Another shocked polar explorer

You may recall Lewis Pugh and his laughable “expedition” in Kayaks last summer to plant flags of nations on the ice. I came a little more respect for this group, since at least they are attempting some science. But given the media coverage and the problems they face in getting any meaningful data, I have my doubts about this project as well. – Anthony

“Occasionally it’s disheartening too when you’ve slogged for a day and then wake up the next morning having drifted back to where you started.” – Pen Hadow

np-icequest-map

From the BBC:

A team of polar explorers has travelled to the Arctic in a bid to discover how quickly the sea-ice is melting and how long it might take for the ocean to become ice-free in summers.

Pen Hadow, Ann Daniels and Martin Hartley will be using a mobile radar unit to record an accurate measurement of ice thickness as they trek to the North Pole.

The trio will be sending in regular diary entries, videos and photographs to BBC News throughout their expedition.

The Catlin Arctic Survey team started its gruelling trek on 28 February.

From Pen Hadow’s online journal: Conditions have been hard.

We have been battered by wind, bitten by frost and bruised from falls on the ice.

Occasionally it’s disheartening too when you’ve slogged for a day and then wake up the next morning having drifted back to where you started.

The Arctic sea ice is constantly moving, breaking open and reforming into different shapes – which means we can end up moving several kilometres in any direction while we are asleep in our tents.

The wind chill today will slice us up – it’s taking the temperature down to below -50C, so we have decided to take a day’s rest to recharge our batteries and soothe the aches and pains.

We are resigned to several weeks of daily discomfort and general misery, safe in the knowledge that conditions, our progress and general well-being will improve over the coming months.

See a video and audio report from Hadow at the BBC website here

Advertisements

258 thoughts on “Another shocked polar explorer

  1. What happened to the guy who believed the North Pole would be ice free last summer and took off to go there in a canoe to raise awareness of global warming?
    REPLY: That’s Lewis Pugh see link in first sentence. – Anthony

  2. When your funding comes from the Alarmists then expressing surprise at finding ice 925.63 Km in March only goes to confirm that global warming means global freezing too – doesn’t it?
    So, so far Pen, how quickly is the Arctic Ice actually melting?

  3. …Circumpolar drift….never heard of?? …Advantages being an arm-chair traveler…your computer is mostly still where you left it…He sounds
    a little surprised it’s still winter up there…”Only mad dogs and Englismen go…”

  4. Ah bless. Perhaps they should have borrowed the Toyota Hilux that the BBC ‘Top Gear’ boys used to blast across the ice to the North Pole last year…heh heh!
    For our friends across the pond who know not of which I speak, Top Gear is a motoring (sort of) programme on the BBC (..I know…the BBC!) fronted by a splendidly robust and cynical chap called Jeremy Clarkson. They do lots of politically incorrect stuff. like driving aforementioned 4-WD monster truck to the pole.

  5. Maybe the world will notice, bloody cold, lots of ice and AGW rhetoric. Hopefully they survive the experience moving from start to start.

  6. Having had a look at the expedition’s webiste, it seems that they’ve already made their minds up as to what they expect to find ”out there” = loss of Ice and redcuction of Ice thickness.
    and there I was thinking that ”scientists” were supposed to remain biased, by letting the data and findings speak for themself.
    silly me !

  7. Oops, I guess he should have read the recent arcticle in the National Geographic magazine about the voyage of the Fram intentionally stuck in arctic ice by Nansen to ride the circumpolar drift current…
    If they had, they would know that the route they chose is against the current.
    They should have started at Wrangel island. It would be a lot easier to reach the pole from there.

  8. Here’s another good laugh (taken seriously by the Brit media again)
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2009/mar/17/ravens-ait-island-london-eco-conference-centre-activists
    A bunch of eco-activists have taken over an abandoned building and have turned it into a bong centre….I mean conference centre.
    You just have to love the number of lights he turned on to show us the whiteboard and the phones ringing in the background.
    Did he say free energy at one point?? How do create anything without cost?
    Big up the Tesla? Ah, I can see hippies running to buy a $100,000 car now.
    Running cars on coconut oil and vegetable oil? These are essential commodities for many poor people.
    That shows the level of intelligent thought there.

  9. PS…If you check Mr Hadow’s site, you might think from the small video rewinding
    at the bottom of the page…well…I say no more…I do: Mr Pugh: “You ain’t
    tough enough”

  10. Its funny – reading the ‘endorsements’ on the Caitlin Arctic Survey website, its clear that this is another bit of scientific ‘research’ with a predestined outcome. Given that there is no chance of any ‘official findings’ other than that the pole is rapidly melting, maybe at an individual level they may learn some humility.
    http://www.catlinarcticsurvey.com/

  11. RE:
    mikef (07:00:32) :
    **Ah bless. Perhaps they should have borrowed the Toyota Hilux that the BBC ‘Top Gear’ boys used to blast across the ice to the North Pole last year…heh heh!**
    My son brought this up for me. They did not go to the geographic pole. They were going to the magnetic pole 400 miles or so NW of Resolute. I have no guarantee they actually got there. They were supposed to race a dog team. There is another bunch that wants to take a Hummer easteard through the Northwest Passage this spring.
    But, regarding this group funded out of California – my concern is that they will go to conferences making conclusions based on on set of measurements with no history. Of course they have not made it yet. Global warming seems to be csausing some problems. To even have a semblance of science it has to be repeated for a number of years.

  12. To be fair, I would expect most scientists have a general idea of the outcome when they set out on an experiment, expedition, etc. What separates the “good” and the “bad” scientists is what they do when the outcome does not match what they expected.

  13. This pertains to the aforementioned article in the Guardian about the eco-activists who took over Raven’s Ait Island.
    Turns out the Guardian is hiding a few too many facts from its readers:
    http://www.thisislocallondon.co.uk/whereilive/southwest/kingston/4200818.Raven_s_Ait_island_squatters_face_eviction/
    They’re not just illegal squatters who have occupied other buildings, but they have also been branded river gypsies and have been asked to leave by local environmentalists who say that ‘They came into our town really to get a free place to live. We already have an environment centre half a mile away.’

  14. If only this Warming wasn’t happening they could have rowed to the Pole in open-topped dingies and played amongst the daises and with the fairies and sprites that tend to occupy such fairy-tale lands.
    Those poor guys, getting all frost-bitten and up-tight. Did nobody tell them that the North Pole is COLD, covered with ICE and extremely WINDY?
    Next they’ll be reporting they can’t find Santa Claus – “SHOCK, Global Warming causes mysterious disapperance of Santa’s workshop” etc. etc.

  15. The one day “rest break” is really a reassessment. Who says they’ll be less sore tomorrow, and they may be further from the pole than when they started.
    Don’t be surprised if they quit. This thing is dangerous — Darwin Award dangerous.

  16. I remember writing when this expedition was first reported that it would be a waste of money and was only a propaganda exercise. At the end of the walk they will report faster ice melt than expected irrespective of the actual data collected, as there is no prior data of the same sort with which to compare.
    Additionally, every measurement taken is rendered moot within hours as the ice is constantly moving, melting-refreezing and changing. Find a spot with ice one foot thick and within a day the same GPS co-ordinate could be 2 meters thick!
    All they are recording is a series of snapshots of a section of noise.
    and refering to : “Aron (07:09:54) :
    Here’s another good laugh (taken seriously by the Brit media again)
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2009/mar/17/ravens-ait-island-london-eco-conference-centre-activists
    ——————
    Well the real shame is these people actually believe that the gurus of climate alarmism actually care about green or free-energy or Tesla? It was their elitist predecessors that finished Tesla and this political agenda has not changed at all.
    The Gurus of green do NOT want cheap, free, clean, abundant, zero-point energy. They want most of us dead! That is not my opinion, but the only conclusion to draw from the meaning of their own words. The people leading the ecomentalist movement are in favour of MASSIVE depopulation, turning the planet into a wild nature reserve and game park. The last thing they want is for humanity to find a way to thrive without polluting the planet.

  17. They are collecting important data about the polar drift. During the previous two years, there was a strong west-east drift which melted most of the multi-year ice in the North Atlantic. That isn’t happening this year, which is why it is unlikely that this year’s summer minimum ice extent will be as low as last year or the year before.
    They could have gotten the same information more easily off this web site, from the comfort of their home or pub.
    http://iabp.apl.washington.edu/maps_daily_track-map.html
    I wonder how many more days before they give up?

  18. More of these idiots should get away from their computers and experience the sheer POWER and SIZE of natural forces. Next maybe they should wander around the Sahara for a while. The very idea that man can change climate is absurd to those who live in rural areas.

  19. Partly off subject. I had the radio on whilst working at the computer and at this very moment I am listening to a BBC Radio 4 science programme, Home Planet, and, believe it or not, I have heard a sceptical view, a really sceptical view from a scientist who was worried about the IPCC climate models not predicting current global temperatures etc. Excellent! However the official consensus line came out from another ‘scientist’ on the panel who said five thousand experts agreed with the AGW dogma. But the sceptic (I must find his name) would have none of this nonsense and pointed out that at the beginning of the last century 95% of scientists believed in eugenics. Whoever he is, he will not be allowed on the BBC again I bet. I must listen to the programme again.

  20. It would be convenient if the team got flash frozen or eaten by polar bears.
    On the other hand the alarmists would probably blame Global Warming for both events.
    So maybe it is better if they struggle along for some time and cancel the operations with frozen limbs.
    Such an experience could even turn them into skeptics!

  21. Reality – it has a way of getting your attention.
    The only problem is that you have a bit of intelligence to reconsider your premises when it confronts you.

  22. this reminded me of Calvin and Hobbs’s trip to the Yukon
    Calvin and Hobbes Yukon Song
    My tiger friend has got a sled,
    And I have packed a snack.
    We’re all set for the trip ahead.
    We’re never coming back!
    We’re abandoning this life we’ve led!
    So long, Mom and Pop!
    We’re sick of doing what you’ve said,
    And now it’s going to stop!
    We’re going where it snows all year,
    Where life can have real meaning.
    A place where we won’t have to hear,
    “Your room could stand some cleaning.”
    The Yukon is the place for us!
    That’s where we want to live.
    Up there we’ll get to yell and cuss,
    And act real primitive.
    We’ll never have to go to school,
    Forced into submission,
    By monstrus, crabby, teachers who’ll
    Make us learn addition.
    We’ll never have to clean a plate,
    Of veggie glops and goos.
    Messily we’ll masticate,
    Using any fork we choose!
    The timber wolves will be our friends.
    We’ll stay up late and howl,
    At the moon, till nighttime ends,
    Before going on the prowl.
    Oh, what a life! We cannot wait,
    To be in that artic land,
    Where we’ll be masters of our fate,
    And lead a life that’s grand!
    No more of parental rules!
    We’re heading for the snow!
    Good riddance to those grown up ghouls!
    We’re leaving! Yukon Ho!

  23. LOL.
    At their current average rate of getting 2.5 km closer to the pole each day, it will take them 2.5 years to get there. That is if summer melting doesn’t stop them entirely.

  24. They should have drawn their exploration team from fit Edmontonians, Yellowknifers or Winnipeggers where 50C windchill happens more than occasionally. OT because its in Antarctica: Winter has been raging more than advertised by “disappearing ice sheet” fretters. A power line was built for the Byrd Station in mid 1960s by ITT and now only 40 feet of the 115 foot powerline towers are sticking out. Here is a picture of a tall crawler crane more than half buried that was used for the PL construction.
    http://www.iceagenow.com/Growing_Antarctic_Ice_Sheet.htm
    The old Byrd Station is now crushed under 40 to 50 feet of ice. Is it possible that breaking off of the ice shelves is because of movement of glaciers outward under the growing ‘head’ of accumulating ice?

