Impractical Proposal: Dry Ice Sequestration on Antarctic Ice Sheets

English: Small pellets of dry ice sublimating ...

English: Small pellets of dry ice sublimating in air. The pellets are approx 0.5 – 1.0cm in diameter. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An updated proposal to store CO2 on Antarctica

Story submitted by John Tillman

Story body: In 1995 two Japanese scientists suggested storing carbon dioxide in Antarctic ice caves.  Now three scientists at Purdue have published a more elaborate and detailed proposal along these lines, advocating 446 deposition plants, supported by sixteen wind farms, on the icy, katabatic blast-swept continent.

This dry snow reservoir could come in very handy in the future.  When climate cools again, and atmospheric carbon dioxide returns to the oceans whence it came, humanity might replenish our supply, without needing to burn more wood or fossil fuels (which we could be doing anyway, to keep warm, unless nuclear or alternative technologies have replaced carbon-based energy).

CO2 Snow Deposition in Antarctica to Curtail Anthropogenic Global Warming

Ernest Agee, Andrea Orton, and John Rogers Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana

Abstract

A scientific plan is presented that proposes the construction of carbon dioxide (CO2) deposition plants in the Antarctic for removing CO2 gas from Earth’s atmosphere. The Antarctic continent offers the best environment on Earth for CO2 deposition at 1 bar of pressure and temperatures closest to that required for terrestrial air CO2 “snow” deposition—133 K. This plan consists of several components, including 1) air chemistry and CO2 snow deposition, 2) the deposition plant and a closed-loop liquid nitrogen refrigeration cycle, 3) the mass storage landfill, 4) power plant requirements, 5) prevention of dry ice sublimation, and 6) disposal (or use) of thermal waste. Calculations demonstrate that this project is worthy of consideration, whereby 446 deposition plants supported by sixteen 1200-MW wind farms can remove 1 billion tons (1012 kg) of carbon (1 GtC) annually (a reduction of 0.5 ppmv), which can be stored in an equivalent “landfill” volume of 2 km × 2 km × 160 m (insulated to prevent dry ice sublimation). The individual deposition plant, with a 100 m × 100 m × 100 m refrigeration chamber, would produce approximately 0.4 m of CO2 snow per day. The solid CO2 would be excavated into a 380 m × 380 m × 10 m insulated landfill, which would allow 1 yr of storage amounting to 2.24 × 10−3 GtC. Demonstrated success of a prototype system in the Antarctic would be followed by a complete installation of all 446 plants for CO2 snow deposition and storage (amounting to 1 billion tons annually), with wind farms positioned in favorable coastal regions with katabatic wind currents.

http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JAMC-D-12-0110.1?af=R&

===============================================================

From Anthony:

1 billion tons annually is what the proposal would store. Sounds like a lot doesn’t it?

From the Global Carbon Project:

CO2 emissions from fossil fuels burning and cement production increased by 3% in 2011, with a total of 9.5±0.5 PgC emitted to the atmosphere (34.7 billion tonnes of CO2). These emissions were the highest in human history and 54% higher than in 1990 (the Kyoto Protocol reference year). In 2011, coal burning was responsible for 43% of the total emissions, oil 34%, gas 18%, and cement 5%.

CO2 emissions from fossil fuels burning and cement production are projected to increase by 2.6% in 2012, to a record high of 9.7±0.5 PgC (35.6 billion tonnes of CO2).

CO2 emissions from fossil fuel and other industrial processes are calculated by the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center of the US Oak Ridge National Laboratory. For the period 1959 to 2009 the calculations were based on United Nations Energy Statistics and cement data from the US Geological Survey, and for the years 2010 and 2011 the calculations were based on BP energy data.

Uncertainty of the global fossil fuel CO2 is estimated at ±5% (±1 sigma bounds based on the 10% at ±2 sigma bounds published by Andres et al. 2012).

Uncertainty of emissions from individual countries can be larger.
The 2012 projection of 2.6% growth is based on the world GDP projection of 3.3% made by the International Monetary Fund and our estimate of improvements in the fossil intensity of the economy of 0.7%.

Source: http://www.globalcarbonproject.org/carbonbudget/12/hl-full.htm#FFandCement

So, with 35.6 billion tonnes of CO2 emitted in 2012 (estimated) and China still going like gangbusters, does anybody really think the 1 billion ton sequestration proposal is going to make even a dent?

