Catlin Arctic Ice Survey Packing It Up – What Have They Accomplished?

Guest Post by Steven Goddard

According to the Catlin website, the team plans to leave the Arctic later this week.  I believe that they have done a fantastic job educating the public about the Arctic.  Their mission has been followed breathlessly by BBC and Guardian reporters, who previously believed that the Arctic had melted and become a place for sunbathing.
Following the daily reports of ice, cold, frostbite, hypothermia, pain and general misery being endured by the team – even the most daft newspaper reporter must be aware now that the Arctic is a very cold and icy place.
My hat is off to the Catlin team for providing an invaluable education to those of us enjoying the springtime at lower latitudes.  Hopefully they will return home safely to their families, and produce a useful and unbiased report of their findings about the ice.
This education for the public on the enduring cold of the Arctic is not marred by the fact that they failed to deliver on many early promises, including reaching the North Pole. Maybe this is why the press is pretty much ignoring them now, with only 14 hits in a Google News search for “Catlin Arctic Ice Survey”.
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129 thoughts on “Catlin Arctic Ice Survey Packing It Up – What Have They Accomplished?

  1. I think the Catlin Arctic Survey has given a valuable demonstration of what not to do if one wants accurate, unbiased data.

  2. “and produce a useful and unbiased report of their findings about the ice.”

    Hahahahahaha….. :-D
    Thanks, I needed a lift this Monday morning.

  3. It would appear the height of irony that only WUWT is actually tracking the Caitlin teams efforts.

  4. Speaking of ice the SST charts from NOAA is starting to look like the sensors, especially the ice sensors are starting to go wonky.

    It looks like the ice sensor for both the northern and southern hemisphere seem to be breaking down and I’m wondering if the SST sensor is starting to malfunction as well.

    It’s close to the point you can’t trust anything from NOAA satallites anymore, as with the chart it looks like they desperately need a new satallite, I mean how many years has it been up there with a decaying orbit and decaying sensors?

  5. Are they being rescued or is this a planned retreat? Let’s see how much time they get on the BBC and space in the Guardian.

    Enjoy.

  6. It will be deemed a great success, the ice is thinning faster than expected, more new ice than expected, warmer than expected,…

    We had better heed their findings for the sake of our children and grandchildren as per Chuck’s (HRH The Prince of Wales ) quote on their website.

  7. Adam from Kansas (11:49:56) :

    “Speaking of ice the SST charts from NOAA is starting to look like the sensors, especially the ice sensors are starting to go wonky.

    It looks like the ice sensor for both the northern and southern hemisphere seem to be breaking down and I’m wondering if the SST sensor is starting to malfunction as well.”

    Please forgive my asking, Adam, but what do you see on the SST chart that strikes you as odd or anomalous?

  8. O/T but related. Accuweather just reported that recent cooldown was statistically insignificant . If that is true then why report that its been cooling to begin with????? That’s generally the way the liberal media does.If it’s important just don’t report it so there must be something to theis cooling.I suppose next winter when we’re burried in snow maybe they will wake up.

  9. Just about on topic as we seem to be conflating both the BBC and the Guardian in this report, the cracks are beginning to show in the AGW planet with the BBC cutting back on climate reporters for cost saving purposes, and the Guardian not as concerned by this as one might have expected. Of particular interest is the response of it’s readership in the forum comments below the article, q.v.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/may/11/bbc-newsnight-science-environment-cuts

  10. Catlin Arctic Ice Survey.

    Oh.

    Are they still out there?

    Enough with the mockery — wait, there’s one more — they might even make it past the halfway point on their trek before getting picked up, I mean rescued, from the melting ice.

  11. even the most daft newspaper reporter must be aware now that the Arctic is a very cold and icy place.

    Since when has a reporter being aware of some fact interfered with what they actually report? Especially when it comes to this “non-debate”?

    jack, in regards to Chuck: I have never before heard of people saying “God Save the Queen” and earnestly, fervently meaning it… not just words anymore!

    After all is said and done, we ALL know that what they “found” up there will be completely unrelated to the “findings” we are about to hear. Apparently drilling a few holes in ice will “prove” something.

  12. OK, I am breathless. However, I have regained enough to suggest another mission. After a couple of months rest with their families, they should be ready to Kayak to the north pole in the open water this summer.

  13. enduser (12:13:24) :

    The sensor is obviously seeing water in areas where there is nothing but ice, and what’s even odder, it’s seeing exceptionally warm water.

  14. Their site claims they are 503.37 km from the Pole. What this Survey has done is confirm that human interference in the extreme natural world has little effect. And that political agendas are no competition for the forces of nature. That the ice extent is greater than the last several years, and near the 1979-2000 norm is unlikely to be reported. Which demonstrates the failure of such “expeditions.”

    Hopefully students and the public who go to the Catlin Website will do so with a modicum of skepticism. Because they will not be reporting the conditions they found. Nor the bias they set out with . Nor the use of home-built electronics in a hostile environment.

    The bottom line message for climate awareness is: The arctic is a place of extreme weather. The ice has grown over the last several years and is at the twenty year norm. We need to revise our energy policy to promote domestic energy production in place of foreign imports. You do not need to be frightened into this action by Algore, Jim Hansen, sea level rise or dust bowls. It’s simply the next right thing to do.

    Roll credits.

  15. Whoever is choosing those Google ads must have a sense of humor. There is one for fake ice decoration for bars and one for “cold salt hydrotherapy, more effective than ice”!

  16. Looking at the Catlin Ice Survey as they struggle through those boulders and over those peaks, I wonder just what the “average ice thickness” is that they will record for that area?

    Humping a sled over raw, rough ice means and drilling with a hand unit means you take core samples at the smooth, flat, low (shallowest !) ice you can find: and the (unbiased) goal of the mission after all is to find melting and shallow ice. Will their answers, their survey points, be biased?

    I wonder. Gee, will their surveys be honest or biased? /sachasm – the gaping whole between liberal extremests and reality.

  17. 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?

  18. To be fair, they note in their reports: “Measurements biased for undeformed ice.”

    That’s my one nod in their direction.

  19. When they start to discuss Global Warming the first question to ask is why the start was delayed almost a week? Was it due to very cold weather?

  20. So, 5 types of measurements for a total of 75 measurements… that comes down to 15 holes DRILLED BY HAND!!! How long would it take to drill a hole by hand depending on an average thickness? I can see why they biasly selected first year ice only.

    It might have been more efficient then to settle a permanent camp (with better comfort) closer to the North Pole, with many holes that they could cap for the nights and measure at which rate the ice is thickening as it drifts slowly down.

  21. Enduser: same CT with nordsex ice extent

    They simply stopped it because they don’t like the way its going.. lets change it again (down) guys! LOL We/they all know that if NH ice goes “normal” or above… the whole AGW is really dead.

    REPLY: No and please stop with this line of thinking everyone. The satellite raw data server has an outage, and several dispensers of the ice extent info are affected, including NSIDC and ROOS. – Anthony

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  23. JR asked: “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?”

