Catlin Crew Officially Has Hypothermia (and Frostbite)

A very hard day.

From the Catlin web site today –

Hypothermia Posted by Gaby Dean

Monday, 06 Apr 2009 15:58

In disadvantaged inner cities it’s known in medical circles as Urban Hypothermia.  GPs adopted the term after seeing an increase, during winter, of elderly patients who have switched off their heating, fearful of the cost, and become ill as a result because of the cold.

Chronic, as opposed to acute, hypothermia is the official term.

The Catlin Arctic Survey Team have now been working in temperatures of below -40 degrees centigrade for more than 30 days.  When the three (Pen Hadow, Ann Daniels and Martin Hartley) leave messages on the TVM – a machine that records the messages they phone into London HQ – their voices often sound slurred and they occasionally muddle their words.

Extreme cold affects the senses and everyday skills we usually take for granted, like speaking. According to CAS medical adviser Doc Martin, the team are constantly battling chronic hypothermia, which was to be expected.  (Pen Hadow has described it as an ‘occupational hazard’).

“Chronic hypothermia affects people who are under-nourished, physically and mentally tired and not sleeping well”, says Doc.  “You can see the connection between vulnerable elderly people and the physical and mental condition that Pen, Ann and Martin are in”.



Perhaps they are preparing to come home?  They are 15 km further from the pole today (722.28 km) than they were yesterday (707.83 km) and according to satellite data, temperatures have been running below normal for the last two and a half months.

And from the NSIDC web site today – It was a warm winter in the Arctic.  No doubt the Catlin crew will be relieved to hear that.


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Oddly enough I guess we can expect “global warming” to cause more Urban Hypothermia as cap and trade schemes raise the cost of life saving heat.


Perhaps they would like to postpone their trip for a 100 years until things warm up there a bit!


And Martin, the photographer, is having fantasies of real food in warm environments. I hope they make his fantasies a reality and get them out of there before they have to play Donner party in the snow and ice. They are hunting for a suitable landing strip for resupply.


I think I’m sticking with my Earth Day prediction for extraction of the team…
Hope that’s not too late.


They have another 63 days to make it to the North Pole. That means that they have to travel twice their current average distance to meet their target.
Can’t be much fun collecting ice thickness data now that NSIDC have released their satellite data from the comfort of government offices.


These three are explorers is the extreme. It’s clear that they are sacrificing for their beliefs but I’m saddened that their belief may be misplaced and their suffering is foolish. Their failure would be a blow to the AGW movement.


This spectacle needs to end and those people need to be taken out of the cold and back home to their families.


I hope their team can be safely extracted before they have any serious problems due to their chronic hypothermia. Having been in a similar situation during a -30 winter camp out where my pride out ranked my common sense I know how easily that sort of situation can sneak up on you over time. You try to “tough it out”, but over time it wears you down and at some point it becomes a quickly decaying spiral that requires outside assistance to avoid a physiological crash.
Forget the mission guys and get warmed up, fueled up and rested, where you can think properly to evaluate what to do next with a clear head.


Give them some hot soup and bring them home.

Steven Hill

Impossible, the ice is melting and will be gone soon
Arctic will be ice-free within a decade
The Arctic Ocean could be ice-free in less than a decade, scientists have warned, as the latest figures show the thickness of the ice cap has shrunk to a record low.

Arn Riewe

The reported progress of the expedition dropped by 23 KM from yesterdays and the prior days report. I think they have been estimating distance and performed a correction with some better data. One curiosity for me is how they are getting enough power from batteries at -35C. You would think that the cold would have a terrible drain on battery power. It seems like they would require a lot to operate the sledges and communications equipment.


Time to get them home while they still can!

Alan Chappell

Having driven from Germany to Ukraine then Russia and Siberia over this Xmas and new year I cannot understand the problem, I was in -30c to- 40c for 2 weeks, admittedly in a heated cab, but I was in the company of 2 Siberians that had me dressed in furs and more furs, the problem with all other clothing I was told that it does not breath like fur, and that is the problem, as the humidity freezes and then you have big big problems
Anybody traveling on foot in those temp. deserves all that nature can provide, if they were just a tiny little bit scientific minded they would not be there.

Barry Foster

Pathetic and ridiculous. They are proving nothing, adding nothing to science, and carrying out a worthless and pointless exercise. It doesn’t seem worth dying for. Stupidity knows no bounds.


Sorry to be so acerbic but – ya’ play with fire, ya’ get burnt.
Actually I hope these people get out of there now, while they still can.

