Busted: Catlin Arctic Ice Survey “Didn’t Expect” To Find First Year Ice

The farcical account of the Catlin Crew continues. You don’t even have to dig deep anymore to find as many holes in their stories as they say they are drilling. In addition to what Steve points out, our own “Charles the moderator” provided the video framegrab below, notice anything interesting? You can watch the Quicktime video showing how they do “drilling and measurement” on the Catlin website developer, Indigopapa.tv,  is here .

catlin_ice_measurement_technique

Click for larger image

In case you don’t see it, the answer for the clip above is at the end of the article. – Anthony

Guest post by Steven Goddard

In the April 15 Catlin blog, they made the following statement:

Wednesday, 15 Apr 2009 12:39

The Catlin Arctic Survey has now released its first set of ice and snow thickness measurements, showing the floating sea ice cover it has travelled over in the early stage is predominantly new ice, with an average thickness of 1.77m.  The findings were obtained by manual drilling and are currently being analysed by science partners.

Finding ‘First Year Ice’ in this part of the Ocean was not what the Ice Team had expected at this stage of a route chosen, in conjunction with science advisors, to begin in an area where there would be multi-year ice. It suggests that the older, thicker ice has either moved to a different part of the ocean or has melted. This First Year Ice will only have formed since September 2008 and, being thinner, is less likely to survive the annual summer thaw. It points to an ever-smaller summer ice covering around the North Geographic Pole this year.

This is interesting, because according to the NSIDC map of ice age, their start point was squarely on first year ice – as measured by NSIDC in February.  I overlaid the NSIDC February map on top of the Catlin route map – seen below.  NSIDC shows multi-year ice as shades of red and orange, and their start point was more than 100km away from the edge of the multi-year ice.
See below:
If they were looking for older ice, there were many obvious (and shorter) routes they could have chosen.  What made them choose this route, which was apparently too long to be completed and which started on first year ice?
NSIDC map – yellow is first year ice
On April 2, the team reported that they were on “older and thicker” ice:

We’ve noticed that the ice is older and thicker than before

yet on the April 15 blog they state:

The Catlin Arctic Survey has now released its first set of ice and snow thickness measurements, showing the floating sea ice cover it has travelled over in the early stage is predominantly new ice, with an average thickness of 1.77m.

Ice age is quantized.  The age of the ice is either one, two, three, four, or more years.  There are no intermediate values, so their apparently contradictory statements are difficult to reconcile.

At the other end of the measurement spectrum, NASA’s IceSat has made more than 1.9 billion ice measurements already this spring – with no hypothermia or frostbite.

ICESAT Satellite Image


ANSWER: The tape measure shows a red 7F marker. That’s 7 feet for our Euro and UK visitors. Now why would they measure in feet then convert to meters?:

“…with an average thickness of 1.77m” source: April 15 Catlin blog

when you can easily buy metric tape measures with calibration certificates in Great Britain?

https://www.totalofficesupplies.co.uk/catalog/images/701773.jpg

I could be wrong, but I watched the video several times to see if I could see evidence of perhaps printing in English units one side and Metric on the other, I did not see any and I did several frame grabs. It looks to me as if one side is blank and the other printed only in Feet and Inches. It appears to me that the tape is translucent white, perhaps a cloth or vinyl tape which would be lighter than a steel one since they have gear carrying considerations to make.

Readers feel free to double check my observation and report in comments. – Anthony

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203 thoughts on “Busted: Catlin Arctic Ice Survey “Didn’t Expect” To Find First Year Ice

  1. That’s what you call really, really talented spin! What are the odds that the MSM will eat it up while conveniently overlooking the facts.

  2. Obviously, they wanted a forum where they can pander their pre-conceived conclusions. This expedition provided such and has generally been acceptable to the willing audience. They will find what they are looking for, with no pretense of objectivity.

  3. This is easy to explain. The people at the home camp simply misheard ‘first year ice’ when Pen said ‘My beer is ice.’

  4. So sad that the scientists planning the route did NOT realize that it was over first year ice. Does anyone know the name of the scientist that planned the route without knowing what type of ice they would measuring? Is the Guardian going to be all over these lies? Will Prince Charles demand the royal monies be refunded so he is not made a laughingstock?

    Please… Don’t Catlin me Bro…

  5. The quality and usefulness of the expedition’s science reminds me of the fly joke. As the wife returned home her husband said to her that he killed 5 flies, 3 males and 2 females. She asked how the heck did you determine that? The husband said that 3 were on my beer can and 2 were on your phone.

    Not much different than finding thin ice when drilling in thin ice but declaring surprise by the discovery.

  6. Well, I haven’t installed a quicktime viewer, but enlarging the screen grab provided in the article, I believe I see digits on the reverse side just at the water level. I didn’t see them until I enlarged the picture, but it sure looks like there is something printed there. Any other frame grabs of longer sections the obverse, Steven?

    REPLY: I saw that too, but there is also a lack of index marks. As I mentioned, I believe the tape is translucent, and that is the number showing through from the other side. There’s so much light and reflections from high albedo ice that the whole scene is filled with light in all directions. – Anthony

  7. I have been following the Catlin group daily reports since they first started. I seems that I recall seeing collum diagrams of ice thickness and snow thickness for guite a number of days. The ice seemed to show about 3 meters in thickness and the snow on top aout 2 to 2.5 meters. I assumed at that time they were using there electronic gear to measure thickness. Does anyone else recall these measurements or am I wrong?

  8. Interesting that they quote an ice thickness to centimeter accuracy, when the miserable condition of their test hole would make taking a reading to closer than 3-4 inches mostly meaningless. Also when they were attempting to highlight the grueling and perilous nature of their trek the website was littered with pics of them dragging their sledges over ice structures that all appeared to be 10′-20′+ high. I wonder how many ice thickness readings they took in those areas.

  9. Anthony, it seems they brought more than one tape measure with them…this one appears to be in cms.

    http://www.catlinarcticsurvey.com/gallery_video.aspx?id=46

    REPLY: I agree, that appears to be metric. But, note that this is an audio only report. Do we know the photo to be from the 3/14/09 date taken with the audio? There are lots of photos and videos taken before the expedition that are on the Catlin website, and the one I’m bringing attention to may well be one also. The problem that we have here is that we can’t verify anything they are presenting. – Anthony

  10. I don’t get it.

    They have a tape measure that measures in feet – probably because it was bought in the US.
    But they report the results in metric because that is what the world uses.

    Maybe it just me because I have a several tape measures and tend to use whatever I have on hand and convert as necessary….

    REPLY: Possibly, but when planning a well funded science expedition, do you grab the old tape measure from your toolbox? ;-) – Anthony

  11. From the sidebar, the sea ice extent is very close the the seven year record high.
    I never thought that watching ice not melt could be so much fun.

    The forecast for the Alaska Arctic coast has highs of 15°F for the next week Lows of -5 to +5 °F.

  12. Mr Watts, my dear friend, you are mistaken in thinking we do metric over here. Well, ok, the young people do but they soon grow out of it when they realise how much easier our crusty old Imperial measures are.

    Some of us are still firmly wedded to that implacable truth: “Fog in English Channel, Europe isolated”.

    REPLY:
    I don’t doubt that, but metric is the measure of science, they are reporting thicknesses in metric, so why measure in feet? That is my main point. It is a curiosity. – Anthony

  13. Err 7ft is over 2 metres why is no one saying that? You can not have 7ft on one side and 1.77 metres on the other! If the tape is actually metric then the measure is 2.1 metres. If the measure was in fact 5 feet 9.7 inches what are we worried about? Perhaps they didn’t realize there was anything other than imperial measure before this jaunt.

  14. I thought the whole world was on the metric system except for the U.S.
    Couldn’t they obtain a metric tape measure in the UK? Or is ft/inches a standard international measurement? If so then why don’t they report it as such?

  15. Here’s another thought…..

    The angle of the shadow from the small piece of ice just above the hole looks to be more than 20 degrees above the horizon. Given their location and time/day of the measurement what sun angle would be expected ?

  16. My industry uses such radar imaging devices in much the same conditions. We don’t seem to have such problems with them. Hypothetically speaking, if I wanted to make my own preconceived results and I wasn’t getting such from the recorded data, I might, hypothetically speaking, make my equipment fail. Then I could, hypothetically speaking, make my own holes in the ice, which no-one will ever see, and measure whatever I wanted to measure, hypothetically speaking..

  17. That measurement was probably taken on a demonstrational lake using a demonstrational hole, with a demonstrational tape, that shows that the lake ice is equivocal to the Arctic ice measurement in situ.

  18. Because of numerous previous “downwards adustments of ice extent” it may be wise at this point to peg this one

    There is now a permanent record of most of these changes here

    http://mikelm.blogspot.com/2007/09/left-image-was-downloaded-from.html

    In particular cryosphere today does not seem to like it when either SH or NH ice goes up to much and downwards adjustments ALWAYS (LOL) changes due to “computer glitches” are quite common. Take note of current NH ice at cryosphere today and compare with AMSR anyone care to comment?

  19. They may actually be using a tape in English units. After a month or so of watching the results from the planning by this thoroughly experienced team I wouldn’t be surprised by much of anything.

    They certainly faked me out. I wished them luck and thought they really intended to practice science in the old fashioned way, by going and seeing. It didn’t seem a very good way to get the data but why discourage adventurers doing no harm?

    And their bios said they we all experienced in travel across polar ice.

    I still wish them luck. Luck in not becoming so befuddled as to perish before asking for removal.

    In a short while we may be reading an authoritive account of this. No need to be too sure of what happened until then.

  20. Pamela Gray (20:18:41) :

    That measurement was probably taken on a demonstrational lake using a demonstrational hole, with a demonstrational tape, that shows that the lake ice is equivocal to the Arctic ice measurement in situ.

    You maybe right ?
    This is what I was also alluding to in my previous post. It looks like there is too much sunshine for this latitude. From a rough calc I think the sun should be at around 10 degrees above the horizon at it’s highest point.

    The imperial tape could relate to a different expedition ?

  21. Meh, I can’t get too worked up about whether the tape is in English or metric units, it’s easy enough to convert between them.

    But I do have a question for the experts here. The temperature at the time was supposed to be about -40C. How long would the water that filled the bore hole stay liquid before it froze over? Shouldn’t a skin of ice begin to form almost immediately at those temperatures? I haven’t been able to get the video to download and play so I haven’t been able to inspect what they’re doing.