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60 thoughts on “Impractical Proposal: Dry Ice Sequestration on Antarctic Ice Sheets

  1. Crosspatch: Don’t expect actual scientific proof that CO2 is a real problem. What we will get is more assertions and theories masquerading as scientific proof.

  2. “A scientific plan is presented that proposes….”

    That says it all really; just a few calculations, and some straightforward advice (i.e. we better keep the dry ice cold), and PRESTO alleged global climate disaster solved. Next task, write the Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech.

    Jeeezh…..

    Have these boffins never heard of INFRASTRUCTURE, you know; roads, airports, seaports, electrical power grids, water, sewage handling, etc. All the little details needed to carry out an engineering undertaking of the size proposed. Heck, when they built the Hoover (nee Boulder) Dam they made a new city just to feed and clothe the workers.

    Here’s a summarized plan;

    Step 1, replicate the US interstate highway system, airports, air traffic control and seaports in Antarctica. Including cell phone towers and FedEx (or UPS if you prefer) delivery systems.

    Step 2 (six months later) assemble the new machines

    Step 3 (2 weeks later) flip the ON switch

    Step 4 (10 minutes later) pack your bags and go home, mission accomplished………..

    Having been to Antarctica I can assure you that NONE of the infrastructure exists; there are no roads (just some wide trails around the bases), no cell phones, and no seaports (with significant cargo transferring capabilities). Sea transport to there is limited to 4 (or maybe 5) months of the year. Airplane travel is similarly limited. The electrical power grids are limited to small areas around the bases.

    Seems like it would be easier to capture Sasquatches and inject them with the CO2 (even if there was a good reason to do so).

    What flavor is the “pie in the sky” in their world ?

    Cheers, Kevin.

  3. CO2 sequestration is S T U P I D. Period. Crosspatch is on the money. Where is the data to prove the hyposthesis that CO2 is a problem in any way? I guess plant food is a terrible thing…

  4. Have the writers heard that – not only is there no infrastructure down there – but even disposing of waste is a REAL problem?

    See, at -40 to -70 below zero (on the high ice caps where the temperatures they mention using are limited to) you can’t “dispose of” human waste. it doesn’t decompose – the microbes that “might” decompose it are themselves killed by the frost. So most Antarctic camps nowadays must “store” their biological waste (er, blood or medical waste, shitte and urine and garbage disposal flushings and everything else) and ship it back out.

    50 years of contamination and waste and simple “life” down there has made unsightly “dumps” of most of the “so-called” scientific camps.

  5. Back when I was in grade school, um, a much longer time ago then I like to imagine, they had us do an exercise in the gymn. There was a theory that very young children learned to walk too soon, and that advanced development altered our innocent young eyes. You see (no pun intended) by walking too soon, rather than continuing to crawl, our brand new eyes would look into the distance rather than at the ground where they belonged. Anyway, the theory was, that by not having a lot of experience in our formative years, of looking at things closely, as when crawling, we would be disadvantaged when reading. So, when my fellow students and I were about 8 years old our teachers gathered us up for crawling exercises on the gym floor. So there we were, crawling around aimlessly on our hands and knees all over the gym floor for about an hour or so so as to improve our reading skills, until that very rare teacher, who actually had some connection with real life, appeared and put a stop to the nonsense.

    Now, I know what you’re thinking. Whatever, for chrissake, does that foregoing story have to do with splattering dry ice all over the arctic? Maybe it’s just me, but I think it has everything to do with it.

  6. I was laughing so much at the idea of going to Antarctica and putting up dry ice factories and missed a couple of details like the sublimation rate from storage or the whole infrastructure bit.

  7. Why is it that I picture 4 or 5 very stoned students sitting in the student union, thinking this crap up.

    Honestly.

  8. CO2 sequestration makes doing nothing look like a really excellent idea. Doing nothing is quick, cheap, reliable and in this case, cost effective, as the extra CO2 will aid plant growth and do nothing harmful to the climate.

  9. Alvin says:
    March 3, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    And who will pay for this boondoggle?

    That’s not important. The question to ask is who receives the money that gets paid.

  10. …does anybody really think the 1 billion ton sequestration proposal is going to make even a dent?

    Sometimes people are so busy trying to blind us with their intelligence and their math skills that they forget to start with the arithmetic of the obvious. If that answers your question…

    Just Sayin’

    And Tom J. (March 3, 2013 at 7:51 pm) Had a good laugh — I too remember some stupid theories in education that should never have seen the light of day — not even the dark of the moon.