I noticed they are not publishing their location today. I assume going back 15KM overnight has caused this.
Just think how cold it would be if there wasnt any global warming……


Someone needs to go get these people before they start to die.


Today every major news outlet is running the same Arctic melt scare they ran before last summer. They keep comparing the ice to the 1979-2000 average. While some have mentioned the ice cover has grown recently they are forecasting record summer melts and ice free Arctic by 2012 (this date chosen to force through legislation beforehand). They have even said it is the least amount of Arctic ice seen in the last 8000 years! If they want to dating of ice, they really should date all those glaciers that are melting. They’ll find a lot of them didn’t exist in that shape or form over 500 years ago.
So there’s mention of cooling trends, no mention of sunspot counts, no mention of sea level stabilisation. They are repeating the Orwellian idea that a lie repeated often enough is accepted as the truth.

I think it would be good to hear from Anthony in regard to the NASA press conference yesterday that spoke about the expected increase in Summer Arctic sea ice melt due to thinner ice.
I dont think NASA, at least these NASA scientists, have ever heard about changing solar activity and its impact on the ice extent.


I hope none of them die from the cold weather. And, I do hope that their experiences in the cold will make them a tad bit wiser.

Poor people! They are really a new kind of martyrs: The New Green Religion martyrs.


GPs adopted the term after seeing an increase, during winter, of elderly patients who have switched off their heating, fearful of the cost, and become ill as a result because of the cold.

People don’t become ill as a result of the cold. It’s due to the negative warmth.

Steven Goddard

I’m not sure how they might fend off a Polar Bear in a hypothermic state and without a high powered rifle. Not a sensible situation.


Keith (08:08:22) :
And Martin, the photographer, is having fantasies of real food in warm environments.

That is another worrisome sign, that sort of thing happens to marathon runners just before they hit the wall at 18 miles as their body runs out of fuel. It is the bodies way of telling you the gas gauge is on empty.


I expect they’re trying to survive on a modern “healthy” diet with no animal fat. Try taking advice from the Inuits. Bet they didn’t take the traditional pemmican before the modern nutritionists ruined the stuff.


This story reminds me of something covered in Bjorn Lomborg’s book “Cool It”.
In it, Mr. Lomborg cites statistics showing that many more multiples of deaths occur annually world-wide as a direct result of COLD vs. the few that occur from heat, heat related illnesses, or warming climate in general. This reinforces his overall theme: what exactly are the “climate change” alarmists hoping to fix? There MANY more worldwide “macro” problems that can actually be addressed in real time with the world’s money and effort (diseases, famine, energy, etc) than a vain attempt to “correct” the entire world’s climate!

Fred from Canuckistan . . .

. . . but they have the cutest, most photogenic snow suits . . . they look so hip on TV.
Too bad they don’t keep their holier-than-thou butts warm enough to prevent frostbite.
-40 isn’t all that cold. As someone who has done DEW Line time and lived in the Arctic for 4 years, -40 barely slowed anyone, who was prepared, down. Out hunting or fishing, running around on the skidoo, -40 was the norm and easily handled.
Now -55 in Hall Beach loading a belly bay in 737 . . . now that’s cold.

Rachelle Young

First, in their cold, muddled state of mind I hope they don’t shoot any polar bears that are stalking them for lunch. Polar bears are said to be endangered, but we have plenty of people.
Second, these AGW Paris Hiltons are doing the publicity equivalent of wearing a short skirt with no underwear. These people are after headlines, not science.
I have known better people who have died doing what they had to do just to take care of their families. I find it impossible to care what happens to these deluded clowns.


How is Arctic ice data averages between 1979 and 2000 a valid metric for current conditions? I suspect that the addition of 2001 through 2008 data would disclose the absurdity of the doom and gloom rants coming from AGWers. Am I wrong? If so, please explain why.

Steve M.

Edward (08:04:41) :
Perhaps they would like to postpone their trip for a 100 years until things warm up there a bit!
By then they can just boat up there…”ice free” should make that easy /sarc

peter vd berg

makes me think of the idiots who climb the Himalayas and pester you with ‘dramatic’ footage of their suffering. Sorry but i find this behavior irresponsible and sure to cost society lots of cash for rescue operations and to repair the damage better spend healing people with diseases didn’t inflict on themselves.