    Actually JR they take 75 measurements in the same hole. Remember this is:

    “A pioneering scientific expedition to help determine the lifespan of the Arctic Ocean’s sea ice cover “.

    They are measuring its demise on a minute by minute basis.

  24. enduser (12:13:24) :

    “Please forgive my asking, Adam, but what do you see on the SST chart that strikes you as odd or anomalous?”

    If you look at the north pole on that graphic you will see some speckles of orange color there, which would only be there if there was open water that happened to be several degrees above normal.

  25. So, let’s sum up:

    The plan – 1,000 km in 100 days.

    The latest from the Catlin web site – they may get picked up as early as Wednesday. That makes it 73 days; a mite short of 100 days.

    Latest report on distance traveled is 421 km; again, a mite short of 1,000 km. If they’re camped out at a new landing site, they might not even make it to the halfway point.

    But it will be touted as a great success, finding ice to be thinner than expected. And, because of the great suffering they endured, the media will lap it up and give it lavish coverage. Never mind that the ice extent is near the 20-year mean or that a recent aerial survey found the ice to be much thicker than expected.

    Now folks are being polite and describing what will come out of this as ‘spin.’ Spare me the euphemisms; if it is not the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, it is a lie.

  26. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7897392.stm

    It’s worth mentioning that the four-hour drilling sessions that I am now doing with Martin’s help each evening are not the only part of the whole surveying exercise.

    Basically, we are undertaking a continuous surveying process from when we wake up at around 5.30 in the morning until we pack up and have some food at 8.00 in the evening.

    Digging and drilling could be destiny for “Pendrill”
    In the morning after a cup of tea I defrost my outdoor clothes and go outside to start all the non-drilling measurements.

    These consist of measuring snow temperature, surface snow depth, snow density and ice thickness.

    Actually for the snow density, we get Ann to physically weigh specific volumes of snow. The variations can be surprising.

    At around 8.00, after breakfast, which Ann will have been preparing along with the rest of the day’s rations, we then start off on our day’s travelling.

    During this travelling time, we are constantly surveying features and making observations.

    On average we will note about 150 observations per day. This is where my trusty pen and clipboard have come into their own – despite all the extremes these have soldiered on perfectly.

    We tend to try to set up camp again at around 4pm which gives me four hours for the drilling measurements before dinner is ready.
    The first type is on a fairly flat ice floe, from one side to the other, and the second type is an “all terrain” drilling – basically starting at the tent and heading due north, no matter what the terrain, be it thin ice, pressure ridges or rubble fields.

    I measure 40m between each drilling, and I will be doing about 10 holes every evening, which takes roughly four hours (although I’ll probably take a tea break after a couple of hours!).

    The drill is simple and robust – so should go on for ever. It’s shaped like an old fashioned car-cranking handle.

    Tea breaks are important in the Arctic
    I understand the design is based on a fish drill – although at only 10cm in diameter, you wouldn’t get a very big fish through this hole.

    There are a series of six 80cm sections, know as “flights”, which can be added the deeper you go.

    Each section has a special bolt system for attaching them together, because if you had a simple screw system, like a plumber’s rod, you’d never get it apart after it all froze together.

    The extremely sharp drill blade section needs to be replaced after around 10 holes. The whole thing with all the bits together is 5.20m tall.

    Ice surprises

    As I drill though the ice, I get what looks like an ice cornflake mound on the surface, and usually I get to about 10cm-down before going through to water.

    When I’m through, I push the drill further down to remove any ice crystals, and then as it’s pulled out through the hole, the sea water tends to shoot up.

    I need to wait a bit for the water to settle before I can then get down to the measuring process.

    How to measure ice thickness
    The first measurement is easily done with a tape measure – the water that comes up the hole naturally settles at sea level (sea level is not below the ice), so I measure the distance between the surface of the ice and the top of the water.

    This usually varies between 5cm and 20cm. I then need to measure the depth of where the hole meets water. This is where I have also been driven insane by the various measuring devices we were given, which are no doubt splendid, but don’t really work.

    No matter – I have invented my own bomb-proof Heath-Robinson-style device that works a treat!

    Essentially, I drop a metal bar vertically down the hole – when it gets to the bottom it naturally swings horizontal, at which point, I can take the measurement.

    How to get it back up? Simple – there’s a second piece of string attached to the end of the bar, so I have to lower it, then let the first piece of string go. Then I pull on second string and, hey presto, it’s vertical and can be brought back up the hole.

    Arctic woodpecker

    After all the drilling, the kit has to be cleaned and packed up. And in order to get all of the frozen ice off the drill, I have to spend quite some time tapping and chipping away at it.

    Martin and Ann say it sounds like a woodpecker – thus my new nickname in the evenings: the Arctic woodpecker.

    In addition to the drilling, I also make manual notes about the thickness and type of snow around each hole.

    In the mornings, before we leave, I also make observations on the ice layers, snow type, etc.

  27. I just saw Anthony’s statement:
    REPLY: No and please stop with this line of thinking everyone. The satellite raw data server has an outage, and several dispensers of the ice extent info are affected, including NSIDC and ROOS. – Anthony”

    Let me add that, while I think there may be some confirmation bias coloring their work, I still think they’re trying to do the best job they can. I also noted that the data from IARC-JAXA was also interrupted for three days. Last night the graph of ice extent was still at 7 May; this morning it jumped to 10 May. The satellite image they had showing for 8 May was really corrupted, with a broad blank void running from the pole to and through the Bering Strait. These things happen. Maybe by tomorrow NSIDC & ROOS will also be back in business. Hell, even SOHO has been somewhat slow in getting updated images of the two newest plage regions.

  28. While on the topic of arctic adventure I picked up a March 1974 copy of National Geographic at my local Op Shop (second hand Store). This details an arctic trek along the Northwest Passage by another Englishman, Colin Irwin. Irwin left Repluse Bay in eastern Canada in Feb 10, 1973 and arrived at the other end, Point Barrow Alaska July 23, 1973. This 2500 mile journey was done using sled dogs with assistance from local Eskimo population. An eskimo guide “Napaseekadlak” went most of the way with Irwin. Some nice photographs accompany the article.

    A few quotes: “There were times during my trek when I was so hungry that I ate rotten fish from a fox trap and the remains of a seal left by a polar bear.”
    “Once we even used frozen caribou legs for tent pegs”

    No high energy biscuits on this arctic soiree-puts the Caitlin Team to shame. I wonder what Mr Irwin is up to these days?

  29. Steven, I think you have “packed it up” very well.
    The Catlin Team, against their expectations, were confronted with an extremely healthy Arctic environment.
    The warmist objective to show the media and the public all the drama of a melting sea ice exploded in their face.

    The power of it all is that the conditions, the experiences, the cold, the suffering, the failing equipment, the slow progress and the pictures of the rough environment can’t be denied. They threw a boomerang to make their case but it returned and hit them full in the face.