    REPLY: Oh I didn’t mean to imply that this was earthshaking news, it just seems odd. – Anthony

  22. Anthony, What I see is that the shadow projected shows a sun quite high for this time of the year on THAT latitude.

    Could it be these guys made the video on August 2008 and show it now?

    REPLY: It could be, perhaps another “demonstrational” element of the website. They seem long on demos but try finding any videos or photos that look recent. – Anthony

  23. I think Ozzie John is onto something!
    Now I don’t know the sun angles at this time of the year in the Arctic but the shadows from that large lump of ice on the upper left of the hole and the shadows from the small ice pillar in the upper left hand corner seem to indicate a remarkably high sun angle for a season that still has 2 months to run to maximum sun elevation.

  24. “showing the floating sea ice cover it has travelled over in the early stage is predominantly new ice”

    This is true – the first 26 days of the expedition they made so little progress they were predominantly over new ice.

    If they had made better progress then this statement would be false.

    Can this expedition still be considered scientific? WUWT has pointed out so many flaws that no one should condsider them to be doing serious science.

  25. Britian and the old commonwealth countries all used imperial measure , feet inches etc up till the 1960′s 70′s when many converted to metric.
    Metric might be good for scientific measurement, but its a pain in the engineering and building trades, there are even rumbles of going back to feet and inches. So some countries still use miles feet etc for distance, land measure but metric for small stuff.

  26. They ARE noting the coordinates of every site sampled like good little scientists should…aren’t they? I sure don’t see them anywhere on their website, so far.

  27. I’m on a fairly high speed satellite connection and after 15 minutes the movie is still down loading, how many gigabytes is it? My first thought from the still is that the sun angle is way too high, as Ozzie John pointed out as well. I would guess it is at least 40 degrees. When they mentioned a day or two ago that they were moving onto thicker ice and a picture of the artic with their measurements was posted here, the thicker measurements were at the south end of the string of measurements. I noted this and asked if they were moving to the south? It has been 25 minutes now and the movie hasn’t finished downloading so there must be something wrong, I’m shutting it down.

  28. Coming in late and I’m sure it’s been pointed out,
    In Canada we have both, metric on one side and imperial on the other for the soft nylon/plastic “long” measuring tapes. Most retracting tape measures have the measurement of both side by side.

    (And yes, I’m a fountain of useless knowledge! Lol :p)

  29. The Catlin crew is a fraud, pure and simple. It appears to me that they are being flown in from the support site for photo ops. No one is this stupidly self-destructive. Not even the suicidal. People just don’t operate in this way.

    I am tired of giving them the benefit of the doubt (pretending) that they are real scientists on a real expedition.

  30. How big is that clip? — I have been down-loading it for quite a while.

    REPLY: I think WUWT may have crashed their server. – Anthony

  31. A bit OT, but relevant to bad science and the state of our current Science establishments…..

    The CSIRO can’t even get grape varieties correct….. So imagine how good they’d be trying to work out Climate variables, Ice thickness, temp records, etc….. They can’t even scientifically validate common plant species…..

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/04/16/2544111.htm?site=local

    Science is dead in Australia. Socialism’s cold dead hand has ruined free and unfettered thinking…. It has replaced good scientists with party political apparatchiks.

    Bad science has real effects.

  32. Long ago I was an activist volunteer for Zero Population Growth. My work for them ended when I found them using two different projections for population, and I drew this discrepancy to their attention. “Well, we’ll just use the larger one,” was their response. Without a moment’s hesitation.

    At that point I realized that in many organizations, especially those driven by ideological zeal, some basic assumptions become so firmly embedded, evidence becomes irrelevant. To the people involved, this is not unethical. They are so utterly confident of the conclusion, they automatically accept any datum that supports it, while passing over anything that conflicts with it. In my ZPG days, if anyone had found a prediction that population growth rates would diminish, the source would have been discarded without even thinking about it.*

    I am convinced that a similar mindset is endemic among warming believers. Skeptics carefully assess the evidence, but believers already know the answer. The two sides are speaking different languages. Debate is pointless.

    It doesn’t matter what’s on the tape measure in the ice. It really, really doesn’t matter, because I don’t believe there was any fair-minded attempt to determine the ice thickness. The people on the scene already knew what the correct answer was.

    Bear in mind, you would have to begin with a fairly fanatical mindset just to contemplate such an expedition through truly miserable, dangerous conditions. To expect these people to acknowledge evidence that contradicts their most fundamental convictions AND renders their expedition pointless is quite unrealistic.

  33. They are using a metric tape measure.
    It’s tied to the bottom of this one.
    Tied to that is the can of beer that they’re using to feel for the bottom of the hole.

  34. Q&A with Mr. Warm

    Q. I just looked on Cryosphere Today, and global sea ice extent is well above the mean from 1979 – 2000. That’s a good sign for the planet, isn’t it ??
    A. No, that’s a common fallacy endorsed by big oil companies. It’s the multi-year ice that’s important, and the ice thickness. Global sea ice extent is of absolutely NO importance as a marker for determining catastrophic climate change due to anthropogenic greenhouse gases.
    Q. Oh, OK. So how thick is the ice then in Antarctica and the Arctic ??
    A. Good question. That’s exactly why the brave Catlin team has gone up to the Arctic – to measure this directly, with tape measures.
    Q. Any results so far ??
    A. Yes, they’ve measured some thin ice and found that it’s really, really thin. These were very robust and accurate measurements.
    Q. Wow, it’s really, really thin ??
    A. Yes, really, really thin, and it’s first year ice too – there’s barely any multi-year ice.
    Q. So what are the ramifications of all this then ??
    A. Well, it should be pretty obvious that being first year ice and being really, really thin, then it will melt really, really quickly.
    Q. ….. and global sea ice extent levels will go down below the mean ??
    A. Yes, absolutely.
    Q. That would be a bad sign for the planet then, yes ??
    A. Absolutely.

  35. Finally got the video to load. What a cluster fornication. I suspect that what you see the guy on the right coiling up into a semi-ball in the opening seconds of the video is their precision measuring device, note the high tech attachment to the end of the tape. A suitably sized piece of scrap metal tied on to index on the bottom of the ice perhaps. To my old surveyors eyes the tape appears to be fairly low buck cloth version of the reel tape featured in the post. That’s either one wizard augur they have or they had the hole predrilled. I’ve rarely seen a power auger cut thru ice that deep, that quickly. Also can’t help but wonder how many of those augur segments they’re packing and who was to be on the handle if they had to hand drill through more than twelve foot of ice

  36. Yeah looks like.

    I went after it with IE — 375 mB 69 min 40 sec remaining.

    I think I’m losing interest since it is after 2300 here.

  37. Catlin, how about more info? An average thickness of 1.77m +/- ??. What are your error limits? Standard deviation?

    This whole thing is so amateurish.

  38. My question would be, at 6 or 7 feet deep, how can you be sure you have hooked the bottom of the ice with the end of a fiber tape? If there is a weight attached to sink the tape, you would be hard pressed to tell exactly where the underside edge is. I have drilled countless holes through ice, and even at -25c, the water skims over VERY QUICKLY. My wife probably won’t let me watch the press conference after this fiasco is over. She won’t let me watch the CBC anymore, as I am scaring the children !! “Why is daddy yelling at the TV?” :^]

  39. Austin (20:08:31) :

    > What is their method? Has the method been calibrated?

    I think there’s a madness to their method. :-)

    ——

    I thought the lighting angles looked odd too, but another possibility is that since they have a real(tm) videographer, he might have used a reflector to get more light on the hole. some of the coloring around the hole might be to a reflected stream of light or it could just be due to different consistencies. It could also be a pre-expedition shot (I won’t bother to download the video). All in all, not exciting enough to get excited about.

    Lord Monckton’s paper is pretty exciting, though!

  40. “The Catlin crew is a fraud”

    I wouldn’t say it is “fraud” but I would say that it is theater. The income will be rolling in for years from this stunt. Once the money starts to tail off in a few years they will have to do it again … in order to “compare” with the results from this trip. They have a never ending stream of money as long as they keep these theatrics up. All you have to do is tell people what they want to hear and they will gladly give you their money to hear it.

  41. Despite the flaws at NSIDC (trying to spin the data towards a politically correct interpretation), the Colorado folk at least appear honest in gathering the data.

    Catlin’s whole outlook, on the other hand, appears so tainted as to defy belief. It looks to me that they knew exactly what they were doing and are faking surprise in finding that they were on first year ice. They can now posture that there is more new ice than they expected {surprise!} to find; they can then say that this makes the Arctic sea ice situation worse than they expected. This is the message that will remain and will be carefully crafted to override any news this September that the peak melt turns out to be even less than in 2008. The fact that the Arctic may be well on its way to recovering from the 30 year positive PDO will never make the news.

    If an accountant did his job the way these folks are pretending to do theirs, he’d be brought up on charges and might even end up facing jail time.

    This appears less about science and more about dogma validation.

  42. Universities have announced a new web based department in climate studies:

    Equivocal Climatology

    Earn an EBS, EMS, or your EPhD in Equivocal Climatology. Without ever leaving your equivocally warm bed.

  43. I didnlt watch the video. Is there an easy and repeatable to push the fiber tape measure down through 5 feet of rapidly refreezing water and to “feel” or grab the bottom of the ice in order to get an accurate measurement. Perhaps in the tape the procedure is elucidated.

  44. Dave Wendt (19:45:51) :
    “…the website was littered with pics of them dragging their sledges over ice structures that all appeared to be 10′-20′+ high.”

    I wonder if they drilled into any of those structures? I recall that in a few cases they claimed to travel parallel with the ridges until they could find a low spot to drag the equipment through. A properly chosen sampling design ought to have resulted in an occasional climb to the top of a ridge and then drilling through. That couldn’t be pleasant in -40C temps. My other thoughts are that maybe they didn’t realize their radar wasn’t working – could it give readings out to the side (not just straight down)? And then, maybe they were too befuddled by the cold to know what a mess they were making of sampling design decisions. If and when some numbers are provided, should we not expect to see a few ice thicknesses of 20-25 feet (Let’s see, in meters that would be #@*#@ . This science stuff is hard!)

  45. If the still shot is supposed to be the time of measurement, I question their measurement. I took the still, and made a scale to match their tape and numbered mine in inches. If the water surface is the ‘top’ of the ice, then the ice is 1.88 meters/74″. It just occured to me that if 10% of the ice is above water level, then it can’t be over 2 feet thick. WTF? I threw in a 40 degree angle for reference too.