  25. From the article:
    “The wind chill today will slice us up – it’s taking the temperature down to below -50C…..”
    It would appear that the writer doesn’t know that “wind chill” has absolutely no effect on temperature, it being only an indication of . High wind chill equals quicker reaching the air temperature, but the temperature can’t go lower. (This ignorance is a pet peeve of mine and I spend time every fall alerting various media that wind chill is not the same as an actual temperature.)
    What qualifications do these guys have, anyway?

  26. Oh it just gets better.
    Their Biotelemetry says they are all dead.
    Their Patron is big ears ‘we’re all gonna die in 100 months but we’re all off for a jolly around South America in private jets’ Charlie.
    This has the makings of an even greater success story than Pugh the Canoe.
    They have 1.5 days of rations left because they can’t land a plane to re provision.
    Best of all they seem to be going backwards after 16 days on the ice.
    Oh and apparently it’s cold. But to be fair, who could have expected that?
    This is all in the true tradition of a long line of British explorers. Ignore the obvious, make a complete balls up, whine a lot and claim complete success.
    But luckily, the entertainment value is a thing of beauty.
    Makes me proud to be British.

  27. Or you can check the group’s website, for what it’s worth with its built-in preconceptions (in partnership with WWF):
    http://www.catlinarcticsurvey.com/
    Let’s see, they hope to cover 1,000 km in 100 days. After 16 days they’ve done a bit over 24 km, or approx 1.5 km/day. At this rate they’ll be lucky to total 150 km after 100 days.
    I suppose they chose this time of year and length of time so that they can be off the ice before the melt gets serious.
    Time will tell how much science comes out of this.

  28. If it is going to take them ‘months’ to reach the pole, then their data will need to be heavily deconvoluted to be meaningful… The ice mass will have undergone dramatic thickness changes from regional/seasonal temperature changes, ice pack drift (latitudinal) changes, sublimation and melt losses, pack ice geometrical changes, etc. that have occurred simultaneously during this same time period.
    Given that I don’t think there is a chance in the world that this could be done accurately, this newly recorded data is essentially unuseable to answer the original questions being sought.
    I’m sure the ‘explorer’ is well intentioned in his desires, but lacks anything but a modicum of common sense and a has a minimum knowledge of the experimental process.

  29. “safe in the knowledge that conditions, our progress and general well-being will improve over the coming months”: so warming is good after all?

  30. A team of polar explorers has travelled to the Arctic in a bid to discover how quickly the sea-ice is melting and how long it might take for the ocean to become ice-free in summers.
    Will they stay there to observe the melting over time? They might come back blue ….

  31. I almost worked for Mr Hadow on a job at his house, never met him, never spoke to him, his other half disposed of the architect because she waned everything her own way & wouldn’t give him any design freedom, or take his advice over planning rules in a National Park etc. Said architect then realised why a man would be driven to spend many months away from his beloved in freezing cold conditions!
    That over-pivilegded prat & his air to the Virgin millions mate got stuck & could go no further, demonstrating to the whole world that there seemd to be an awful lot ice up there!
    There was also that other half-wit Brit who tried to sail there & got stuck, & told to stay by his boat & watch out for polar bears, although in truth there are only 3 bears up there I know, it’s a scientific fact you know, earning an absolute fortune being photgraphed in provocative poses for the front covers of numerous greenie magazines!
    I’ll have a virtual wager that I’ll get my money back that this expedition gets into trouble one way or another. Note: in that wonderful Top Gear programme the fact that the guys were followed by armed guards, & that they were all issued with a rifle/shotgun to deter polar bears, no wonder the poor things are endangered, perhaps they shouldn’t be so grumpy & aggressive towards nasty (or should that read “tasty”) human beings, must be in their nature I suppose! I presume Hadow et al are similarly equipped?

  32. Aron,
    those guys are a bunch of hypocrites. Did you see the plastic bag on the table? But I guess their excuse is that it is a GREEN plastic bag.
    Do you think they paddle or swim to that island considering that boats are the least efficient transports?

  33. Re “over-privileged prat”, he being Lewis Pugh I hasten to add, sincere apologies!
    AtB

  34. I wonder why they did not wait until September to go up in the Artic. That would have been much more powerful to show to the media that there is almost no ice in the North Pole after the summer months.

  35. I think the Earths climate is primarily driven by variations in the total amount of energy received from the Sun. I see Earth basically as a heating element in a circuit. Turn up the power, it heats up, turn down the power, it cools down. And just like the element on your stove, there is a lag between power variations and heat output.
    I hope those folks on their expedition are going to be OK, it seems they’re a bit in over their heads…and misguided, literally.
    A bit OT, but since the can of worms has been opened I wanted to toss in a bit of my own compost. lol
    I study and practice permaculture, gardening and sustainability in general. There’s nothing wrong with treating the Earth with respect, after all it is our home and so far our only source of sustenance. I know that there’s nothing we can, or should, do about the climate changing, but we can control the toxins we dump into the environment, which really could be disastrous if we don’t deal with it, and curtail our resource consumption, not by making anyones lives miserable but just by being more sensible in how we use them. I think using food for fuel is a stupid idea too, but utilizing used oil actually makes sense.
    Unfortunately there are a lot of people in the ‘environmental’ movement that are pretty self-righteous and misguided (and they seem to get all the press) but the rest of us are sensible, caring, unselfish folks that have actually discovered a higher quality of life by coming in closer harmony with nature. Most of us are well above average intelligence and many have earned post grad degrees. My partner is a biologist, for example. We all want a high quality of life for you as well, whatever that means to you. We just ask that you don’t harm others along the way, now is that asking too much?
    Our indusrialized agricultural practices are not sustainable so we either learn how to grow our own food or quite possibly face starvation in the near future as the soil is being rapidly depleted and essential soil organisms destroyed. That’s why we advocate local, organic food production.
    Anyways, I’m one of you too.

  36. From earlier posting you may have realise that I have been enjoying “The Catlin Arctic Survey”.
    The BBC is no longer keeping up to date. I pay for this service.
    Their last up date was Thursday, 12 March 2009.
    Fortunately the Catlin web site keeps us up to date.
    http://www.catlinarcticsurvey.com/
    “We’re all very, very cold and have lost feeling in our fingers and toes.”
    “Even the tent offers little sanctuary, since the team’s breath freezes to the tent inner overnight and they wake up entombed in a cavern of ice crystals, whilst their low temperature-rated sleeping bags struggle to offer even a modicum of warmth during the bitter Arctic nights.”
    This does not sound good to me.
    As John Laurie used to say “They are Doomed, I tell you dooooomed!!”
    At the foot of the web page there is a short account of their progress.
    Total distance travelled 24.45 km (15.3 miles)
    Average daily distance 1.53 km (0.95 miles per day)
    Estimated distance to North Pole 930.07 km
    Time on Arctic Ocean 16 days
    At this rate it will only take 607.8 days.
    It check this yesterday and it was only going to take 500 days.
    So why the slow progress, well “utterly bombproof Martin” has a blister and they have to keep stopping. They are also stopping to take photographs of someone taking photographs as well as rest up for a day on the ice which is drifting south.
    http://www.catlinarcticsurvey.com/We_are_not_alone!
    All this does not sound good to me.
    As John Laurie used to say “They are Doomed I tell you. Dooooomed.”
    I do hope they get off the ice on one piece.
    Last year William Connelly or as we call him “The Big Yin” made a short series “A Scot in the Arctic”. Yes it was quite good. Billy did not freeze, he took the advice of one of the locals who shook his head when he saw Billy Connolly’s London designer low rated survival gear.
    Billy did point out that he might offend a few friends but “he was warm as toast”.
    http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/410965/1218565

  37. And the rescue team will find some of their equipment and their diary. Last entry: “Noticing more polar bears lately. Surprised there are still so many of them……………”

  38. Sending it to the BBC? You mean the “media department” of the EU which sponsors the IPCC and is the main driver outside of the USA’s Gore and Hansen for all this global warming/climate change alarmism?
    Yeah. This should be interesting. I wonder how they will spin it. You can be sure that if it goes against the Church of Climate Change’s official doctrinal stance that it will be edited or spun somehow to fit. Count on it!

  39. Re: Ken Hall (07:28:50) :
    “Additionally, every measurement taken is rendered moot within hours as the ice is constantly moving, melting-refreezing and changing. Find a spot with ice one foot thick and within a day the same GPS co-ordinate could be 2 meters thick!
    All they are recording is a series of snapshots of a section of noise.”
    HA! Well said – this excercise is all about propaganda and nothing about science. As it turns out, reality is biting them on the a#@ and the message the public receive will be very different than what they had hoped for. I’d almost bet the BBC will turn off coverage off this fruitless excercise in stupidity before long…

  40. Regarding elitism, Spiked has a fantastic review of Age of Stupid that perfectly conveys the elitism and racism of current environmental groupthink.
    I was shocked but not surprised to see that the movie suggestively advocated that Indians and Africans should remain poor and never advance, while middle-class westerners should destroy their economies while allowing themselves to be monitored and taxed to death by an all surveilling government.
    And of course, the movie exploited the Holocaust.
    http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/article/6359/

  41. The Catlan teem has an objective to measure the “decrease” in ice thickness. This is science at is best. No pre-conceived assumptions there!

  42. How does ice melt at -50c???????????????????????????????????????????????????????This one statement alone should tell you the ice can’t melt unless it ‘s something under water ,under water volcano’s.

  43. I hope someone pulls the plug on this “quest” before someone gets killed. They obviously aren’t prepared for that they are facing and are in WAY over their heads.
    Something doesn’t add up though. The website shows 3 re-supply locations and yet here they are desperately waiting for the re-supply plane and they are only 12 days into the expedition. They can’t really have expected to make the journey is less than 30 days – could they? At this rate they’ll need 15+ re-supply drops if their supplies last only 10 days!

  44. A few days ago they blogged that they found a polar bear’s tracks.
    Their website’s equipment page does not show a rifle.

  45. A bit more Marxism from the Guardian
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/cif-green/2009/mar/17/climate-change-denial
    “Daly proposes that a steady state economy means a global redistribution of wealth and a fundamental revaluation of what constitutes ‘value’. But as well as its incredible potential for social transformation, a steady state economy removes the instability of a system of perpetual growth. It both requires and ensures that we live within our psychological and ecological means.”
    Are people so daft that they have forgotten that the Soviet Bloc had already tried this type of redistribution of wealth in a highly planned steady state economy? It led to low productivity, unpaid wages, thought police, behaviour control, defections, oppression and the demise of the Soviet Union.
    Yet they advocate the same system on the grounds that money does not equal happiness (yes it does! money buys you time, time buys you happiness) and that growth does not equal development (so how do you develop without something somewhere growing?)!

  46. Speaking of impulsive amateur British adventurers, one of them wrote a wonderful book 50 years ago, 99% of whose details I’ve forgotten, called “A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush.” He was a bored fashion designer. One day he read a story about how K-9 (I think) hadn’t yet been climbed. The next month he rented a car, persuaded a buddy to accompany him, and drove there. Here’s the link to the Amazon page for it:
    http://www.amazon.com/Short-Walk-Hindu-Travel-Literature/dp/1741795281/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1237310808&sr=1-2
    Here’s a snippet from one of the the reader-reviews:
    “The trip starts with a climbing trip to Ben Nevis where the would be climbers are given a pamphlet on how to climb in ice and snow, which is their only introduction to high climbing. They drive a car from Britain to Afghanistan and manage to do everything wrong in a very earnest and English way. Their death defying attempt to climb the mountain has the best of intentions, the worst training and some rather dodgy gear.”

  47. Peter Stroud: that will be Prof Philip Stott. He’s a regular on Home Planet (been on it for years) and a great sceptic. He’s usually very careful about what he says on the programme. Bur he’s eminently sensible and a good guy.