    I too have respect for the team that have showed character and determination.

    Hopefully they have learned something about our weather, our climate and our Arctic. I really hope they will draw a line between the real world and the AGW hypocrisy.

    This will proof to be difficult with a “bad” press that continues to ride to AGW bandwagon.

  30. Nasa testing radar to measure ice:

    Arctic Trek to ‘Break the Ice’ on New NASA Airborne Radars

    April 30, 2009

    PASADENA, Calif. – NASA will ‘break the ice’ on a pair of new airborne radars that can help monitor climate change when a team of scientists embarks this week on a two-month expedition to the vast, frigid terrain of Greenland and Iceland.

    Scientists from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., and Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif., will depart Dryden Friday, May 1, on a modified NASA Gulfstream III aircraft. In a pod beneath the aircraft’s fuselage will be two JPL-developed radars that are flying test beds for evaluating tools and technologies for future space-based radars.

    One of the radars, the L-band wavelength Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar, or UAVSAR, calibrates and supplements satellite data; the other is a proof-of-concept Ka-band wavelength radar called the Glacier and Land Ice Surface Topography Interferometer, or GLISTIN.

    Both radars use pulses of microwave energy to produce images of Earth’s surface topography and the deformations in it. UAVSAR detects and measures the flow of glaciers and ice sheets, as well as subtle changes caused by earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides and other dynamic phenomena. GLISTIN will create high-resolution maps of ice surface topography, key to understanding the stresses that drive changes in glacial regions.
    For further info:

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/view.php?id=38434&src=eorss-nnews

  31. Leon Brozyna (14:56:45) :

    Let me add that, while I think there may be some confirmation bias coloring their work, I still think they’re trying to do the best job they can. I also noted that the data from IARC-JAXA was also interrupted for three days. Last night the graph of ice extent was still at 7 May; this morning it jumped to 10 May. The satellite image they had showing for 8 May was really corrupted, with a broad blank void running from the pole to and through the Bering Strait. These things happen. Maybe by tomorrow NSIDC & ROOS will also be back in business. Hell, even SOHO has been somewhat slow in getting updated images of the two newest plage regions.

    Agreed. The the data flow has always had interruptions — some long enough to look like vacations. Note there are some significant gaps in past years here:

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

    Remember, fake data always looks great. Real data has warts.

  32. “So, 5 types of measurements for a total of 75 measurements… that comes down to 15 holes DRILLED BY HAND!!!”
    .
    .
    .
    Now we know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Gore?

    (with apologies to the Beatles)

  33. 75 measurements in 5 hours? 15 per hour. Obviously not all holes, perhaps “It’s COLD” (would that count as a measurement or an observation?) I rather doubt one could drill through 1-2 meters of ice in 4 minutes, but I really haven’t tried.

    I have to give them credit for trying. I wouldn’t do that.

  34. Do we know how many barrels of fuel were abandoned in the Arctic? How much fuel was used dumping it?

    I really don’t like “funny” stories about people hurting themselves and our environment on cockamamie exploits like this.

  35. Gerald Machnee (12:32:22) :

    OK, I am breathless. However, I have regained enough to suggest another mission. After a couple of months rest with their families, they should be ready to Kayak to the north pole in the open water this summer.
    ————————————-

    No actually Gerald, after the stunning success of this trip, it is essential that this intrepid crew heads off immediately to Antarctica to drill some holes in the ice there (for a few months). After all, it must be proven to be thinner there too, right? No time for rest. Think of the children.

  36. “But it will be touted as a great success, finding ice to be thinner than expected. And, because of the great suffering they endured, the media will lap it up and give it lavish coverage. Never mind that the ice extent is near the 20-year mean or that a recent aerial survey found the ice to be much thicker than expected.”

    Aren’t you getting ahead of yourself, Leon? They haven’t even been rescued yet, and there is some chance of that given this year’s exceptionally cold temperatures and thick ice. It’s not as if they’ll be able to be rescued by nuclear submarine given these conditions. If on the other hand they’d paid attention to the recent cooling trend they could have predicted that this would happen. It’s not as if the cooling trend from 1998 is hard to see.

  37. Ron de Haan (15:03:48) :

    Steven, I think you have “packed it up” very well.
    The Catlin Team, against their expectations, were confronted with an extremely healthy Arctic environment.
    The warmist objective to show the media and the public all the drama of a melting sea ice exploded in their face.

    The power of it all is that the conditions, the experiences, the cold, the suffering, the failing equipment, the slow progress and the pictures of the rough environment can’t be denied. They threw a boomerang to make their case but it returned and hit them full in the face.

    I too have respect for the team that have showed character and determination.

    Hopefully they have learned something about our weather, our climate and our Arctic. I really hope they will draw a line between the real world and the AGW hypocrisy.

    This will proof to be difficult with a “bad” press that continues to ride to AGW bandwagon.

    I hope that they learn some Humility.

  38. I notice that when the team are on “layovers” – not doing actual walking, that the ice drifts them up to 5 k’s a day.
    So. How much of the actual distance covered was trekked and how much was drift?

    That foto of the team struggling through Ice boulders leads me to think that 5ks a day trekking through this is very optimistic.

    Extrapolating this. What real percentage of the ice was actually measured in a straight line?

  39. An unbiased report? We can hope but, I’m not holding my breath! Have to agree, though, it takes a lot of pluck to keep trudging on even if there trip didn’t prove they could use their bathing suits!

  40. From the other Ray- The nice thing about science is that even failed experiments return useful observations.

    I agree. They also brought us the term anecdata, H/T CTM

    It is funny when the climate protest in Washington DC was held during blizzard warnings. Ok, I giggled for a week. Hopefully these guys get out without too high of a toll on their bodies. While I want to see their mission fail, no one wants to see them come to harm.

    You also might want to play nice.. After drilling all of those holes in the ice, he (Presumably Penn) is going to look like Lou Ferrigno, the original Incredible Hulk. Three holes an hour for five hours would be the ultimate upper body workout. Drilling holes in ice is very hard work.

  41. Are they still out there?

    That says something. If the latest safe date is April 30th, and they are still out there, that should be a testament to increased cold and ice extent for this season.
    If it were catastrophic warming, they would have been pulled over a month ago. They can’t tread Arctic Ice Water, you know.

  42. “rbateman (19:35:08) :

    Are they still out there?

    That says something. If the latest safe date is April 30th, and they are still out there, that should be a testament to increased cold and ice extent for this season.
    If it were catastrophic warming, they would have been pulled over a month ago. They can’t tread Arctic Ice Water, you know.”

    Seems that only geologists and those blessed by HRH can walk on water. Geologists working in the tiaga and tundra quickly learn how to walk on water, others need a blessing.

  43. RayB (19:34:21) :
    From the other Ray- The nice thing about science is that even failed experiments return useful observations.