    David Ball (21:18:51) Sounds like we are of the same ilk WRT AWG, my wife shut off AIT after 10 minutes because she couldn’t take my yelling at Gore to stop with the lies.

  46. This video is on a sub page of the idigopapa website http://dev.indigopapa.tv/clients/catlin/

    As far as I can see it is not available from the customer facing pages

    It is in MOV format – not very popular
    it is 370MB not a good size for downloading – bandwidth costs
    There are 3 other videos one is over 1GB in size!
    The video is made up with several clips

    Mr. Goddard does not mention this
    Nor does he say that there are 2 tapes in the video – yellow and white
    Nor has he corected the lighting angle comment – The yellow tape portion is in darkness illuminated by head torches The white tape portion may be the same.
    At one point there are 3 people in the clip (3 head torches) and obviously someone taking the photo.
    The yellow tape looks to be in cms
    The white tape has markings both sides.

    If this is on the catlin cutomer facing page as a expedition photo then it would be wrong. But as I said I cannot find it so its date / personnel /equipment are in doubt!

    Please keep it real

  47. It’s hard enough to use measuring tape to measure a room let alone stick it in a hole full of ice slush and expect to get an accurate measurement.

  48. At this date and their latitude at high noon, the length of shadows on a horizontal surface should be about 3.2 times the height of the vertical source. At all other times, they would of course be longer.

  49. According to their equiptment list, they are using a SeaCat to take the depth and temperature measurements. There is no tape mentioned.

    Quoted:-The SeaCat system has been supplied by one of our Science Advisors, Professor Tim Stanton at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. It consists of an ultra light weight winch system and a high resolution Conductivity Temperature Depth sensor package (CTD) made by Sea Bird Electronics.

  50. Maybe they could have saved on weight on their sled if they’d taken a skinnier auger and a much shorter tape. They could have just measured from the top of the water to the brim of the hole and then extrapolated from the relative densities of the water and the floating ice.

  51. Perhaps they only carried the cloth tape and hand auger in case the radar unit failed ? In any case, the data collection is inadequate for a 6th Form science experiment and more than duplicated by satellite and Buoy measurements. From the evidence so far, it is clear that this was a PR setup from the word go. No sign of professional Arctic science experience.

  52. What a farce this has been. One cannot discredit the mission of trekking to the north pole, however, the motive in which this mission has been undertaken calls into question the integrity of the data being collected.

    We already have numerous quotes from Pen Hadow stating that what he hopes one of the outcomes of this mission is to secure a climate accord in Copenhagen.

    So, in reality, this is a propagandist mission backed by politically motivated environmental ideologues. Akin to Mr.Hansen being put in charge of reporting global temperatures while calling for civil disobedience. Yes, we can all trust the information coming from those sources to be objective.

    For example, this piece was written by Mike Hansen, president of Catlin Canada.

    Data obtained by the Catlin Arctic Survey will then be published in a report to be presented by WWF International to the United Nations Climate Change Conference of Parties, to be held in Copenhagen in November 2009.

    Ah, yes, WWF international, a good independent science organization…

    But this goes even further as one peers into the juicy details. Obviously, judging by his comments, Pen Hadow has a vested interest in finding and submitting data suitable for passing the Copenhagen Accord, the realm of public discourse. But there’s another angle to this, the private sector…

    As some of you may not know, Catlin is a insurer/reinsurer. I’m sure plans are in the works to use this mission to base insurance rates paid by those in areas that may be vulnerable to climate change. So not only is this propaganda, it’s also a ploy.

    Continued from Mike Hansen:

    Catlin is sponsoring the expedition because the implications of global warming for the insurance industry and policyholders are stark: the effects of climate change could affect a wide range of insurable events.

    “The potential effects of global warming will have a direct impact on Catlin’s business,” said Stephen Catlin, CEO of Catlin Group Limited. “The Catlin Arctic Survey will produce vital information that can be used by all those who must plan for the potential effects of global warming.”

    The Catlin Arctic Survey, of course, provides Catlin with numerous marketing opportunities similar to those provided to insurers sponsoring sporting events or artistic exhibitions and performances. Be that as it may, Catlin is most interested in the scientific data provided by the Catlin Arctic Survey, which will serve to increase the insurance industry’s and global understanding of the impact of climate change.

    This information will not only be useful to underwriters but also to the risk management and claims community. Catlin Canada’s risk and claims services manager April Savchuk comments: “The increasing probabilities faced of falling victim to the phenomenon of adverse climate change clearly demonstrates our vulnerabilities when ‘negotiating’ with Mother Nature. Exaggerated changes in climate can result in the usual variety of distinct physical events and losses, but the added burden on business — including how to best manage contingencies associated with the events — is unprecedented. The only way to better manage this is to become intimate with its cause and effect.”

    Insurers worldwide are taking a greater interest in climate change, studying the causes of changing climatic conditions, as well as conducting research into the potential impact of climate change on the insurance industry and its policyholders.

    Other researchers are broadening their scope to cover the less obvious. Last autumn, for example, Munich Reinsurance Co. sponsored a seminar in Princeton, New Jersey that focused on which companies could potentially be held liable for causing climate change — and whether liability insurers could be exposed to potential claims.

    Is this not a conflict of interest? Sending environmental activists to gather climatic data for an insurance company trying to asses rates due to impact from climate change? Ask anyone living in Florida or along the US Atlantic Coast how their insurance policies have adjusted their rates due to the ‘threat of more hurricanes due to climate change’.

  53. Their means of measurement beggars belief.

    Try this experiment. Get a flat piece of wood 5-7 foot long. Lay it on a flat surface. Get tape measure. Standing at one end of the wood extend tape measure so that it hooks over the other end of the wood. Measure length of wood. Not easy to do at normal temperatures in normal daytime clothing. Now bundle yourself in thick clothing and gloves. Try again.

    I had always assumed that they had an extendable pole with a short,right angled bit at the end that they slipped down the hole until it was through the ice and then pulled it back to grab the bottom of the ice; marked, on the pole, where the ice surface was then pulled it out to measure. Boy was I naive. A TAPE MEASURE?????? PUSHED DOWN THE HOLE??????

    Enjoy.

  54. When I think of all the British school kids following this,
    it makes sick. Manipulating kids is the lowest, slimiest
    form of exploitation there is. It is insidiously evil! All
    the people doing this around the world should be
    crushed like the bugs they are! (no offence to bugs)

  55. “They could have just measured from the top of the water to the brim of the hole and then extrapolated from the relative densities of the water and the floating ice”

    That would be very approximate since the density of both the snow, the ice and the ocean water varies (the snow weighs down the ice, of course). They would be lucky to get less than 10% error. Not that their present “high tech” approach is likely to be much better.

  56. DHMO (20:05:47) :

    Err 7ft is over 2 metres why is no one saying that? You can not have 7ft on one side and 1.77 metres on the other! If the tape is actually metric then the measure is 2.1 metres. If the measure was in fact 5 feet 9.7 inches

    I think you mean 67 and 57/64″:-)

  57. I would also be on the lookout for any funding rackets as is common with other endeavors such as political campaigns. It sort of goes like this:

    The expedition itself is set up as its own financial entity. One or more of the expedition members lends the expedition entity a “wad-o-cash” for expenses at a rather high interest rate … say 10% or more. Then they have “fundraisers” to pay the expenses, most of which is interest that is paid back to the expedition members who “lent” the money. Depending on how quickly the principal is paid down, the lenders can make a fortune from carrying this debt for a long time.

    Politicians in the US do that all the time, it is how they become rich by using their campaign as a bank that pays better interest than they can get from any other investment. They lend their campaign a few million dollars at 15% interest and have fundraisers in perpetuity in order to pay the interest in the debt … which goes in their own pocket and maybe some of the principal … which also goes in their pocket.

  58. Converting from feet and inches to metric is straightforward, it’s nothing to make a fuss about, especially when there are plenty of other ‘odd’ things about this expedition.

  59. Any seamstress can tell you that cloth, even plastic-reinforced cloth, tape measures stretch. I have to replace mine regularly, and I treat them with TLC, not with freezing water and weights. If they’re using a heat source to dry the tape so it doesn’t turn into an ice sculpture between measurements…

    I’m going to read a different WUWT post now so I don’t wake the family by losing it and yelling at the laptop!

  60. Oh dear. I mean…. what? Who’s funding this little trip, just out of interest. If it’s a public body, I shall write to my MP to complain. Not that he will take the slightest bit of notice.

  61. Scientific credibility is being damaged by stunts like this. One could argue that the people involved with this kind of thing are scientific terrorists, they’re bombing the very foundations of science – honesty, objectivity and integrity.

  62. How could they measure anything other than first year ice?

    With second year ice being denser and over 2m thick, would that flimsy drill cope with its task?

    .

  63. The real shocker about the Catlin expedition is that it is yet another criminally expensive media exercise with zero interest for the general public. They can probably put 99% of site traffic down to sceptics looking for a good laugh. They join Pugh the Canoe and Sam Branson et al who use global warming as an excuse to pursue their extreme sporting lifestyles.

    Even if you ignore the comedy results of these attempts to show that the Arctic is melting, they are achieving nothing more than confirming satellite results. Since the biometric equipment has failed, they’re not even providing data on how the human body copes with extreme cold.

    This is not science!

    And they wonder why the sceptic movement keeps growing.

  64. “The real shocker about the Catlin expedition is that it is yet another criminally expensive media exercise with zero interest for the general public.”

    Yeah, that was sort of my point about the posting about the North Pole Cam. While they have been “struggling”, we flew up there, installed a camera, put in a wind generator, placed a nice decoration on the ice and left.

    If they had simply rented a helicopter, they could have been dome by now. They could sample several places a day, many miles apart. What is the point of hauling sledges by hand across the ice if not just for the drama?

    They could have probably paid someone to take those measurements for them for less than it has cost them to do this. Something doesn’t pass the overall smell test. They are doing this for a reason and I suspect it is money. Little else will motivate stupidity to this degree.

  65. It was obvious from the start the scientific value of this show business expedition would be nil. Only the media gobbled it up. These peoples are a fraudulent bunch and deserve their fate: being exposed or being recycled by Nature…

  66. I imagine that they measured 70 inches, converted into metric and truncated, to get 1.77m. It would explain the false precision, after all you would never be able to read 1.77m off of a tape measure.

  67. “Thats 7 feet for our euro and uk visitors” Wow that really hurt. The men who built the Mayflower used imperial measure.