  48. The lack of polar ice is getting bad.
    This Google Earth animation shows the extent of the Arctic Ice Sheet.
    http://www.catlinarcticsurvey.com/route_googleearth.aspx
    They will have to walk a lot faster to get to the North Pole before it melts.
    JimB
    I am still looking for the photo of the team falling through thin ice at -40 (C or F does not really matter).
    Do you have a link?

  49. “safe in the knowledge that conditions, our progress and general well-being will improve over the coming months”
    Actually this is the GOOD time for ice travel. The worst winter cold is over (yes, it is), but the ice is still solid so the going is as good as it ever gets in the Arctic ocean. It will get much worse when the melt starts and you have slush, melt pools and leads to cope with. Even Nansen simply laid up and waited after the serious melt started until enough leads had opened so he could continue by kayak (110 years before Mr Pugh). Incidentally it was ice drift which also defeated Nansen’s try for the north pole, though he started from the drifting Fram and was consequently walking across the main drift directed.

  50. or i am just going outside, may be gone for some time..
    part of me wants them to turn back because of the snow and ice, the other nasty part wants them to stay there and prove there is no AGW. by freezing to death.
    this survey will find what they want to find, its to too cold its climate change, if its less ice climate change.. for them its a win win situation.. and the sufferers are science and rational thought

  51. As an Alaskan, i shake my head in wonder. Did these people bother to talk with anyone living in the area? Breakup does not really start in earnest until between end of March to mid April. Many of the towns/villages far further south/south-west of they area do not have the sea/rivers ice free until May !

  52. It was a Yank who back in ’07 tried to sail from Vladivostok to Norway,and ened up nearly being Polar Bear Crunchies….
    Love that Python routine….

  53. Ron de Haan (07:44:36) :
    It would be convenient if the team got flash frozen or eaten by polar bears.
    On the other hand the alarmists would probably blame Global Warming for both events.
    Of course it global warmings fault. The polar bears were starving since they couldn’t find any fish or seals to eat because the water was all covered by non-existant ice. The poor bears were swimming around looking for anyplace to stop and rest and happened to get to the only piece of ice left and the “scientes just happened to be on that piece, so they were eaten.

  54. “Every living moment currently hurts for the Ice Team. I believe it was Robert Swan who once said, “Antarctica wants you dead,” and the same is most definitely true of the Arctic. There is a reason that nothing lives far out on the floating sea ice. The conditions are simply too torturous.”
    Uhhh….Excuse me!
    The Arctic doesn’t care about you. I hate to break this to you, but you are as irrelevant to the Arctic as (ad hominem snipped by correspondent)
    http://reconciliationecology.blogspot.com/2008/06/rip-george-carlin-planet-will-surely.html
    Sorry,
    Steamboat Jack

  55. “We have been battered by wind, bitten by frost and bruised from falls on the ice. ”
    Reminded me of the misquoted words of Edmund Gween: “comedy is hard”
    I believe his actual words were:
    “Dying is hard, but not as hard as comedy”.
    But no matter. The team seems to be interested in gathering data not propaganda and I wish them well.

  56. “We’re all very, very cold and have lost feeling in our fingers and toes.”
    In a day or two “utterly bombproof Martin” won’t be feeling the blisters.
    Every silver lining has a cloud.

  57. One of the unfortunate results of this expedition is the further confusion of the public re: arctic sea ice. There is a good portion of the public that thinks the North Pole is a permanent ice cap. That if the North Pole sea ice is melting, then the planet is doomed. This expedition exploits those fears and is meant to “prove” prima facia that Arctic sea ice is thinning.
    But the Winsor study from Earth Sciences Centre, G¨oteborg University, G¨oteborg, Sweden says otherwise. And again supports natural variability as the primary driver of earth’s climate.
    http://www.whoi.edu/science/PO/people/pwinsor/pdfs/winsor_2001.pdf
    Few lay people realize that the vast Greenland ice sheet represents the northern polar ice at the top of the world. It averages some 3500 meters in thickness and appears to be growing thicker at its center even as the periphery appears to melt.
    On a purely technical level one might wonder how accurate the data set from the homemade SPRINT radar will function given only 18 watts of available energy and -50C temps.

  58. Can I put some better perspective on some of the comments here.
    Pen Hadow is a relatively near neigbour of mine. He is probably one of the most experieced Polar explorers in the world so he knew what he was getting into. He wants to be out on the arctic ice because that is what he likes doing and helps to fund and promote his activities as a motivational speaker.
    I am sure he genuinely thinks he is collecting useful information and will report on what he finds in an accurate fashion as of this moment in time.
    Having said all that, I dont believe the expedition has any scientific validity as he is just taking a snapshot of ice thickness through a narrow line 900 Km long during one particular period in time. I dare say he hopes he will be asked to repeat this on a regular basis.
    However even a hundred years of data proves nothing other than the thickness of the ice over one location which is much affected by wind and currents just as much as any cooling or warming. I am sure the information collected will be used to promote the agenda of those sponsoring the expedition. So Pen Hadow ten, validity of expedition zero!
    TonyB

  59. Tim R (10:05:17) :
    As an Alaskan, i shake my head in wonder. Did these people bother to talk with anyone living in the area?
    Why should they, they have a Martin, yes the one with a blister,
    Pen:
    “Operating in such debilitating conditions comes at a price, however, and Martin more than any of us is at risk of sustaining cold injuries, such as frostbite, unless he is very, very careful. Fortunately for all of us, he’s spent nineteen previous polar assignments honing his skills.”
    Nineteen previous polar ASSIGNMENTS.
    Yes, honing his skills, so why speak to the locals.
    What does polar assignments actually mean?
    Is Pen his real name or is it a nom de plume?

  60. Joe, don’t forget the all fish have cancers in them and are being deep fried to the bone by oceanic acidification, so the polar bears must be starvin’ like Marvin!
    Back in 2000 Sir Ranulph Fiennes attempted to walk solo to the North Pole. He sustained frostbite and had to amputate his own fingers. Fortunately he made it back alive. I say fortunately because he’s a free market libertarian with a sound mind and brave heart. If he was some sort of Green trying to prove the world is melting I would not give a toss.

  61. The closing lines are amazing in their prescience…
    “We are resigned to several weeks of daily discomfort and general misery, safe in the knowledge that conditions, our progress and general well-being will improve over the coming months.”
    Maybe they know something we don’t? As in when the summer comes, the ice will start to melt? 🙂
    I have no idea why radar is necessary as it will only give a tiny data point and can’t be used to extrapolate the ice thickness over the entire ice cap…but then reading Steig’s paper on Antartica maybe they can?
    This is grandstanding. It’s physical, they are making an attempt that is dangerous, but nonethelss grandstanding.

  62. I see from today’s update that they’ve now been waiting for resupply due to bad weather for 3 days.
    Someone really should stop them now before anyone’s got to risk their lives trying to save them.

  63. B Kerr (11:07:14)
    Is Pen his real name or is it a nom de plume?”
    Its obviously a pen name!
    Do you think his sister was named Pencil? That way his parents had a set.

  64. Just about 17 days in. Distance covered 25km, 930km to go. Now they are waiting fro a resup as they only have 1.5 days rations and fuel left
    Pen Hadow in 2003 he became the first person to walk the 478 miles, solo and unsupported, from the northern coast of Canada to the North Pole.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pen_Hadow
    I thought this exped would be doing a lot better.
    There’s another expedition next year at this time to the pole of Inacessibility
    http://www.ice-warrior.com/ArcticPole.htm
    “Jim’s real motivation is to convey the reality of global climate change with unprecedented reporting direct from the Arctic Ocean.”
    “Throughout the journey, Jim will be measuring the thickness, density and roughness of the sea ice, providing crucial datasets to validate the measurements taken by NASA’s Icesat satellite. He’ll also be counting polar bears for the Norwegian Polar Institute.”

  65. “since the team’s breath freezes to the tent inner overnight and they wake up entombed in a cavern of ice crystals”
    I would think this innocent remarkt makes a good case that ice thinnng (if any at at his time) is done from below not above.

  66. This whole thing reminds me of Vilhjalmur Stefansson, the icelandic arctic explorer. He always claimed that adventure is a sign of bad planning.

  67. At the Catlin site they say that the expedition is led by an experienced polar explorer. Hmmm… also I read that they are hauling their sledges. I wonder, why Amundsen used always dogs for the purpose, even taking them to the South Pole, when doing the hauling alone is aparently the preferred way to do it today ;-).
    Somehow people hauling sledges are in my mind associated with the poor guys from Scott’s team…

  68. Ken Hall (07:28:50) :

    The Gurus of green do NOT want cheap, free, clean, abundant, zero-point energy. They want most of us dead!

    True!
    If I may coin a new word they would be the environihilists, wanting no trace of mankind to be upon the face of the Earth [well, …except as you said maybe for a few hundreds or so of them].

  69. Interesting biog on the Ice Warrior.
    I’d imagine given the degree to which the poles have warmed over the last few years he’ll be even more worried about falling through the ice again.
    Does anyone know if he’s planning to take a kayak, just in case?
    Oh, and maybe a gun in case he finds polar bears that haven’t already starved to death. Again just in case.
    Is he British, by any chance.
    On the plus side at least we know what we’ll watching this time next year.

  70. Pete Stroud (07:44:31) said:
    But the sceptic (I must find his name) would have none of this nonsense and pointed out that at the beginning of the last century 95% of scientists believed in eugenics. Whoever he is, he will not be allowed on the BBC again I bet. I must listen to the programme again.
    UNFORTUNATELY, the Eugenics Movement is a very good model for AGW (and quite independent of what the National Socialists used it for).
    Me mum was a product of that Movement, and was convinced til the day she died that “racial purity” was a desireable thing.
    I used to argue with her on principle; I called myself a “mogrelist”, as I believed (still do) that the best folks I ever met were genetic misfits (or, as mah N’Orleans buddies say, from the “genetic cesspool”). Even if you disagree with his policies, I think our current President is a good example of what I mean.
    Years later I was having a Guiness with a degreed Agronomist in Aberdeen, explaining my notion, and he said “well of course you’re right; agronomists call that ‘HYBRID VIGOR’. Farmers have known about it in practice since before we understood genetics.”
    Apparently, then, Eugenics took over the popular imagination DESPITE the fact that common sense, at least common AGRICULTURAL sense would have told everyone that “pure breds” get hip dysplasia (to use the Golden Retriever analogy) or bite the mailman (Dalmatian) and that mutts are best. Much like the fact that RURAL common sense about CLIMATE is being ignored today.
    Today, geneticists talk about “consanguination”, or the measure of how closely related your ancestors were; healthy populations have LOW levels of consanguination. What folks used to call “new blood” (cf certain Middle Eastern and South Asian populations). It turns out that modern (carbon fueled) transportation and the general mobility of the population has decreased consanguination in the US to a very low level.
    Beyond the pure evil practiced in the name of Eugenics, because the THEORY became a “common currency” and a near religion (what The Goreacle would call now “settled science”), a couple of generations of school children were raised to believe EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE of the scientific truth. It polluted their lives and set civilization back 4 or 5 decades. I know, me mum was one of those school children.
    Unfortunately, the only thing that stopped Eugenics cold was the Holocaust. Absent that, we’d likely still be blathering-on about “sang pur”.
    If you doubt this applies to AGW, talk to a college freshman today, particularly an innumerate one (say, in a nice liberal arts program at a top-25 school). See if she will accept either (a) a free SUV or (b) a lucrative job offer from Exxon-Mobil.

  71. solrey (08:59:34) :
    Many people here are environmentalists, just not writ large.
    Sensible changes at a pace we can manage are just that, sensible.
    Trying to force change before technologies are properly matured is ‘plane stupid’.
    I know that’s plain but it seemed sort of apt lol
    DaveE.

