A question for the Catlin Arctic Survey: what happens to the fuel drums?

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Abandoned fuel drums on Ellesmere Island Source: CIEL.org

An interesting question has arisen. Is it OK to pollute the Arctic Sea so long as the quest is “noble”? The Catlin Arctic Ice Survey likes to promote their trek as having a low carbon footprint because they are walking on the ice, rather than doing the more efficient flying ice survey (such has already been done), or driving to the north pole with vehicles.

What we don’t see much of from Catlin is how much fuel it takes to support their walking endeavor. They have to get resupplied by aircraft. And, because they have to get “rescued” at some point, refueling is needed for that too since the planes can’t make the flight on one tank. They have to leave a fuel cache on the sea ice.

So what happens to the empty fuel barrels? Or even worse, what happens to full barrels?

WUWT reader Richard Henry Lee writes:

On 26 April at http://www.catlinarcticsurvey.com/from_the_ice.aspx, the report was:

Yesterday, the plane took off from Resolute Bay, flew north for 3 hours to the weather station at Eureka. The CAS support team hopped off, the pilots re-fuelled and then flew out onto the Arctic Ocean, in order to cache fuel in advance of tomorrow’s flight out to the Ice Team. Once sufficient fuel had been cached, the pilots then flew back to Eureka where they spent the night.

On 3 May, they report:

From a logistical point of view, the main area of consistently bad weather at the moment is over the mid-way refuelling point, rather than at the team’s location or at Resolute. That being the case, the pilots at KBA and the London-based Ops team are currently looking at the possibility of putting in a new fuel cache, so that the aircraft can take a slightly more circuitous route to the team if necessary, in effect bypassing the original refuelling point. The possibility of an airdrop is also now being considered.

So it appears that the original fuel cache is out there on the ice and they are planning to store a new fuel cache because of the weather.

So, what will happen to the old fuel cache that they cannot get to due to bad weather?

If just left there, it would eventually get into the ocean, I presume.

Yes just what does happen to those fuel drums? That is the inconvenient question.

It seems that if they leave them on the ice, empty or full, Catlin may join the ranks of Arctic polluters.

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161 Responses to A question for the Catlin Arctic Survey: what happens to the fuel drums?

  1. John Galt says:

    Why yes, your actual behavior doesn’t matter as much as your motivation or your feelings.

    Besides, I’m sure they can purchase some offsets to make everything even out.

  2. atmoaggie says:

    Does the release of volatile hydro-carbons count in your carbon footprint? I bet not, but they certainly should. Most of them are more efficient GHGs than CO2 and/or work in atmo chem processes to create GHGs.

    Oh, I know. The fuel in the water would act to lower the freezing point and, thus, cause slower freezing of sea water and faster melt next year. They couldn’t be that nefarious, could they?

  3. Pearland Aggie says:

    I think the phrase, “Do as I say, not as I do” applies here.

  4. Michael says:

    It seems to be they are very much up against a ticking clock that is not in their favor. Each extra day they stay on the ice beyond the “safe” extraction date raises the chance of a very bad outcome for them or the extraction team.
    All for very little scientific data, and risking some bad publicity if the balloon goes up.

  5. Richard deSousa says:

    May be they found a new species of polar bears who consume fuel drums… ;)

  6. superDBA says:

    Well, of course you can’t mention all of the fuel that the use to resupply, cook and keep warm! It’s obviously offset by the incredible science that they are doing /sarc off/.

    It reminds me of all the holier-than-thou Boulderites complaining about SUV’s while they drive around in their Subaru Outbacks that get a whopping 20 mpg-city. Meanwhile, Right Wing Christian Fanatics like myself drive our wife’s Honda Civic around at 30 mpg. That doesn’t count for me though, because I do it to save money, and not to save the planet. Besides, I don’t have a “Save Tibet” bumper sticker on any of my cars, so apparently I’m a hater too.

  7. Gary says:

    There has to be some trial lawyer somewhere who will sue on behalf of the arctic wildlife. I would depend on whose territory they are leaving the oil unless this goes straight to the World Court.

  8. Eco-maniacs (like Al Gore) CANNOT (by definition) ever pollute. No matter what they do – like creating tens of thousands of tons of trash in Central Park because of their earth day/may day socialist celebrations.

    The rest of us, DO pollute – no matter what we do nor how much we save people and the environment by using energy and resources wisely – and have been (will be) sent to Siberia for our capitalist sins against the culture (er, nature.)

  9. Carter says:

    Don’tcha just love the internet? Everything ever written is stored somewhere. It’s just a matter of digging it up. So convenient for some. So damned inconvenient for others, especially when they get their faces smeared with a proverbial hypocritical cream pie.

    Ed Begley and his fellow die-hard eco-friendlies at least live the dogma. If we ask nicely, do you think Ed could whip us up an airplane that flies on used cooking oil? There’s gotta be a McD’s somewhere in Alaska that they could refuel at. And when the drums of used oil fall through the ice and eventually rust out, the worst that will happen is that the fish will feel kinda nauseous. Or they’ll get the munchies.

  10. jack mosevich says:

    OT but worthy of ridicule: The CBC has the following story, whose headline implies increased freshwater flowing into the Labrador Sea:

    http://www.cbc.ca/canada/newfoundland-labrador/story/2009/05/04/labrador-sea-504.html?ref=rss

    When you read the article it appears the trend has reversed and the researcher admits its too early to say anything about long term. So why report it at all I ask?
    Then we have the usual crap about locals being affected by global warming: apparently “places that don’t freeze over in the winter because of the movement of currents — are getting smaller” So warming causes more freezing!

  11. Frank K. says:

    Maybe an empty fuel barrel will save one of those cute baby polar bears from drowning (see propaganda link below).

    http://www.nationalgridfloe.com/

  12. Tim Groves says:

    Apologies for being off topic, but on the AMSR-E sea ice extent chart (on the right of the page), there is quite a lot of daylight now between this year’s red line and last year’s next highest orange line. It looks like we’re going to have an exciting run from here to September seeing whether this year stays above the pack of 2002 to 2008 lines all the way down, despite the increasing CO2 concentration being against it.

    Maybe now is a good time to start asking how long and high a rise in Arctic sea ice extent would it take to falsify AGW—assuming it is falsifiable.

  13. gdfernan says:

    Can we organise a petition to that effect to be sent to all the sponsors and the media institutions

  14. Mike McMillan says:

    Drums? Polar drift current takes them to Greenland, then to the Atlantic, then loop around to Trinidad, mon, where they become bass and timpani in a steel band.

  15. James P says:

    So what are they doing now, apart from staggering polewards and drilling the odd hole? Is Ann still spending half the day steaming batteries, or is that no longer necessary now that so much of the equipment has packed up? Perhaps the Catlin Group would like to preserve its green credentials by collecting all the rubbish and cleaning up after them…

  16. Arn Riewe says:

    Tim Groves (08:43:11) :

    “Maybe now is a good time to start asking how long and high a rise in Arctic sea ice extent would it take to falsify AGW—assuming it is falsifiable.”

    Take the advice from Bunker Hill. “Don’t shoot until you see the whites of their eyes”

  17. jack mosevich says:

    Tim Groves: The way the AGW researchers have set thing up AGW is not falsifiable. Any evidence which comes to light, either way, is said to be consistent with the theory/models. Also, their doomsday predictions are usually 50 to 100 years in the future. Maybe someone here can answer the question as to what exactly must happen to make even the believers question their faith?

  18. Dan Lee says:

    I’m starting to wonder if the ‘plot’ for this story calls for a grand finale that includes a dramatic rescue due to a rapidly melting arctic. Maybe they’re looking for a suitable patch of ice to get stranded on for the photo-op of them waving their arms at the chopper while surrounded by open water. They might have to wait a while.

  19. DaveCF says:

    There are thousands, maybe millions, of 45-gallon drums scattered across the Arctic – all with a deposit on them. They are used as road markers (where there are roads) in winter. The problem is, nobody has figured out a way to get them back South economically. Find a cheap way, and you become an instant millionaire. Air is too expensive, tug-boats and rafts of drums have been considered but the ultimate cost vs benefits always cancels out the ideas. I have looked at the area near Apex (by Iqaluit on Baffin Island) and there were acres of empty drums, many dating from the building of the DEW Line. Maybe the Catlin Expedition should have been collecting drums instead of digging holes – they would have done more for the environment.

  20. Hope those barrels don’t break the thin ice!

  21. Barry Foster says:

    It reminds me (you probably get the same in the US) of the ‘eco-nuts’ who are ‘right-on for the planet man) and drive around in an old camper that belches black smoke.

  22. crosspatch says:

    Any pollution from avgas would be very short lived as it would evaporate. Assuming the barrels would rust and develop a slow leak, the fuel would probably evaporate at the surface at a faster rate than it would be leaking.

    Even if the barrel broke completely open and spilled its entire contents at once, the fuel would dissipate within a few hours. Might poison a few krill unlucky enough to swim through the plume, but that would probably be about all I would expect in the way of any environmental damage.

  23. James P says:

    The possibility of an airdrop is also now being considered

    I’m surprised they’re considering that if the ice is as thin as they keep insisting. I have a lovely mental image of the drop canisters crashing through the ice and continuing downwards…

  24. UK Sceptic says:

    It might be interesting to calculate how big the Catlin carbon footprint is and then present them with the bill when they return to base. I trust that carbon credits are subject to Value Added Tax. Why stop at one bite of the cherry when you can gorge on two?

  25. Are you sure those barrels are fuel barrels or whiskey barrels…I just was guessing if the sinuous wandering of the catlin’s expeditionaries was due to “Scotland made bio-ethanol” drinking.