  68. Ok, I was the one who did the screen grab, and I believe/guess the video was shot at or around Resolute Bay during pre expedition training. This is because there are four videos. Some show additional people, a dog, and mountainous terrain.

    The measurement video is 373 MB.

    I expect these to be cut off shortly as you guys are probably killing their bandwidth

    Here’s an interesting screen grab from the Guardian. What was Martin standing on to take this?

    jeez aka charles the moderator

  69. Does no one read!!!!!

    The video is not directly available from the CATLIN expedition site (I’ve not found it).
    There is no time/date/location for this clip.
    The video is made up with several clips
    there are 2 measuring tapes in the video – yellow and white
    The video with yellow tape is in darkness illuminated by head torches The white tape portion may be the same although possibly at a different time. Forget the shadows!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They prove nothing that is not obvious from the clip.
    At one point there are 3 people in the clip (3 head torches) and obviously someone taking the video.
    The yellow tape looks to be in cms
    The white tape has markings both sides.
    It is not streaming video – so not a candidate for consuption.

    It is obvious they cannot measure ice depth by pusing a flimsy tape into the hole!

    KimW (23:04:54) :
    … the data collection is …more than duplicated by satellite and Buoy measurements.

    No one believes satellite data – it is handled by NASA who are “in the pay of AGW greenies”

    The buoys are broken – see earlier entry – snow level is wrong (data jumps to max and saturates), Ice level is wrong (saturates at minimum). Temp vs depth ok but requires an assumption on the temperature profile through the ice. Buoy is not static so ice thickness will depend on location (catlin not much different)

  70. “profile through the ice” should be :
    “profile through the snow”
    plus spelling corrections needed!

  71. If this bunch of ice hikers really wanted to see the North Pole, they should have started there.

    .
    Lance (20:54:00) :
    In Canada we have both, metric on one side and imperial on the other for the soft nylon/plastic “long” measuring tapes. Most retracting tape measures have the measurement of both side by side.

    Don’t Canadian tapes have four sides, since they have to do it in français, aussi ?

  72. What was Martin standing on to take this

    One of those 20′ ice ridges? What’s the thickest reading they’ve given so far?

  73. Dear Steve/Anthony

    I think the use of imperial units being converted to metric, in the right hands is not an issue if accurate measurements are taken. I think the methodology is wrong?

    By way of observation the UK went metric in the 1970′s no British Scientist, Engineer or Surveyor would use imperial units as part of their profession.

    Many points have been made above so forgive me if some have already been addressed :-

    1 A linen or material tape is not particularly accurate. A steel tape would be more appropriate or better still a graduated rod(probe) which would not deflect as much as a tape. Dependant on the accuracy required, temperature measurements could be taken and the reading adjusted.

    2 The hole drilled through the ice seems quite small so I am not sure how they are determining the soffite of the sea ice. This could be determined by a spring attachment on the end of the rod.

    My view is that the methodology of using a tape or a rod is wrong and the best way would be to core the ice and measure the the length of the cores as you would for a ground investigation borehole.

    But of course at the end of the day what are the measurements being compared against?

    Someone above said what is the point of debating with global warming alarmists, the answer is probably none however the point is that the debate must be carried out for science, but more imporatantly for the public.

  74. I had always assumed that they had an extendable pole with a short,right angled bit at the end that they slipped down the hole until it was through the ice and then pulled it back to grab the bottom of the ice; marked, on the pole, where the ice surface was then pulled it out to measure.

    When you survey, you pull a tape or ferruled rope tight and then read it. Horizontally. With your assistant.
    When you measure height or depth, you use the rod (telescoping). You use the plumb bob to determine vertical. You measure the angle of the hole by the offset distance. You write all this stuff down as you are measuring.
    Have fun doing all that @ those temps.
    Muddled minds, club hands.
    Oh, but that sun angle. They are playing somewhere at a ski resort, probably out near a lake. Who wants to be an Arctic Explorer Actor?

  75. From a previous thread:

    Gotta love this quote from Pen Hadow: “It’s never wise to imagine that either man or technology has the upper hand in the natural world.” – Anthony

    Would this be penning a line?

  76. “If this bunch of ice hikers really wanted to see the North Pole, they should have started there. ”

    Exactly. But that would mean having to work in darkness, they were apparently following sunlight. My pint was that there is no reason to “hike”. They can take a chopper with, say, two people, to survey a half dozen points/day.

    They could have had the entire route surveyed in a week.

  77. Has somebody got access to a high quality mapping or surveillance satellite that scans the poles and could just check to see if the Catlin mob are really where they say they are.
    Or are there alternative independent checks that can verify their position?
    Not very much in this “expedition” seems to rate very high on the honesty and integrity counts so are they actually where they say they are?

  78. From the very beginning seeing pictures of ole Pen drilling I had a question. Why a drill? Should they not be extracting a core?

    If they are drilling a hole and dropping a vinyl tape one can hardly expect the measurements to be accurate.

    Measuring the length of ice in a drawn core would have more validity because you’d know for certain where the bottom edge was.

    Ooops…just saw that Cold Play posed the same question. Ok, so that’s two votes for cores vs dropping tapes down holes.

  79. Hey you guys stop being so unfair! 1770mm isn’t a bad effort give or take an inch or two, that’s near enough!

    Seriously tho’, why so accurate if as the underside of this ice will naturally undulate! A nominal 1.8m would be more than accurate enough! as long as it is reltive to the positon on the ice at the time of measurement.

    Mike Bryant :-) My experience of measuring things with a fibre/vinyll tape, particularly depth in water was usually a dead loss without a well weighted plumb to stiffen the wreteched thing up! The ice has been drilled, it would turn to water in large part due to friction in the drilling process, once penetrated water from below will rise up under pressure to meet the melted ice/water & regelation will occur pretty quickly in such a small opening, & one can see the lumps in the photos, although they may have been spilled from their Gin & Tonics but I didn’t see any lemons, well, not in the picture!!!!!!!!!;-)) The hole looked around 6″ diameter give or take a few millimetres, I suggest that making an accurate measurement of ice thickness in that sitaution would be nigh on impossible!

    I also noted that they presumably dug down a foot or two into the snow to reach what they determined was base ice, how much was solid ice & how much was relatively soft snow? That could add or subtract a bit to any measurement either objectively or subjectively!

  80. I would like to know how many holes they say they have drilled, and if they say they drilled them with a hand powered augur. Then I would like to know how long they say it took them to drill 7 foot deep ice holes. Of course, then I will want to multiply the number of holes x drill time and see if it is possible that they did the work.

    Maybe they have a little 2cycle gas powered drill. I know that’s what I would do. Of course, i wouldn’t have done it. I would be in Cancun measuring ice thickness in my lemonade.

  81. the UK went metric in the 1970’s

    Not entirely. We still buy beer in pints, measure distances in miles (and speed in mph) and announce baby weights in lbs and ounces! Also, the law used to prosecute a greengrocer for selling bananas by the pound has now been rescinded…

    Even French markets sell things by the livre.

  82. Serious questions for the polar explorers and ice measurement specialists among us — I assume there is an answer — just interested:

    Given: I can understand some of the above posts indicating methods other than a “tape down a hole” to measure ice.

    Using the simple tape measure shown, how do they “anchor” it to the underside of the ice to pull it tight and take an accurate measurement?

    Is the underside of the ice “smooth” or “rough” (i.e. at constant depth in a given location — or variable)?

    Is it possible that the picture is just for PR and they use a different (more accurate) method than the one shown?

  83. I really don’t know it humans are impacting on the climate but I have a very great antipathy to “the science is settled brigade”. I know squat about the Catlin Institute but I do wish the science on both sides could be fairly and fully presented so that there is sufficient evidence on which to form opinions. It does seem as if these adventurers are working to some pre-conceived agenda but those on blogs like RealClimate (from where I’m banned) will spruik and carry on as thought this were the equivalent of finding the holy grail. It’s all a bit scientifically disappointing

  84. @Benjamin P. (02:34:39) :

    “This is becoming a bit obsessive?”

    Not a bit. It’s pure comedy that flirts with the edges of a real tragedy.

    Even the “Best Science Blog” has to take a break from discussing science every now and then, ’cause fer sure, the Catlin Arctic Survey isn’t science.

  85. Oh, and while we’re on the topic of their measures, I would think they’d do a little something akin to gage R & R. I’d love to see the data that would be produced by each of the three team members measuring the same hole several times each.

    1.77m, indeed. Hrumph!

  86. Crosspatch, …

    a pity that all your wonderfull equipment and your camera on the Pole will sink to the bottom of the Arctic Ocean when there’s no more ice, but just water, in a few weeks …

    :-)

  87. tallbloke (00:16:35) : Probably 69 and 57/64″

    254 millimetres = one inch. 7 feet = 84 inches. 254 X 84 = 2133.6 millimetres or 2.13 metres. They claim the average ice thickness is 1.77 metres which converts to 69.68 inches or fractionally 1/2 inch over 5 feet 9 inches, using a floppy tape measure. How reliable is that?

    This has to be more evidence that hypothermia is sapping the Catlin crew brain cells.

    Benjamin P. (02:34:39) : “This is becoming a bit obsessive?”

    What! Don’t you like us being accurate seekers of what’s going on?

    We are sticklers for accuracy, we are.

  88. Internal temperature is minus 83 degrees Centigrade! Does that mean inside the camera?

    Perry

  89. If the ice is as thin as the Catlin team claim does that mean that there is no danger of a catastrophic rise in sea level?

    Or has it already happened?

  90. Granted my experience in measuring ice thickness is the personnel experience of chucking rocks and seeing if they go through and watching Ice Road Truckers, but it would be nearly impossible to measure the thickness with a tape measure even a steel one. You would have to stick a rod with a right angle bracket on the end down the hole and bring it back up until it catches on the edge, mark the spot on the rod and measure the distance once you have it on the surface, or have a marked rod. On Ice Road Truckers they drag a RADAR sled behind the truck to measure the ice and stop on occasion to drill a hole for calibration. I think the expedition was intended to use the same technique just a much slower and labour intensive version of it. But even then they should have brought a proper measuring stick, even a nice light aluminum or magnesium or maybe even carbon fiber if they were worried about the weight.

  91. LOL! When hatching this scheme, I doubt that it ever occurred to them that there would be so many critical eyes on them, particularly once peoples’ suspicions became aroused, nor did it probably occur to them that once caught in the act of fibbing, nothing they did would be taken at face value. This reminds me of the videos of incredibly stupid criminals.
    Catlin and its “expedition”, like Lewis Pugh’s ill-famed “expedition” have become a laughingstock, and just another big black eye for AGW “science”.