  72. Bit of history for you all, regarding the question of why the British don’t use dogs in their polar expeditions.
    Dog use was common until the woefully planned and executed expedition to the North Pole lead by Captain George Nare in 1875. Not long after leaving their ships and heading onto the ice, due to incompetence/inexperience in their handling, the dogs either escaped or died. This put the explorers in a quandry – but they decided to press on pulling the sledges themselves. Even though dietary science had established what was necessary to survive in the Arctic, due to the problems with thawing out their lime juice they had decided to leave the stuff on the ships, with a result that they all suffered from scurvy during their ten weeks on the ice. They reached a distance of 400 miles from the pole before turning back (a record which stood for 20 years) and fortunately all but one of their number survived the dreadful, and partly self-inflicted, conditions.
    Since then dogs have been distrusted and the prime mover for British polar expeditions has been muscle-power. You would think one of the current crop of explorers would decide to try it with dogs again, but it has probably reached the point of “this is how we always do it” and so anything else is dismissed out of hand.

  73. I mapped the coordinates for day 1, day 6, day 12, and day 16 (current position) into Google Earth and got a differeent results from both the graphic shown here on WUWT and BBC. The graphic here shows day 12 more than half way back to their starting location while the BBC graphic shows day 12 much closer to day 6. I got a result that showed day 12 to be about 1/3 the way back towards the start from day 6 and their current position just very close to the day 12 position showing no forward progress.
    Google Earth screenshot: http://yfrog.com/05catlinj
    Can anyone explain? Which graphic is correct?

  74. Ice moving south that rapidly at that longitude, a very good sign. Whereas, the Western Arctic was quite light on ice a couple of years ago, it looks like things have changed quite dramatically.

  75. DaveE.
    I have noticed that many folks here are at least environmentally conscious, if not active which I’m sure quite a few are.
    I was responding to some of the ridicule directed toward ‘environmentalists’, some of it deserved, btw, not only by some here but in other venues as well.
    My goal is for sensible changes, not trying to force things.
    Interesting that you said ‘plane stupid’ because basically I agree with you but also the irony that I’m an aircraft mechanic, lol. You must be psychic.
    Tim

  76. I know this may be a bit off topic, but remember how Gore and his merry band of warmers always say global warming will increase the number and intensity of hurricanes and that is not working out. Also how modeling, never seems to work out, and the models always have to be changed to match the real world, well here’s a good one. I was looking up Wikipedia’s definition of AMO and if you read under definitions, it says, In 2008, new models revealed that global warming should reduce the frequency of hurricanes overall, while intensity might increase in some areas. Because reliable records of hurricane strength and frequency only extend back to approximately 1970, researchers have faced difficulty in developing reliable models.
    Well the models, they are a changing again. Have a look yourselves. I thought the science was settled.

  77. This may be a bit OT, but how does Arctic ice get thicker anyway? As ice is a pretty good insulator of heat, the ice thickness can’t really grow substantially from the bottom, so the major thickness growth must happen at the top – from the precipitation of snow. So multi-year ice should really get thicker with each winter’s accumulation of snowfall, provided this accumulation is greater than the summer melt.
    Also, as continued accumulation of snowfall adds to the ice thickness, it should also add to its mass – so displacing a greater volume of seawater. Could this perhaps be a factor in sea level rise and fall?

  78. Let’s not forget this elaborately promoted expedition as well from two years ago.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/12/AR2007031200997.html

    Atwood said there was some irony that a trip to call attention to global warming was scuttled in part by extreme cold temperatures.
    “They were experiencing temperatures that weren’t expected with global warming,” Atwood said. “But one of the things we see with global warming is unpredictability.”

  79. sod,
    You seem rather confused about what the models do. If you take any GCM and plug in decreasing CO2 values, decreasing TSI, etc. in the future, you will get cooling.
    Hansen’s scenarios were based on three different CO2 levels. The only one which was close to what actually happened was scenario A. B and C are irrelevant, and even if they weren’t, B shows rapid warming over the last decade.
    Do you just like to argue?

  80. K (10:48:04) :
    “Dying is hard, but not as hard as comedy.
    But no matter. The team seems to be interested in gathering data not propaganda and I wish them well.”
    A sobering observation.

  81. “We’re all very, very cold and have lost feeling in our fingers and toes.”
    “Even the tent offers little sanctuary, since the team’s breath freezes to the tent inner overnight and they wake up entombed in a cavern of ice crystals, whilst their low temperature-rated sleeping bags struggle to offer even a modicum of warmth during the bitter Arctic nights.”
    This doesn’t sound good to me, either, especially as the last time I looked, their re-supply was well overdue. Frostbite and hypothermia come to mind; lives and limbs have been lost in the NZ Alps in these circumstances, leave alone on the Arctic ice.
    Given that the ‘science’ is of little value, surely it is time for whoever is managing the base operation to call it all off, before one or more of the team is seriously hurt or even dies and before someone is hurt or worse attempting a rescue. They may genuinely think they are helping in some cause or other, but the ‘science’ is useless and ‘raising awareness’ of a non-problem is not worth anyone’s life, however foolish or misguided.

  82. Reading the headlines they have already made up their mind on the “Scientific Discoveries” they will make so what is the point?
    1.53 km per day, hmmm maybe Gaia is not happy with them, hopefully Darwinism will deal with them if Gaia wont.

  83. Annie Dillard wrote a beautiful essay about faith (mod–not a religious post, I promise), comparing it to polar expeditions. She had this to say about the early polar explorers:
    “They went, I say, partly in search of the sublime, and they found it the only way it can be found, here or there–around the edges, tucked into the corners of the days. For they were people–all of them, even the British–and despite the purity of their conceptions, they man-hauled their humanity to the Poles.”
    They man-hauled their frail flesh to the Poles, and encountered conditions so difficult that, for instance, it commonly took members of Scott’s South Polar party several hours each morning to put on their boots. Day and night they did miserable, niggling, and often fatal battle with frostbitten toes, diarrhea, bleeding gums, hunger, weakness, mental confusion and despair.”
    I hope that these gentlemen don’t end up writing something like Salomon Andree, whom Dillard notes “confided in his diary, with almost his dying breath, ‘Our provisions must soon and richly be supplemented, if we are to have any prospect of being able to hold out for a time.”

  84. Peter, re how does Arctic ice grow?
    Same way as lake ice. Cold air causes the upper layer of water to freeze. The ice is not a perfect insulator, but has a defined thermal conductivity.
    Heat in the underlying water is conducted through the ice into the very cold air above the ice. The ice grows in thickness as long as heat continues to be transported from the water through the ice into the air. Radiation effects are negligible at these temperatures.
    For ice thermal conductivity, see this site:
    http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/ice-thermal-properties-d_576.html

  85. ” I tried to convey that climate change and the loss of the sea ice up here will affect everybody on the planet – unpredictable weather changes, rises in sea levels are all linked to food shortages and poverty.” This quote states a foregone conclusion before the data is collected.

  86. BrianMcL (11:23:23) :
    Someone really should stop them now before anyone’s got to risk their lives trying to save them.
    Happy Birthday… Martin.
    “All I want for my birthday is a Twin Otter” – Martin Hartley about 1 hour ago from web.
    Pen_testing_sprite_bigger
    ArcticSurvey
    http://twitter.com/ArcticSurvey
    OH!!
    http://www.borekair.com/
    If this the twin otter that you want, go for it.
    Hope it is on its way to you.

  87. Seems to me I’ve read most of this on another thread to this blog. Maybe the river ice breakup bet article? OT, but there.

  88. Aron (14:03:18) :
    “About the claim of a 1.5 degrees increase in the Arctic since 1906, how was this figure arrived at? By Arctic what exactly do they mean because that is a very wide area?”
    Not only that, but how a rise of 1.5 degC could be responsible for the presumed disapearance of the ice when the air is normaly and generally in the sub-zero?
    Me think the water had much more influence on the melt!

  89. On Friday 6th there was the first main report from the team. It was introduced on the Science and Environment section showing the 2 skiers + plane on the ice (as shown on BBC link to the Catlin report for Friday 6th March). Underneath, it printed “Team have dramatic night due to melting ice” BBC word – melting. I complained (2 emails, 2 ‘phone calls). My second email complaint was:- “I wrote a few hours ago about the title you give the report. Namely:- “The team have a dramatic night on melting ice”. This must be utter nonsence. the latest temperature on their website gives a temperature of MINUS 37 Deg Centigrade !!! Explain and correct your incorrect statement for all to see.”
    It was changed on Monday 9th to ‘shifting ice’, and eventually on Wednesday 11th the following was their reply “Thank you for your e-mail and apologies for the delay in replying. You make a reasonable point and that item was changed to say “shifting ice”.”
    My response was:- “Thank you for your reply. Yes, I saw that it was changed to ‘shifting ice’ on Monday. The original report saying ‘melting ice’ was there from Friday until Monday. Plenty of time for a lot of users of your website to see it and to perhaps pick up on something that was incorrect. I request that you highlight on your website that the original ‘melting’ was wrong.”
    Their reponse to this:- “We wouldn’t agree that it was misleading or incorrect. The whole premise of the expedition is to gauge how quickly sea-ice is melting. We were happy to clarify the wording of the promotional link, but the story itself was perfectly accurate. We would clearly wish to put right a factual error but do not feel as issue of nuance in a promotional link would warrant any sort of follow-up.”
    Naturally I objected to this, but all that the BBC did was to give me the runaround and I got nowhere. In particular they said that they could not (later) see the statement (i.e. promotional link – gone by then) saying ‘melting ice’ on the published website. No, it never was. It was on the BBC page link but they refused to acknowledge this.
    Did anyone by any chance see it and save it? If so please put it in the comments here and I will use it to reopen my ‘negotiations’ with the BBC

  90. AGW attention is fixed on Arctic ice. Al Gore, Mark Serreze, and apparently the BBC, have made it the primary indicator for the AGW hypothesis. They keep placing it clearer and clearer on the radar. One side side put it there. The other side didn’t. But whatever the case it’s center stage now.
    We’ll be blogging about it for some time.
    Is the movement of ice Pen Hadow speaks of the ‘death spairal’ Mark Serreze talks about? 😉

  91. So, whatever happened to the Shakeltons of the world?
    [parenthetically, one of the best books in English, by an amazing Englishman, which defines in my mind the exact PINNACLE of the Empire:
    http://www.amazon.com/Endurance-Shackletons-Incredible-Alfred-Lansing/dp/078670621X/ref=pd_bbs_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1237328223&sr=8-1
    Favorite part: Shakelton reaches into an exploding crack in the ice and ONE-HANDED yanks a man in a sleeping bag from a certain death. All in a day’s work. Specfawkingtacular. The man must have had the forearms of a Welsh coal miner. And the testicles of his pony.
    On their return (Shakelton brought back EVERY MAN alive) something on the order of 2/3 of them perished in The Great War.
    Give this book to your sons and daughters that they might develop a tenth of Shakelton’s, well, whatever the heck he had. Not to say I wish Pony Testicles on your daughter, but you know what I mean]

  92. Woolfe (13:54:27) :
    1.53 km per day, hmmm maybe Gaia is not happy with them, hopefully Darwinism will deal with them if Gaia wont.

    They’ll randomly mutate?

