BBC about the Catlin Arctic survey. Below is my question and at the end is Jonathon’s answer. Make of it what you will …………

    Sent: 21 March 2009 19:32
    To: Jonathan Amos-Online
    Subject: BBC : The Catlin Arctic Survey.

    Dear Jonathan

    I refer to your recent article on the BBC website (link here).http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7902766.stm I have been following with interest the brave work of the three polar explorers who are currently exploring the Arctic and studying the level of ice decline that is taking place and I have come across the following article (see attached link) that has left me with some questions about this Arctic expedition and the BBC’s coverage of it and the questions not asked / points not made by the BBC. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/03/18/arctic-ice-thickness-measured-from-buoys/ Having read this article, I would be grateful if you look at the following questions and explain why your BBC website article does not raise these points for the reader nor does it draw attention to the fact that any evidence from the Catlin Arctic Survey will have major limitations :

    1. how are the explorers able to measure ice decline from a single set of data points taken at minus 40C, measured over an eight week period?.

    2. Will the team be revisiting the site next year for further measurements ?

    3. If the ice is not in the same place as last year due to being moved around by the wind, how will this impact upon the consistency and integrity of the ice data that is being collected?

    4.The fact that the US Army keeps a set of buoys on the ice which continuously monitor ice thickness, temperature and location year round and are normally able to provide more than one year of data?. This is a better and more consistent source of information than that being obtained by the Catlin Survey.

    5. The Wattsupwiththat blog also makes the following points :
    (a) “All five buoys show water temperatures indicating ice thickness in the range of 3-4 metres. Catlin is attempting to take another 10,000 or so measurements on the shifting, moving ice they are trying to travel across. While that data may be useful in understanding the local behaviour of the ice, it likely will provide little information about long-term ice trends, unless the same measurements are taken on a consistent basis over many years”.

    (b) “You can also see in the 2007J graph above that the ice has thickened at least half a metre since March, 2008.” The above point claims that the ice has thickened since March 2008. Is this correct and if so how does this fit with the explorers claims that the ice is getting thinner and why has the BBC not pointed out the limitations of the Catlin Surveys evidence. Can you confirm if you are going to raise these points in future BBC website articles on this subject, as in the interests of balance and understanding of the subject matter these points need to be raised. If you will not be raising these valid points, could you explain why not?

    Thank You.

    RESPONSE FROM BBC

    From: “Jonathan Amos-Online”
    Sunday, 22 March, 2009 10:24 PM

    Mark
    (1) This is another useful dataset that samples the ice when it is at its thickest (re-read the article for why that is important). It will be considered with all the other datasets – in situ, buoys, submarines, satellites, etc – that have been gathered down the years in different parts of the Arctic (again, as the article makes clear). The acquired dataset becomes a very useful tool to calibrate the satellites that are overflying the region now and to constrain the models (again, as stated in the article). For example, the operators of Envisat, ERS-2 and IceSat will want to see if their algorithms are seeing similar thicknesses to the Catlin data. This will give them confidence in interpreting the satellite data from years past and into the future. “No other information on ice thickness like this is expected to be made available to the scientific community in 2009.” More data is normally a good thing.

    (2) It is my understanding that there is an intention to repeat the survey.

    (3) See point 1 above

    (4) I’ve written about these devices previously. You can see a picture of the set-up at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7141635.stm These are deliberately placed on the oldest, thickest blocks of ice. This way you can measure yearly erosion and growth. Try putting one of these buoys on first-year ice and you will need to buy a new one every September.

    (5) (a) See point 1 above

    (5) (b) Whether the ice is thicker or thinner in any 12 months tells us little. Natural variability over such a timescale can easily hide a negative or positive trend http://nsidc.org/images/arcticseaicenews/200903_Figure3.png

    A suggestion: Ignore what journalists like me write, and ignore the chatter in the blogosphere. Instead, go to a major conference like AGU or EGU and attend the cryosphere sessions. Speak to real scientists who spend their lives studying the Arctic and the Antarctic. Ask them what they think is happening. Go to the source. Hope that helps.

    Jonathan.

  153. The previous email I sent to Jonathon Amos at the BBC was also sent to the group themselves. Again, make of it what you will….

    Re: The Catlin Arctic Survey.Sunday,
    22 March, 2009 12:45 PM
    From: “Catlin Arctic Survey”

    Hi Mark,

    Many thanks for your email. We read the wattsupwiththat.com post ourselves. Steven Goddard puts forward a number of interesting points, many of which are deserving of answers. However, he also makes a number of dubious assertions and in some cases inaccurate statements.

    That being the case, I think we might try and write a response to Steven’s article and submit it to wattsupwiththat.com ourselves. At present, however, there’s a big focus on the operational aspects of the project and we’re not really set up to counter each and every criticism of the project (and there will be other criticisms, as everybody nowadays has an opinion on climate science). So it may take us a week or so before we’re in a position to write an accurate, properly-referenced, academic reply.

    So if you can bear with us for a while, we’ll deal with this shortly. Basically, however, we don’t have to keep returning every single year, although we certainly havn’t discounted regular return visits; we are aware of the buoys, and we’re not trying to compete with them but complement them (in the same way that we’re complementing satellite and submarine based data on ice thickness – this is about collaboration, not competition between data sets); and there is no doubt whatsoever amongst the scientific community that the Arctic sea ice is diminishing – even Steven Goddard’s own source (http://imb.crrel.usace.army.mil/change.htm) states this to be true.