  11. But wait! Maybe the windmills could be made out of sort of ‘nano-ice’, so much less material would have to be shipped in… we could call it Ice 9. (per Vonnegut)
    What caught my attention, such a sweet notion, was the comment that we’d sort of keep the CO2 around in case we needed it, y’know, if it got colder.
    Unbelievable.

  12. Am I really living on the same planet as these people? And who is paying for this. Like willis I need to come out of retirement every now and then and I could sure use some funds.

  13. A scientific plan for sure.
    When might we see an engineering plan?
    Like never, even the craziest engineer will balk at this inanity.
    As for co2 sequestration, if co2 can be demonstrated to be a measurable problem, what about plants?
    Beneath the attention of high minded climatologists?
    Based on the evidence, shale, coal and oil, plants can sequester co2 for millions of years, well who knew?
    I can feel myself becoming a victim of raging climatologism psychosis.

    That RCP for short and its spreading around the world.
    First symptom, contempt for government and the nonsense it creates.

  14. Maybe ‘we’ should sequester the untold tones of plastics floating in the oceans. Maybe ‘we’ should update the water treatment plants in major cities so that billions of tones of raw sewage (produce methane for transportation/) are not spilled yearly into the oceans. Maybe ‘we’ should build cutting edge sustainable cities in the Arctic before Antarctica. Maybe ‘we’ should capture build a space elevator. Maybe ‘we’ should build a space station on the moon….

  15. So… basically…

    ..The Onion hacked the American Meteorological Society’s web site?

    … building 446 freezer plants in Antarctic conditions… a billion tons a year… and how are they proposing to power 446 cryo plants; solar power? During a six month night (can’t wait to see the battery plants for that)? Or carbon free unicorn farts?

    An Onion hack. Or maybe some grad students seeing what they could get past their professors. Or drugs. Really, really good drugs all around.

  16. Let’s do it. If we get behind this idea and spend everything we have on it to save the planet, for shit’s and giggles, why not.

  17. Purdue U. must be one of those institutions having a cash shortfall and they are out of pencils and paper – all that would be needed to show the uselessness of this scheme. All that expense and the only useful product is stored CO2! Any influence on temperature would be indistinguishable from zero.
    I’d be impressed if they could break the carbon-oxygen bond and make diamonds and other useful products. It won’t have to be done in the most inhospitable of places either.

  18. THIS !

    A … PROPOSAL !

    Are these Purdue U. Farmers Mad with Anthropogenic Human Mann Mad Cow Disease !, we know they are lunatics, their SAT and ACT scores prove it !

    Oh well. Guess this the the Cream de la Cream of the NSF Favorites, i.e. sexual favorites.

    Ah, so that is what the money was for !

    XD

  19. Meanwhile back on on Vulcan, Antoine de Ramon N‘Yeurt, David P. Chynoweth, Mark E. Capron, Jim R. Stewart, Mohammed A. Hasan. (2012), citing Ernest Agee, Andrea Orton, and John Rogers offer an alternative analysis that shows, ‘the potential of Ocean Afforestation to produce 12 billion tons per year of biomethane while storing 19 billion tons of CO2 per year directly from biogas production, plus up to 34 billion tons per year from carbon capture of the biomethane combustion exhaust…based on macro-algae forests covering 9% of the world’s ocean surface, which could produce sufficient biomethane to replace all of today’s needs in fossil fuel energy, while removing 53 billion tons of CO2 per year from the atmosphere, restoring pre-industrial levels’.

    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JAMC-D-12-0110.1?af=R

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0957582012001206

    Hold on! That was a close shave. No need for the inconvenience of trying to get one’s head around 446 sequestering plants in Antarctica, we’ve got ‘Ocean Macroalgal Afforestation (OMA)’.

    Who funds this, who reads it let alone who takes it seriously?

  20. Don’t you see … all the energy expended in cooling and compressing the CO2 into storage pellets and building the infrastructure will produce more CO2 so that it is a self-sustaining endeavor. Isn’t sustainability the quest of the left?

  21. Dear Bog. I just realized that I missed their proposed method to power this… this… Rube Goldberg/Mad magazine scheme: wind power farms. Wind gennies in the Antarctic. I’m afraid to check what sort of service life and output they project. Now they’ll have to increase the number of sequestration plants compensate for the increased China CO2 emission from building all those wind gennies.

    I had to double-check the pub date to be sure this wasn’t meant for April 1st release.