Arn Riewe

From the NSIDC website 4/6/09:
“Arctic sea ice extent has begun its seasonal decline towards the September minimum. Ice extent through the winter was similar to that of recent years, but lower than the 1979 to 2000 average. More importantly, the melt season has begun with a substantial amount of thin first-year ice, which is vulnerable to summer melt.”
Is this deja vu all over again?
From the NSIDC website 4/7/08:
“Despite strong growth of new ice over the winter, sea ice is still in a general state of decline. The ice that grew over the past winter is relatively thin, first-year ice that is susceptible to melting away during the summer.”
I think only the Goreacle roots more ice to melt than does NSIDC. Have you ever noticed their PR is always stated in the negative? “It’s the fifth lowest since…” rather that “It’s the third highest since…” It’s clear to me that the infomation gatekeeper here is cozying up to the AGW money train.

Sean Houlihane

Very few people commenting on this thread seem to have any concept of what they are discussing. Plenty of people put themselves into dangerous situations regularly without attracting this sort of ridicule – how is this different from sailing round the world single-handed? Get out there and live a bit 🙂


The obvious may have already been pointed out but why did they not go by car like Top Gear’s Polar Expedition a la Clarkson and co? They only took a few days sipping gin and tonics along the way in a Toyota Hilux pick-up.
If you have not yet seen it, it is a seminal – and hilarious – piece of film making.

Richard deSousa

Their resupply plane is now two days overdue because of the brutal cold weather. If the Catlin trekkers haven’t learned the truth about the actual conditions of the Arctic by now they have to be suffering from hypothermia hallucinations.

Shallow Climate

Maybe this is piling on–well, here we go anyway: In addition to the other points mentioned in these posts about the nonscientific aspects of this so-called science, I will contribute (a la Karl Popper) that the Catlin team is not doing science also because it is impossible to reproduce any of their (alleged) findings. They are merely taking measurements, not doing science. If they actually wanted to do science, they would, at the very least, have to take with them one or two (or more) teams to reproduce independently any of their findings. Actually, I feel sad about the whole business. Quixotic in a way, perhaps.

Michael D Smith

They’ll be glad to see the ice start melting now that it’s only -35C today. That should speed things right along.


One thing people fail to grasp, when it gets hot, you sweat. When it gets cold you die. Humans like warm, not so much cold.
We are back down in the 40-50-s for the next few days.
It’s also interesting that probably the cold weather gear they have is made from that evil oil. Not enough polar bears and seals to go around.


JustMe (08:37:21) :
Someone needs to go get these people before they start to die.

I think they have already started to die, they need to extract these people before they finish dying!

John H.- 55

They may be D.O.A.
Defrosted On Arrival…. home.

Jorge Pereira

Get them out of there before something terrible hapens!

I am sitting at my desk here in the wilderness of Alaska where we have lived for 30 years. No one for hundreds of miles around us. I skied from the front door yesterday and went 10 miles up our valley breaking through at least two feet of snow. Seems late to have this much snow and ice. I guess we caused GW with our wood fires this winter and caused more precip and colder temps. It went to minus 65F here this winter for three weeks along with the normal minus 40’s and 30’s. We are all fine. I notice the pictures of this group with their zippers down, their fur ruffs back and wonder at their ignorance of arctic living. There are proper ways to survive and there are proper ways to do science. I think they failed at both.


Another thing that can be blamed on AGW :

John W.

I have zero sympathy for people killed or injured in the voluntary service of a lie.
Anyone heard where the bear is?


Lunch time for some polar bears.

What a little frost bite!
Stop the expedition.
That‘s only stop cowards, not true belivers.
Anyway, the artic ice is thining, the news say so.
This Monty Python video, “Star War” style is perfecty dedicated to their brave endevor.—black-knight-star-wars

Retired Engineer

When you stay that cold for that long, you make bad decisions. (BTDT) When you make bad decisions, you have bad experiences. (BTDT as well) They need to get out. While they still can.

Cassandra King

The chap in the photo has very swollen lips, if he got cold sores they would be very painfull!
On a more serious note, I hope they come back safe and a lot wiser for their silly adventure.

Richard Heg

OT Guess these “experts” dont read this blog much.
“Nine of 11 experts, who were among authors of the final summary by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2007 (IPCC), also said the evidence that mankind was to blame for climate change had grown stronger in the past two years.”


I’ll bet I’m not the first to see the irony in a global warming alarmist making this statement:
“. . . elderly patients who have switched off their heating, fearful of the cost . . ”
The goal of the enviro-whacko, global warming scammers is to increase the price of fuel so that we human viruses use less and therefore pump less CO2 into the environment.
YET, we are to feel compassion for those morons who may die due to self-inflicted hypothermia to drum up support for their pet theory which if they succeed would cause more elderly to suffer?
Psssssst: Catlin Crew. Warm is good. Doncha think?