  93. Some have been asking what the Marxists will want to grapple next after CO2.
    Well, they are just as interested in water supplies as they are in CO2 as a method for attacking private industry and entrepreneurs. They’re building up the water footprint crusade quietly in the background while people are diverted by CO2 and global warming.
    Here is one example
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/mar/16/istanbul-water-forum
    Note the nationalisation of more resources to force more bankruptcies, which eventually means the public will be burdened with water taxes on top of the carbon taxes:
    “There is mounting evidence that privatisation has failed. We believe water should be a public trust.”
    There is no evidence that water companies and suppliers have failed. More cleaner water is being supplied to more people than at any time in recorded history.
    Not only do they want to nationalise the delivery of water, but activists are also discreetly working away at banning chlorine. If they have their way you’ll end up with incompetent bureaucrats controlling water, water rationing, higher taxes, and water that isn’t safe to drink.
    http://www.greenspirit.com/logbook.cfm?msid=82
    Joe Thornton authored the 1997 Greenpeace USA document “Planning the Transition to a Chlorine-Free Economy”
    http://www.greenspirit.com/logbook.cfm?msid=83
    Greenpeace wants to ban the use of chlorine in all industrial processes, yet the addition of chlorine to drinking water has been the single greatest public health advance in history, and 75% of our medicines are based on chlorine chemistry.

  94. I’m sorry if this has already been mentioned in the 100+ posts, I haven’t gotten through all of them yet.
    But if “The Arctic sea ice is constantly moving, breaking open and reforming into different shapes – which means we can end up moving several kilometres in any direction while we are asleep in our tents.” is true, which I’m sure it is, how do you possibly draw any conclusions about ice thickness at Point X, when Point X is constanty moving? It’s not like you can go check the same spot next year, because the ice is dynamic.
    Given that, what’s the value in what they’re doing, other than the progaganda aspects?
    JimB

  95. Reminds me of a barge trip from Wyndham in the extreme north west of Australia, to a locality on the coast to the west, Faraway Bay. Tides in this part of the world are pretty strong, and travel had to be at night.
    A colleague told me that lying on his swag looking at the stars steaming to the destination, that they were actually going backwards for a few hours, the tide being that strong.
    Can appreciate their dillemma on the ice after a night’s sleep.

  96. Neil Crafter (11:35:20) :
    B Kerr (11:07:14)
    Is Pen his real name or is it a nom de plume?”
    Its obviously a pen name!
    Thanks!!!
    Is Neil your real name??

  97. Is anyone else concerned with the lives of these people? I’ve e-mailed most of the sponsors and the WWF telling them I hold them responsible for the safety and safe return of these people and that three human lives are not worth their silly marketing and PR programs.
    There are safer ways to collect the data if that’s what they are really trying to do, but I think we all know that’s not their end game.
    Join me in this. Catlin makes this simple by posting the sponsors on the expedition website. Most are accessible through the “contact us” feature. Some make it difficult if not impossible to get through. They’re too busy selling product to listen to the proles. Post the path if you find the route for the difficult ones. Or do you want to enable “assisted suicide”?
    I’m pissed!

  98. I think these three are all very experienced polar explorers (daredevils that is).
    There has just been a lot of problems.
    First, the temperatures are a little colder than expected (if you have ever experienced -40C temps, you can handle it for periods of time, but eventually you have to go into a warm place. Things break at -40C like the circulation to your fingers and toes, equipment and like Martin’s tooth on day one when he bit into some frozen chocolate.
    Second, they are in an area of giant ice heaves. So much for the polar ice thinning since it is being stacked up 12 feet high.
    Third, Ann keeps spilling things. Like the stew she kicked over (it takes a lot to heat up stew when it is frozen to -40C) and the fuel she let drip out of the fuel bottle while cooking and set the tent, fuel bottle, cooking stove and food on fire. Luckily, someone grabbed enough snow to put it out but they might have lost a lot of resources in the incident.
    Fourth, the ice is drifting backwards nearly as fast as they are going forward.
    Fifth, they haven’t spent enough time at WUWT to know that global warming has not yet defeated the 6 months of darkness that hits the Arctic each winter.
    Sixth, they are so desperate to prove the impact of global warming is greater than feared, they didn’t take enough precautions.
    Frostbite and hypothermia will put an end to the journey without a tent that has a heater in it and they should really build an igloo now, it will eventually warm up inside over time.

  99. JimB (15:18:03) :
    But if “The Arctic sea ice is constantly moving, breaking open and reforming into different shapes – which means we can end up moving several kilometres in any direction while we are asleep in our tents.” is true, which I’m sure it is, how do you possibly draw any conclusions about ice thickness at Point X, when Point X is constanty moving?
    JimB, JimB … come on…come on.
    “Measuring the area change in Arctic sea ice is relatively straightforward using spacecraft data; but getting at the thickness is not so easy.”
    Yes relatively straightforward, thought you knew that.
    Thickness now that is another question.
    How thick do you need to get?
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7902766.stm
    Half way down.
    “Measuring the area change in Arctic sea ice is relatively straightforward”.
    Relatively straight forward.
    What can I say???????

  100. hareynolds,
    I read Endurance years ago and I can heartily recommend it.
    Shakleton’s sailing ship was wooden and lacked a radio like most ships in the early 1900’s.
    I won’t ruin the book, but the very beginning starts out with the ship getting wedged in the ice, with the crew watching helplessly as the ship was slowly crushed in front of them and sank in the middle of nowhere. They were stranded on the vast polar ice sheet with no way to contact the outside world.
    If anyone wants to read about a great leader in a desperate situation, you won’t go wrong with this story. And it’s all true.

    • Shakleton comes up in conversations about once a year. I will always consider him my all time pick for top bad ass in history.

  101. Arn Riewe (15:38:11) :
    I agree. This foolishness has gone on long enough. Their lives are in peril & they will never get any data worth a fig.
    Get them home!
    DaveE.

  102. B Kerr (15:33:05) :
    Neil Crafter (11:35:20) :
    B Kerr (11:07:14)
    Is Pen his real name or is it a nom de plume?”
    Its obviously a pen name!
    Thanks!!!
    Is Neil your real name??”
    Yes it is.
    Is ‘B’ yours?

  103. As a New Zealander we are well used to the dangers of the great outdoors and every year see blind foolishness punished by death many times over in our mountains and on our seas.
    These clowns are heading the same way. The only thing left going for them is that the BBC can’t afford to abandon them otherwise they are dead meat.
    Ed Hillary took farm tractors to the South Pole BUT he knew exactly what he was doing. These guys obviously don’t have a clue.

  104. I agree, they are going to either lose fingers & toes or die up there trying to survive in -50 temps. If it were that easy to simply walk to the pole, Scott and his party would not have perished. They are probably in more trouble than they realize. Finding yourself several miles away from where you slept over night come morning is not a good sign. Stupid idea.
    Bring them home.

  105. The fact that they are using the best equipment modern technology can provide says it all. Modern fibres are not as warm as animal furs and igloos are an essential survival shelter in the high Arctic. Tents, as I can attest from one miserable night near Resolute Bay, are at best a temporary shelter until an igloo can be built. They should have taken an Inuit guide, but they probably wouldn’t have found one foolish enough to go along with this nonsense.

  106. “Bill Illis (15:57:19) :
    I think these three are all very experienced polar explorers (daredevils that is).”
    Bill, your follow-on points seem to indicate otherwise? 🙂
    B Kerr:
    Ok…I don’t get it. I read the article you linked to…and aside from some pretty amazing claims, (like the team will have taken millions of measurements during the trip?…how man would that be per day?/per person? They better get busy.)
    So if they walk for 3km, and the ice where they stop moves sideways 4km, what value is the measurement? They can’t come back to the same spot of ice in a week, a month, or a year and determine what the difference in thickness is.
    It’s a waste of time and a giant publicity stunt.
    As for writing to the sponsors?…nah, not me. These people are “experienced arctic explorers”, and it’s a free country. They’ll be heroes to the AGW crowd when they return, whether that happens tomorrow or a month from now.
    And Ann sounds like a clod. I’d kick her off the island just for spilling the stew, let alone almost burning the tent down.
    JimB

  107. “jack m (16:48:17) :
    B Kerr and Jim B: No matter what, they will report thinning ice.”
    I agree. And part of the trouble the expedition is encountering is undoubtedly due to the increasing dynamics in ice translocation caused by increasingly thinning ice masses caused by the much-faster-than-anticipated rise in the global kliffenguter thermal layer which is directly tied to the inverse C02 forcing and it’s causal relationship with the arctic WillyWahs, which has, as we all know, caused the ice to get thinner.
    Now…where do I pick up my $1million in grant money?
    JimB

  108. The confusion about Arctic ice is astounding. There have been many recent expeditions to the North Pole, including by solo travelers. An excellent account is “On Thin Ice” a woman’s journey to the North Pole by Matty L. McNair (1999), a guide who lives in Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut on Baffin Island.
    http://www.northwinds-arctic.com/matty.html
    It looks like Brit explorers need to re-invent the wheel and avoid doing proper research and preparations…

  109. and…
    If they really wanted to get this done?…give the equipment to a bunch of Navy Seals, drop ’em off on the ice, and tell them you’ll be back to pick them up at the pole, in a month.
    She spilled the stew.
    Done.
    JimB

  110. OK. For anyone who buys into getting them off the ice, the sponsors are the target. Here is a list of e-mail addresses I assembled from the sponsor list. Put this into your own words and make it passionate. These 3 could die (and for what – bad data?), and I want to know that you hold them responsible for not pulling the plug. The whistle has been blown if they want to ignore it!
    catlininfo@catlin.com
    questions@wwf.panda.org
    patrick.birley@ecx.eu
    press.services@nokia.com
    tburgess@hillandknowlton.com
    hasan.abdat@polarcapital.co.uk
    info@jenrickgroup.co.uk
    contact@triplepoint.co.uk
    enquiries@prometheusmed.com
    info@hidalgo.co.uk
    reception@canadiannorth.com
    mayday@bitc.org.uk
    serge.viranian@climatefriendly.com
    lwaters@london.newsquest.co.uk
    info@sickchildrenstrust.org

  111. I wonder if this expedition knows Arctic ice is in a growing trend, and the earth is in a cooling trend?

  112. To Jim B,
    Ann has been to the south pole and the north pole before. The others have had similar experience.
    The problem is, when you are frozen solid, mistakes happen.
    Leaving a fuel bottle sitting at an angle, leaking fuel out on the tent floor and then eventually setting the tent and fuel bottle on fire when the leak hits the fire source is not a rookie mistake as much as it is something that happens when you are in temps of -40C and you are frozen solid.
    The next problem is you need a heat source in the tent for periods of time, at least for periods of time at night, to get the temperature down to -10C or so or you continue getting more and more frozen solid.
    -40C is shock to the system, no matter what clothing you have on. When that shock continues for days at a time, crucial fuel sources get mishandled. When the shock to the system occurs, maybe you bite into that chocolate you had stored away rather than letting small bits melt in your mouth the way you are trained to and the way your experience tells you, you should.
    And when you are 7 years old and you come off the ice after hockey and it is -40C in the natural ice rink and you take your skates off … the whole dressing room is crying.

  113. “Llamedos (08:23:05) : Oh and apparently it’s cold. But to be fair, who could have expected that?”
    Nice. Very nice!!!

  114. My favorite pinnacle of British exploration was “Travels amongst the great Andes of the equator”, when Edward Whymper explored mountain peaks in Equador while also examining altitude sickness. It takes some kind of nerve to look into why people get sick by doing the same thing they do, in a remote foreign land (the trip to Quito alone was a quite a trek in bad conditions).

