Catlin Arctic Ice Survey: paid advertising of results before they are even off the ice!

Sharp eyed WUWT reader Rick K spotted this advertisement on Yahoo News:


Click for full sized screen cap

I double checked what Rick K reported, and yes, they are running this ad. Either they just don’t care that they are running ads for “results” prior to any hard data being published or this is some sort of advertising scheduling slipup. Given how sloppy this laughable facade of a scientific expedition has been so far, publishing “live” biometric readings that were actually 30 days old, I’m guessing the latter.

Readers, feel free to witness this yourself, double check the experience. Here is the URL:

You may have to refresh a few times since ads in the spot rotate. Here is the full sized advertisement:


The link simply goes to their main website, I’m betting though that there is some sort of “results” page that it was supposed to be linked to. And what sort of advice could some Arctic ice trekkers possibly give me about my business related to “global warming” anyway? The absurdity of such advertised advice  is mind boggling.

This is what happens when you mix the following ingredients:

1) An insurance company (Catlin)

2) Environmental zealots willing to stage an expedition in exchange for money on the premise that “science will be done”(Pen Hadow et al)

3) Gullible celebrity sponsors (Charles, Prince of Wales)

4) Gullible real scientists, like Ron Kwok of NASA Jet Propulsion Lab who was lured into making statements like this one, proudly displayed on their web site:


Click for full sized screen cap

Tell me, Dr. Kwok, just how will Catlin Arctic Survey tell me how soon “global warming will affect my business’?

A better question might be, “how soon will your association with these people ruin your career”? Do you already have the results of the data analysis ready to go with the advertising campaign?

Perhaps we should let Mr. Kwok know what is going on, because the sooner he distances himself from these people, the less chance that JPL will be tarnished further. As a US taxpayer I am concerned that our publicly funded science programs have anything to do with the Catlin farce. Fortunately, our scientists are required to keep their contact info in the public domain

The results of a Google Search tell us how to warn Mr. Kwok of this Catlin farce, perhaps he is unaware:

R. Kwok, is with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, 91109-. 8099, USA telephone: 818-354-5614, e-mail:

Perhaps their media relations people and director would be interested to know what Mr. Kwok has gotten himself and JPL connected with also.

I respect the work of the fine men and women at JPL, there is still time to step away before real damage is done. In the meantime, I weep for science.


newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Shawn Whelan

[snip – thread is about Catlin Arctic survey, not ozone, , not Antarctica, feel free to repost on a relevant thread]

Rupert Fiennes

Give Pen Hadow his due, he’s a serious polar explorer. I daresay Donald Trump turning up at Resolute with a fur coat asking to see polar bears would get a positive response if he offered to pay 🙂


Capitalist exploitation of our environment!
Sombody call Ralph Nader!


I like that: ‘Project its declining trend’. He knows it’s declining? Heh, I know it isn’t. And I’m with the Pet Protection Lab.

Brian Johnson

I am intrigued by the possible scenarios that Catlin have dreamed up for the time when the ‘intrepid arctic explorers’ are dramatically rescued from the last remaining piece of ice close [well, within about 350/400Kms, OK 450Kms] to the Geographic North Pole? Are their rescuers going to be landing on floats or skis? How many ‘explorers’ will have been eaten by polar bears? What a joke and how embarrassing for the Prince of Wails?

Richard Heg

40 years ago NASA put a man on the moon and now they spent their money on a song about global warming.
“AIM = Adapt Innovate Mitigate. What happens at Earth’s poles will rock your world. From POLAR-PALOOZA, a multimedia initiative with NSF & NASA support.”
Its like an inconvient truth the musical.

John Galt

What? You think they can do all this ‘science’ for free?


Every time I go on their website I get a little more embarrassed for them. I like how their homepage has pretty much rid itself of telemetry data and replaced it with a statement saying “The ice thickness measurements that Pen and the team have been able to phone in imply that they are travelling over predominantly thick first-year ice. Satellite imagery of the area, especially passive microwave imagery (e.g. AMSR and QuikScat data), indicates the area is indeed covered primarily with first-year ice and a scattering of multi-year ice floes.” Yeah, as mentioned before on here, you can do that at home.

Jack Green

Well this goes to show you that just like the science the conclusions were drawn and now they were looking for data to back it up. I wonder if this NASA scientist really wrote that quote. Email the guy and get his response. You never know.