  92. H.R. (04:32:59) :
    Even the “Best Science Blog” has to take a break from discussing science every now and then, ’cause fer sure, the Catlin Arctic Survey isn’t science.

    Sadly science rarely makes an appearance here these days!

    Leif tries to put across science, but then has to repeat the same critique of anothers theory many times, and occasionaly gets abused for his efforts.

    No one in this thread has shown the date/time/location for the clip. It is not on the Catlin site yet people are still trying to work out the sun angle or whether a metric/imperial ruler was used.

    H.R. (04:39:46) :
    Oh, and while we’re on the topic of their measures, I would think they’d do a little something akin to gage R & R. I’d love to see the data that would be produced by each of the three team members measuring the same hole several times each.

    Perhaps the measurement is averaged over a number of holes? A single hole will measure the depth of ice at that point. 2mm away it could be different – a “gage R&R” would prove little, nor would it give a better idea of the depth in a particular area. If the Radar had worked then perhaps a profile of the underside of the ice could be drawn. Failures unfortunately occur.

    Grant Hodges (03:30:09) :
    … if they say they drilled them with a hand powered augur. Then I would like to know how long they say it took them to drill 7 foot deep ice holes. …

    They spend 4 hours a day drilling according to the web site

    A picture of ice drill in use is here from 2008 seems to have rigid and flexible measures.

    http://www.catlinarcticsurvey.com/science

  93. clearly, the tool with which Pen is drilling is provided by Mora of Sweden … http://www.moraofsweden.se

    “The Mora Nova ice drill is providing answers to global warming questions.
    Mora of Sweden are providing all the scientific drilling equipment for the Catlin Arctic Survey. The 5-metre long Ice Augers are a vital tool in gathering the ice-thickness measurements.”

    does anyone of our Northerly situated readers has any experience with this equipment ? and if so, how long does it take to drill say 0.5m or 1.0m of ice ?

    thanks beforehand …

  94. If I had to drill holes in a hypothermic state through ice at -40C after a long day hauling a 100kg sledge, I suspect that I might look for the thinnest places to drill, in order to minimize my work.

  95. Thanks to B Kerr for his reference to the Catlin Educational resources page. I see from this that ” they walk across and swim through the Arctic sea ice”.

    So that’s how the really get the ice thickness – no auger – they swim through the ice with the end of the tape gripped between their teeth and stop when they get to the bottom of the ice!

  96. I would of thought that they would use a weighted whistle that when it reaches water a whistle sounds and read off the measurement from a tape. This is the method I have used for measuring depth to bore water.

  97. I think someone should question why the Catlin team is not using the “sonar” device that they originally planned to use. Perhaps it was giving them data which they didn’t like? (i.e. thicker ice than they hypothesized).

    REPLY: Maybe you missed it, but it failed early on in the expedition. – Anthony

  98. Steven Goddard (05:46:03) :
    …I suspect that I might look for the thinnest places to drill, in order to minimize my work.

    Why would you drill on top of an ice ridge – this would not be valid. Unfortunately not everone has eyes capable of measuring ice thickness as you imply you have in your rather silly comment. How will they chose the thinnest ice. (drill near a lead I suppose you will say)

    alex verlinden (05:36:01) :
    “The Mora Nova ice drill …does anyone of our Northerly situated readers has any experience with this equipment ? and if so, how long does it take to drill say 0.5m or 1.0m of ice ?

    Look at the video you can gage how fast it penetrates.

  99. Perry Debell (04:57:03) :

    Internal temperature is minus 83 degrees Centigrade! Does that mean inside the camera?

    Perry

    Perry:
    You need to enlarge the picture or get a monitor with better resolution. It says 8 decimal 3 degrees C.

  100. The obvious way to measure such a hole is to use a rod that’s longer than the hole is wide. Drop it vertically in with a rope attached to one end, haul it up by the tape attached to the center so it spans the hole. Measure and slack the tape and pull it out vertacally by the rope. Since they haven’t mentioned this, I take it they aren’t doing it.

  101. The bottom of the ice is well below the water-level in the hole, I see no attempt to measure that, nor any equipment capable of taking the measurement. They describe their misery, presumably accurately, which simply does not tally with the holes drilled and measured.
    I’d be delighted if the expedition HQ were to explain the methodology of the bore-hole measurement with particular reference to the depth of water in the bore-hole, obviously a photo from this expedition of the process would be useful.
    Otherwise one must assume the bore-hole data is at least partially faked

  102. “The findings were obtained by manual drilling and are currently being analysed by science partners.”

    Anyone know who these “science partners” are?

  103. Probably flogging a dead horse by now….but anyway this from the Catlin pages on 16/4 (or 4/16 for you USA people)…:

    “The drill blades make a hole of 10.2cm in diameter. Hadow says he can feel when the drill has pushed through the ice and hit the water underneath.

    “It’s similar to drilling through any material in a way”, he explains. “But with ice, about ten centimeters before the blade pushes through, I can tell I’m nearly there. The ice at the base is mushy and the drill moves more freely”.

    Sea level is not underneath the ice, so when the hole is drilled, icy water surges upwards, sometimes spilling over the top of the hole, before settling. Hadow waits 30 seconds for the water to level and then uses a tape measure to record the distance from the top of the water, which is usually 5 – 20cms from the surface – to the top of the ice.

    More measurements are taken to assess the thickness of the ice itself”

    soooo if he had any commonsense ….when the he has just broken through the bottom of the ice why not just mark the point on the drill/auger at the point where it is level with the surrounding ice on the surface, take the auger out of the hole and measure the length of the auger that was in the hole….surely that would be more accurate (and faster?) than trying to shove a flimsy tape down a rapidly freezing hole? ….as Homer may say ‘doh!”

  104. Greg Cavanagh (22:45:12) :
    According to their equiptment list, they are using a SeaCat to take the depth and temperature measurements. There is no tape mentioned.

    Quoted:-The SeaCat system has been supplied by one of our Science Advisors, Professor Tim Stanton at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. It consists of an ultra light weight winch system and a high resolution Conductivity Temperature Depth sensor package (CTD) made by Sea Bird Electronics.

    Greg you’re spoiling all the fun, it’s not necessary to read anything surely? All you need to do is look at a few pictures and jump to conclusions.

  105. This will go down in history as “The Great Catlin Con”

    Has anyone written to the main sponsors and asked their views about being assciated with such a fraud?

  106. Steven Goddard (05:46:03) :

    If I had to drill holes in a hypothermic state through ice at -40C after a long day hauling a 100kg sledge, I suspect that I might look for the thinnest places to drill, in order to minimize my work

    Do I detect a teensy weensy bit of Cynicism above or maybe a teensy weensy bit of skepticism? Or both?

    So to recap :-
    1 They may be on the ice but the video may have been made last summer.
    2 The realtime body monitoring was not in realtime.
    3 They appear not to know how to correctly measure a dimension.
    4 The thickness of the ice is already recorded elsewhere.
    5 They did not appreciate how cold it would be.

    In view of the above I think it is only appropriate that these brave people who are risking their lives on a daily basis to save the planet should be nominated for the nobel prize (or do I mean Oscar)

    Thank you Tim Berners Lee, for without you we would be all be blind to the blindingly obvious.

  107. alex verlinden (05:36:01) :
    clearly, the tool with which Pen is drilling is provided by Mora of Sweden … http://www.moraofsweden.se

    “The Mora Nova ice drill is providing answers to global warming questions.
    Mora of Sweden are providing all the scientific drilling equipment for the Catlin Arctic Survey. The 5-metre long Ice Augers are a vital tool in gathering the ice-thickness measurements.”

    does anyone of our Northerly situated readers has any experience with this equipment ? and if so, how long does it take to drill say 0.5m or 1.0m of ice ?

    It doesn’t appear to take very long judging by this video.

  108. ok lets see if I can get this straight.. from the audio section

    http://www.catlinarcticsurvey.com/gallery_video.aspx?id=46

    Penn talks survey techniques: every nite they set out a string 200m long strung between two ice screws. Every 4 meters they take a depth measurement, every 20 meters they take a temp, a density core and drill the ice to measure thickness and draft. It unfortunately does not say what they use but the yellow stick in the picture with audio looks like meters if Im not mistaken..

    There are several stills of the ice proceedure, but the measuring device is not shown in them as far as I can see.

    So lets see that adds up to 10 drilled holes every evening.. during the day they only make observation of rubble , ridge ect..

  109. Steven Goddard (05:46:03) :

    If I had to drill holes in a hypothermic state through ice at -40C after a long day hauling a 100kg sledge, I suspect that I might look for the thinnest places to drill, in order to minimize my work.

    If I planned on traveling to the North Pole to haul 1 100 kg sled by hand so I could drill holes through ice in support of a hoax, I suspect my family would have me committed. ;^)

  110. Where is the ice hole data from the great Catlin Clowns.

    Average 1.77m????????? really?

    How many holes?

    Gps position of each hole?

    Date/Time of each borehole?

    Depth of each hole?

    Are the holes drilled at random sites, or just at thin spots where Pen thinks it will be easier and quicker to drill?

    Who chose a route that was going to take them over 1st year ice anyway?

    These are pretty simple requests and given that their ice radar has (conveniently) failed – I think the rest of us would love to see ALL of their so called data?

  111. bill (22:03:17) says:

    This video is on a sub page of the idigopapa website http://dev.indigopapa.tv/clients/catlin/

    As far as I can see it is not available from the customer facing pages

    But it is in a publicly accessible directory, perhaps not found by the average web user but easily found by many.
    Why would it be there? It’s easy enough to put a file on the server where it can’t be found. Oh, I know…the same guys that messed up the biometric data did this. /sarc off

  112. Haing been frostbitten and hypothermic myself-I have no desire to push the envelope any farther than the sign:”No off Piste Skiing” anymore…

  113. What I find more bizzre is that they are using so many different kinds of “rulers”. When you have to drag the weight behind you all day you want to minimize the amount that you need to drag. So, you normally bring the minimum… else they though they would regularly drop them through the holes!!! But still… why so many different makes of tape measure???

  114. Why is there apparently water visible at the top of the hole? Have not finished coffee yet so armchair may be crooked.

  115. Think we should all take direct action against Catlin and the other sponsors of this FRAUD.

    We have ALL had enough of these global warming lies.

    Catlin watch out – we are going to expose your company as being behind one of the biggest attempted lies in the history of global warming propaganda.