  115. Arn Riewe (15:38:11) :
    “Is anyone else concerned with the lives of these people? I’ve e-mailed most of the sponsors and the WWF telling them I hold them responsible for the safety and safe return of these people and that three human lives are not worth their silly marketing and PR programs.”
    Sorry, can’t agree. I have seen no evidence that these people have been forced to go on the trip by anything other than heir own free will. They have pulled-in the sponsors, not vice versa.
    In many fields of human foolishness people put themselves at risk in order to draw attention to a perceived problem. Far too often, in my opinion, the most fundamental motivation is to draw attention not to a perceived problem but to themselves. Whether these silly so-called explorers are undertaking this pointless mission for what they can get out of it in terms of interview fees, book deals and the other lucrative accoutrements of contemporary egotism, or because they want to prove a point, it is solely their responsibility to decide when enough is enough.
    I don’t like to see the vainglorious dying through cold any more than I like to see them dying through crashing a car or motorbike while racing at 100mph. The simple fact is that people take stupid decisions and they are responsible for the consequences. If they lose digits, limbs or life I will utter a sanguine sigh and say to myself “well, what did they expect?”, but I won’t shed a single tear.

  116. “To Jim B,
    Ann has been to the south pole and the north pole before. The others have had similar experience.
    The problem is, when you are frozen solid, mistakes happen. ”
    That being said?…I’d still kick her off the island.
    JimB

  117. I hate to suggest this, but couldn’t an AWACs plane provide this data, in more detail, in about 5 hours?

  118. @AnonyMoose (09:31:52) :
    “A few days ago they blogged that they found a polar bear’s tracks.
    Their website’s equipment page does not show a rifle.”
    That’s not a good thing if true. When unarmed, one does NOT mess with polar bears.

  119. Uh oh. Polar bears are always aggressive, and they hunt anything smaller than them. If the Polar bear catches thier scent, it will surely find them and begin to stalk.

  120. I wrote to the 1st one on that emai list. caitlininfo.
    I cannot bear the thought of an Arctic trajedy and I didn’t do my part to try and sound the horn. Life is too precious, even if they are badly misguided in their mission.

  121. I doubt there would be a tragedy here. They have communication and can get picked up within hours.

  122. Ventana (18:50:51) & JimB (17:25:28): (SEALs & AWACs) Good ideas, but both are part of the Establishment.
    Aviator (17:08:39): Exactly. Qiviut longies, for starters! And maybe some ermine. Synthetics were designed to mimic natural fibers but be easier to launder, lighter weight, more consistent in their take-up of dye, etc. I sincerely doubt that laundry is a big consideration on Pen’s trip.
    I’ve [lived and] prepared meals at neg45F ambient (in my kitchen) and it does take some planning and care, but it’s not that hard. I think what they’re up against is their minds aren’t conditioned to prolonged exposure so their judgment is off. It’s a bit like being tipsy and trying to drive home. You have to have set routines that have been drilled into your gray matter.
    For instance, do not use the Japanese carbon steel knife when slicing the vegs you’ve been keeping warm inside your parka because the knife’s edge will shatter. Don’t assume that snow/ice is flat. *Do* assume that whatever you’ve been holding will be warmer than the snow/ice and will thus melt the surface and then refreeze so you’ll have to break it free to pick it back up, and if you set it on a tilted surface, that little bit of melt will lubricate the interstice and the poor object will tip over. And make sure you phone home for retrieval before you become so blurry-minded that you cannot remember what home is.

  123. “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the the universe.”
    ~Einstein

  124. “If the Polar bear catches thier scent, it will surely find them and begin to stalk.”
    “They came back from the ride
    With the lady inside
    And the smile on the face of the tiger.”

  125. Aron,
    If they really didn’t take a gun (rather than simply leaving it out to appease any WWF supporters) then it could be a race between resupply by air from Resolute with a refuelling stop and a hungry polar bear which could be rather a lot closer.
    I know which way I’d bet.
    If they do have a gun I really hope that they don’t let Ann anywhere near it.
    It might just be me but does anyone think that the objective was ever to reach the North Pole anyway?
    Surely the headline:
    Brave Arctic Explorers in Dramatic Ice Melt Rescue
    would suit the agenda better than
    Brave Arctic Explorers Prove Lots of Ice Still There
    If so, all they need to do is not freeze, starve or get eaten to death until the melt sets in and it will be “Mission Accomplished”.

  126. “If it were that easy to simply walk to the pole, Scott and his party would not have perished.”
    Going to th South Pole is actually relatively straightforward as proven by Amundsen. Scott’s party died because of incompetence and unwillingness to learn from others, especially if they are non-English or “natives”. I just hope we are not going to see a re-run of this scenario.

  127. If they really didn’t take a gun (rather than simply leaving it out to appease any WWF supporters) then it could be a race between resupply by air from Resolute with a refuelling stop and a hungry polar bear which could be rather a lot closer.
    I know which way I’d bet.

    Hmmm I momentarily forgot they were unarmed. Odd that Prince Charles would support such an expedition without giving some of his hunting guns too.

  128. JimB (15:18:03)
    No scientific value whatsoever – but did somebody credit these people with the scientific ability to design a valid experiment?

  129. Manfred (01:35:33) :
    I Hope your article is correct.
    My posting at (14:11:22) had a quote, “All I want for my birthday is a Twin Otter”
    The Catlin web site states, “Resupply planned for tomorrow (18th March)”
    I also noticed that Catlin sponsors link contains a Catlin company statement
    “We provide creative risk management solutions ”
    That is re-assuring.

  130. POI! Ernest Shackleton was in fact an Irishman of Anglo-Irish decent. His courage & heroics were indeed incredible up to & including taken a party of men to the most inhospitable place in the world, (apart from a Green Rally meeting), keeping them alive by all imaginable means, & eventually after several months getting them all home again. The most amasing aspect of the storey was how he took 2-3 others with him to canoe across the south atlantic to get help! It rather reminds me of that other great achievement by mankind, that of sending Apollo 13 into space, & bringing her crew safely home again! Isn’t mankind just wonderful? Well at least I think so!

  131. With regard to my previous post, I must apologise – any warmists visiting Anthony’s fantastic website should read ‘prove an inconvenient truth?’ in place of ‘design a valid experiment?’ Sorry…

  132. Roger Knights
    I suggest a re-read of ” A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush” and further enjoyable reads in the other Eric Newby’s

  133. On their facebook page they state that their mission:
    “seeks to resolve one of the most important environmental questions of our time:
    How long will the Arctic Ocean’s sea ice cover remain a permanent feature of our planet?”
    Any takers for that one?

  134. The Arabs say ‘Trust in Allah but always remember to tie up your Camel’.
    Perhaps and updated version might be ‘Trust in Global Warming but always remember to take an extra pair of socks’.
    Has always worked for me.
    Very interested to see that they have labeled areas as ‘open water’ on the satellite imagery. At -40?
    My experience up there when looking for leads in the ice suggest that this is an elegant, naive and convenient misinterpretation of what they think they are seeing.
    They should damn well stop their moaning and get back to traditional survival methods.
    Cannibalism.
    Just think of the service that they will do to the world. Not to mention the CO2 they will prevent from being released.
    Oh no, they forgot the biggest threat in these places – fire.
    So can they still cook after tipping over their fuel source and setting fire to the tent? Uncooked frozen human flesh is probably not so good but I bet you have never heard a bear complain.

  135. “Dying is hard, but not as hard as comedy.”
    Great comedy thus far from this loony Brit expedition. One step forward, two steps back… … Pythonesque!
    50C wind chill – seems to me we were colder than this in Southern Alberta a few weeks ago. Folks in Winnipeg had it worse!
    Don’t worry about the safety of these loons. If they get in trouble, real men will have to put their lives at risk to rescue them.
    Do these intrepid explorers carry guns to shoot polar bears when they come too close? That’s really great for the environment!
    I’m rooting for the bears.

  136. Manfred (01:35:33) :
    in german yahoo, this is currently the top story
    “Emergency call from the arctic”
    http://de.news.yahoo.com/2/20090318/ten-festsitzende-polarforscher-setzen-hi-1dc2b55.html
    Translation:
    http://translate.google.co.nz/translate?hl=en&sl=de&u=http://de.news.yahoo.com/2/20090318/tpl-festsitzende-polarforscher-setzen-hi-ee974b3.html&ei=JcDASemnM8nWkAXOjJEr&sa=X&oi=translate&resnum
    ———————–
    How quintessentially English.
    “Just popping out for a swim in the Arctic dear”.

  137. Based on today news here, they are struggling for their lives – -40°C cold, storm, almost no food and one of them suffered leg frostbite. Air evacuation not possible because of terrible weather.

  138. Just wondering if anyone knows what the caloric intake must be for a 160 lb person to be able to produce enough body heat to survive at -40C.

  139. Judging by Martin Hartley’s Day 18 post, these people need to be rescued from considerable potential danger, not encouraged to prove nothing that could be interpreted as science just for the sake of the blind dogma of Prince Charles, Al Gore and the rest of the cooling deniers.

  140. “We are not here just to make a journey to the North Pole. We’ve all done that. That’s not the motivating force. How much information can we find out and deliver back to the wider world for its use?” Hadow asked.
    Interesting. If they are just after the data collecting, why not use the dogs or wait for a better weather and proceed quicker? I’ve read about polar expeditions that started in March and ended in April. I don’t think there will be much use of data from such a short transect.

  141. I know you shouldn’t laugh………..
    I heard via the media about this expedition, just had a read through the comments.
    and couldn’t stop laughing especially…… this quote from their blog.
    ‘So, our spirits were lifted (and the hairs on the back of our necks stood up!) when we saw evidence for the first time that We Are Not Alone out here. We knew it of course, but it’s still exciting to see: Polar Bear Tracks’
    I do hope they have some shot guns around.
    Looks like a couple of academic researches completely removed from any resemblance of the real world, and have got themselves into real trouble.
    I hope they survive though.
    Be intresting to see their reports on AWG.
    We couldn’t reach the pole due to the quantity of the ice…………..

  142. Just Want Truth… (14:25:36) :
    AGW attention is fixed on Arctic ice. Al Gore, Mark Serreze, and apparently the BBC, have made it the primary indicator for the AGW hypothesis. They keep placing it clearer and clearer on the radar. One side side put it there. The other side didn’t. But whatever the case it’s center stage now.
    What is this fixation with Arctic Ice? How does anyone think that, if it is melting, this proves that anthropegenic CO2 is the cause. It’s the same with all the other ‘melting’ stories. Where is the link?

  143. They are trying to reach them today. Don’t know how you can stay out there with frostbitten toes. You would think they could build some sort of snow house to save their lives.
    Back in the good old days you would take your rifle and shoot the Polar Bear and eat him. Problem solved.

  144. @Mike T.
    The ples are to be the first affected by the Earths warming according to the old AGW theory. Of course these theories myths change very quickly to suit the circumstances.

  145. These explorers are brave, although risk takers to the max, prepared to be martyrs to the cause. Sometimes it can take a lot of effort to see the nose on one’s face, as noted by George Orwell.

  146. A lot of misinformation about polar bears here:
    “Polar bears are always aggressive”
    As a matter of fact polar bears are not particularly aggressive, however they are completely unafraid of humans, and sometimes hungry which certainly make them dangerous. I definitely wouldn’t venture into polar bear country without a high-powered rifle (not a shotgun as somebody suggested), though I wouldn’t expect to have to use it.
    “Back in the good old days you would take your rifle and shoot the Polar Bear and eat him. Problem solved.”
    Not quite that simple. First you have to find your bear. Then you better make sure you kill him with the first shot, otherwise you are in big trouble. Third you had better be able to cook the meat thoroughly. Polar bear are often trichinous.

  147. Solrey, when referring to yourself, please don’t place scare quotes around the term environmentalist. You’re entitled to describe yourself that way. The complaint most of us have is with the con artists who’ve hijacked the movement to achieve political and personal power and couldn’t care less about the environment.
    As for the twits and concern about their well being…
    I think about the misery and death their ilk intends with the policies they’re pushing…
    I think about the Coasties, Canadian or US, who’ll have to risk their lives in a rescue attempt…
    And I sincerely hope the three of them get eaten by the bear, or fall through an ice crevasse and disappear.