  26. John F. Hultquist says:

    Questions:
    1. What is the specific gravity of the combo of fuel and drum. Or, will it float?
    2. How long does it take for an iron drum to rust through once it is dumped into the salt water of the ocean?
    3. Assuming it could stay on the ice for several years might it not burst when crushed in an ice ridge?
    4. Could they be set on fire and the fuel burned off?
    5. Would #4 be better or worse than any of the other alternatives?
    6. Now that we have seen 2 or 3 of these stupid attempts to influence the policies of stupid governments (Ex. Waxman, Peloise and so on), is there anything that can be done to stop these stunts?

  27. Ron de Haan says:

    Where I come from, a few metal drums that slowly rust away won’t damage the the environment, not up on the ice and not at the bottom of the sea.

    But where they come from, the nest of finger pointing environmentalists that keep us behind fences in order to keep us out of the parks, who tell us to this and that to save nature, travel less, have a holiday at home and reduce your carbon foot print.

    From these people I accept nothing.

    They will have to return to the spot to clean up their mess even if they have to tow the fuel drums out by a canoe.

    I can imagine it could be quite satisfying for some people to shout around the phrase: “He Greenies, clean up the mess you left behind in the Arctic”
    Think about the polar bears.

    Today’s modern Arctic and Antarctic stations take care of their litter and surplus material which is transported back to the mainland.

    In the past this certainly has not been the case and all the stuff left from the time of the whale hunting, the processing plants, military basis and scientific stations, was left to rust or to be covered by the ice.

    Today the older scrap yards offer a gold mine scientists.

  28. J. Peden says:

    Maybe they’re looking for a suitable patch of ice to get stranded on for the photo-op of them waving their arms at the chopper while surrounded by open water. They might have to wait a while.

    Indeed, “Rescue Polar Bears first! Now!”

  29. Andrew says:

    I agree with jack m. The Smart AGW Disciples will tell you that a particular weather event or even a particular year cannot prove or disprove AGW. You need more data and time to discern the trend. So it can never be falsified in real time. They’ve taken any particular moment and made it irrelevant. It can never be falsified “today”. It can only be falsified “in the future”. Ask them what date in the future we’ll have enough temperature history to falsify AGW, and see what they say.

    Andrew

  30. Lubos Motl says:

    I am a very environmentally friendly person so this is sad for me – but it’s up to their conscience and up to the courts and other official bodies that should enforce some basic eco-rules in this virgin region.

    Needless to say, leaders of dictatorships never feel the urge to apply the “general” rules to themselves. It’s the whole point of the green movement that low-quality individuals who haven’t achieved anything good and haven’t done anything good for others (or the Earth) are promoted to special people with special rights, just for being loyal to the ideology.

    Much like the hierarchy of the communist party was allowed to enjoy the advantages of capitalism and wealth, the hierarchy of green bigots is “allowed” (by their rules) to contaminate the Arctic Ocean or anything else. It’s up to the rest of us to make sure that the rules of these immoral people won’t control any country or any ocean.

  31. Ray says:

    Most likely the empty drums will float only if they recapped the openings, else they willeventually sink to the bottom. They could leak up to maybe 1 Litre of fuel each since the pumps usually don’t pump to the very bottom.

    As for the full drums, since they are capped, they will float since the fuel is less dense than the water. They will somewhat be submerged due to the weight of the drum itself but will still float., thus becoming a hazard to boats.

  32. Bruce Cobb says:

    Just think of the “carbon footprint” of the expenditure of energy required just to get them through their daily activity, via an intake of some 6,000 calories of food. I have a figure of 157 kg/min. of C02 expelled during “vigorous exercise”, which, due to the extreme cold I’m sure most of their activity qualifies as. During rest, under normal conditions we expel about 15 kg/min., but just keeping warm there would, I’m sure easily triple that. I’m guessing that during the day they each expel about 100 kg/min. more than they might at home, and possibly 30kg/min. more at night. That’s 6,000 kg/hr. x 10 = 60,000kg. during the day, and 1,800 kg/hr x 14 = 25,000, for a grand total of about 85,000 kg., or some 94 tons extra C02 expelled per person per day via respiration. Obviously it would be less during days they are waiting for resupply, maybe only half, and it seems they have probably had at least 10 days of waiting during their 64 days on the ice, making about 59 full days, making a grand total of 16,638 tons of extra C02 they have expelled so far, just from respiration. So, while they are busy “measuring” the ice they are, by their own reasoning helping to destroy it. That makes them hypocrites as well as fools.

  33. Jim says:

    Tim,

    That extra ice represents only a ‘measly’ 100,000 square kilometers above the highest recorded in the last 7 years, but it should be enough to keep the arctic tundra from flying off… And I would expect it to provide a whole host of new icebergs for the polar bears to strand themselves on.

    What I am really worried about is the extra ice mass throwing off the gyroscopic balance of the spinning Earth causing vibrational stress on the crust and result in higher levels of tsunami activity. Which will further increase the vibrational instability until the resulting harmonics start playing havoc on the magnetic vortexes of the poles and cause the glaciers to advance even faster than ever before and the compass readings to be thrown permanently out of whack.

    This will lead to the swallows not being able to find Capistrano anymore, due to the wobbling gravitational field lines, and ending up in the path of windmill farms which, of course, leads to more catastrophic windmill destruction events and more calls for civil disobedience than we have seen to date. Then there is the problem of the rolling fuel barrels bowling over the Artic Expedition teams from the Gaia-ic heaving all this is bound to precipitate…I mean, cause.

    Oh the environmental-ness of it all!

    ;)

    Jim

  34. Skeptic Tank says:

    The road to the North Pole is paved with good intentions.

  35. E.M.Smith says:

    In California if you drown because of a mechanical failure putting your boat or plane at the bottom of the S.F. Bay; your heirs will get a bill for $10,000 for polluting the bay with fuel. This is to discourage you from polluting like that in the future… never mind that your dead.

    Guess the rules are different if your motives are more pure…

  36. Bob Wood says:

    Well, its the thought that counts, isn’t that right?

  37. Zammy says:

    Isn’t it always the same story with these scientists? They travel all over the globe, and return full of enthusiasm and tales of how impressive and magnificent the earth is. And it’s quite understandable, who wouldn’t like to travel wide and far? But then their conclusion is to “conserve” all this beauty of nature for future generations, and to ensure that goal, it is – through the circular argument of carbon emissions – necessary that nobody else but them can travel as much. In fact, “common” people shouldn’t even be allowed to have a minicar.

  38. voodoo says:

    Imagine the outcry if one of those horrible, hated oil companies left a spilled teaspoon of oil behind after vacating an exploration site.

  39. Roger Sowell says:

    Jack mosevich (09:06:22) :

    .“Maybe someone here can answer the question as to what exactly must happen to make even the believers question their faith?”

    Glaciers 10,000 feet high in Miami (FL) for 100 years. That ought to do it.

    Nah…

  40. P Folkens says:

    jack mosevich (09:06:22) : “Maybe someone here can answer the question as to what exactly must happen to make even the believers question their faith?”

    When they keep moving the goalposts, their faith will only be reinforced, never questioned. For example, Jim Hansen offered testimony before Congress in 1988 predicting terrible temperature rises due to CO2. He included a graph that indicated in 20 years the average global temperature would rise 1.2°C. Twenty years later the world temp anomaly was around 0.2°C. Reason for doubt? No. Hansen authored a peer-reviewed paper that focused on how accurate his models are. He now promotes himself as the senior climate scientist whose models are the most accurate, or so says Scott Peley on 60 Minutes a couple of weeks ago.

    At the risk of stating the obvious, the amount of fuel expended setting up multiple fuel caches to support the planes that support the walkers . . . Isn’t part of their image the notion of a small carbon footprint by walking? I wonder if that German team using the modified DC-3 to measure ice thickness used less fuel and acquired more data with greater quality and efficiency?

  41. Squidly says:

    Another inconvenient question .. where is the EPA on this one? The EPA is ready to jump on board to control CO2, where are they on controlling pollution? Should not there be significant fines and/or criminal charges be brought against these polluters? This is just another fine example of how the environmental movement and “going green” isn’t so environmentally friendly or green. Appalling IMHO…

  42. Bruce Cobb (09:47:12) : “I have a figure of 157 kg/min. of C02 expelled during “vigorous exercise”

    No way, Bruce. Maybe milligrams or micrograms.

  43. AdrianS says:

    Very Naughty leaving all that AVgas just to fall into the ocean at some satge and rust through. I care about the enviroment, but dont by AGW.
    If Shell or BP did it what would happen……….

  44. John Galt (07:49:35) : “Why yes, your actual behavior doesn’t matter as much as your motivation or your feelings.”

    Econazis and liberals judge themselves by their intentions, not by their actions or the results. They’re awfully like alcoholics in that respect.

    Hmm…

  45. Smokey says:

    They may have a little extra leeway this year: click

    Also, as Prof. Freeman Dyson points out, the warming effect of carbon dioxide should be strongest where air is cold and dry, mainly at the poles rather than in the tropics, mainly in mountainous regions rather than in lowlands, mainly in winter rather than in summer, and mainly at night rather than in daytime.

    With the arctic getting colder, it’s getting harder to convince people that CO2 is having anything more than an insignificant effect, which can safely be disregarded.

  46. Cassandra King says:

    The BBC website detailing the ‘expeditions’ progress(or lack therof) reveals some interesting information, they are rationing their calorie intake to around a thousand per day, this is a starvation diet in normal conditions but in severe cold its suicidal I believe the body needs around two thousand calories per day in normal conditions and a minimum of five thousand plus with below freezing temps.
    Their position relative to their goal is also interesting, they seem to be departing at an increasing tangent to their planned route which of course takes them further away not closer to their objective and they give the impression that they are not moving at present but waiting for the re supply aircraft.
    The question is, if they are stationary and the ‘boys are out drilling’ where are these drill holes and are we to believe that they travel great distances to drill holes and then make the trek back to the makeshift basecamp every day over shifting ice on around a thousand calories per day?