  116. BIG NEWS!

    As of this morning, the IJIS website reports the ice extent at 13,649,219 km^2, thereby exceeding the previous high recorded for this data, 13,630,938 in 2003. The IJIS database only goes back to 2003 at this time of year.

    I’ll be interested in the NSIDC press release in early May. My guess:

    “The ice extent continued it’s inexorable decline and recorded the 7th lowest level in the recent past. The preponderance of first year ice points to a rapid melt with a high probability that the arctic ice cap will completely melt this season. The loss of ice continues to accelerate and exceed our predictions”

    Have you noticed the glee of warmists when ice melts. When it doesn’t, you’ll hear about this not changing the long term trend, or that future warming is in the pipeline, or that it’s just another denialist strawman. Some even seem to get angry that it’s contradictory to their scenario. I would think any recovery of seasonal ice levels would be a reason to feel good. But that doesn’t seem to be an emotion that warmists possess.

    REPLY: I’ve been watching for this to happen, thanks for the note. I’ll publish about it when April 17th data is posted, hopefully soon. – Anthony

  117. The Catlin Expedition is scientifically worthless. These people are risking their health and their lives for nothing…

    Or are they? How will this be spun? That’s how the results will be measured.

  118. There is one more technique for mesureing the ice thickness manually not mentioned, although it would be somewhat less acurate than the rod technique mentioned.

    Drill slowly, so you don’t wind up shoving a significant section of the drill through the hole when you break through the bottom, mark the drill as you would a rod when you break through and then measure the drill bit.

  119. Phil …

    thanks for the link … it sure takes much less time than I thought, which confirms what I always say when my technicians do some work: “make sure that you have the right equipment!” … :-)

    I’ve downloaded the video … I know too little about it, and a more knowledgeable person should correct me, but if you look at the file via a hexadecimal editor, it is, among others, made in 1080 HD (that is for the size of the file …), was at one time named “drilling polaris.mpeg”, was created by “adobe premiere pro 4″, and has some dates in the metadata, e.g. “2009-01-09″ and “2009-01-22″ …

  120. Funny thing about people who come to England from other countries, a lot of them pick up real quick on our Imperial System. You would be surprised by just how many people convert to the idea of a mile or pounds and stone for weights.

    Why is that?

    The Kilometre just seems a bit too short to me to be useful.

    The mile is just right for some reason.

    And 14 pounds to a stone seems ridiculous, but only if you think about it. When you dont think to hard, it seems just right and untroubling.

    Beer of course is always best served in pints, and petrol in gallons. Just what were they thinking when they came up with the litre?

    I dont think that the imperial system is going to go down without some sort of fight.

  121. I tried to download the movies from bill (22:03:17) says: above to see what the date of the movie file is. If it’s from 2008 or so then how can it be from the expedition out on the ice now?

  122. James P;-)

    AND so we jolly well should by jingo! How dare Johnny Foreigner make us drink our beer in demi-litres, scandallous! We’d only end up arguing the toss over whether the top 12.7mm should have froth on it or not.

    Being of a certain age I like many others measure out pasta on imperial scales etc, then use a calculator to convert grams back into ounces because we like our old fashioned scales so much!

    I must say from the comments raised here that I would be very surprised that a modern tape measure of whatever description would have both imperial as well as metric scales on them but they really do. It’s an aging population I suspect certainly for the UK. All this ice if it melts could add to the already calamitous 1/8″ per year sea-level rise everyone is so worried about!

    However, for an expedition supposedly backed up with all the modern high tech equipment & support team I would have expected up to the mark measuring devices that don’t need dragging behind on a sledge. What should happen is that somebody at NASA should invent a rocket machine that can send up an electronic device to orbit the earth, you know like an artificial satellite, with perhaps some fancy giggery-pokery in the electronics to keep it in one place, a sort of geographically stationary thing above the surface of the earth. That special electronic device could then measure the ice thickness safely in outer space without any body risking their lives. Oh wait a minute, I seem to recall it’s already been done. Oh well, back to the computer aided design station again. HAGWE everyone.

  123. I commented twice about the location problem on another thread here at WUWT: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/04/14/catlin-artic-ice-survey-bio-telemetry-status-demonstrational/ .

    Once at 9:26 on 15 April, and again at 12:07.

    The fact that they chose the middle of the Beaufort Gyre as their start point strongly suggests they intended to find thin ice from the start. As shown in the animation here, http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/04/13/watching-the-2007-historic-low-sea-ice-flow-out-of-the-arctic-sea/#more-7019 ,
    the Gyre is the primary area where ice is being broken up, pushing the ice pack against the Canadian coast. Since the currents in the Gyre go in a circle, this explains in part the Ice Team’s lack of progress towards the North Pole. Catlin is also trying in their report to hide that they put the team down in the middle of the Gyre, using a graphic on their report page, http://www.catlinarcticsurvey.com/assets/downloads/Ice_Report_14_4_09.pdf , that has annotations that suggest the Team and their measurements are traveling along 130W longitudinal meridian.

  124. So sad that the scientists planning the route did NOT realize that it was over first year ice

    If I were planning a route to the north pole I would plan to walk over first year ice predominantly. First year ice will have a lot fewer pressure ridges than older ice.

  125. Larry Sheldon (20:56:50) :
    How big is that clip? — I have been down-loading it for quite a while.

    REPLY: I think WUWT may have crashed their server. – Anthony

    WUWT causes sunspots and crashed servers-Watt’s next? I’m becoming afraid to post.

  126. Alan the Brit said

    What should happen is that somebody at NASA should invent a rocket machine that can send up an electronic device to orbit the earth, you know like an artificial satellite, with perhaps some fancy giggery-pokery in the electronics to keep it in one place, a sort of geographically stationary thing above the surface of the earth.

    Just want to point out that It’s not possible to keep a satellite stationary* over the poles. In fact satellites can only be stationary* 36,000km over the equator. Obviously being 36,000km over the equator is not a good place to take measurements of ice thickness from.

    But yes, this stuff should be done from satellites with professionals taking accurate readings for calibration.

    * Of course all the satellites are actually moving. It’s just that the geo-stationary ones take exactly one (sidereal) day to go around the earth so they appear to hover over one place.

    Mike the Used to be a Brit

    PS Webmaster : Any chance of adding a preview function for comments?

  127. Keith,

    you’re right … the plan was along 140°W … the first report says along 130°W … it seems the first line was just a planned route, and the end decision was different … they are at +/-129°W now …

    it can also be that they are just plain stupid …

  128. The post confirms that now the spin masters will try to salvage this fiasco through the same usual alarmist rhetorics… “Thin ice where they were not thinking they should find it but where the maps show they should indeed find it”. Should any of these people hold a press conference live, clearly there should be some hard questions asked.

  129. ColdPlay,

    You missed #6 as mentioned above.

    6) Consulted experts on route planning and use GPS. Claim they expected to be on multi-year ice and are surprised to find primarily first year ice. This in spite of the fact that their route overlayed on reliable 3rd pary data shows it is on known first year ice!!!

    I can think of a lot of excuses for the rest of the dialogue. This is obvious fabrication. I would suggest AGW syndrome, but, I don’t believe it is a recognized mental illness yet!!

  130. I believe the original con was set up to coincide with an Obama event on global warming, where the explorers were going to call in a report and talk to Obama about the myth of the melting ice. When it all went bad, the call was never placed.

    Another hoax stunt gone bad.

  131. Just “roses, roses” , as everybody expected. This is not and it has not been science ever. Again, it is about business, about carbon shares, carbon credits, stupid hardware like windmills and daylight time solar cells, all mixed up with last century’s ideology. Let us forget them, please! we are making the fools by freely promoting other people’s business.

  132. Alex, actually, I think they did start on the 140W meridian, but thanks to the ice drift from the Beaufort Gyre, they have been rotated South and East. If you check the back date data from the only page on their website that lists locations, http://www.catlinarcticsurvey.com/from_the_ice.aspx , you see that there is a month of missing data between February 26 (two days before they were transported to the start point) and March 31 (the first date with any location data for Arctic locations). They mention several times on the site that they were losing ground from the Pole due to the Ice Drift.

    I think the original plan was that they would land, and be able to travel far enough in the first week or so to get off the rotating ice from the Gyre. But temperatures were lower than expected, and they did not travel far, and even had to spend four days in one ice floe area waiting for resupplies. The whole time, the Gyre was moving their ice pack East and South.

    So now, they are traveling roughly along the 130W meridian, several hundred miles away from their planned course. I guess this does demonstrate how the ice in the Arctic is disappearing. It is flowing South and East, which eventually pushes it out into the Atlantic Ocean where it melts in the warmer water.

  133. I’ve noticed over the past several days that the stated temperature on the Catlin website has remained at a constant -25C. How likely is it that there is no temperature variation, no matter the time of day, or day to day?

  134. @ Wally (05:13:38) :

    On Ice Road Truckers they drag a RADAR sled behind the truck to measure the ice and stop on occasion to drill a hole for calibration.

    The Catlin expedition watches Ice Road Truckers!

    @ Dave (07:57:50) :

    Beer of course is always best served in pints, and petrol in gallons.

    Imperial or U.S. gallons?

    @ Phil. (06:49:01) :

    Greg Cavanagh (22:45:12) :
    According to their equiptment list, they are using a SeaCat to take the depth and temperature measurements. There is no tape mentioned.

    Quoted:-The SeaCat system has been supplied by one of our Science Advisors, Professor Tim Stanton at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. It consists of an ultra light weight winch system and a high resolution Conductivity Temperature Depth sensor package (CTD) made by Sea Bird Electronics.

    Greg you’re spoiling all the fun, it’s not necessary to read anything surely? All you need to do is look at a few pictures and jump to conclusions.

    With all due respect, I would submit that is an unfair question and comment. If they are indeed using the SeaCat system, why did they post a video showing ice depth measurement using a tape measure? If nothing else, the video creates doubt about how the ice depth measurements were, in fact, taken. Far from jumping to conclusions, it is fair to keep the burden of showing how their “scientific measurements” were made on the Catlin expedition. After all, thanks to WUWT, they have already had to grudgingly admit that the telemetry wasn’t live and that the radar was not operational and had not been for a long time. I don’t doubt your or Greg’s comments regarding the Catlin expedition’s intent to use the SeaCat system, but aren’t you jumping to conclusions in assuming that they are actually using it, instead of the silly tape measure? Maybe it, also, has broken down. Inquiring minds want to know.