  148. Those three scientists are a bunch of naive knuckle heads. Nobody in their right minds would attempt such a trip in the middle of winter. They totally believe the hype about the Arctic warming and ice melting… now they’re miserable and freezing their asses off and wondering when their overdue supplies are going to arrive. I’d bet they quit pretty soon… they should otherwise some one is going to die.

  149. On the Catlin website right now the ice team is said to be 930.07 kilometers from the pole. That’s after 16 days. They were only 925.63 km. away when this thread was first posted. So they have lost almost 5 kilometers in the past 4 days. Let’s see, if they continue at this pace how long will it take them to reach the pole? And which pole would that be?

  150. This misconceived expedition hired an outfit called Ken Borek Air out of Calgary Alberta. They have extensive experience flying in the arctic and antarctic. They have done rescues to the south pole in the winter, twice, being the only ones in the world able to do so. So when a company like this with a long and extensive history on both poles, I wonder what their take is on the poles supposedly melting. Anyone think to ask.
    When they were approached by this expedition I wonder how the initial conversation went, something like, You want to do what, when!!!!

  151. They ventured onto the ice to measure the ice, but it appears the ice is taking their measure instead. Indeed, their tent walls are ice covered, as are the insides of their sleeping bags. That, combined with the delayed resupply, and being forced onto half-rations, and fuel running low, and they are exhausted from just surviving the harsh conditions means they need to call a halt to this ridiculous expedition, and pronto.

  152. Supply plane has arrived, according to the banner on the website:
    Resupply flight has just this minute touched down (2115 GMT)
    JimB

  153. I see the resupply flight landed an hour ago.
    Lets hope that common sense prevails and it becomes an airlift instead.
    Surely their ops team will have to insist that conditions are too bad and that it’s just too dangerous for them to go on.

  154. Might Ann be a closet sceptic?
    A comment from her blog (OK ever so slightly out of context but still)
    “the cold is all consuming and refuses to go away”.
    Perhaps a bit of warming (OK 50 degrees or so) might not be such a bad thing after all.

  155. This is just great, I haven’t laughed so much in ages! Let me see if I have this right:
    They are travelling at 1.44 km a day
    They’ve got 930 km to go
    930 divided by 1.44 =
    NEARLY TWO YEARS!
    Classic.

  156. @TTY
    The early explorers were always shooting Polar bears and eating them. The Inuit ate the meat raw.(Germans still consider raw ground pork a nice sandwich meat) If I was starving I would eat the Polar Bear and worry later. And I wouldn’t be to frightened to go find the Polar Bear and shoot him. Follow the tracks and likely he would find you. Of course the Polar bear will not worry if you have worms so be careful.

  157. ” …. but the team are now surging forwards once again”
    Is that a typo ?? I thought they were surging backwards ??

  158. If I were really curious about the arctic ice thickness I would send a letter or two off the the various nuclear navies of the world and ask them for a sanitized plot of ice thickness vs. latitude. I’m pretty sure submarines are still going under the ice pack.
    Hasn’t anybody else read the novel “Ice Station Zebra?” How about real stories about the USS Nautilus (SSN 571) trip under the ice. (Basis for the novel.)
    Of course publishing real data of scientific use pales in comparison to a showboating expedition. If they do survive to write a report, the final paragraph will undoubtably include a request for funding to repeat the trip. Got to show a year-to-year trend you know.

  159. just checked the Catlin website is some detail; yes, they are continuing. I am still baffled that there is no mention of having trained with any of the successful explorers who have made the trek in previous years during similar winter conditions, but with much less equipment and support (as mentioned before, it’s worth checking Matty McNair’s feats: http://www.northwinds-arctic.com/matty.html).
    Their physiology monitoring experiments are interesting and the CTD (conductivity, temperature and depth) casts to 300m depth have some merit. However, given the fact of continuous ice drift (a well-known fact), these salinity/temperature profiles compare to quasi-random measurements taken from a rudderless vessel. A much more useful contribution to Arctic oceanography would be mooring a number of ADCPs (upward looking acoustic doppler current profilers) in a line to the Pole on the seafloor and retrieving them after a year, complete with accurate data on the movements of water masses. I hope this has been done during the IPY (International Polar Year) that just ended (I will look into that).
    As for this survey, I hope that they’re not allowed to become martyrs in the name of AGW – let’s pull them in during next re-supply.

  160. deepslope,
    “…I hope that they’re not allowed to become martyrs in the name of AGW…”
    And that’s what would happen, isn’t it?
    Only in Orwell-speak of black is white, down is up, wrong is right, evil is good, and global cooling is global warming, would these fools be martyrs for AGW at –50°!

  161. It is interesting that with all their Polar travel they did not learn (apparently) to build igloos. A candle can keep you quite comfortable. The armed forces used to have the Inuit instruct them at Resolute. I peeked in but did not make myself at home.

  162. For those worried about it taking them 2yrs to get there, take heart. They stated on their website that now that they’re not in total darkness, they can really start to make some headway.
    IOW…Get OUTTA the WAY, Polar Bears!!!…We’re haulin’ ass…or a tobogan, or something…
    JimB

  163. “Gerald Machnee (16:47:52) :
    It is interesting that with all their Polar travel they did not learn (apparently) to build igloos. A candle can keep you quite comfortable. The armed forces used to have the Inuit instruct them at Resolute. I peeked in but did not make myself at home.”
    No time. They apparently are not using any form of “base camp” concept where supplies could have been dropped/stashed ahead of time and then located by a beacon.
    Maybe next year…
    JimB

  164. In the immortal words of Captain Oates:
    “I’m going outside now – and I may be gone for some time”

  165. “Resupply complete and the team waste no time in getting some miles under their belt and push on northwards…”
    About .64 miles according to Google Earth. Unless of course they drifted even farther south during the night. Either way, they’re still about 6 miles south of where they were 11 days ago. Not exactly what I’d call forward, or northward in this case, progress!

  166. Going backwards with each passing day. They may end up on a floe adrift if they don’t get past the nightly moving zone. Or plunged into the icy sea at night. And there’s that Polar Bear. What’s it doing there? Hunting for food.
    Don’t know about Polar Bears, but most bears make a route and return on it after some time. No fear of humans, that is what people who have spent time in Alaska tell me. Sounds like an invitation to be aggressive in my book.

  167. I’m puzzled with that drift speed that makes them actually go back when going forward. Is this expedition so slow or did they chose a particularly fast drifting area for start?

  168. They are up and running.
    Ann Daniels:
    “This was never going to be an easy journey, but it’s clear now that some of the conditions that could have favoured our progress are not going to oblige.”
    Some of the conditions that could have favoured our progress are not going to oblige does this does she mean Global Warming. That is the problem of believing your own propaganda.
    “At the end of a 10 hour sledging day we put up the tent and have our supper but the cold is all consuming and refuses to go away.”
    The cold is all consuming and refuses to go away, for heaven sakes it is the North Pole and it is cold? What are they expecting?
    I just do not get it. As I said earlier Billy Connolly went to the Arctic and endured temperatures of -40 and he was as warm as toast. If a banjo playing Scottish comedian survived without complaining then why can’t these experienced Arctic Explorers?

  169. During the first few days, they were only making between 1-3km of distance per day. According to the website, this was due to “total darkness” conditions, and rough terrain.
    It is impossible to make any sense of this, on any level, other than pure self-granduer and publicity.
    A pox on their ice fields.
    I’m backing the bears.
    JimB

  170. EW (23:19:33) :
    I’m puzzled with that drift speed that makes them actually go back when going forward. Is this expedition so slow or did they chose a particularly fast drifting area for start?

    Just a guess, but maye the sudden stratospheric warming event in late jan and the following splitting of the polar vortex has made a nonsense of their maps of expected ice flow direction.

  171. If this is an example of how man can adapt to extreme weather it’s no wonder global warming alarmists are terrified.

  172. It is occurring to me that these increasing frequent Arctic sojourns with expectations of needing waders rather than real warm weather clothing is another example of the Gore Effect.
    There is a compilation of a few of these at http://icecap.us/images/uploads/ARCTICCOMPILATION.pdf courtesy Marc Morano.
    Re. the Gore Effect, I have added to the Wiki entry the Gore effect of the increased rate of falling global temperatures apparently resulting from the release of his movie The Inconvenient Truth in Jan 2005. 🙂

  173. Does anyone know why the day 18 map (on the BBC website) shows their location on day 12 very near their position on day 6, but the day 12 map (reproduced above) shows their day 12 location much closer to their day 1 position than the day 6 position? The day 12 position is quite a bit different depending upon which map you are looking at.

  174. Frankly I view it all as a stunt, a “classic” stunt used by environmentalists for decades. In my past work, one project was to look in detail at the metro area’s “Toxic Release Inventory” data (USEPA reporting scheme). Environmental activists count on the public to forget last year’s reports and then scream and shout about how big the number is THIS year. Key questions our project explored was what about trends? is it getting worse? Better? What are the substances? what kind of adverse effects and longevity do they have in the environment at the concentrations seen?
    In this case, I only need to ask a few questions, such as:
    * Do we have similarly precise past measurements?
    * To what other data can they compare these data?
    * What about the other 360 degrees of approach to the North Pole? Are they being hiked as well?
    * Will the trek (or treks) be repeated again? When?
    * How will the information gathered at the start of the trek compare to that gathered 6 weeks later, or at the end of the jouney? Or will it simply be a snapshot in time.

  175. Tom: Re Map plots.
    I believe the map here on WUWT is the distorted version.
    Looking at the latitudes only, and knowing that a minute in latitude is exactly one nautical mile – neglecting the E-W difference:
    Day 1 81-04N
    Day 6 82-00N = 56 NM north of day 1
    Day 12 81-55N = 5 NM south of day 6 & 51 miles north of day 1
    A little cosine trig would allow you to plot the longitude too, but I think your question is answered above.

  176. Rod Smith (14:27:45) :
    I believe you have misread the latitude reading for the start. It’d 82.40 not 82.04. They haven’t made anything like 50 miles of progress… ever. There own site says something like 24 kilometers of forward and about 7 backwards I think. They also state an average forward progress each day of less than 1.5 kilometers.

  177. Oops 81.40 not 82.40 for the start. They haven’t drifted that far back…. yet. The distance traveled set out in my post still stands though. Just a few k’s not 50 miles by any means. Sorry about the typos I’m typing in the dark here for some reason.

  178. AnonyMoose (09:31:52) :
    A few days ago they blogged that they found a polar bear’s tracks.
    Their website’s equipment page does not show a rifle.

    Rifle is a bit heavy and you don’t really need the range. I’d have a couple of cans of bear pepper spray per person and a last ditch Giant Revolver or .50 AE Desert Eagle… but with the lube stripped out for low temps. Much less weight to carry.
    What concerns me more is that they make it sound like everyone goes to sleep at the same time… Not wise in bear country in a snack bag, er, tent…

  179. Jeff Alberts (11:54:19) : So can someone tell me again why warm is bad?
    Because your beer looses it’s fiz. You need to put it in the beer fridge.
    (You were talking about beer, right? 🙂

  180. Is there some reason you can’t use a sno-cat or snowmobile? Why all this struggle with tents and walking? Is the ice so thin you can’t put a decent tracked vehicle on it and be done with a couple hundred klicks in a day?
    Are they technophobic or is the ice such that you can’t use “heavy equipment”?

  181. What are going to do with all the re-supplied?
    http://www.catlinarcticsurvey.com/First_Resupply
    The image on this page shows a twin otter and as the article would imply the re-supplies. Do I see correctly, 33 or 35 drums?
    Are they going to pull all this behind them along with the radar?
    Or is it a library image of an Otter being refuelled and has nothing to do with the re-supplying?