  22. “So, with 35.6 billion tonnes of CO2 emitted in 2012 (estimated) and China still going like gangbusters, does anybody really think the 1 billion ton sequestration proposal is going to make even a dent?”

    Anthony, you silly goose, you forget that only about half of human CO2 emissions are actually showing up in the atmosphere (the rest is apparently sequestered for us by Gaia, blessings be upon her). So with nearly 18 gigatonnes already taken care of, 1 gigatonne per year of Antarctic storage will put a MUCH bigger dent in the remaining 18 gig– Oh.

    Never mind. :-)

  23. …whereby 446 deposition plants supported by sixteen 1200-MW wind farms can remove 1 billion tons (1012 kg) of carbon (1 GtC) annually (a reduction of 0.5 ppmv),…

    The individual deposition plant, with a 100 m × 100 m × 100 m refrigeration chamber, would produce approximately 0.4 m of CO2 snow per day.[emphisis mine]

    I suspect a smaller number of more efficient plants would be possible with a more concentrated supply of CO2 from, say, the new clean coal process described in this recent post:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/02/20/now-what-is-death-train-hansen-going-to-do-clean-coal-process-developed-to-extract-energy-without-burning-or-co2/

    Antarctica seems like a good place to sequester CO2, if CO2 sequestration was deemed worth doing, which is, of course, a very big “if”.

  24. One more:

    The AMS kindly included the lead author’s (Agee) email address. I’ve sent an… inquiry. Among other questions (like what drugs they’re on) I suggested:
    You want to sequester CO2? You like silly projects? Try this: dig canals across the Sahara for irrigation (in keeping with the ridiculous theme, you could blast the canals with kiloton nukes, an oldie-but-goodie). Repurpose the world’s oil supertankers to haul sewage to the desert for fertilizer. Plant a few billion pine trees. Kick back with whatever drug it is that you clearly enjoy.

    What I could find in quick searches on the authors:
    Dr. Ernest Agee
    Agee’s research has focused on the fluid dynamics of thermal convection, atmospheric manifestations of Benard-Rayleigh convection and climatic change. Lots of engineering experience there.[/sarc]
    John A. Rogers
    Founder Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and a professor of chemistry, but clearly not a real world engineer.
    Andrea Orton is listed as being with the Dept. of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Purdue University, so I guess she’s another atmospheric sciences type.

  25. My immediate inclination was to bang my head on the desk a few times, but that’ll just smash up my desk and I’ll get splinters in my face…

    Has ANYONE in power JUST ONCE said, “Oh, you’ll need billions for that, okay, in that case, show us the evidence.”

    Looks like I picked a bad week for giving up caffeine…

  26. These proposals are spring up like daises. There is a clown called, Baglin who had an article in the UK Institute of Physics magazine recently telling us how he could cool the Earth by polluting the atmosphere with ‘sulphur based compounds'(err, no details given of the compounds). Apparently this is ‘geo – engineering’ .

    Maybe he would use mustard gas – that is sulphur based. You would definitely feel cooler after a lungful of it.

    Unbelievable that the IoP publishes this garbage.

  27. *Bobbing up and down in my seat, waving a hand in the air.*

    Pick me! Pick me! I know! I Maybe if we moved alllll the wind farms to the Antarctic… oh never mind (looked promising there for a moment).

  28. Recently I had the idea to produce massive amounts of Ice Cream in the Siberian winter, then store it underground in permafrost and deliver to the entire world year-round using the TransSib.

  29. “thermal waste” … will it be the new ugliest word of the year, just like “CO2 pollution”?

  30. This is an idea promoted by the Rothschild banking family back in the 1980s. Somewhere on the net is an audio recording of one of the Rothschilds talking about it in a lecture.
    Years ago I was interested in the efforts of the international bankers in creating the CAGW religion back in the 1980s. I can’t remember a link to that one lecture amongst all the stuff I watch and listened to years ago.

  31. 36Billion tonnes pa. is pure hype. This apparent large mass of CO2 produced annually by us is but 3% of the total annual budget for CO2. Get REAL.
    CO2 IS NOT A PROBLEM!

  32. Why doesn’t anyone ever suggest using the method mother Gaia has traditionally used to sequester carbon? That is by depositing organics at the bottom of anoxic basins. All we have to do is to dump organic waste into the Black Sea, which is anoxic (and dead, except for a few bacteria) below the surface layer.
    That way we would also be doing any future civilizations a useful service by creating sourcerock for gas- and oilfields of the future (most of our oil today, comes from black shales deposited during the Mid-Cretaceous about 100 million years ago, when much of the deep ocean was anoxic).