  47. hangzen says:

    Reminds me of an Earth Day event I went to about 15 years ago. It was an all day event on the campus of USC and ended with several local rock bands entertaining the masses…

    After a couple of hours playing music and preaching about the evils of capitalism and consumerism on the environment, the crowd, feeling better about themselves for caring, disperses…

    Leaving behind a sea of empty pizza boxes, empty beer bottles, and trash as far as the eye can see…

    Once again, symbolism over substance. Welcome to the 21st century!

  48. Tim Groves says:

    Doubtless those oil drums will eventually be carried by the ice to Greenland or the Canadian north where some enterprising locals will make good use of the contents and claim the deposit on the empties. And if instead they make it to open sea, they may well save the lives of some poor drowning polar bears as a bonus. Even so, real eco-friendly arctic explorers would limit themselves to windpower and Huskies.

    I’ve lived almost 30 years in Japan and been through several major typhoon- and summer rain-induced floods, and the really big ones that come once every five or ten years carry literally thousands of 100-litre oil barrels out to sea, let alone countless smaller floating objects. It’s the same in China and Korea. A far bigger ocean pollution problem than people throwing junk into rivers comes from all kinds of non-junk items that get stolen away by floodwaters.

  49. crosspatch says:

    The temperatures at the pole have warmed significantly over the past few days. It is warmer than -10C now. But it doesn’t look like the weather is very good at the moment.

  50. DaveCF says:

    A minor point, but it is not Avgas or Avtur in those barrels – Twin Otters running in the north generally use Arctic diesel. In fact, they will run on Scotch whiskey if you could afford it. There is a dial setting in the cockpit for the volatility of the fuel available. Mind you, I think the Catlin crowd would like the tanks to be filled with rum toddies about now…

  51. Mark Bowlin says:

    There is a strong strain of consequentialism in the green movement. Such a mind-set allows dishonesty if it serves the greater good (as the greens define the greater good); offers an indulgence to one for polluting while “saving the planet;” promotes the use of discredited data to convince others of your virtues; and ignores the venal inclinations of the useful idiots of the movement.

  52. Stephen Wilde says:

    In 100 years time the Catlin expedition may be in the dictionaries as a permanent definition of both hypocrisy and hubris.

    Not quite what they must have intended.

    I’d advise them to get out of there as soon as possible but Scott wouldn’t have taken my advice either.

    Tragic to be famous but for the wrong reasons.

  53. Lawrence Beatty says:

    A couple of things: I note on their latest video they once again film inside the tent. Has anyone actually seen any evidence of an outside video clip?. Also they running this video recorder on batteries and if so how are these charged or discarded?

    I diid email the website several weeks back asking about the wet/dry suits that they will apparently ware (I think they have already) when they reach a stretch of open water that can’t be avoided. I have heard back yet.

  54. Ray says:

    AdrianS (10:26:57) :

    Very Naughty leaving all that AVgas just to fall into the ocean at some satge and rust through. I care about the enviroment, but dont by AGW.
    If Shell or BP did it what would happen……….
    ——————————
    You can be assured that they make sure that there is a big “Shell” or “BP” or “Petro Canada” LOGO on each and everyone of those drums, so they can still blame the petrolium companies on littering the Artic.

  55. karl heuer says:

    Bruce,

    I think your numbers are a bit off. —

    CO2 has a density of 2kg per cubic meter, so using your 157kg/min — they would be moving 73 cubic meters of CO2 per minute –if exhaled breath was 100% CO2.

    The total lung capacity of an average adult human is 5 liters, a cubic meter is 1000 liters in volume.

    **** If they could completely exhale the complete volume of their lungs with each respiration and they exhaled 100% CO2 — they would need to have a respiration rate of 14600 breaths per minute!!

    An average human produces 1kg of Co2 from respiration

    ***** Per Day ******

    http://cdiac.esd.ornl.gov/pns/faq.html

    even allowing for the 3 people consuming 6000 calories a day — that equals 9 average humans (average human consumes 2000 cals — 3 people burning 3 times that cals = 9)

    So, on a daily basis the 3 explorers produce 9kg of CO2 from respiration!

    — even if the increased activity resulted in an order of magnitude increase in respiration (impossible to actually take 150 breaths in a minute for any length of time– but for arguments sake …)

    – the survey persons would be contributing 90kg/day — or about 9000kg for the whole planned expedition.

  56. Brian Johnson says:

    DaveCF (10:51:07) :
    A minor point, but it is not Avgas or Avtur in those barrels – Twin Otters running in the north generally use Arctic diesel.

    Thread drift……
    How bizarre that bottled water is more expensive than Avgas/ Avtur/Arctic diesel. What a con bottled water must be…………..

  57. E.M.Smith says:

    jack mosevich (09:06:22) : Maybe someone here can answer the question as to what exactly must happen to make even the believers question their faith?

    Truth.

    My money would be on cold and hungry. Right now it’s 60 degrees F and overcast (was drizzle) here in “sunny” California. It ‘ought’ to be 80F+ with BBQ and fresh 45 day wonder (“4th of July”) tomatoes from the garden. It isn’t. My tomatoes are sulking. My green beans are up, but waiting for warm to grow. Etc. And I’m thinking about cutting some wood for a fire in the fireplace (unheard of in my history here in May).

    It doesn’t take too much of that for folks to start saying “Global Warming My Posterior!” I’d guess that it will start in the Farm Belt as folks can’t plant until a couple of weeks late due to cold and wet. Then it will pick up in the rural towns. Probably intensifying in areas with a cold drought. This will filter through the ag commodities traders into the food industry as they must be in touch with reality. The “cold less food higher prices” story is one they will pay attention to and that will then filter through to the Moms of the world as they purchase the family food budget…

    Secondarily, the rising home heating costs will cause the Dad’s of the world to take notice. Chopping twice as much wood has a way of getting your attention. Almost as much as a higher heating oil or natural gas bill. The Democratic push for higher fuel costs will exacerbate this (so it’s a back door good thing, I guess…) and it will be very very hard for the MSMedia to NOT run a story about high fuel demand in a surprisingly cold winter…

    Once you have Mom, Dad, and the food and fuel industries (and the financial guys behind them) focused, then others will follow. The ski bums of the world (and ski resort operators) will also catch clue quickly. Right behind them will be the road salt and snow plough folks. We’ve already had one year of too little road salt bought and emergency buys as they ran out; they won’t want too many repeats…

    And then there will be the Alaska Fishermen causing sea food prices to rise as the ice makes it harder to catch… Followed not too far behind by shipping insurance rates going up as weather risks rise. The maritime insurance rates will NOT be set by propaganda. Similarly, the other major insurers will catch on pretty quick to what is really causing losses. Crop insurance rates first, but things like flood and ice damage second.

    My point? Pretty simple. It won’t be a scientific evidence thing that does it. It will be a capital markets and reality bites thing.

    How many baseball games called due to a cold freezing rain? How many football games due to freezing sleet and 4 foot of snow? I can hear the announcer now saying “The game was called today due to the heavy snow. Haven’t had snow like this since, oh, I think it was ’67 or ’73. Well, they are shoveling the (derisive tone) Globull Warming? off the field now, but I don’t think we’ll be having a game today…)

    Already I’ve noticed that the average folks I run into don’t talk about global warming any more. If you mention it, the bulk of them have a skeptical attitude. Make a snide remark about it (“God, I could sure use some global warming today!”) and the reply indicates a belief that AGW is a crock. They are mostly just being quiet from a sense it being PC and not wanting to ask for trouble over it. It doesn’t take long at all for that to turn to public derision of the AGW thesis and supporters.

    So as reality continues to confirm the widely held public view that it’s a crock, the stigma of deriding it will fall away. That’s the real tipping point.

    One example: A liberal leaning engineer friend was mostly pro AGW in something of a “I don’t really want to think about it so I’m accepting the dogma” kind of way. He initially was almost hostile to my assertions that AGW was less than pure. It’s taken 2 years, but he now is firmly neutral on the subject and does not mind my ‘jabs’ at AGW anymore. He has looked at some of the evidence now and I’m no longer hit with RC talking points in reply. In fact, we’ve moved on a bit to issues of volcanic cycles and the solar slumber… (Something about being right over a year or two with predictions of “it is going to be colder, not warmer” may have helped … )

    And that is how AGW will be falsified. One friend, one farmers coffee shop, one ski bum, one football stadium, one Mom & Dad at a time…

    “And The Truth Shall Set You Free”.

  58. SJones says:

    Slightly o/t but on their latest update pondering how they can pass the time stuck in the tent for the 8th? day, one of the things they discuss is:

    “Martin’s toe (largely because of the smell coming from his sleeping bag)”

    that sounds ominous to me, though I’m no doctor. Why is nobody in their team trying to persuade them that enough is enough. They will still spin the expedition as a success even if they pull out now – so why take any further risks with their health?

  59. Retired Engineer says:

    I thought it was illegal to dump fuel/oil/whatever. When the Exxon Valdez dumped 10 million gallons of crude, Exxon paid about $3 bil in cleanup and settlements, with another half bil in damages (found several different numbers for this) That works out to about $350/gal.

    So, Catlin and sponsors should be on the hook for no less. How many drums and how full?

  60. E.M.Smith says:

    Carter (08:20:23) : If we ask nicely, do you think Ed could whip us up an airplane that flies on used cooking oil?