    Hopefully more to follow.

    With kind regards,

    Simon

  154. Mark

    Well done in establishing a dialogue with the players, BBC and the expedition itself. I truly look forward to the possibility that this forum that might develop into an intelligent exchange between the parties.

    To the guys on the ice … felicitations and well done that you take the time to read Watts. I tip my hat to you for that. And in common with most posters wish you well personally. The (perceived) hyper-reporting of frostbite and physical distress and so on was either over-the-top for dramatic purposes or the concerns to get you guys off the ice were/are real.

    I can’t speak for any other poster on this thread as I don’t know any of them (nah, I think I do know one), but please realize that while some of us (that would include me) think what you’re doing is a ‘reality TV’ type show, primarily an attention-grabbing marketing exercise for the insurance guys (which is patently working chuckle, so well done there insurance guys), I hope you think safety first and either get the heck out of there if the reports of frostbite (you know how serious that is fer chrissake) and so on are true … or if they are exaggerations for dramatic effect, well, maybe just report the grinding facts rather than the Hollywood stuff. It makes no sense to this cracker or his medical friends that you are still on the ice if your ‘in extremis’ reports are true.

    As I said, look after yourselves and try to report free of agenda. The info isn’t of much importance given so much alternative data, but personal integrity is.

    Stay warm (I mean it).

    Saludos,

    Alec

  155. A properly-referenced academic reply between a frostbite and a soggy sleeping bag? Have they gone ga-ga completely?

    I am sure we can all wait for an answer until they will come back safe (and mentally sound!).

  156. Most Arctic ice websites are now reporting that maximum ice extent has occurred.

    “March 30, 2009
    Annual maximum ice extent confirmed

    Arctic sea ice extent reached its maximum extent for the year, marking the beginning of the melt season. This year’s maximum was the fifth lowest in the satellite record. NSIDC will release a more detailed analysis of winter sea ice conditions during the second week of April…

    …On February 28, Arctic sea ice reached its maximum extent for the year, at 15.14 million square kilometers (5.85 million square miles). The maximum extent was 720,000 square kilometers (278,000 square miles) below the 1979 to 2000 average of 15.86 million square kilometers (6.12 million square miles), making it the fifth-lowest maximum extent in the satellite record. The six lowest maximum extents since 1979 have all occurred in the last six years (2004 to 2009).
    graph with months on x axis and extent on y axis Figure 2. The graph above shows daily sea ice extent. The solid blue line indicates 2008 to 2009; the dashed green line shows 2006 to 2007 (the record-low summer minimum occurred in 2007); and the solid gray line indicates average extent from 1979 to 2000. Sea Ice Index data.
    —Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center”

    So this means that either it is getting worse, or the trend shows a slow recovery. If this is the 5th lowest out of 6 years of lowest ice, it looks like a recovery is in process.

  157. Pamela,

    Please – How many years are there in the satellite record?

    If this is the 5th lowest out of 6 years of lowest ice, it looks like a recovery is in process. – Agreed looks like a recovery – but still too early to tell. This NH Summer should be especially interesting wrt arctic sea ice extent.

    Thanks. G

  158. Latest from the ice -45C

    “Plummeting temperatures today took the thermometer off the bottom of the scale, which means the team are currently enduring temperatures lower than -45°C. These extreme temperatures, the coldest experienced by the team so far in this expedition, have the strange physical side effect of causing the team to sound almost drunk as they slur their words and cognitive reactions are noticeably slower.

    The relentless cold is utterly exhausting, but despite this, the team crossed the 83°N landmark and covered nearly 14.5km.

  159. I look forward to Simon@Catlin’s piece. Particularly his analysis of my “dubious” and “inaccurate” statements – and I have one question to ask of him.

    Will the 2009 Arctic summer minimum ice extent be greater or less than the previous two years?

    I also look forward to the safe return of the ice team.

  160. Hmm … people slurring words in extreme makes me worry about hypothermia. You don’t slur because of the cold, provided you are dressed properly, but you will if your core body temperature is dopping into the hypothermic range.

  161. All the symptoms mentioned in hengav’s post are the first symptoms of hypothermia. When I worked outdoors, anyone with these symptoms would be brought in to warmth and shelter asap.

    Hopefully at least one member of the party, or support team, knows this since people can deteriorate rapidly in these extreme temperatures.

  162. I ran some Google searches for the “Catlin expedition” and I don’t know if I am missing something but I couldn’t find squat. Sure, I found the Guardian & BBC articles but everywhere else things are quiet. Considering the “follow the team” page is setup for twitter, facebook, youtube, google earth, and iPod, I tend to believe they were expecting an electronic turnout for their adventure.

    It would seem the only turnout is from WUWT, go figure. As said earlier I believe they may be making more of the trials they face than exists, but I sympathize that the intended audience doesn’t acknowledge their efforts. Going through what they are for only recognition from the opposition must be disappointing. Oh well, at least the trip is paid for.

    Daniel

  163. Nice connection to AIG but – why give them MORE ideas of how to get away with pandering to their elitist buddies on Wall Street?

Comments are closed.