    I agree. They also brought us the term anecdata, H/T CTM

    It is funny when the climate protest in Washington DC was held during blizzard warnings. Ok, I giggled for a week. Hopefully these guys get out without too high of a toll on their bodies. While I want to see their mission fail, no one wants to see them come to harm.

    You also might want to play nice.. After drilling all of those holes in the ice, he (Presumably Penn) is going to look like Lou Ferrigno, the original Incredible Hulk. Three holes an hour for five hours would be the ultimate upper body workout. Drilling holes in ice is very hard work.

    Here’s a video of the ice drill they use, doesn’t seem too bad.

  44. Gee, Phil., that’s almost a foot of ice drilled. Impressive…

    …NOT.

    If you want to pretend that the Catlin Three Stooges are conducting science, go right ahead.

    The rest of us know better.

  45. Anthony,

    I think the comment by VG deserves a new thread.

    VG (14:40:36) :
    … BTW another silly sun “Model” paper just appeared which shows the sun has no effect on climate LOL. ScienceDaily http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090511122425.htm

    This news item demonstrates another attempt to use Nintendo Science as a source of data. No mention is made of the $10 million study to be performed at the CERN to take REAL DATA, the scientific way:

    Learn the Laws and Theories, make some observation or have an epiphany and come up with a hypothesis, develop an experiment to take data, collect and analyze data and compare results to the hypothesis, accept/modify/or reject the hypothesis.

  46. Imagine living in this kind of “weather” year-round:

    “Pen Hadow, Ann Daniels and Martin Hartley have seen it all, weather wise, on this expedition.

    “In February, when we set off, the wind chill factor was fairly permanently, adding considerably to the -40 degrees Celsius ambient temperatures,” Hadow reminds us. “Now conditions have improved somewhat, it feels safer to look at the impact that had on us. We were all battling hypothermia. Our brains definitely slowed down a little. It was very, very tough.”

    Now though, with temperatures a comparatively balmy -20 degrees C, the team are occasionally able to use the weather to their advantage.

    “If the wind drops, we can get our clothes dry by hanging them on ski poles,” says Martin Hartley, who had a particular problem with a wet, frozen sleeping bag in the first half of the expedition. “We dig the poles deep into the ice and hang our jackets over them. Towards the end of the day, there’s even a slight warmth in the sun that gets them almost dry.”

    At the other extreme, however, are the storms that on a couple of occasions have kept the Ice Team tent bound for days at a time.”

    http://www.catlinarcticsurvey.com/Weather

  47. WOW 160mm in 20 secs!

    Just over 6″ in good conditions on a lake somewhere, NOT the Arctic!

    Also, that doesn’t look like the drill that Pen was holding, maybe his is better but I suspect adding extensions may add a little time.

    DaveE.

  48. I cannot imagine drilling that many holes (75) on your breaks in 40 below or worse weather.
    I cannot imagine drilling that many holes by hand period in a day AND travelling that many kilometers.
    I can see the fight erupting. Drill or drag the sled, what’s it going to be?

  49. Nice picture of the pile-up of 2007 that was measured to be up to 15m thick by the Wegener Institute.
    I wonder how they drilled that with a 5.2m drill?

  50. >>It will be deemed a great success, the ice is thinning
    >>faster than expected, more new ice than expected, warmer
    >>than expected,…

    We had less hypothermia than expected; lost fewer fingers and toes than expected….

    .

  51. They have certainly highlighted the current “back to normal” ice extent, and also brought attention to the recent German fly-over mission that measured the ice thickness to 2x (4m vs 2m) expected values.

    A marvelous result, that could help to counter the wide spread belief that the Arctic ice is somehow “In Peril” from “Global Warming”.

  52. The Alfred Wegener Institute clearly demonstrated the folly and ineffectiveness of the Catlin expedition.
    In just four weeks the Polar 5 aircraft loaded with instruments accomplished what would otherwise take an army of thousands of Catlins to do on foot, and that with much more precise results.

    The AWI survey clearly torpedoed anything Catlin ever might have intended to claim.
    There’s no way Catlin will be able to say the ice is thinner now. The AWI clearly has shown with a broad comprehensive swath of measurements that the Arctic is THICKER.
    For Catlin, this was all for nothing.

  53. Conviently, if I am remembering accurately.. all the info from the sled was lost. And the sled never worked again once it broke, which was sometime before the first air drop. Since then it has been all hand measurements… What would be cool is to find one of their camps, and do a spot measure:) But then the ice they measured isnt there anymore having moved? Handy:) By the way.. did we ever find out who picks up their trash?

  54. jack mosevich;-)
    The correct title for our future King is actually, HRH the Prince of Fools!

    Code Tech;-)

    Too true, lets not have HRH PoW on the throne or he’ll be talking to every green vegetable there is. Poor chap, he had a tough upbringing you know!

    Question to all. The link at the top of this topic is to WWF. It states that there are three “experienced” polar explorers. I’ve heard of one, Hadow, but never of Daniels or Hartley until this expedition. Any one know of them from other famous of not so famous exploratory events? I was under the impression that they were relying on the experience of Mr Hadow.

  55. I don’t know how much hard science they completed but they did take some pretty pictures. That has to count for something!

    At least they are coming home before someone got seriously hurt or even died.

  56. That looks a lot like the drill (auger?) that the Finns use for ice fishing. Typically no more than 40-50 cm of ice on the lakes in winter, although our Finnish friends tell us that this year the ice on the lakes was 70cm thick. I don’t think that the young lady would be looking quite so happy after drilling through Arctic ice!

  57. OT, I went to a My son’s 4th grade concert last night and was subjected to propaganda songs about the envronment and endangered speices. After, I asked him what he thought about envionmentalists, hoping to teach him a few things.
    He told me they were “people that make things up and try to get other people to do what they want”.
    I was so proud.

  58. The business of ice drift was new me. I assume the Catlin team knew about this.
    Is the drift direction constant? Did the ocean current change, NAO, I think, going negative, take them by surprise?

    With due regard to the amount of drift experienced, it is possible the team
    covered more distance over the ice than they get credit for.

    I have read about concern for aircraft landing on Arctic ice in late spring.
    Is this valid? Did the Catlin team know about these concerns?
    Were they expecting an alternate form of recovery at the planned end time
    of their expedition when ice should be approaching maximum melt?

  59. bill (14:55:14) : Referring to the Catlin Team’s ice drilling:

    “I measure 40m between each drilling, and I will be doing about 10 holes every evening…”

    Then, the later comment from Catlin:
    “The extremely sharp drill blade section needs to be replaced after around 10 holes.”

    Not being familiar with Arctic ice drilling, does this mean that Catlin has to have a replacement ‘drill blade section’ for every single day? Catlin stated they do at least 10 holes a day and the drill blade has to be replaced after 10 holes.

    Do they re-sharpen the drill blade every day or have they carried a whole bunch of new blades with them (one a day)? What do they do with the old blades?