    Um, already been done…

    The USAF is certifying the whole fleet to run on biofuel and Virgin Atlantic ran a test flight on biofuel. Any jet turbine will do, if you don’t mind a placarding things…

    The best way to make the biofuel is to just make a light kerosene like cut by shoving the oil through the hydrotreater at an existing oil refinery. Basically it’s “fat in kerosene / diesel out”. You can cat crack it to any average molecule length you like so you can make a fuel that is Jet-A if you want to.

    http://www.allbusiness.com/defense-aerospace/aerospace-industry-aircraft-components/11712875-1.html

    A Google of “hydrotreater biofuel” will yield dozens more links.

    Right behind that is the older transesterfication process. This makes a heavier fuel that works in the turbines, but it’s got ‘gelling’ issues in the cold. I would not want to run it in the Arctic…

    Also, the RTK Rentech company has a process for turning darned near anything (cooking fats & oils, trash, coal) into Jet Fuel (this is what the USAF used for their acceptance tests). While their facility is small, it is running now and they would probably love to sell some to a large visibility PR Stunt.

    http://www.rentechinc.com/fuels.php
    http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS163396+29-Jan-2009+BW20090129

    DISCLOSURE: I own a few thousand shares of RTK and SYNM who are both in this business along with a few hundred of some oil companies (PCZ and PBR) that are getting interested in the hydrotreating aspect.

  61. Bill Sticker says:

    Are the Catlin expedition truly still subsisting on “1000 calories a day” while waiting for resupply? In sub zero temperatures? Surely they’ll be losing significant muscle mass by now which will impact upon their ability to do even moderate physical work.

    That’s one heck of a way to diet.

  62. tty says:

    AdrianS (10:26:57) :

    No AvGas. Twin Otters have PT6 engines, so they run on jet fuel.

  63. peeke says:

    “Is it OK to pollute the Arctic Sea so long as the quest is noble?”

    A lot of the commenters here will rant against enviromentalists, but actually the environment suffers from AGW related policy. In the UK plans exist to dam one of the most important estauaries that Europe still has,the estuary of the Severn, to tap tidal energy. The plans have provoked the anger of a lot of environmenatlists. Hydropower is in fact one of the very few *usable* renewable energy sources, a fact that can be deduced from the fact that currently quite a substantial part of electricity production is hydro.
    But hydropower almost always means a disaster for the ecosystem it is tapped from.

  64. enduser says:

    Perhaps slightly OT.

    Ever hear of the “Glacier Girl”? That is the p-38 fighter that was part of the “Lost Squadron” that was forced down in Greenland in 1942.

    In 1990, an enterprising group figured that they would just shovel the snow off, fill-er-up and fly out of there. Well, they found the Lost Squadron buried under 268 feet of ice. 268 feet of new ice in 48 years– more than 5 1/2 feet of buildup per year.

    Greenland ice sheet melting? I don’t think so. Actually the continental ice sheet in Greenland is still growing, and the interior temperatures have been dropping significantly since measurements started in 1987 (Chylek, Box, & Lesins, Los Alamos National Laboratory, 2003).

  65. James P says:

    claim the deposit on the empties

    Perhaps it’s time the deposit was made more substantial, especially for drums intended for hard-to-reach areas…

  66. Julian Flood says:

    crosspatch (09:34:22) : wrote

    Any pollution from avgas would be very short lived unquote

    What’s the aircraft they’re using?

    JF

  67. Steve in SC says:

    Perhaps they could feed the polar bears and thus save all that fuel.

  68. NoAstronomer says:

    Are those 1st year or 2nd year drums? Because we all know that 1st year drums are less likely to survive the summer.

  69. E.M.Smith says:

    DaveCF (10:51:07) : A minor point, but it is not Avgas or Avtur in those barrels – Twin Otters running in the north generally use Arctic diesel.

    An even more minor point: While there are differences in the spec for Jet-A, JP4, JP8, #2 Diesel, #1 Diesel etc. There is much about JP8, Jet-A, and #1 Diesel that is almost the same.

    http://www.csgnetwork.com/jetfuel.html

    To say that they are running on arctic Diesel is to say #1 Diesel is to say light kerosene is to say Jet-A is to say … modulo a bit of detail on the quantity of light ends and corrosion inhibitors and sometimes a bit of variation in the cloud points…

    It’s more about how wide the distillation cut was than about the center point of the cut; and a bit about the cold treatment afterwards to remove waxes and other cloud formers and particulate fines. Oh, and there are a couple of specs for sulphur and cyclical vs straight chains that are only there to tune the fuel for smog / smoke production.. For actual ability to run, they mostly don’t matter much and you can (especially in an emergency) pretty much substitute one for the other freely. Part of why I own a Diesel car…

    In fact, they will run on Scotch whiskey if you could afford it. There is a dial setting in the cockpit for the volatility of the fuel available. Mind you, I think the Catlin crowd would like the tanks to be filled with rum toddies about now…

    Neat! I WANT one!

    My Diesel has run on 25% gasoline in #2 Diesel, jet fuel, K1 kerosene, K3 Kerosene, #1 and #2 Diesel, various biodiesels, soybean and other vegetable oils (blended at up to 50% with #1 or #2 Diesel) and a few other things… but never whiskey rum toddies. Though the driver might ;-)

    Oh, and Diesel and Jet fuel both have bactericides added … bugs love to eat the stuff… So if you have a spill, it’s bacteria food. Something the greens don’t like to mention… Think about that for a minute. One of the real problems with jet fuel and Diesel fuel is that bacteria make a home in the fuel tank and eat the fuel if you don’t do something to stop them… So the next time you see a full HazMat team rolled to a 5 gallon Diesel spill, ask yourself “why?” (It’s not the fire danger – Diesel won’t burn if you toss a lit match into a puddle, it needs a wick. It’s not the biological hazard, bugs eat it. Etc.)

  70. karl heuer says:

    substitute 78 cubic meters for 73 in my above post — all the metrics are correct — it seems I had trouble dividing 157 by 2 — I managed to add 75 and 3 and end up with 73 ……

  71. lichanos says:

    Carbon footprinting is a species of accounting, and as such, is open to abuse, laziness, sloppiness, and downright fraud a la Enron.

  72. Larry Sheldon says:

    The short answer is “The have caused the kind of pollution unfairly said to be caused by the oil companies.

    I have no facts at hand, but I’ll be that counting the spills, Alyeska has not polluted as much as this one boondoggle has.

  73. E.M.Smith The “cold less food higher prices” story is one they will pay attention to
    THEY will blame CO2 for it, for sure. It’ s THEIR season coming!, so beware, they will attack deniers with all weapons available.
    All what they need is a law defining clean air breathing as a human right in the UN, then they will prosecute anyone who promotes, provokes or make others to oppose air cleansing policies, as a human rights’ offender.
    Brave New World is coming!!

  74. jack mosevich says:

    E.M.Smith: Funny you should say that about people. I often hear people joke about how they could use some global warming (Chicago has been cold and damp until yesterday). I don’t think many take it very seriously, except for a few hysterical types I often spar with. They never examine evidence; they just rave on about consensus amogn scientists who are smarter than me, polar bears, glaciers and now the south pole. They attack me, rather than discuss. I am a holocost denier, flat earther and creationist. Wow. They left off rapist.

    But, I think the general public is getting sceptical, not just because of the weather, but because of the rediculous claims by the hysterical-warmer-crowd.

  75. OT: At solarcycle24.com say that Catania is reporting a sunspot. Are there any psychics at Catania for detecting ghosts spots?

  76. stumpy says:

    Jet fuel has a lower mass density than the sea water, so depending on the weight of the barrel it will float or sink. If the fuel were to leak out it would certainly float and most likely evaporate or volatise if during summer months as it drifts around.

  77. rephelan says:

    Jack Mosevich asked at (09:06:22)

    Maybe someone here can answer the question as to what exactly must happen to make even the believers question their faith?

    And E.M.Smith (11:06:45): responded with a lengthy reply that essentially said that the evidence of the weather will change their minds. Oddly enough, that arch-Alarmist troll FLANAGAN posted on Steve Goddard’s “Mad Dogs and Englishmen” thread a link to a social science article titled

    How Citizens Integrate Information without Ideological Cues:
    Local Weather and Americans’ Beliefs about Global Warming

    And which is located here:

    http://politics.as.nyu.edu/docs/IO/4819/egan_mullin.pdf

    Flanagan, of course, totally misrepresented the conclusions of the article, but the bottom line is that for both alarmists and deniers who are “politically sophisticated” (i.e. either highly educated or firmly committed to a political party) perceptions of weather have little influence on their perceptions of global warming.

    The answer to Jack’s question may well be “Nothing”.

  78. Gordon Ford says:

    Presumably the Catlin Survey has assured the Ministry of Environment, Government of Nunavut that the fuel drums, full and empty will be recovered before the ice melts. Any bets?

  79. enduser says:

    Since we are talking about ice thickness…

    Here is what Jason Box Said about the Greenland ice sheet in 2003:

    …the Greenland
    warming of the 1920s demonstrates that a large and rapid temperature increase can occur over Greenland, and perhaps in other regions of the Arctic, due to internal
    climate variability such as the NAM/NAO, without a significant anthropogenic
    influence.
    and:
    The Greenland surface air temperature trends over the past 50 years do not show
    persistent warming, in contrast to global average surface air temperatures. The
    Greenland coastal stations temperature trends over the second half of the past
    century generally exhibit a cooling tendency with superimposed decadal scale oscillations
    related to the NAO. At the Greenland ice sheet summit, the temperature
    record shows a decrease in the summer average temperature at the rate of about
    2.2 ◦C/decade, suggesting that the Greenland ice sheet at high elevations does not
    follow the global warming trend either. (Chylek, box & Lesins, 2003)

    Here’s What Professor Box Says today:

    “We now know that the climate doesn’t have to warm any more for Greenland to continue losing ice,” Box said. “It has probably passed the point where it could maintain the mass of ice that we remember.
    “Greenland is deglaciating and actually has been doing so for most of the past half-century.”