    Respectfully, one of the many other Phils

    Reply: Ok for people jumping in the middle of the story. The expedition planned to use SeaCat radar and the systems broke down. They did not post the video of the tape measure for public consumption, but I found it poking around on the website developer’s site and it likely was shot during training and at night. They are using tape measures now and this has been reported since the SeaCat radar broke down. ~ charles the moderator

  135. I would be interested to see the data from the continuous measurements from the sled compared to the bore hole data they obtained. Granted they would be most likely taking the sled over the thinnest areas, but it would be interesting to see what the sled reported for the area approaching and leaving the locations of the boreholes.

    Too bad the sled broke down and now they can cherry pick the locations to drill without any evidence of the surrounding area.

  136. Alan the Brit
    What should happen is that somebody at NASA should invent a rocket machine that can

  137. Ok. There is a misconception here. The drilling and measurement video was not posted for public consumption. I found it poking around the web developer’s site.

    It is likely just background footage shot for a documentary or later editing. I do not believe it is being portrayed as them in the field. It was likely shot during training.

    While I believe this expedition is a ridiculous PR stunt with no scientific value, let’s not make up things where they don’t exist.

    I found the Imperial measurements funny and pointed it out to Anthony. That is all.
    jeez aka charles the moderator.

  138. Alan the Brit
    “What should happen is that somebody at NASA should invent a rocket machine that can …”

    Or failing that, somebody (say, a military supplier) should invent a freezing machine that can freeze things colder than at the north pole. Then, when you build an ice radar sled, you could test whether your electronics will work at the pole, and redesign them (with parts that meet or beat their published -40′C limits) if they won’t, BEFORE you trek out there. Oh wait, they make those, and people routinely use them to freeze-test their designs. In fact, I just used one yesterday to miracoulously test a circuit I designed at -55′C, without leaving the sunny southeastern US.

  139. Is it a ll possible that the Catlin “Survey” has taught the AGW crowd a single, inconvenient lesson? That even with the support of massive funding, media and political monopoly – there are forces greater than themselves. Those forces are little impressed by politics or propaganda or the infantile meddling of people. They are the forces of Nature – and they fear no one.

  140. To answer the question as to why the Catlin crew is using a flexible tape to measure a blind hole:

    During the post processing of the data, the error introduced by the catenary of the tape can be removed to give the true thickness of the ice.

    This will allow the Catlin folks to adjust the ice to acceptable levels. Should the ice prove to be embarrassingly thick, just take out a little more catenary until the collected data matches the computer models.

  141. The bottom line is that we are seeing a classic example of the type of “science” that lies behind the AGW movement. So many posters above continue to entertain the idea that maybe they are doing what they say they are but I suppose they are mostly tongue-in-cheek.

    It should be clear by now that the whole explication of this carnival show is a fraud. I think its entire history should be treasureed and stored to bring out at any future time how absurd they and their supporters at BBC et al whenever the AGW issure is discussed.

  142. Dave

    you have to have petrol in gallons, yet you drive a 1.6 litre car quite comfortably… why is that? Always wondered… :)

  143. Keith, hmm …

    1. at 80°N, distance between 140°W and 130°W is something like 190 km … in a month, that would be a drift of 6km per day … I have no idea what might be possible, but that seems an awful lot to me …
    2. I don’t seem to be able to find any daily positions on the link that you gave … can you direct me more specifically to it … ?
    3. I don’t follow your reasoning that the ice is disappearing … yes, it seems to be pushed towards the Atlantic, but if it is replaced by other ice, there is no net change … temperatures the Team have been enduring do not point towards excessive melting …
    4. to guess their primary goals and ideas is off course a futile exercise … I must say that thinking about what might have been the original ideas, I have come to different conclusions than you … what I do agree is, is that the temperature that they encountered and are encountering is a “few” degrees lower than expected … Pen has experience there … he has been lifted from the ice before, and that was “very dangourous” because of late April … we are now practically late April, and what I think is that he expected about the same as a few years ago … “the Team could not reach the Pole because there was so much warming, and therefore so little ice, that they had to be lifted from the ice for their safety” in big headlines all over the world … unfortunately, progress has been much slower than planned, and they will have to carry on much longer than anticipated … it would be a real disappointment if they would have to reach the Pole, because that would mean that there is still plenty of ice on the North Pole in June or July, and an icefree Pole is not yet here, dispite all the “warming” of recent …
    5. the scientific value of the whole thing, given the resources that have been put into it, is close to zero … in the end, they will have 300something drillholes in an area the surface of Europe … I have no idea what conclusions they will come up from that, but I can hardly wait to hear them …

  144. I must admit that we are probably wasting to much of our limited time on these beclowned nimrods, but they do almost perfectly encapsulate the primary difficulty I have with all the AGW crowd. The basic premise implicit in all their blathering is that their scientific knowledge and expertise is so superior to that of all of us regular mortals, that to challenge their pronouncements is to commit crimes against humanity by placing the continuing existence of all life in peril. Yet when any of them venture an attempt to commit actual science it’s always “The Three Stooges at Harvard” time. The fumbling efforts of these polar pinheads are just an extravagant elaboration on the fundamental ignorance of, or intentional willingness to ignore, basic rules and procedures of scientific inquiry exhibited by most of the leading lights of AGW, Hansen, Mann, Stieg et al, etc. If you are going to promote your agenda based on superior science, it seems to me, you should be able to exhibit an ability to do science, somewhat beyond the median level of a middle school science fair.

  145. Keith

    They did not drift, they started where they did at around 128/129

    The current image of where they are and where they are drilling.

    The first concentric ring away from the pole is 85 degrees. Look for the 130 degree marker and you will see they are in an area of significant flow from west to south.

    This is the most recent ice description of the Western arctic.

    It doesn’t show anything about the current location as it only goes up to 80 degrees, but 47 days ago it was clear that starting at 140 was going to put them on multi-year ice, and 128-130 was going to put them in an extensive fissure between 2 older pieces of ice (in the image, the green between the brown).

    This is the most recent Land surface image. Still between -18 and -28 Celsius. No open water to be seen yet.

  146. Maybe they drill until they break through the ice and then measure the length of the auger that was in the hole. No tape measure needed in the hole. Not extremely accurate but probably good enough.

  147. I think the rest of us would love to see ALL of their so called data? (Timbo)

    That’s why they’re being sent away to be ‘analysed’. Those depth measurements are so tricky to present just right…

  148. you have to have petrol in gallons

    Not any more, we don’t! Still measure distances in miles though, so the easiest thing to do is convert the litres to gallons, then at least you can choose which sort of gallon…

    WRT engine sizes, I think that’s a legacy of early development by the French (de Dion Bouton and Panhard et Levassor) and Germans (Benz and Daimler). I think we (Brits) are quite easy with units that work, so we keep litres for engine size, but the Imperial ones were developed over centuries to suit the things they were used to measure, hence the non-linear relationships between them. Now we have calculators and computers, that isn’t really a problem…

  149. I have two sets of weights for my kitchen scales (the balance type) so that I can follow both metric and imperial recipes. But US recipes in cups still defeat me!

  150. From the Catlin article reference listed above: “It suggests that the older, thicker ice has either moved to a different part of the ocean or has melted.” How did this older, thicker ice melt in the middle of winter? Is this a deliberate attempt to mislead?

    Also, I had noticed a while back on Catlin’s site that the route was being described as “scientifically relevant transect.” I wondered then what made the route “scientifically relevant,” as it seemed like they were bypassing the thickest, multi-year ice. (Then, I suppose that is precisely what makes the route relevant… to their own ends.)

    Check out this 40 second video on youtube and you will not feel so depressed about the ‘disappearing’ Arctic ice:

  151. Alex, based upon this reference, http://books.google.com/books?id=J2wzX6eTdOkC&pg=PA183&lpg=PA183&dq=drift+rate+of+beaufort+gyre&source=bl&ots=_yrlWjUb8j&sig=kWFiHabsC5EI6wciRsHOkU2vWcg&hl=en&ei=1vHoSd-pCoXlnQfyt8mEBw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6#PPA183,M1 , the standard drift rate of the Gyre is between 1 and 3 centimeters per second. Assuming the higher rate since they are on the Northern edge of the Gyre (an assumption of thinner ice that is easy to move and the greatest rate of speed being associated with the furthest radius) that translates to a rate of 108 meters per hour, or around 2.6 kilometers per day. For the 31 days from initial drop date, that would give us approximately 80 kilometers drifted, which is about half of the distance from their planned start point and roughly their current position. We do not know however if there was any lateral drift by the team in their hiking to get around leads and other obstacles.

    Even so, if they changed their start point, they have yet to make any changes on their website to reflect this. That would have been one of my first announcements so that anyone sent to help them would not be looking for them nearly 100 mile away.

    As for changing the date on the live from the ice page, Alex, all you have to do is you the drop arrow next to the date on the right hand side of the page at the top. It will list the dates they have available to see distance traveled and position. The earliest position listed here that would put them on the ice is from March 31, and says they were at 83.02.25N, 129.46.29W. They had traveled 150.01 kilometers at that point. They are currently at 84.27.58N, 127.50.31W, having traveled 158 km in the intervening 18 days. As you can see by this, they are drifting East, by almost 38 kilometers in that period.

  152. Bill said:

    Forget the shadows!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They prove nothing that is not obvious from the clip.
    At one point there are 3 people in the clip (3 head torches) and obviously someone taking the video.

    Speaking only about the picture shown in this post, there are no three torches lighting the drill –not even one!. The tape shadow on the right is too diffuse to be produced by even one torch. Had it been 3 torches lighting the scene there would be 3 shadows with neat borders. Diffuse shadow are typical from far away light sources, as the sun. Quite near sources produce shadows with neat and distinct edges. Those who have worked for years in photography and illumination know this fact very well.

    alex verlinden (04:50:00) :
    Crosspatch, …
    a pity that all your wonderfull equipment and your camera on the Pole will sink to the bottom of the Arctic Ocean when there’s no more ice, but just water, in a few weeks …

    Actually, there is not the slightest chance for the ice being less that 2008 or even 2003. Right now the trend is leveled from previous weeks (just after Redoubt’s eruption), and has just surpassed 2008 and 2003 ice extension. All those ash clouds are doing their job keeping sun rays from reaching full force the ice.

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

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

    http://arctic-roos.org/observations/satellite-data/sea-ice/ice-area-and-extent-in-arctic

    http://arctic-roos.org/observations/satellite-data/sea-ice/ice-area-and-extent-in-arctic

  153. bill (05:27:34)

    Watts Up With That?