    Inquiring minds want to know…

  60. Retired Engineer said, (15:38:54) :

    “75 measurements in 5 hours? 15 per hour. Obviously not all holes, perhaps “It’s COLD” (would that count as a measurement or an observation?) I rather doubt one could drill through 1-2 meters of ice in 4 minutes, but I really haven’t tried.”

    I agree with Retired Engineer. I seriously doubt the 75 measurements number. There were many days when the weather was so bad they did no drilling at all. Is that an averaged number or an optimal number? Also it would take time to re-locate between each measurement, get out the equipment, set it up, then the time to drill the hole, add to that the time to make the measurements and record your findings. All this is done with arctic clothing on which impedes movement and accelerates fatigue. Add to that the fact that it is COLD and they are cold which slows muscle movement and cognitive ability, plus they are fatigued from the trek (all of this adds time).

    The video posted by Phil shows a person in light clothing drilling approximately 6” in 27 seconds in what is clearly ideal conditions. If the average hole was 1.5 meters (actually closer to 2) then in ideal conditions it would take around 5 minutes just to drill each hole. These are clearly NOT ideal conditions so it would take longer. Then add in the time to make the measurements and record your findings and you are left with the realization that the 75 measurements a day is bogus just like the fraudulent biometric data they reported until they were called on it. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/04/14/catlin-artic-ice-survey-bio-telemetry-status-demonstrational/

  61. This reminds me of a research proposal that “passed” through the “you scratch my back I’ll scratch your back” gate. The proposal was clearly written and the research steps “verified” with clinical trials. When I was hired to perform the experiments per the protocol, I was stymied by the amount of time it took to calibrate, hook up, measure, and put away the equipment. The time it took to measure a subject response just to the signals was about 2 hours, and that did not include the pre-calibration, hook up, and put away phases. These were very sick patients with by and large terminal illnesses that were bad enough to bring them to the hospital for treatment. No matter that the proposal stated that clinical trials verified the design, it was impossible time wise to complete the measurements as outlined in the proposal. Someone fudged. The study design should have never been given the green light.

  62. hehe, this is soooo funny :D

    PS, what’s happening at NSIDC? It seems they don’t update the sea ice graphs anymore?

  63. All so critical. Why not read the blogs. The copy I pasted above explains how many holes:
    I measure 40m between each drilling, and I will be doing about 10 holes every evening, which takes roughly four hours
    The drill is 10 cm across – it is not a “fish” drill. so the effort required to drill will be less.
    The depth is measured validly (despite stupid suggestions a few threads back) In one blog the manufacturer of the tape is mentioned but this did not work and has been modified to correct the problem
    The amazing plane/radar manages an accuracy from the info sheet of about 1 metre in 3 metres thickness. I’m sure the measurements taken by Catlin are somewhat better than this.

    Why do you consider this pedestrian science flawed? 400km of ice has been measured at intervals. Even a measurement down the same hole would tell what the melt rate was.

    On a blog some where they say that organic waste is left behind (a couple of years it’s in the sea) and the rest is handed over at re-supply time. I assume the blades are thus returned to base..

    Alan the Brit (02:14:04) :
    Before criticising why not read. Daniels and Haddow have done it all before. Hartley – not sure and I cannot be bothered looking for you!

  64. bill,

    I enjoyed your comment :

    “Even a measurement down the same hole would tell what the melt rate was.”

    During the time they have been on the ice, temperatures have ranged from -50C to -7C. What would you hypothesize the “melt rate” has been at those temperatures?

  65. As far as I remember, the Catlin Team was mentioned only once in the Hungarian press, exactly when their expedition had started. But a few days ago an another article appared with the following statement:

    “The expedition team has decided to leave the Arctic a week earlier, not because of the harsh conditions (cold, frostbite, hypothermia, pain, lack of food for days, etc), but the summer melt season is coming earlier than expected and the thinning ice poses great danger to the members of the expedition team.

    To the author of this misleading article: http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/seaice/extent/AMSRE_Sea_Ice_Extent.png The sea ice melt going to begin earlier than expected?? I can’t see it in this chart. It must be my fault… or grants from ‘Big Oil’ :-)

    Can the pro-AGW mainstream media mention the Arctic without mentioning the magic word: ‘melting’?

  66. Sorry for my last post, NSIDC just updated the graph and it seemsreally good, hope it could go like that for the whole summer

  67. Steven Goddard (07:56:28) :
    During the time they have been on the ice, temperatures have ranged from -50C to -7C. What would you hypothesize the “melt rate” has been at those temperatures?

    You scare me!

    Does melting occur from top or bottom. Surely this is obvious at these temps only bottom melt can occur. Melted ice (salt water) is in contact with frozen water (ice). As the temperture above the ice varies the temp at the interface varies -freezing the water or melting the ice until equilibrium is returned.!!!!!!!

  68. In response to discussion about fuel containers being left on the ice, the following is taken from Catlin’s web site:

    “Additional fuel is also still cached out on the ice, at the halfway point between Eureka and the Ice Team’s location. These barrels will also be picked up and used, either on the outward journey or on the return. Caching fuel is a standard part of operating out on the ice. Barrels are always marked up with the owner’s details, to avoid them being simply abandoned. Since the ice is at the mercy of the winds and ocean currents, barrels are never likely to be in the same position that they were left, and as such, fuel caches are also always tagged with a locator beacon.”

    http://www.catlinarcticsurvey.com/The_countdown_begins

  69. bill,

    At -40C, one might guess that the ice is getting thicker – unless there is a volcano or nuclear reactor under the ice.

    Another possibility is that your brain simply needs retraining – after listening to too much AGW BS for much too long. Thanks for the laugh though.

  70. From the last update:
    **The challenges that the bitter cold brought, early in the expedition, have now subsided and the difficulty now is dealing with open water and the rapidly melting sea ice.**
    Can we really expect facts from this Trip? The ice is melting rapidly??
    As I said above earlier – They can come back with kayaks and paddle to the pole.

  71. If you check Phil’s little video, after you watch all of it, YouTube also offers some similar subject videos, including a two minute advertisement from Mora, showcasing the Nova drill that is being used by the Catlin Ice Team. It is apparently designed for use in ice fishing, as that is what they show people doing after using the drill. People need to remember that 10 centimeters sounds small, but it is 4 inches, and that is the diameter of the hole that is being drilled.

    Now, in Phil’s video, I would estimate the young lady is drilling through about 8-10 inches of ice in the twenty five seconds of drilling we see. This is based upon the height of the drill threads we see compared to her lower legs, and how much of the drill is still visible when she penetrates the ice to the water. This would be equal to one fourth of one of the 80 cm drill segments Hadow is using. So, based upon this metric, the actual drilling time for 1.5 to 2.0 meters (60 to 80 inches) of ice would figure out to between 3 to 5 minutes.