    Well, what is it, Professor Box, Warming or cooling? Oh, That’s right, depends on who’s paying you.

  80. John Boy says:

    Science Daily News [snip]

    In their paper “Is the climate warming or cooling?” David R. Easterling of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Climatic Data Center and Michael Wehner of the Computational Research Division at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory note that a number of publications, websites and blogs often cite decade-long climate trends, such as that from 1998-2008, in which the earth’s average temperature actually dropped slightly, as evidence that the global climate is actually cooling.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090504141047.htm

    Troo

  81. enduser says:

    Sorry, the previous post didn’t format quite right. And the link for Dr. Box’s warmist statement is: http://www.physorg.com/news148563893.html

  82. E.M.Smith says:

    SJones (11:10:36) : one of the things they discuss is:

    “Martin’s toe (largely because of the smell coming from his sleeping bag)”

    that sounds ominous to me, though I’m no doctor.

    It is very ominous and you don’t need to know that stink is one of the early signs if gangrene. From:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gangrene

    Gangrene is a complication of necrosis (i.e., cell death) characterized by the decay of body tissues, which become black (and/or green) and malodorous. It is caused by infection or ischemia, such as from thrombosis (blocked blood vessel).

    If he had any frostbite and now has malodorous toes, he’s losing the toes and the foot to follow. The longer they wait, the more he will lose. Long enough and you lose the life…

    He needs to be off the ice and in surgery now (British use where surgery means equipped doctors office, not U.S. use where it means operating theatre). He needs antibiotic therapy at a minimum and he needs supportive tissue treatments (debridement, antiseptic wash, circulation reestablishment and /or assessment, potentially surgical amputation…) At a bare minimum he needs a competent remote diagnosis and a good foot bath in warm soapy water with debridement and assessment.

    Don’t they have a doctor on their support team? Again I ask: Where is the adult supervision for this farce or an ‘expedition’?

    Oh, and in thinking about the “Arctic Diesel” vs Jet fuel… I suspect what they run is Jet-B that is basically Jet-A with some gasoline ends in it. Available in arctic Canada and much like the #1 Diesel with some gasoline added that becomes Arctic Diesel… The major difference will be in the additives for corrosion and icing prevention and maybe the microns of filtration.

  83. Jeff Alberts says:

    I haven’t read all the comments, so I apologize if this was mentioned.

    I daresay it would have cost less fuel for a couple flyovers that it would have for all the plane trips involved in the Catlin fiasco.

  84. Kath says:

    Okay folks, stop using the Internet. According to the Grauniad “news”paper:

    “Web providers must limit internet’s carbon footprint, say experts

    Soaring online demand stretching companies’ ability to deliver content as net uses more power and raises costs”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2009/may/03/internet-carbon-footprint

    Bring on the dark ages….

  85. Gary Pearse says:

    enduser (13:00:08) :

    “Since we are talking about ice thickness…
    Here is what Jason Box Said about the Greenland ice sheet in 2003: ……”

    This is a terrible reversal of facts on Greenland’s ice sheet over the past 50 years by Jason Box. Does anyone send these guys emails, like the Dr. Keenan did re U of Albany fraudster? This is fraudulent too. I would like to see all cases of this sort of thing directly challenged with copies to media that print this stuff.

  86. Adolfo Giurfa (12:32:23) :

    OT: At solarcycle24.com say that Catania is reporting a sunspot. Are there any psychics at Catania for detecting ghosts spots?

    L

  87. Sorry, hit the wrong button…

    Adolfo Giurfa (12:32:23) :

    Indeed it looks like they are seeing ghost spots. Even in their CCD images the spots are not visible http://www.ct.astro.it/sun/solef.jpg
    http://www.ct.astro.it/sun/

  88. AL Ward says:

    To superDBA (08:00:15), I too get quite the grand chuckle when picking my daughter up from school. All the SUV’s lined up (running while waiting) with save the earth bumper stickers firmly affixed. I park my Honda civic and meet my daughter at the door. Yet because I insist that science be adhered to, I am the one at fault….lmao.

  89. BarryW says:

    Lubos Motl (09:42:11) :

    Some comrades are more equal than others (so to speak h/t G. Orwell).

    Elitists believe in sacrifice, just not their own.

    The amount of trash in the “pristine” corners of the earth keeps growing. Antarctica has it’s dumps as well as Everest. There is a term for elitist celebs, Eurotrash. Maybe we should start calling people like those on this boondoggle, Ecotrash.

  90. E.M.Smith says:

    rephelan (12:49:17) : but the bottom line is that for both alarmists and deniers who are “politically sophisticated” (i.e. either highly educated or firmly committed to a political party) perceptions of weather have little influence on their perceptions of global warming.

    I do not disagree! (Talk about a weasel word phrasing ;-)

    Notice that my thesis was that the Regular Folks would be shifted by their experience. Not the “politically sophisticated”. Once the middle moves, you will see it followed by “distancing” where the AGW thesis just gets less and less support from the Average Joe & Jane, then the marginal supporters will clam up and ‘distance’ themselves to a “decline to state middle”. The end effect is that the True Believers are left out in the cold (if you’ll pardon the pun ;-) ever more marginalized.

    Then the thinning begins. A few at a time the True Believers move away. Eventually you have the hard core that will die before changing their mind. They take a lifetime to change (literally…) as the recruits drop off and the old hands die off. But long before that the society as a whole as ‘moved on’.

    It’s not the single digit percentage at the 6 sigma point that matters, it’s the 50% of the population that are more or less disinterested in the central 1 sigma range… THEY will trust what they see, feel, and pay for…

    Those are the farmers, football fans, Moms buying groceries and Dads cutting wood or ordering heater oil, ski bums and snowmobile salesmen of the world… That is where the change will come; and it can happen very very fast.

    Social change is not lead by the leaders, it is lead from the middle. The leaders just run out in front of the parade once the herd picks a direction. At best they can turn it a few degrees one way or the other, but not 90 degrees and certainly not 180… The list of failures is so great: Great Society, War on Drugs, Abstinence Movement, and in many ways the whole Green Movement (look how much trash is still created and buried in land fills…). Leaders make headlines, but the people make the future.

    Obama will learn this, as will the AGW movement.

    In many ways it’s just Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” at work. You can put a 10% sales tax on new cars to try to raise revenue, but you can’t make me buy a new car (California is learning this today… $8 Billion shortfall in tax revenues against a $14 Billion deficit. Raise rates to cover the $14B deficit, get $8B less than expected in the door. Now projecting a $40B deficit in the future. Golly!) You can tax cigarettes to reduce consumption and get more folks growing their own tobacco or smuggling cigarettes. Eventually the center of the crowd wins.

    So just watch Joe & Jane Sixpack. When they are cold and hungry (not being particularly ‘sophisticated’ or ‘political’) they will call AGW “bunk”. When they are skiing a month early and late, they will call AGW “bunk”. And when they are planting wheat a month late in Kansas or Canada, they will call AGW “bunk”. And that is all it will take.

    When the center of mass moves, the gadfly leaders will orbit in a new sphere. That is their nature.

  91. pwl says:

    Walking human beings pulling heavy sleds of equipment emit more C02 than human beings sitting at a computer screen controlling a satellite. Seems that they are heavy carbon emitters just by all that exercise!!!

    It’s just a good thing that plants like C02 as do many humans who like a warm planet rather than another ice age.

    Now to go out for a walk and yoga to work off the belly that I got sitting at a computer. ;-)

  92. pwl says:

    Oh, they are “global warmists” who are so belief stricken with their quest to stop C02, a primary nutrient for plants, that they just forgot all REAL environmental concerns like dumping fuel oil drums in a fragile arctic environment!

    How do we get charges for polluting and a possible oil spill brought against them? Anybody have any contacts within Environment Canada?

  93. jack mosevich says:

    Catlin from the ice has been updated. They are on 90gm food per day and expecting a resuply. The aricraft is being fitted with extra tanks. Looks like they are admitting being in trouble.

    http://www.catlinarcticsurvey.com/latestfromtheice

  94. jack mosevich says:

    Update: It looks like a 200′ airdrop of food and fuel

  95. MattB says:

    I believe the phrase is “pack out your trash” when leaving a camp site.

  96. pwl says:

    Montreal Gazette, Thursday, August 28 2008

    Standing near the edge of the Northwest Passage, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced a pair of measures yesterday to boost Canada’s ability to prevent pollution and monitor shipping in its Arctic waters.

    The Harper government plans to introduce legislation that will extend the enforcement zone of the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act, which prohibits … dumping waste.

  97. pyromancer76 says:

    The Catlin crew should be responsible for a follow-up as to their environmental conscientiouness — “take only pictures (and measurements); leave only footprints (but not the foot)”. Fuel drums are particularly toxic, empty or full.

    OT — Anthony, congratulations for your article: “Is the U.S. Surface Temperature Record Reliable” posted at the Heartland Institute. Excellent (and detailed) explication of egregious irresponsibilities on the part of our government. Those responsible — all the way to the President — should be horribly shamed (and prosecuted) over their callous disregard for truth in the historical record and for the science of temperature measurement.

  98. Molon Labe says:

    If they’d driven a vehicle that only got 10 miles per gallon, they could make the trip on ~62 gallons of fuel. Little over a barrel.

    Heck take two barrels and drive all the way to Europe.

  99. gary gulrud says:

    OT: NMS CPC has updated their Historical ONI page. FMA was -0.5.