    Commentary on puzzling things in life, nature, science, weather, climate change, technology, and recent news by Anthony Watts.

    Sadly science rarely makes an appearance here these days!

    There are many threads on WUWT that deal with science. Perhaps you are just annoyed with the tone of this one.

    The Catlin expedition is like some appalling soap opera your girl friend/wife forces you to watch. While they are enthralled with every twist and turn of the poorly acted plot, you feel compelled to comment on every inconsistency and absurdity of it’s script writers attempt to introduce a thin veneer of reality.

    Initially this may lead to conflict, but with any luck you will never be have to endure such unmitigated crap again.

  154. Carbone (03:34:01) :

    Ozzie John:

    The whole clip is filmed at night. The lighting is probably artificial.

    Thanks Carbone
    I must confess that I was unable to download and watch the clip, but currently there is no night where they located. The sun angle would move from 9 degrees down to 4 degrees !

    It must be film from a few weeks back – if it’s genuine.

  155. Hmmmm….if these people were in high finance, I would think they had been working with Bernie Madoff.

  156. Rethinking it, this is the thinner ice they got, that´s what they were looking for along all these days. If this is true they have fulfilled the best they could what they were supposed to do and will be back very soon.

  157. LOL, 184 Comments and no one points out that there is a dog shown in the lower left , when they start the drilling scene (Does the team include a dog?). On the right side there is what appears to be a hand held light that moves in and out of the frame (hand held – by whom? Not by any of the three people in the scene.) Also a little later an additional person, with a head light, is shown walking, in the distant background, from right to left in the lower right side of the scene.

    Reply: Please see post jeez (01:56:03) ~ charles the moderator aka jeez

  158. @bill (05:27:34) :

    I wrote: (H.R. (04:39:46) :)

    “Oh, and while we’re on the topic of their measures, I would think they’d do a little something akin to gage R & R. I’d love to see the data that would be produced by each of the three team members measuring the same hole several times each.”

    And you replied:

    “Perhaps the measurement is averaged over a number of holes? A single hole will measure the depth of ice at that point. 2mm away it could be different – a “gage R&R” would prove little, nor would it give a better idea of the depth in a particular area. If the Radar had worked then perhaps a profile of the underside of the ice could be drawn. Failures unfortunately occur.”

    A single hole gives a single result. I would just like to know what the measurement error might be for the drilled holes. To do that, one has a person make several measurements of the same thing to determine intra-operator measurement variability. Then the exercise is repeated to determine inter-operator measurement variability. Basic stuff, eh?

    For scientific research, it would be good to know if a measured ice thickness is 1.77m, 1.77m +/- .03m, 1.7m +/- 0.3m, or… what? Aren’t you curious to know that, bill, or is it unimportant?

  159. errata:

    “Then the exercise is repeated to determine inter-operator measurement variability.”

    It should read; Then the exercise is repeated with other persons making measurements of that same thing to determine inter-operator measurement variability.

    Sorry. Brain moving impatiently forward while fingers struggle to catch up.

  160. Elizabeth,
    It is apparent from the video you posted:

    That there must be extensions for the drill bit, probably about 3′ long each to enable the operation of it. After they lay it down it will be broken back down into the components, motor, drill bit and 2 or 3 extensions.
    Thanks for the video,
    Mike

  161. We do a good bit of ice fishing here, and I will tell you from personal experience that drilling a ten inch hole in the ice is a serious workout just going down the 1-3 feet of ice that we have here. Any remotely serious ice fisherman has a 3-3.5 hp 2 stroke ice auger. I have serviced the augers and blades professionally, and have drilled hundreds of holes both fishing and testing them. Even that is a workout.

    Note that in the Utube video that Elizibeth posted, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Y-k-cX7rTE, that there are two guys holding onto this auger that drills through 10 feet of ice. I have a powerhead like that for my drill rig, and it is 6.5hp and ideally has two guys hanging onto it.

    My point here is that drilling all of those holes every day for months will be a very serious workout. These guys will look like Lou Ferigno ( The original Hulk..) after a couple of months of 10+ holes a day. Seriously.

    Personally I’m with the guy that would hop a helicopter ( or maybe an Otter), except that I’d have to rig it up with a series of robotic arms, one with a sonar, one with a core drill, one with a grapple to load the cores into a basket. For my 3.4 million, I’m thinkin’ sit in the heated helicopter and pull levers. Heck for an extra 500k, you could even bring back the cores so that the anecdata* is actually verifiable.

    Maybe that isn’t feasable, it is not my area. It sure seems like there are easier and faster ways to get the job done. Being random and unreproducible (Anecdata) the science element is a washout with Caitlin. At that point, they are holding out for a dramatic rescue, cameras rolling and PR spinners in high gear. It would be rich if the ice broke up about a month late this year..

    *Hat tip to Jeez/CTM

  162. Scientists use the metric SI system of measurement. It is totally un-scientific to measure anything in imperial units as the conversion to metric automatically incurs an error factor.

    Only three countries do not use the SI system as their sole or primary method of measurement: Liberia, Myanmar and the United States (What august company you Yanks keep!).

    I would say, the very fact that an imperial measure is shown in the video is indicative of the possibility that the video is not even of the Catlin expeditioners measuring the ice thickness. I say this because, as English, they would almost certainly use a “proper” tape measure that is graded in SI units.

  163. conversion to metric automatically incurs an error factor

    I thought one inch was exactly 25.4mm?

    I agree that it’s important for scientists to sing from the same hymn sheet, as not doing so can impede space exploration, among other things, but for the rest of us, I don’t see why we can’t be allowed to use what we like. I measure rooms, timber, carpet etc in feet and inches, buy my food and drink in pounds and pints (funny how metrication in the UK has largely resulted in Imperial equivalents, so we have dry goods in packs of 227g and 454g, and milk in 0.568l containers or multiples thereof) because they were devised to be useful. There would be an uprising here if draught beer ever appeared in litres!

  164. jeez (11:26:49) :

    Ok. There is a misconception here. The drilling and measurement video was not posted for public consumption. I found it poking around the web developer’s site.

    Thanks for that admission.

    NightVision.mov
    videoFrameRate=”25.000000″
    CreateDate=”2009-01-22T19:54:16
    videoFrameSize
    stDim:w=”720″
    stDim:h=”576″
    No meaningful title

    Daytime walk
    xmp:CreateDate=”2009-01-22T19:43:52.

    Night walk
    xmp:CreateDate=”2009-01-22T19:49:11

    All are 25fps = UK frame rate
    All are certainly not meant for general consumption
    Creation date is probably the output date not the recording date

    If they are still available the 3 other files are worth a look just to see the effort required to haul a 100kg sled over pressure ridges.

    The strengh mental and physical of these not too young people is to be admired.

  165. After drilling all those holes in a straight line through such thin ice (?), the likelyhood is that these intrepid explorers will, perhaps in several weeks, re-appear on an ice floe off Montauk Point, Long Island. Speaking from just a little experience in things North Atlantic…..

  166. You just know this is all a fraud, because it’s being given so much airtime on the BBC – who are the kings of global warming lies…..

  167. When I read Hadow’s statement on the depth of the ice, my head almost exploded. Now, I realize that it was designed to distract we doubters and cause us to expend enormous energy putting him in his place. But no, the leader of the Second Annual Arctic Cockup might just be stupid enough to believe what he said, or bright enough to say what he has been instructed to say. I’m writing Henry “Meerkat” Waxman to get the facts on all that tundra getting out from under that ice.

  168. The movie files are DV PAL format. I think what’s on the site is raw unedited video shot in February. Feb 4th at 5:36AM for the frame being discussed here. The Night Walk video was shot on Feb 3rd at 10:45 or so. This info is part of the meta data in the files. Just a bit more info to confirm these are not from the actual expedition.

  169. If the movies were shot at Resolute or any further north, it is dark with some twilight appearing. The sun does not rise in Resolute from about Nov 6 to Feb 6 (3 months).

  170. Today’s best quote from the Catlin crew – 4/18/09 – Temp @ -25C

    “Crossing open water is now par for the course with polar travel. As spring progresses, , meaning the frequency and size of leads increases. The emergence of open water at this stage of the survey is typical for this time of year and will become almost a daily occurrence towards the end of the expedition. So, today was a practice run for the days ahead…. ”

    They truly are advancing science – now finding ice that melts at -25c

  171. For a mission that was five years in the planning, they need to give a check on their math and geography skills. Originally, as I recall, the idea was to travel 1,000 km in 100 days; nice catchy appeal to round numbers. According to today’s report on the Catlin web site, after 49 days on the ice, they are 575.6 km from the pole. If that’s true then they are wildly successful beyond their wildest dreams, for their power is such that the pole is moving to meet them!!

    Consider.

    Above 75° latitude, each degree of latitude roughly represents 111.6 km.

    According to the Catlin blog, on the day the team hit the ice, their start point was at 81.4°N, or approximately 8.6° latitude from the pole. So the team started with a distance to travel of approximately 960 km (8.6 * 111.6 = 959.76).

    After 49 days on the ice, their position is now given as being 84.3°N, or approximately 5.7° latitude from the pole. This then gives them an approximate remaining distance to the pole of 636 km (5.7 * 111.6 = 636.12).

    Today’s update on the Catlin site shows distance traveled as 316.69 km and distance to pole as 575.6 km. Combined, this gives us a total distance of 892.29 km — a bit shorter than the original figure of 960 km.

    Now, using my figures, if they’ve traveled 317 km and distance to pole is 636 km, that makes the total trek at 953 km. Pretty close to the original figure of 960 km.

    Something tells me the pole, in reality, isn’t moving to meet the team. It must only be happening in the vivid imaginations at the Ops Center. Creativity with math seems to be a strong suit with True Believers.

  172. Hugh (16:24:39) :

    Hmmmm….if these people were in high finance, I would think they had been working with Bernie Madoff.

    Hugh, this whole scam is being sponsored by an insurance company “Catlin” who want to insurance people against global warming and rising sea levels etc.

    The word “Catlin” is going to be a new entry in the Oxford/English Dictionary -

    catlin (cat-lin) verb
    to deceive, to delibralely fabricate, to de-fraud to public….

  173. Keith …

    if their positional data are correct, both possibilities (just dumb and/or drift) remain wide open … though I was doubtful at first, you might be right about them starting at 140° W, and gradually going/drifting east … it’s now 126ish, when it was 129+ on 1st April …

    did anyone take hardcopy of their position during the month of March ?

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