  33. I suggest we just sequester these three “scientists”, Moe, Larry, and Curly, in an Antarctic cave.

  34. Why doesn’t anyone ever suggest using the method mother Gaia has traditionally used to sequester carbon?

    The people financing the CAGW scare and its ideas are the banking dynasties. They already have total control over the world economy, and have nothing better to do than cook up far fetched ideas of tightening their control. They already have control over carbon with the western fossil fuel industry, and other carbon intensive industries but they are aware of something wrong with their current practice. By selling fossil fuel and having it burnt, they are setting free carbon to be used by the biosphere. That bad principles for a banker. They prefer to loan stuff out to get it back with interest.
    With every molecule of CO2 created from industry, civilization is creating a inherently richer, more independent biosphere. Bankers don’t like independence, they prefer dependance on bank loans. They are scared that if modern industry continues to pump out CO2, then by the 22nd century the atmosphere could have 500-600ppm CO2 and plant food would spring up much more freely and people would be less dependent on bank loans for food.
    There is far too much carbon in the biosphere for bankers to monopolize it, but they play with the idea of halting anymore net release into the atmos. This is motivation for clean coal and other such carbon neutral technology.
    This antarctic stash of carbon is just one of the more dumber ideas due to the Rothschild bankers losing their grip on reality thinking they can stash and control biosphere carbon like they did with gold. Even if they worked on it for centuries, they couldn’t stash enough to effect carbon in the atmosphere much. They would need to stash trillions of tons of carbon before the biosphere would notice. It’s just not practical.

  35. One part carbon and two parts oxygen… i suggest we sue them for the unreplaceable oxygen they steal.

  36. I sometimes think, such proposal research, are only funded and published, in order to provoke realists and skeptics, into a state of constant astonishment and wild-eyed dismay. Maybe they think it diverts us from focusing, on what, their other hand is doing?! GK

  37. meemoe_uk says: (March 4, 2013 at 4:40 am)
    Why doesn’t anyone ever suggest using the method mother Gaia has traditionally used to sequester carbon?

    Uh, where’s the money in that?

    :)

  38. Didn’t we go over this, and decide that it was a waste of time, a couple of years ago?

    The issue being that the vapor pressure of CO2 in the atmosphere is so low* that the sublimation of the CO2 would quickly rise to the point where it was going back into the atmosphere as fast as we could take it out. Yes, even at Antarctic temperatures. The clue here is that there’s no CO2 snow in Antartica.

    Mike.
    * Which brings up the same question again: why is CO2 such a problem when there’s so little of it?

  39. While these Mann-trained scientists are up there, they might want to validate these observations:
    >>Milwaukee Journal, 9/3/49. International Falls, Minn.-(U.P.) – Hot debate raged Saturday over whether the aurora borealis, or northern lights, can be blinked on and off and made to change shape by waving a sheet at them. …
    >>[Henry] Munro, an advertising salesman here, reported that he and four friends made the northern lights assume the shape of an inverted “V’ by flapping a bed sheet at the phenomenon.
    >>The Eskimos maintain that herds of deer near the north pole make the lights shimmy by stamping on the frozen ground. …
    >>”The Eskimos should know,” one partisan remarked. “After all, they’re closer to the problem.” …
    >>Munro said he and his friends stole away from their homes at midnight and flapped a large sheet at the lights.
    >>”We tried it twice and it worked both times. The lights were nothing but a dull glow at first, but after five minutes of flapping they took on the shape we wanted,” Munro said. …
    >>Their wives kept hollering from upstairs windows: “Cut out that foolishness and get back to bed.”

  40. Science fiction, not science. And an academic consideration, not an actual consideration.

    The sort of thing that might be valuable on Mars for local fuel production.

  41. This proposal is rediculus when compared to the natural sequestrating ability of the cold Antarctic circumpolar current. It sucks up CO2 as fast as it is being delivered. What were they thinking?

  42. Costings please.

    Wouldn’t it be far cheaper and beneficial to the Earth to simply plant fast growing trees.

  43. I messed up my paragraph. Here it is again – corrected.

    At first I thought it was April 1st. Future generations will wonder whatever went wrong with Western Civilization? What kind of insanity got hold of the ruling classes? I have once seen a press clipping online from the past with a huge dome over a city to protect it from the impending ice age. This wasn’t even in the 1970s. Some proposed plans to spray soot on any advancing ice sheets and diverting Arctic rivers in the 1970s.