  100. jack mosevich says:

    Gary: Please elucidate what all these letters represent, or provide a link, for us illiterates

    Thanks!

  101. Oh, bother says:

    We are raising a generation of children who know science does not reveal objective scientific facts, and if a scientist is lucky enough to be working in a politically-sensitive field, government grant money will flow like a tsunami if he adopts the correct beliefs and makes sure his results support them.

  102. Tom in toasty Florida says:

    Skeptic Tank (09:49:13) : “The road to the North Pole is paved with good intentions.”

    and apparently oil drums as well.

  103. Ric Werme says:

    hangzen (10:39:50) :

    Reminds me of an Earth Day event I went to about 15 years ago. … Leaving behind a sea of empty pizza boxes, empty beer bottles, and trash as far as the eye can see…

    Once again, symbolism over substance. Welcome to the 21st century!

    I was a student at Carnegie-Mellon Univ when the very first Earth Day happening happened. (I still have the Whole Earth Catalog I bought there.) Several tents and an inflatable bubble or two were set up in the morning. In the late afternoon a major thunderstorm with heavy winds roared through blowing down the tents rolling the bubble, and soaking the grass. So we had not so many pizza boxes, but the ruts left by the trucks and other vehicles lasted quite a while longer!

    On topic: If they put an ice measuring buoy on the ice by the fuel drums then perhaps people could find them next year for the 2010 boondoggle.

  104. James P says:

    Kath (13:25:14) :

    Okay folks, stop using the Internet. According to the Grauniad “news”paper:

    “Web providers must limit internet’s carbon footprint, say experts

    Pots and kettles! I’m sure a paper copy of the Grauniad has a bigger ‘footprint’ than my reading its website. There are some good comments below the article – like suggesting the newspaper return to typewriters and hot metal, and blaming Al Gore for inventing the Internet… :-)

  105. Tom in Texas says:

    Jack

    OT = Off Topic :]

  106. Jeff B. says:

    There will be unintended consequences from practically everything. How’s about the disaster of summarily dispatching Yucca Mountain.

    We need more engineers and less politicians making decisions. Engineers know how to balance competing variables to make the best trade-offs. Engineers never would have pulled a costly publicity stunt like this when there are much more effective, safer and cleaner ways to measure ice thickness.

  107. Gary Pearse says:

    enduser (11:56:09) :

    “Ever hear of the “Glacier Girl”? That is the p-38 fighter that was part of the “Lost Squadron” that was forced down in Greenland in 1942.”

    Here is an account of the recovery of the Glacier Girl from beneath 268 feet of ice that covered her after she came down (with the rest of the squadron) on top of the Greenland Ice Cap.

    enduser (11:56:09) :

    Perhaps slightly OT.

    Ever hear of the “Glacier Girl”? That is the p-38 fighter that was part of the “Lost Squadron” that was forced down in Greenland in 1942.

    http://p38assn.org/glacier-girl-recovery.htm

    Well, well Dr. Box explain how this plane got buried under 268 feet of ice (2,680 feet of snow!) if the sheet has been melting and thinning for 50 years. It had also moved about a mile from its original location by glacial flow. This should give a pretty good explanation for Dr. Box’s alarming outflow of ice from Greenland into the sea. Since 1942, this 1 mile of flow of an ice sheet 3 km thick would make (very rough calculation based on average of length and width of Greenland and say 3km thick of ice) a volume of about 10,000 cubic km of ice that flowed into the sea (and was replaced). Anyone care to make a more careful calculation? And turning our attention to Antarctica ice cap here is another image of ice accumulation on antarctica. This is a giant crane that was used to put up some towers a few decades ago: WUWT?

    file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/Compaq_Owner/My%20Documents/My%20Pictures/Growing_Antarctic_Ice_Sheet.jpg

  108. JimB says:

    E.M.
    “And that is how AGW will be falsified. One friend, one farmers coffee shop, one ski bum, one football stadium, one Mom & Dad at a time…”

    “And The Truth Shall Set You Free”.

    E.M….the problem with this theory is that a whole bunch of farmers, ski bums and Moms and Dads were all against the AIG bailout, the bank bailOUTS, and the automakers bailouts. They still happened. Approval rating for congress, which really means for our government, is somewhere around 15%, depending on which poll you read. Some have it lower than that. Is there any change to congress in sight?…No.

    It will take much more than just John and Jane Q. Public not believing in it, and it will take much more than just impact on their wallets…UNLESS…

    …there’s a “tipping point” :)

    Which is what I hope to live long enough to see.

    JimB

  109. eo says:

    I really hope it is not avgas. Here is the link to avgas properties on Shell website. It still contains lead, tetra ethyl lead. It might evaporate very fast in he tropics but considering the frigid temperature in the artic circle, the evaporation rate may not be as fast as what crosspatch anticipated.

  110. Ron de Haan says:

    OT,

    Anthony, I’ve seen your surfacestation report:
    http://heliogenic.blogspot.com/2009/05/major-report-by-anthony-watts-on-junk.html

    Great job, congratulations.

  111. I recall that corrosion slows at reduced temperatures. Those drums may be there a long time, a memorial to…what?

  112. Allan M R MacRae says:

    Just emailed to Borek Air’s head office:

    Question for Kenn Borek Air re the Catlin Expedition

    Are you flying for the Catlin Expedition, as has been reported?

    There is speculation (see below) that fuel drums will be abandoned on the Arctic ice due to flights supporting this expedition’s activities.

    I am a longtime admirer of Kenn Borek Air’s polar achievements and thought you might want to comment on this question before it goes any further.

    You can comment directly on the blogsite.

    Regards, Allan MacRae

  113. jack mosevich says:

    I have not kept a record but if memory serves I believe the Catliners are drifting away from the pole now due to being tentbound. From the latest from the ice:

    Total distance travelled 397.81 km

    Average daily distance 6.12 km

    Estimated distance to North Pole 526.7 km

    Time on ICE 65 days

  114. Allan M R MacRae says:

    Lubos Motl (09:42:11) :

    Needless to say, leaders of dictatorships never feel the urge to apply the “general” rules to themselves. It’s the whole point of the green movement that low-quality individuals who haven’t achieved anything good and haven’t done anything good for others (or the Earth) are promoted to special people with special rights, just for being loyal to the ideology.

    Much like the hierarchy of the communist party was allowed to enjoy the advantages of capitalism and wealth, the hierarchy of green bigots is “allowed” (by their rules) to contaminate the Arctic Ocean or anything else. It’s up to the rest of us to make sure that the rules of these immoral people won’t control any country or any ocean.

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

    Excellent points Lubos,

    In July 1989, I went on a business trip through Checkpoint Charlie into East Germany during the last months of the Communist regime. The Berlin Wall fell later that year, on November 9.

    Canadians had been fed the Big Lie by our socialist NDP Party leaders (and some of their Liberal Party fellow-travelers) that East Germany was the “Workers Paradise”.

    Some paradise! Raw untreated sewage flowed into every river. Factories poured smoke into the sky and all sorts of pollutants into rivers and streams. Two-stroke Trabant automobiles spewed white oily smoke, so much that you could not see the car you were passing until you were beside it! Rail transportation systems were similarly backward. Industrial design in electrics and electronics had not progressed much past WW2 standards. Some old buildings still showed the scars of WW2. New buildings were covered with rivers of rust, probably since the steel re-bar was placed too close to the concrete surface. In every respect, East Germany was horrid.

    But the East German leaders and their secret police toadies lived the good life…

    I’ve also been to Castro’s Cuba, and it’s not much different. People are generally poor and even hungry. Lot’s of doctors, but no medicines. But life is good for the elite…

    … I wrote this just in case there was any remaining doubt.

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

  115. Roger Sowell says:

    E.M.Smith et al, re higher heating bills due to colder and longer winters.

    Not likely to happen soon, if at all, IMHO. Worldwide natural gas trading, in the form of LNG, has commenced in a big way. This drives down the price of natural gas (currently around $3.5 per million cubic feet).

    Food shortages, and higher food prices, yes, I can see that.

    Thanks to ExxonMobil and QatarGas, also ExxonMobil and Sakhalin Island, and a few other LNG exporters, we are in for a long spell of low-priced natural gas and lower heating bills. There are additional LNG plants due to start up later this year. This low price for natural gas will last for a very long time.

    Bring on the cold. Turn on the gas. Stay toasty and warm.

  116. Fluffy Clouds (Tim L) says:

    look at the ice chart, it is WAY higher than all of the years 2002-2008!!!!!

  117. Gary Plyler says:

    A little OT:

    Has anyone been keeping track of the expedition daily locations lately? About a month ago, they were moving 10 steps forward during the day and 8 steps back due to the southward drifting ice (really poor planning).
    Since they have been hunkered down in their tents for about a week, restricting their food intake to 1000 calories a day, have they been drifting southward that entire time?

  118. John F. Hultquist says:

    jack mosevich (15:04:42) :
    Gary: Please elucidate what all these letters represent, or provide a link, for us illiterates

    http://www.acronymfinder.com/

  119. jack mosevich says:

    Gary: see my post above at 17:21:46

  120. TomInAlaska says:

    Do we know for sure that they’re using fuel drums? My (admittedly very limited) experience with remote site logistics has been that fuel these days is usually stored in bladders made of Hypalon, or something similar. Drain the thing, and it could probably be folded up and flown out without too much trouble.

  121. Robert Bateman says:

    UNLESS…

    …there’s a “tipping point” :)

    You rang?
    There will be a tipping point, it’s called December 2009 and what follows.
    Keep your eye on the S. Hemisphere’s winter.
    With the Sun doing as badly as it currently is, the next N. Hemisphere’s winter will be worse.
    It’s a slow ratchet down, but each tick of the pall brings ever deepening cold.
    The headlines will read: “Disaster in Alasker” and “Cyrogenic Freeze hits the Yukon”.