    But that does not take into account the time needed to attach the additional drill segments. To drill through 1.5 m, Pen would only need one attachment, but three for 2.0 m. And, if we take into account that one picture we have where it looks like the drill is twice Pen’s height, he has needed to add at least five segments (4.0 m) at some point. That sort of hole would have taken at least 8 minutes of drilling time. Does anyone know how long it takes to bolt an addition on to an ice drill?

    Assuming you can attach next section in about a minute, that would keep our individual hole drill time to between five to ten minutes on average. But as the auger length increases, it takes more energy and greater care to turn the bit. Anyone who has ever manually drilled a hole in wood learns this. Force it too hard, and the drill breaks, often at a segment joint. So, I would estimate any drill hole requiring more than one segment addition would increase in time at least two or three minutes extra just to be careful and not break the auger.

    This gives a final estimate of between seven to fifteen minutes per hole depending upon depth. Throw in about five minutes to let the water settle after drilling, ten to fifteen for the measurements, and you are looking at around half an hour per hole, and then travel time between each drill location. If Pen does his ten holes per day, I would say he is spending between four to six hours on this one activity. I have to applaud his cardiovascular conditioning.

  72. Just a few thoughts:

    I love that they’re being ‘extracted’ from the ice – not ‘rescued’.

    I love that since it’s ‘warming’ Pen has been able to go about and collect “even more ‘scientific’ data.” Wouldn’t the word ‘data’ suffice? They keep hammering away at that word ‘scientific’.

    And finally this:

    ” . . . It’s bound to be an emotional time for the Ice Team. On the one hand reflecting on an epic trip across the Arctic Ocean and on the other desperately looking forward to being back in civilization and seeing friends and family again.”

    Waaaaiiit a minute.

    ” . . on an epic trip across the Arctic Ocean.” ?

    Seems they left out the bit about FROZEN sea water.

    Also: ‘extracting’ any mention of their joyful anticipation of in being back in WARMTH – is ignoring the almost unendurable and deadly ‘cold’ that is the great frozen Arctic Ocean.

    Do ya think they have an agenda?

    Nah.

  73. You’re right Cathy. They are trying too hard avoid all mention of the the great frozen cold of the North. Their agenda is plain for all to see. Still this doesn’t stop us talking about it through chattering teeth!

  74. And next year

    The Ice Warrior Northern Pole of Inacessibility Expedition 2010

    http://www.ice-warrior.com/ArcticPole.htm

    “Although the Arctic Pole has never been reached before and represents a true World First, Jim’s real motivation is to convey the reality of global climate change with unprecedented reporting direct from the Arctic Ocean. As he and his team gather crucial climate change data for the scientific community he will be telling the tale warts-an-all with all the trials and tribulations, peaks and troughs that occur when pushing the limits of human endurance and facing the harshest adversities Mother Nature can deliver.”

  75. @ M White:

    I followed the link you provided to the Ice Warrior.

    I’m thinking to myself: this HAS to be a joke. I mean- read THIS:

    ” . . . This will be Jim’s 3rd attempt at reaching the pole. This first was quashed in base camp in 2003 when he contracted flesh eating disease in his left ankle, 24 hours before departure. The second he was thwarted by the disintegrating sea ice 130 miles north of the last landfall, finally falling into the frigid waters whilst he was reporting for ITN and BBC Online (both on board for the 3rd attempt).”

    If it’s not a joke – this guy is clearly a masochist.

  76. M White (11:26:43) : said

    “And next year

    The Ice Warrior Northern Pole of Inacessibility Expedition 2010

    http://www.ice-warrior.com/ArcticPole.htm

    Come on Anthony, why don’t we all club together and sponsor this guy? We could have a nice big WUWT logo prominent which would be seen on worldwide green tv-annoying all the warmists. I suggest an inverted Hockey Stick:)

    tonyb

  77. This is good for a laugh…

    If anyone doubts the BBC’s bigoted reporting about Global Warming, just go to this page on their website:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/science/arcticmeltdown.shtml

    This page has been there since August 2005 and clearly states, against all the evidence, that the Arctic is about to melt, the polar bears are all going to drown and most of the ………..

    I know what; Let’s see what they’re actually saying:

    “Then there’s the Wildlife. From polar bears to tiny Arctic plankton, every species in the delicate Arctic ecosystem will suffer catastrophically from the loss of the ice. Many will never recover. Some experts predict that the polar bears of Hudson Bay will be extinct in 20 -30 years time because they will be unable to spend enough time on the melting sea ice to feed.

    But it is not just the animals that will suffer. The people of the Arctic also face dramatic change. Traditionally peoples like the Inuit have relied on the stable seasons and the consistent migration of animals for their livelihood. Now faced with dwindling populations of seals and caribou and frozen tundra turned to slush, the Inuit are facing crisis point. Hunters following age old trails now find themselves falling through the delicate veneer of ice that now covers the oceans while “environmental refugees” are being forced to leave their traditions and seek new lives in the south.

    Arctic Meltdown weighs up the extent and implications of the imminent ice breakup.”

    Got that spot on then. Apart from the fact that it’s utter fiction.

  78. I thought they would have problems getting up to speed again physically, after being on short rations with the weather keeping their resupply flight delayed.

    Don’t know about the “is going to look like Lou Ferrigno” comment, I would be more inclined to think they have all lost a substantial amount of body mass, and that body mass is probably going to include Martin losing the toe(or toes).

    But never fear, there is always the next green opportunist ready to take their place, http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/breakingnews/arctic-voyage-to-focus-on-climate-change-44702157.html?viewAllComments=y

  79. Steven Goddard (09:14:58) :
    At -40C, one might guess that the ice is getting thicker – unless there is a volcano or nuclear reactor under the ice.
    By the way, personal insults do nothing for your agument.

    If you check out this plot from one of the buoys mentioned some few threads ago http://img9.imageshack.us/img9/7200/2006c.jpg
    you will notice that the ice water interface is at -2C the Ice surface is at -23C. (air temp -31C) The ice thickness is 200cm. This is presumably a stable position. 9.52cm/degC

    Currently Catlin are seeing air temperatures of -8C . If this is maintained then it will support an ice thickness of only 57 cm (assuming -8C is the ice not air temp.)

  80. bill,

    Sea water freezes at -2C/ If you kept the temperature over the ice permanently at -8C, it would eventually freeze all the way to the sea floor – unless there is another source of heat in the system.

    Please give it a rest – you are just talking gibberish.

  81. **“Although the Arctic Pole has never been reached before and represents a true World First, Jim’s real motivation is to convey the reality of global climate change with unprecedented reporting direct from the Arctic Ocean.**
    They are correct – so what is the Arctic Pole?????

  82. @TonyB (11:48:20) :

    Re:
    The Ice Warrior Northern Pole of Inacessibility Expedition 2010

    http://www.ice-warrior.com/ArcticPole.htm

    “Come on Anthony, why don’t we all club together and sponsor this guy? We could have a nice big WUWT logo prominent which would be seen on worldwide green tv-annoying all the warmists. I suggest an inverted Hockey Stick:)”

    Not one penny from me for the expedition. I do think the WUWT readership might want to establish a rescue fund. Given his track record, he’ll be sure to need it. We can slap a WUWT logo on the rescue ‘copter.