  182. E.M.Smith (23:44:50) :
    “Not wise in bear country in a snack bag”
    Oh oh oh what a description.
    “A snack bag”.
    Oh that conjures up quite an impression.

  183. From the Catlin site this morning:
    “…while outside the tent the northerly winds are starting to pick up and the weather shows ominous signs of change….. ”
    Hmmm…bad weather moving in? Wonder if that will mean that they’re daily distance of 1.5km will now come to a halt for a day or two while the weather passes?
    So far, they’ve been on the ice for 18 days, and they’ve travelled a total distance of 25km. They have another 928km to go.
    Since we’re fond of making predictions here :*), I’m going to go on record and pick April 22 as the day they get pulled from the ice.
    That’s Earth Day…all of the celebrations provide some “cover” to help bury the story.
    JimB

  184. “E.M.Smith (01:07:40) :
    Is there some reason you can’t use a sno-cat or snowmobile? Why all this struggle with tents and walking? Is the ice so thin you can’t put a decent tracked vehicle on it and be done with a couple hundred klicks in a day?
    Are they technophobic or is the ice such that you can’t use “heavy equipment”?”
    Apparently they’ve been going through open water. They talk about having to don immersion suits in total darkness and swim across open water, not knowing how far it is to get to the ice on the other side.
    Logistically, I still don’t understand why they didn’t use caches that were pre-established and identifiable by beacon. Those could provide much better/dependable resupply, possible structure and HEAT…very nice base camp for a few days to rest and recouperate.
    Maybe that’s just not dramtic enough? /cynic off
    JimB

  185. Coalsoffire: I believe you have misread the latitude reading for the start.
    Whoops! You are absolutely correct!

  186. In the Canadian Arctic they drive massive trucks over the ice and map the ice thickness. This is just a stunt.

  187. Shawn,
    The “Ice Road Truckers” thing occured to me as well.
    Perhaps if they asked the ice road maintenance companies nicely they might have been able to get some reasonably consistent data for a defined period.
    I guess it’s not far North enough, and that the trucks use horrible fossil fuel (unlike the pixie-dust fuelled Twin Otters they’ve had circiling for much of the last week) but maybe there’s just the possibility of being able to extract something meaningful at the end of it.
    It could give them something to do in their tents the next time they’re waiting for resupply.
    Just a thought.
    REPLY: Lake ice and sea ice are entirely different environments with significantly different physical mechanisms and influences at work. Comparing them really isn’t relevant. – Anthony

  188. From the “Science” section of their website:
    “Evidence for the earlier meltdown date would provide fresh impetus to resolve through international agreements the more sustainable and responsible management of the increasingly accessible natural resources, revealed as the ice recedes. The survey will assist scientists in providing policy-makers with higher resolution forecasts than are made to date, which in turn will facilitate decisions where previously indecision has existed.
    With the Arctic Ocean and surrounding high Arctic environment more responsive and vulnerable to climate change than most, the urgency for action to protect it in a variety of ways is greater than almost anywhere on Earth.”
    So, it really isn’t about science (what else is new?), but to “provide fresh impetus” and “facilitate decisions”. Gee, and with the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen coming up in Dec., what a remarkable (and convenient) coincidence!
    Can there be any doubt that whatever “evidence” they find, it will be spun for the Alarmist Cause?
    Now, where were those bears again? Snack bags are waiting….

  189. I think this is just great. I go on to their website every day just to laugh, and I’ve sent them five emails so far pointing out their grasp of science. I’m almost spamming them now. However, I really think we should have a pool or something – for the day they are plucked from their misery, citing extreme weather as the cause, and saying it would be too dangerous to continue. I say muppets will be lifted from the Arctic on March 30th.

  190. This whole expedition reminds me of the old joke where lost travellers in Ireland ask an old fellow at the side of the road how to get to Dublin – and he replies: “Well if I was you, I wouldn’t be starting from here.”
    Makes me wonder how they selected their start point for this expedition. Blindfold + pin in map method?

  191. Has anyone found a place on their website to post questions or comments?
    I’ve looked at a few of the blogs…but they seem to be FONI…
    JimB

  192. JimB
    “Has anyone found a place on their website to post questions or comments?”
    Ehhhh …. no.
    Clearly questions and answers are out and pronouncements are in.
    I cannot understand why any self respecting polar bear has not caught a whiff of their “Chicken Dumplings” and as E.M.Smith (23:44:50) pointed out enjoyed “A snack bag”. I remember a documentary made in the Northern Territories where polar bears where being filmed, yes filmed, from a cliff top. Someone pulled out a cheese sandwich. The polar bears stopped in their tracks and turned around and headed back. The film crew ere advised to followed suit.
    And then again Martin has a blister which, according to Catlin reports, is frost bite. Yet he did not fly out on the twin Otter. Good for him very brave. Guess he would have ignored any medical advice.
    Did Catlin insure them before they left?
    After all they state “We provide creative risk management solutions and excellent financial security to clients worldwide.”

  193. Well for me this publicity stunt is highly offensive. If I said I don’t know words of the English language, that describe how offensive it is to me; would that put it in perspective.
    Robert Falcon Scott and his ill fated team had a poorly planned and advised expedition; they eschewed sled dogs and took totally useless horses; and maybe it was just bad luck that the weather trapped them almost in sight of safety. But at least they had in mind doing some research on the trip; and they were driven by the idea of personal achievement; not by some wild fanaticism.
    As Scott left in his final papers:- “To strive, to seek, to find; and not to yield !”
    Great words to live (or die) by.
    Personally if these cretins fall into acrevasse and bash their heads in, I will not shed a tear for them; and they would not earn a Darwin award either; since shear stupidity is one of the criteria for a Darwin award.
    These folks are just A-holes in my book; trying to draw world sympathy to their ignorance.
    Why should they be supplied; didn’t they research the trek before hand and plan for everything they would need; as real explorers like Amundsen, Shackleton or Scott did.
    I would think that by now they would be well beyond where any self respecting polar bear would travel; and if they ran into one; it would probably prefer plain blubber to very lean grey matter.
    George

  194. Sorry Anthony. I wasn’t trying to suggest that fresh water freezes the same as salt water, merely that if we’re going to learn anything about thickness trends over time (the purpose of this project) then a series of measurements taken by standard equipment in the same general area over a known period of time might have more value than this exercise.
    It’s probably also worth considering whether the albedo effect for salt and fresh water is materially different given the tolerances involved.
    Does anybody know whether ice roads are showing any discernible trend or where any data is available?

  195. Barry,
    Thanks. I noticed the info link. What they DON’T have is a two way forum where you can post questions.
    Wonder why that is?
    JimB

  196. I wonder how they deal with human waste?
    Holed up in their tents for five days, do they just forgo modesty or risk frostbite by squatting outside?
    Interestingly I could find no mention of this topic on their website.
    Will there be a little trail of frozen turds mapping their progress left on the ice?

  197. Even better will there be a string of dead batterys and trash? I wonder if they are going with the leave no trace mentality or the its for science, a little trash wont hurt mentality.
    I always wonder at the stupidity of folks. People claiming conservation motives usually do the most damage to what they are conserving in the name of studying it. For the most part, if you want to find the people… follow their trash. My husband and I call it ‘man sign’ and it will usually lead us straight to whatever cave or geothermal pool we were looking for:) Conservation often means control instead of preservation.. gee go figure.

  198. pkatt (09:08:21) :
    “Even better will there be a string of dead batterys and trash?”
    Guess you read
    http://www.catlinarcticsurvey.com/Perran_on_Power_Supplies_for_the_expedition
    “The expedition has access to two sources of electrical power. The first is a fuel cell powered by Methanol. This early production unit is packaged in an insulated case together with 4 litres of Methanol and … Lithium rechargeable batteries. The latter actually provide the electrical power to the scientific equipment. ”
    So why do they need the rest?
    “The fuel cell runs continuously supplying the average power whilst the batteries supply the peak power. Waste heat from the fuel cell keeps the batteries warm so they will accept a charge as Lithium batteries will not charge properly at temperatures below zero centigrade. ”
    “The by product of the conversion process of methanol to electricity is water vapour (steam) and carbon dioxide. The steam can be a potential problem in the polar environment as it can rapidly lead to ice build up from condensation if the venting is not kept clear.”
    Does this explains why their tents are freezing up.
    And they produce carbon dioxide.
    Well what ever next?
    As long as it is not CO2!

  199. By my estimate they are over 5 miles further north today than they were 14 days ago. They are really making some progress now! 😀

  200. George E. Smith (15:05:16) :
    I would think that by now they would be well beyond where any self respecting polar bear would travel; and if they ran into one; it would probably prefer plain blubber to very lean grey matter.
    ——————————————-
    In that regard, several posters have already suggested that they should have taken Al Gore with them.

  201. adoucette (05:00:43), it is definitely not fun to deal with at that temperature, let alone in close quarters. Women don’t normally *go* on trips like this because of our additional complications… Plus, if you want to attract a bear, the scent of a woman “in heat” carries a long distance(!). Anyway, all that said, it isn’t really that hard to do what needs to be done as long as you’ve got easy-to-open clothing and a coffee can. The normal plastic lid will shatter at that temp so it’s better to have a round of canvas with a heavy tie that is easy to undo when wearing gloves. The stuff freezes quickly so odor isn’t an issue. Digits tend to freeze more quickly than large fatty bits, so it’s more just a hassle than anything else. As for disposal, one would hope they are hauling everything out.
    If you ever want to chum for bear, use dirty diapers.

  202. Thanks Sylvia.
    For 300 person days on the ice that seems like a LOT of Coffee cans though.
    As far as the “easy to open” clothing, that seems to run counter to what I would expect from clothing designed to keep you warm in -40C.
    Then again, I tend to avoid any -C temps.
    Arthur

  203. B Kerr (01:52:23) :
    What are going to do with all the re-supplied?
    http://www.catlinarcticsurvey.com/First_Resupply
    The image on this page shows a twin otter and as the article would imply the re-supplies. Do I see correctly, 33 or 35 drums?
    Are they going to pull all this behind them along with the radar?
    Or is it a library image of an Otter being refuelled and has nothing to do with the re-supplying?

    In order to resupply from Resolute they had to have an intermediate refuelling point (in fact it was conditions at the refuelling point that caused the delay), the refuelling point on the ice had been previously supplied with fuel. I assume the shot on the site is from that base.
    adoucette (07:04:11) :
    Thanks Sylvia.
    For 300 person days on the ice that seems like a LOT of Coffee cans though.
    As far as the “easy to open” clothing, that seems to run counter to what I would expect from clothing designed to keep you warm in -40C.

    Those of us who’ve piloted small planes cross-country have encountered similar problems, a higher tech. alternative to coffee cans exists:
    http://www.sportys.com/acb/showdetl.cfm?&Product_ID=297&DID=19

  204. They apparently had a few good days for travel. There up to 69 km covered. leaving 886 to go. True, it took them 23 days to cover the 69km, meaning they are averaging 3 km per day. That means they should which the North Pole in 296 days roughly. That translates to sometime in late January of next year. I hope they’ve got enough sponsors to provide supplies till then.

  205. More ideological polar expeditions:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7962311.stm
    Team leader Felicity Aston, 31, a meteorologist from Kent, UK, has travelled all over the world to select seven other members of the expedition.
    Ms Aston chose women from India, Cyprus, Ghana, Singapore, Brunei, New Zealand and Jamaica to make up the team representing the 53-member Commonwealth.
    “Antarctica is a dangerous place, it can kill you, so it is impossible for a group of 53 women to travel together,” Ms Aston told the BBC.
    Some of the women selected to take part in the adventure had never seen snow before the ( 2 week) practice session in Norway.

Comments are closed.