  122. Squidly says:

    Kath (13:25:14) :

    Okay folks, stop using the Internet. According to the Grauniad “news”paper:

    “Web providers must limit internet’s carbon footprint, say experts

    Soaring online demand stretching companies’ ability to deliver content as net uses more power and raises costs”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2009/may/03/internet-carbon-footprint

    Bring on the dark ages….

    I read this last night and was astonished at the garbage it contained. They claim that servers are requiring more power, etc.. etc.., what a bunch of hogwash. In my company, we have recently built out a brand new data center, it has 3 times the number of servers, perhaps 1000x the computing power, and runs on approximately 1/100th the power and resources as the old one. Now, someone tell me how that has increased our energy usage and carbon footprint. Anyone that knows even one smidge of anything about the IT industry clearly knows that today’s servers and technology require far less energy than every before. Additionally, they cite Google as this huge energy waster, however, Google is one of the most green and energy self-sufficient companies in the world. Who ever wrote this garbage, either has not one stinking clue about anything, or is blaintently lying to get a response and/or ratings. Pure and complete hogwash it is!

  123. garett2008 says:

    cool

  124. Dane Skold says:

    No joke, I have a friend who rides a scooter and assails my Yukon XL because of its large carbon footprint.

    In point of fact, her scooter emits about 16 times more noxious emissions than my well-tuned SUV.

    But she is the champion of eco-friendliness because she gets better gas mileage from the scooter — regardless of the net emissions footprint.

    The cognitive dissonance is stunning!

  125. rephelan says:

    E.M.Smith (13:47:55) :

    I do not disagree! (Talk about a weasel word phrasing ;-)
    Notice that my thesis was that the Regular Folks would be shifted by their experience. Not the “politically sophisticated”.

    I truly appreciate your good-humored riposte. I was addressing primarily jack mosevich’s question, but your response raises a huge number of issues our long-suffering hosts might not want cluttering up their blog. The tenor of your argument is essentially that democracy will prevail. I’m not sure I can agree (ask me again tomorrow, maybe). The “politically sophisticated” are entrenched in the media, academia and government. The financially astute have lined up at the troughs and have no intention of breaking the rice-bowl. The levers of power are already in the grasp of interests who don’t give a damn about the opinions of know-nothings like us. 2010 may be the last opportunity to witness a peaceful transition. Hope I’m really, really wrong.

  126. Smokey says:

    rephelan:

    I predict 2016…

  127. Ron House says:

    Peeke: “Hydropower is in fact one of the very few *usable* renewable energy sources,”

    Hydropower is not renewable. It takes energy out of the Earth-Moon system, pushing the Moon further from the Earth and slowing the Earth’s rotation. Even in the 1970s, human energy usage was twice the natural rate of energy loss in the tidal system. When the Earth’s day is about 55 hours, the Moon will stop retreating, the tides will have stopped, and the forces powering the Earth’s magnetic dynamo will be minimal. Possibly the magnetic field will turn off, in which case cosmic rays will destroy much of life.

  128. pwl says:

    Ron House, please provide references to your sources for such claims of the non-renewable nature of hydropower causing the moon to leave orbit.

    The fact is that gravity provides the source of energy for hydro. As water turns to vapor it rises up into the atmosphere where it can collect into clouds and eventually collect into larger collections of water molecules also known as rain droplets to most people.

    As the water falls it can collect in geographic areas that can contain it but even then it’s being pulled by gravity towards the Earth – the moon has little to nothing to do with this process. Unless you are claiming that the moon is involved in vaporizing water on Earth?

    Of course not all geographic areas can contain the water and due to the force, well actually not a force (force is the newtowian view) but the shape of space distorted by the mass of the Earth (the einstienian view), the water moves down hill in things we call rivers. You know about them.

    Humans noticed that water really has a lot of potential energy available as it moves from higher ground to lower ground so we built dams. Damn we are smart sometimes. So we learned to collect and harness energy directly from water pushing on turbine blades turning generators which then pump out electricity, you know the stuff that animates our brains along with chemicals.

    Anyhow I just don’t see how any of this has anything to do with the moon and it moving away from the Earth. If we didn’t have a moon water would still vaporize to a gas in the heat of the day and would still rise in the atmosphere and still collect into rain drops and still fall to the ground by the Earths gravity not the moons gravity.

    Learn to think Ron. Learn some actual science rather than the, ok be polite, silly hypothesis (well it’s not that since he didn’t provide a test to perform). Critical thinking skills are very important, especially in this day and age when there are so many modern technologies that impact our lives.

  129. pwl says:

    So contrary to the ranting of Ron, yes, even when the moon moves farther away hydroelectric energy will still be a renewable energy source. A damn good one too!

  130. highaltitude says:

    ron:
    How exactly does hydropower affect the moon? I would love to see the science behind that kookery.

  131. Roger Sowell says:

    I think Ron is confusing hydroelectric power with tidal power. The moon does have an effect there.

  132. Jack says:

    E.M. Smith

    “Social change is not lead by the leaders, it is lead from the middle. The leaders just run out in front of the parade once the herd picks a direction. At best they can turn it a few degrees one way or the other, but not 90 degrees and certainly not 180… The list of failures is so great: Great Society, War on Drugs, Abstinence Movement, and in many ways the whole Green Movement (look how much trash is still created and buried in land fills…). Leaders make headlines, but the people make the future.”

    You are wise. I am collecting a few quotes . With proper attribution of course.

    Like the fall of the Berlin wall, the time of reaching the tipping point is impossible to predict with accuracy. But tip it shall.

  133. E.M.Smith says:

    Ron House (20:42:46) : Hydropower is not renewable. It takes energy out of the Earth-Moon system,

    Um, I think you are thinking about tidal power, not hydroelectric generation. Tidal power is partly (mostly?) from the moon, some from the sun, and a tiny bit from other things.

    Hydro is from falling rain, driven by sunshine and winds (also driven ultimately by the sun) so it is ‘renewable’ as long as the sun shines enough.

    and the forces powering the Earth’s magnetic dynamo will be minimal. Possibly the magnetic field will turn off, in which case cosmic rays will destroy much of life.

    And I think present theory has the magnetic dynamo powered by the earths rotation and a liquid metal core. As we slow down it might weaken, but until we hit very low rotation I don’t think it’s much of an issue. More of an issue, IMHO, is that we’ve probably reached the point where there isn’t enough U and Th decay to keep the core molten for another billion or two years; so we loose the molten core just about the time we need it the most, when the sun starts expanding…

    Bottom line is that we have about 1 to 2 billion years left before we’re toast (literally) from loss of molten core thus loss of magnetic shielding along with an expanding sun frying us. (Better start making plans to leave now!)
    ;-)

    Oh, and just to complete the set, there is also “wave power” that is not tidal nor hydroelectric. It is from wind and storm driven waves. Thus, also an indirect form of solar power.

    Wave power often uses floating buoys of some sort. Tidal power often uses ponds, lagoons and related water trapping features that route the trapped water out through a generator after the tide turns. Hydro uses dams up in the mountains to trap rainfall. Oh, and there is a proposed 4th… Current generators. These things are like windmills anchored in major ocean currents (like the gulf stream) and run more or less continuously. What drives them? I’d guess that it’s mostly the sun, but could see a case for a small contribution from orbital gravity effects…

  134. Phil. says:

    eo (16:30:52) :
    I really hope it is not avgas. Here is the link to avgas properties on Shell website. It still contains lead, tetra ethyl lead. It might evaporate very fast in he tropics but considering the frigid temperature in the artic circle, the evaporation rate may not be as fast as what crosspatch anticipated.

    The Twin Otter is a turboprop, ergo no 100 octane low lead.
    Presumably uses a winterized Jet A or similar?

  135. E.M.Smith says:

    BTW, per LNG: The market for it will be low cost for a while, but it won’t help the folks with oil heaters… And it takes decades to build LNG terminals and ships. Not much relief for the next few years (and I think AGW is “going down for the count” in less than 5 years; given present temperature trends…)

    Per AIG et. al.: The government can do things against public will in the short run, but in the long run it can not. If nothing else, passive aggressive eventually “wins”. Look at what’s happening to California. A slow motion implosion. The inevitable result of folks deciding not to be taxed so much. The government is frantically raising tax rates, and getting less revenue…

    But what I really want to know is when the food & fuel drop is happening and how are they going to get Mr. No Toe to a doctor! It would be very interesting to find out their fuel budget and compare it to a SnoCat making the same trek and the same measurements…

  136. Gary Plyler says:

    The moon? Tidal forces? And I thought I was getting Off Topic. (That’s OT John) :)

  137. Ron House says:

    E.M.Smith (22:31:12) : “Ron House (20:42:46) : ‘Hydropower is not renewable. It takes energy out of the Earth-Moon system,’ Um, I think you are thinking about tidal power, not hydroelectric generation.”

    My impression was that the Severn project was about the tidal washes in the river estuary, and I assumed unthinkingly that the use of the term hydropower referred to that. If it is about water flowing down the river from rain, then yes, that is renewable.

  138. James P says:

    In point of fact, her scooter emits about 16 times more noxious emissions than my well-tuned SUV

    In ppm, maybe, but your SUV (is that the 5.3 or 6 litre?) will be processing vastly more fuel and oxygen! Since it weighs over 2 tons, I suspect it used rather more natural resources to construct, too…

    You might argue that since most of us here don’t worry too much about CO2, then the argument is irrelevant anyway, but I don’t think you can dispute that the oil reserves would last a bit longer if we all rode scooters, or even Harley-Davidsons.