  83. A non-scientist fan. re: ads on your page. found them unobtrusive, except for one that matched “Catlin Arctic Ice Survey Packing it Up” with a Dreyer’s Ice Cream ad. I’m heading to the store to purchase some Dreyer’s before it melts due to AGW.

  84. BBC propaganda:

    “From polar bears to tiny Arctic plankton, every species in the delicate Arctic ecosystem will suffer catastrophically from the loss of the ice. Many will never recover. Some experts predict that the polar bears of Hudson Bay will be extinct in 20 -30 years time because they will be unable to spend enough time on the melting sea ice to feed.”

    Hm-m-m-m. Except for the verifiable fact that global sea ice is increasing.

    The Bovine Fecal Purveyance Specialists running the BBC ignore the undisputed fact that there is no loss of global ice. None. Global ice is increasing.

    The BBC engages in their baseless scare tactics with no facts to back them up. I invite any member of the alarmist contingent to dispute that.

    It is a sad state of affairs that the formerly great BBC has sunk so low. Goebbels would be proud of them.

  85. Smokey (20:24:24) :

    …. and it’s mandatory for Brits to have to pay for the pleasure of being lied to too but, as they say over there – “mustn’t grumble”.

    “Some experts” – I wonder who they are then – the editor’s mum’s hairdresser’s cousin’s milkman’s nephews ?? Not very peer-reviewed is it ?

  86. HR 17.30.30

    Thats an even beter idea than mine. So WUWT could become a sort of international rescue for failed green expeditions to cold and hostile environments

    We could call the service;

    ‘I can’t believe its not hotter.’

    tonyb

  87. There was a miserable report about the Survey (err, Catlin – always use the name of the prime sponsor!) on ABC’s (USA) Good Morning America. I entered this on their feedback form that a few people will see before ABC ignores it:

    You’re going to cover every step of the Catlin expedition? Kinda late, isn’t it? On the most popular science blog of they year folks have been doing that and discovering the Catlin folks haven’t disclosed the radar problems, presented old pre-trip biometric data as realtime, been upstaged by an airplane survey that towed a sensor system 80 feet above the ice, and basically have demonstrated that a) it’s really cold, and b) there’s lots of ice. Any claims about thin ice is because their route was over first year ice.

    See http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/05/11/catlin-artic-ice-survey-packing-it-up-what-have-they-accomplished/ for the latest chapter of this farce.

    It was done by Nick Watt, who is a Nightline host, so they may have coverage there too. I don’t have time to check with them this AM.

  88. Steve Goddard (15:48:47) :
    bill,

    Sea water freezes at -2C/ If you kept the temperature over the ice permanently at -8C, it would eventually freeze all the way to the sea floor – unless there is another source of heat in the system.

    Please give it a rest – you are just talking gibberish.

    Actually you’re the one talking gibberish, as usual.

    The well-known source in the system is the flow of warmer water under the ice predominantly from the Atlantic, the thickness of the ice is determined thermodynamically by loss of heat through the ice thus cooling the layer of water immediately under it until it freezes. As the ice gets thicker the rate of freezing at the bottom decreases because the rate of heat loss drops.

    http://eprints.lib.hokudai.ac.jp/dspace/bitstream/2115/34395/5/Maslowski.pdf

  89. Anyone seen this story yet?

    Pen Hadow warns that “the data collected showed the ice cap would no longer be a permanent feature of the planet.”

    And also that – wait for it – “the ice could disappear altogether as early as this summer.”

    Ladies and gentlemen, the 2009 Arctic ice-melt silly season has now officially started! Here we go (again)…

  90. Phil,

    The laws of thermodynamics are not “gibberish,” but you have at least identified an external heat source.

    Now justify bill’s comment:

    Currently Catlin are seeing air temperatures of -8C . If this is maintained then it will support an ice thickness of only 57 cm (assuming -8C is the ice not air temp.)

  91. I think the 3 Stooges have departed.

    Now for the smoke and mirrors report of their ‘scientific expedition’……..

    Zzzzzzzzzzzz………

  92. Steve

    This is an advert from the Met Office who are local to me, seeking a polar ice expert. As you can see the science doesn’t seem to be as settled as claimed as regards knowledge of the ice or of sea levels.

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/recruitment/vacancies/001758.html

    “A significant uncertainty in future projections of sea level is associated with dynamical changes in the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets and a key aspect of this uncertainty is the role of ice shelves, how they might respond to climate change, and the effect this could have on the ice sheets. The goal of the post is to contribute to improved scenarios of sea-level rise, which is an important aspect of climate change, with large coastal impacts.

    Specific job purpose
    Incorporate a model of ice shelves into the Met Office Hadley Centre climate model to develop a capability to make projections of rapid changes in ice sheets, thereby leading to improved scenarios of future sea-level rise.”

    tonyb

  93. Latest from the BBC:

    “New warning over Arctic ice-cap”

    “The Arctic ice-cap, a permanent feature for at least 100,000 years, could vanish in summertime far sooner than predicted, a leading scientist says.

    Professor Peter Wadhams, from the University of Cambridge, told BBC News he has brought forward his estimates of the ice-cap’s demise.

    He believes the ice is now so thin that almost all of it will disappear in about a decade.

    He says it will become seasonal, forming only during the winter.”

    See:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8047862.stm

    There is a short video on the above page, but it is only part of the broadcast article currently showing on BBC News 24. The broadcast article comments on the Catlin Exhib.. er Expedition.

    The broadcast article describes submarine surveys since the 1960s and shows the Catlin Expedition swimming across wafer thin ice.

  94. RE: alexjc38 (10:32:38) :

    **And also that – wait for it – “the ice could disappear altogether as early as this summer.”**

    Well we will not have long to wait to verify this one. They may have to clarify what they mean by “disappear”.

  95. On the contrary – I have just watched the main evening BBC news bulletin where their reporter was bathed in sunshine and claiming there would be no summer ice in 20 years and the Catlin expedition had shown the thinness of the ice.

    Hadrow was shown suited up and leaping into open water to prove their way was blocked by thin ice. The whole story was geared to the success of the expedition in proving the thinness of the ice.

    They also produced a scientist who claimed nuclear sub records (presumably British) showed thinning ice.

    So this expedition has achieved its propaganda exercise – you may wish to view the news clip (10 pm Weds British time) to see the claims..

    Ah just seen another comment verifying this.

  96. Just watched the 10 oclock news and the Hadow expedition has been a stunning success according to the BBC.

    No need for the Met office to advertise for a polar expert then-my post above

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/recruitment/vacancies/001758.html

    As the BBC Has just demonstrated the science is more settled than the Met office thought;

    Excerpt from Ad.