  44. Would those wind turbines work in the Southern winter? Don’t they need conventional power to get going? How do you “landfill” as they say? These and many, many other questions will require answering. I bet it would be easier to send a man and woman over to Mars and back. Oh, wait…..

  45. Some excellently entertaining epistles here!
    So glad free minds can look at suggestions – and skewer them if necessary!

    Auto

  46. I’m just curious. What is the practical working life of a modern wind turbine under Antarctic conditions? How do you suppose the average temperatures (as cited in this proposal) might affect things like lubrication, bearings and maintenance cycles?

    What do you suppose would be the impact on local temperatures of installing that large a wind-farm? Would the recently-discussed wind-shadow raise the local temperatures enough to defeat the assumptions about local storage temperatures?

    On a positive note, the variability of wind-speed might not be a problem. Unlike most wind-power proposals, there is no external imperative that the plant run all the time. You could theoretically generate your dry ice only when the wind blows. But pretty much all the other factors affecting the cost-effectiveness of wind turbines seems to have been ignored here.

  47. If we’re thinking about sequestering in Antarctica, or any other frozen place, why not just dump organic material collected from farms, human waste, and debris from some wild habitats. Maybe we could throw in some seaweed.

    Frozen organic material doesn’t decay and release CO2 or CH4. Might be cheaper and/or more scalable than biochar or artificial coal.

  48. Why don’t we let nature’s carbon sequestration plants soak up the bounty…
    Or better yet, there’s gotta be someone that could build several billion tons worth of wooden things (while collecting their carbon credits). And since fast growing forests sequester more CO2 than old growth forests, let’s lop off large sections of old growth and plant new faster growing treesin the name of being green.

  49. If we leave out the CO2 part, Antarctic sequestration may turn out to be a good idea. After they’re convicted of fraud, “Death Trains” Hanson and Mikey M could serve out their sentences doing real scientific work for a change – studying penguin droppings on the balmy coast of the Antarctic Peninsula.

  50. Continuing my quixotic prediliction for posting on long-forgotten threads: there is much confusion above between GT Carbon and GT CO2. 35 GT of CO2 emitted is only around 10GT Carbon. Further, much less than 10GT ends up in the atmosphere, as much is absorbed elsewhere. Hence, sequestering 1GT Carbon would be very significant. A reduction of 0.5 ppmv per year compares to an increase over the last five years of only 2.0 ppmv/year (SA).

    I would cut these guys some slack. The engineering is probably a mile away from the back-of-envelope theory, but I’d take a guess that the harm done by removing CO2 this way is a tiny fraction of the harm done by raising the price of energy enough to have the same effect by reducing emissions.

    More generally I’d propose that giving climate alarmists a more-or-less harmless ‘out’ to focus on rather than going full tilt on their pure religion is no bad thing.

  51. Re the various suggestions to power CO2 sequestration with wind turbines.
    The term for the Antarctic windstorm is “Herbie”.

    http://www.coolantarctica.com/Community/antarctic_slang.htm

    Herbie – The name given to particularly powerful and dangerous storms that affect the US McMurdo base coming from the South, through “Herbie Alley”, winds can be in excess of 100 knots. Am

    See for example:

    http://firepenguin.webs.com/antarcticherbiewinter2004.htm

    “A Herbie Blows Through on 16May2004
    Well we had a bit of nasty weather roll through, and pretty much right over, town this past weekend. (16May2004) Although it wasn’t really cold, relatively speaking, the winds were what got the best of us. There was some pretty good damage all over town. We had windows blown in and smashed on several buildings and vehicles. Doors were ripped from their hinges and several bay doors are completely missing. Almost as much snow inside some buildings as outside. Several roofs were either damaged, or are totally missing. It even blew the entire top off a converted fuel tank. There were downed power lines and furnaces quit working in many buildings. Some pipes froze causing them to burst, one causing a 20,000 gallon lake (okay, skating rink) inside one of the buildings. We had wind speeds in town pushing 120 m.p.h. Black Island, across the bay from us where we house much of our communication equipment and radio repeaters, had sustained winds of about 160 m.p.h. and gusts up to 190-200 m.p.h for two days. Our base sits at the end of what is known as Herbie Alley. The name comes from a combination of hurricane and blizzard. Guess it held true to it’s name this time.”

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