  139. James P says:

    magnetic dynamo

    I propose a gyroscopic dynamo, utilising the precessional forces resulting from the effects of the earth’s rotation on a (very) large gyroscope anchored near the equator. I haven’t done the detailed maths (I think it would have to a mile or two in diameter) but the principle is the same as those ‘power ball’ exercisers that you twist in your hand to speed up the flywheel, which in turn resists the motion and requires more effort.

    http://www.powerballs.com/

    It would make the days longer, eventually, but that’s going to happen anyway… :-)

  140. James P says:

    “have to” = “have to be”. Oops.

  141. soloden says:

    when we poison the sea, we poison ourselves in the end…thanks for sharing :)

  142. James P says:

    I’m very pleased to see my comments moderated so swiftly, but I shall feel guilty if they are on local time! Isn’t it time you went to bed?

    Reply: San Francisco time, and yeah, I need to get to bed. ~ charles the sleep-deprived moderator.

  143. hengav says:

    They have been resupplied. The question is will they get on the plane?

  144. Ron House says:

    To pwl: I have just double-checked, and the Severn Estuary project that I was answering peeke about IS a tidal power project, as I originally believed. The facts I stated are correct. The technology that both peeke and I were talking about is tidal power, and that is NOT renewable. Please discuss the real issues and the science rather than pouncing on word usage. Furthermore, “hydropower” means “water power” – which is precisely what tidal power is. At least two sources I found in about five minutes (wikipedia, wiki.answers.com) include tidal power in their definition of “hydropower”.

  145. Daniel L. Taylor says:

    It seems to be they are very much up against a ticking clock that is not in their favor. Each extra day they stay on the ice beyond the “safe” extraction date raises the chance of a very bad outcome for them or the extraction team.

    Maybe I’m just a cold hearted SoB, but in my opinion they need to freeze to death on that ice. The world needs to see the headline “Global Warming scientists studying Arctic ice die from cold.” The stark difference between AGW theory and reality needs to be painted in such bold, grim colors to snap people out of their slumber to stop this nonsense.

    How much suffering has there already been due to the global economic collapse? Carbon regulation is going to cause an even greater contraction of the global economy than we just witnessed. How many people will die sooner due to the reduced living standards, the stress, the hardship? How many people will continue to live in poverty because doors of opportunity were shut? The last global depression led directly to World War II. How many people will die if stress between nations struggling for energy, wealth, and improved living conditions reaches the breaking point and the world goes back to war?

    This is not a game people. The stakes are higher than anyone seems to realize. We are at a point in time where the human race desperately needs more energy, more wealth creation, higher technology, and higher standards of living. We need this for stability and peace. People with good jobs and homes aren’t quick to fight and kill and create war. People with nothing will go to war at the slightest suggestion. And we are about to cap energy use and everything that depends on it, creating greater poverty and therefore greater violence.

    I’m sorry, but if the deaths of everyone on that ice survey team helps raise awareness of and opposition to the global warming political train wreck then so be it. It needs to happen.

    James Hansen foolishly stands by coal trains and calls them death cars. Well the recent economic collapse has made me realize just how serious economic contraction can be. I call the cap and trade bill Death Legislation. And that’s how we need to start presenting it. The average person doesn’t think much of the potential damage from carbon cap and trade because they don’t understand it in terms of lost jobs, lost homes, people on the street, and deaths directly caused by lack of energy. (A senior who can’t afford A/C during a heat wave. A child whose parents can’t afford natural gas to keep him warm during a severe illness.)

    If I sound radical it’s because I’m heading that direction. We cannot sustain further economic contraction in the globe. It will lead to very, very bad things.

  146. adoucette says:

    Ron,
    So as not to engage in scaremongering, why don’t you show the results of the calculations that show the magnitude of the impact and the timeframes you are talking about?.

    At present rates that 55 hour day is nearly 4 million years from now, as we have added 25 leap seconds over 37 years.

    http://maia.usno.navy.mil/eo/leapsec.html

    Arthur

  147. Terry says:

    Ron: Are you by any chance an advisor to Dr. Chu?

    In any case, thanks for the giggles!

  148. Leon Brozyna says:

    BBC is reporting that the team has been resupplied.

    And now the real spin begins.

    Remember, at mission start they were to travel 1,000 km in 100 days. So, after 65 days they’ve done all of just under 400 km. And now they won’t even do 100 days ( the ice is melting, don’t you know). With a start date of 28 Feb, 100 days would have meant they’d be on the ice till 8 Jun. Now it’s being spun that the mission was going to end at the end of May but will be cut short a week. Which gives them about another 20 days or so before being plucked off the ice.

    Or, to use the Catlin technique –

    550 km in 85 days (okay, maybe 600 km in 85 days).

    Not quite as thrilling sounding as 1,000 km in 100 days.

    Now I wonder if the BBC will also breathlessly report on the state of the fuel caches?

  149. Phil. says:

    Leon Brozyna (08:11:48) :
    Now I wonder if the BBC will also breathlessly report on the state of the fuel caches?

    I doubt whether Borek is being paid so well for their services to be able to abandon 100s of gallons of Jet A (avg price in Alaska $5.50/gal). Since they fly all over the Arctic for many clients I’m sure that the various caches get used regularly, on their return trips if not fully laden they would be able to carry empty drums back with them. My fuel supplier used to have a deposit on the drums so it was worth sending them back (except for the one we cut up to make a bbq grill!).
    The Russians set an excellent example for stewardship with their NP stations, when they are abandoned everything is taken back.

  150. mosesstars says:

    Something most scientists forget is anything you observe you effect. So both have to be taken in to account when considering any exploration.

  151. Ron House says:

    To Adoucette and Terry: It will take a lot longer than 4 million years, but trebling or quadrupling the rate of natural rotational slowdown of the planet is to cause real and serious threats to life – admittedly at a very great distance in the future, but I fail to see why deliberately causing harm, including death, to our distant descendants is any the less of a crime than doing it to someone tomorrow. It may be slow, but tidal power is the only non-renewable energy source that actually causes irreversible damage, as opposed to merely making the non-renewable resource unavailable. In that sense it is far worse than any other form of energy usage. To get a timeframe if all our energy came from tidal power, multiply the natural lengthening of the day by four or so.

    Oh, and Terry, if you think this is just a giggle, you might try actually saying what’s wrong with my analysis so we can conduct a sensible discussion.

  152. MikeInLV says:

    Does everyone really think the Catlin expedition would litter the Artic? Those are really biodegradable drums.

    Get with the program people! Pffft!

  153. Steveh says:

    Something odd seems to be happening with the ‘distance to pole’ values since they’ve been resupplied.
    The distance has been decreasing dramatically compared to the distance travelled and doesn’t match the reported co-ordinates.
    Here are the figures I’ve tracked so far:
    Date, latitiude, longitude, dist travelled, dist to pole
    28-apr, 85.126111, -123.961667, 382.25, 542
    29-apr, 85.193333, -124.041389, 388.90, 535.6
    30-apr, 85.230556, -124.625000, 392.60, 531.9
    1-may, 85.211389, -124.289722, 391.14, 533.38
    5-may, 85.279444, -124.951111, 397.81, 526.7
    7-may, 85.315833, -125.011111, 403.37, 501.15
    8-may, 85.386389, -124.809722, 411.14, 484.48
    9-may, 85.466667, -124.265833, 421.14, 470.04

    All looks ok up to 5-May but from 7-May onwards the distance to pole drops much further than the distance travelled.
    eg. Compare 8-may to 9-may. distance travelled for the day is has changed by 10km, yet the distance to pole for the day has changed 14.4km.

    I’ve also looked at the latitude/longitude co-ordinates using google earth to compare distances from the pole. All the co-ordinates match very closely the reported values until 5-may. After that things start to vary.
    On 9-may google earth reports a distance of 505.8km to the pole, yet Catlin report 470km.

    An honest mistake or are they deliberatly reducing the figure so they can at least report they made it half way?

  154. Phil. says:

    Borek’s procedures for fuel caches briefly described here.

    http://www.catlinarcticsurvey.com/headline.aspx?postId=184

  155. JR says:

    Now they have not made a report for three days.

    There is a post today that says the team will be extracted this week. It also says that they take 75 ice and snow measurements per day.

    A post last week said they spend “4-5 hours of science measurements per day. Measurements include snow thickness; the thickness of the freeboard (the layer of ice that sits above the waterline, usually 10-15% of the overall ice thickness); the draft (the layer of ice that sits below the waterline – usually 85-90% of overall thickness); the snow temperature and snow density.”

    Hmmmmmm, how no they have time to each day to (1) break camp, (2) walk 10 kilometers (they almost never walk less), (3) take 75 measurements for 4 or 5 hours, and (4) set up camp, and (5) cook, eat, clean up, charge batteries, clean equipment, etc.?

    Also, when they stay in the same place like they have now for some 2+ weeks, where do they take their 75 measurements each day?

  156. Nic says:

    …and now, for your summertime interest:

    http://www.openpassageexpedition.com/

  157. Glenn says:

    1944-
    “It took only 86 days to sail from Halifax to Vancouver. The route taken, through Parry Channel, and then Prince of Wales Strait at its western end, will most certainly be the one first used by commercial shipping as global warming accelerates the thinning of the Arctic ice cover.”

    http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=ArchivedFeatures&Params=A2134

    1977-
    “The Belgian, Willie de Roos, sailing his 44 ft steel sailboat became the first sailboat to transit the passage and completing the voyage in one season.”

    http://www.theoceans.net/story/NorthwestPassageSunstartingtoshineonFineToleranceApr72005.shtml

  158. Tj says:

    Damned if they do, damned if they don’t.

Comments are closed.