    “A significant uncertainty in future projections of sea level is associated with dynamical changes in the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets and a key aspect of this uncertainty is the role of ice shelves, how they might respond to climate change, and the effect this could have on the ice sheets. The goal of the post is to contribute to improved scenarios of sea-level rise, which is an important aspect of climate change….”

    tonyb

  97. TonyB,

    I notice that the Met office is offering £25,000, and they require a PhD. No doubt they will get what they’re paying for.

  98. BBC Headline
    “Epic adventure

    Explorers reach end of perilous trek across Arctic ”

    Apparently they found miore ice than they expected. Listen to Pens “interview’

  99. PS Pen’s interview from the ice was on the Catlin site. They had to use the immersion suits much less than expected. Also given their “expected” daily progress there was never any real hope of reaching the pole.

  100. ‘Gruelling’ Arctic mission ends
    Their data will help study the impacts of global warming in the region.

    It also reinforces a new forecast, by a leading UK scientist, who says that the Arctic sea-ice could vanish in summertime far sooner than predicted.

    The Catlin survey ended slightly ahead of schedule to ensure a safe pick up.

    as predicted right here on WUWT, they are claiming they expected to find thicker multiyear ice instead of thinner first year ice:

    Our science advisors had told us to expect thicker, older ice on at least part of the route, so it is something of a mystery where that older ice has gone. It’ll be interesting to see what scientists think about this.”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8047862.stm

    I guess none of us that read WUWT regularly should be surprised by this “news”.

  101. TonyB wrote in part:

    “[…} So WUWT could become a sort of international rescue for failed green expeditions to cold and hostile environments

    We could call the service;

    ‘I can’t believe its not hotter.’”

    On the logo, I’d want Skippy the ‘roo, in the snow, holding an upside down hockey stick to deliver your tag line.

  102. Steve Goddard (11:00:55) :
    The laws of thermodynamics are not “gibberish,” but you have at least identified an external heat source.
    Now justify bill’s comment:
    Currently Catlin are seeing air temperatures of -8C . If this is maintained then it will support an ice thickness of only 57 cm (assuming -8C is the ice not air temp.)

    The reference I gave describes the reason why the whole depth does not freeze and by the whole ice does not melt: It down to the halocline.

    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=PGGMCHTjADEC&pg=PA51&lpg=PA51&dq=seawater+freeze+halocline&source=bl&ots=eOJM4t9rS8&sig=jy-9cqO7Kuh4sHAdlOgTjLjHD8U&hl=en&ei=tAgKSubHKKOsjAeIwvmPCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2#PPA51,M1

    The water ice interface must be in equilibrium – ice is melting and forming at the same rate. Increase the thermal conduction of ice and the thiscness will vary untill the bottom of the ice is at the equilibrium temp. Decrease the top ice temp and the thickness will increase to maintain the temperature at the interface.

    Using the plots for various dates on the Buoy 2006C gives these approx results
    -23C 200cm
    -18C 170cm
    -16C 155cm
    -11C 100cm
    -4C 30cm

    (cannot access the data any more – the new web site seem not to work. so cannot check other buoys)

    A linear curve fit to this gives an equation of thickness = -9.2161*[temp] – 1.7113
    R² = 0.986
    at -40C a thickness would be 3.7metres
    at -8C a thickness of 72 cm

  103. I mentioned this AM (05:22:10) that I suspected that ABC’s Nightline might have a story about the Catlin Survey, and they did. It was pretty much what I expected, a one-sided pro-Catlin review and no mention of that German survey with an instrument towed by an airplane.

    Readers here will learn nothing from watching the program.

  104. Now that the comedy of errors has thankfully ended, let us recap:

    73 days on ice rather than the planned 100 days.
    434 km of a planned 1,000 km trip – didn’t even get halfway.

    And even worse – they’re still spinning (lying) that the ice is thinner than expected and that they were surprised at how much first year ice they encountered. Well hello – except for a short stretch of older ice, most of the route they took was over first year ice. Just check the map overlay created in this previous post:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/04/16/busted-catlin-arctic-ice-survey-didnt-expect-to-find-first-year-ice/

    Notice that the midpoint in their route – where they ended this junket – is a large expanse of a mix of first and what looks like second year ice. The cycnic in me thinks that they probably drilled for samples in the easier to drill first year ice. Now they’re loaded up for this year’s propaganda battle in a run up to Copenhagen.

    Lest they forget – before then comes the melt max in September and that’s one event that’s bound to disappoint as the sea ice continues its slow recovery with levels higher again than last year’s increase.

  105. It would be an interesting piece of work for someone to gather all the Caitlin articles into a single essay along with some of the significant comments. I believe it would make an interesting book on just how the truth has been manipulated.

  106. bill,

    You are making all kinds of assumptions about many different factors being at some sort of equilibrium, without any basis. The air temperature changes throughout the year in the Arctic. Ice thickness normally increases until mid-May, and then it declines through the summer as more solar radiation is received and air temperatures are warmer.

  107. In todays (14th May) Daily Telegraph the Catlin Arctic Ice Survey is presented as a success, even though the extreme low temperatures are mentioned.
    Shape of things to come?

  108. Having spent several years working in the Arctic I can guarantee you that taking a snow depth measurement there is a complete waste of time. The Arctic is actually a semi-arid area by the definition of that term vis-a-vis precipitation amounts annually. The stuff that does get deposited gets moved around continually in whichever direction the wind happens to be blowing. And it’s always blowing from somewhere. It’s also very harsh and cold and not a good place to venture with foolish notions.

  109. Steve Goddard (12:13:13) :
    Ice thickness normally increases until mid-May, and then it declines through the summer as more solar radiation is received and air temperatures are warmer.

    Thermal diffusivity of ice is temp dependant
    1.1@0C and 1.7@-50c*10-6m^2s^-1
    taking the lowest figure gives a temperature propagation of 27cm in 1 day so the bottom of a 3 metre thick ice block should see the surface temperature in about 10days assuming the bottom is free to change (it isn’t of course its maintained at -2C by the sea)

    So the buoy data is reasonably accurate as far as my calculation goes, for the thicknesses seen (a couple of days a one temperature is not unusual).

  110. From the AP today, May 14, 2009, …

    http://tinyurl.com/o425jq

    -
    ‘British explorers in northern Canada to measure the thickness of floating Arctic sea ice ended their expedition short of reaching the North Pole due to an early summer ice melt, the team said Thursday.’

    ‘”This year, the summer melt came a little early,” Hadow said during a Webcast conference from Resolute Bay in northern Canada. “We would have rather reached the Pole if we could have, but we’ve always regarded (getting there) as the cherry on the cake.”‘

  111. I found an error in the Caitlin Raw data series…

    If you look at the Ice thickness measurements for March 7th you will notice they typed in 520+ that buggered up the formula in reporting the average thickness for the day. This results in a 10CM difference in the average thickness measurement they are reporting publicly. So much for due diligence!

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