Frank K.

“40 years ago NASA put a man on the moon and now they spent their money on a song about global warming.
“AIM = Adapt Innovate Mitigate. What happens at Earth’s poles will rock your world. From POLAR-PALOOZA, a multimedia initiative with NSF & NASA support.”
Its like an inconvenient truth the musical.”
I would be very interested to know how much federal funding goes into this program. It greatly offends me that in this time of economic hardship, my government chooses to use our tax dollars to sponsor climate change music videos!
On the other hand, I take great delight knowing that these clowns are doing their part to damage to the credibility of climate “science” in the public arena…


[snip – thread is about Catlin Arctic survey, not ozone, , not Antarctica, feel free to repost on a relevant thread]


As for insurance companies and climate change, try this one


[snip – off topic, this thread is about Catlin, not CO2, feel free to repost on a relevant thread]

Pamela Gray

I know how this works. The insurance company has ready made “in the can” reports put together by an ace team of advertising developers. These are already in the hands of their targeted consumers. The consumer (in this case the JPL) feels the need to be the “you heard it here first” group.
But lets go back a few years. I can imagine the insurance company coming together a couple of years ago in a brainstorming session to develop a new line of insurance products against disasters caused by global warming. Instead of “Act of God” insurance policies, it is now “Act of Human” insurance policies. The ice team is simply part of the plan put together by the company. It will be a money maker because hysteria has already been planted in the consumer’s mind who is now ready to buy said policy. The company, to be SURE, has figured out the odds of “Act of Human” disasters actually happening and knows this is easy money waiting to fall into their hands.
Intro to Business 101, Fall class 1973, OSU. It’s called “Skimming the Cream”.


[snip – thread is about Catlin Arctic survey, not ozone, , not Antarctica, feel free to repost on a relevant thread]

Robert Bateman

Do you mean to say that this is nothing more than an
“Expedition to Nowhere”?

Tom in Florida

I doubt that this is a slipup. Paid advertisers on Yahoo and Google have the ability to turn their ads on or off although both Yahoo and Google control the times they show.

Mike Bryant

Catlin Survey asks,
“How soon will Global Warming affect your business?”
Answer… Never, unless you mean the Catastrophic AGW Hypothesis that has affected every business worldwide. If you want to be on the winning team send money to Catlin NOW!!!
Please, we don’t accept noisy coins, send only nice quiet folding money…

Michael J. Bentley

Brian Johnson talks of an embarrassed Prince of Wales –
When one drops ones pants in front of a crowd, one expects a reaction – embarrassment would be if the crowd turned away rather than laughed.
Humm, looking at my post did I just make a bad punny???

Leon Brozyna

What did you expect? Catlin expects a return on its investment. They can be seen as being environmentally concerned while increasing their business.
In the meantime, all those folk who are vested in the AGW belief system keep holding onto the 2007 melt – the clock stopped for them – while they wait with bated breath for what they hope are results this September which will confirm their bias. And every downtick on the IARC-JAXA graph will be jumped on (such as yesterday’s 100,000 km² drop in ice extent) to tout the doom we face. While the extent is still at a seven year high for the date, it can easily drop and mix it up with previous years over the course of the next few months. I expect this September’s levels to be well above those set last year, leaving the AGW fantasy crowd hanging onto 2007 as a fading memory of the good times.


hmmm……, the question from Catlin is relevant for the Ice Cream Man, and the answer to “how soon will warming affect your business?” is about two months, at least in the NH. Ice Cream Man ring your bell, it’s summertime…. :-), sorry I could not resist the temptation


if basic physics tell us that is how IT SHOULD BE, what is going to tell us WHAT IS???
I would point you to the irrefutable fact that CO2 has continued its smooth rise while the temps have gone south.
There is nothing wrong with the physics. There is a LOT wrong with interpretations of it that ignore reality and empirical measurements. There is a LOT wrong with continuing to adjust the measurements to try and fit them to the PRECONCEPTIONS of the models instead of working to improve the measurements.
This period in history will go down with all the others where the Scientific Orthodoxy (AGW) was used to beat down those who simply were trying to ADVANCE SCIENCE!!! It will also be another warning against allowing Gubmint to interfere in Science and Education!!!

Please STOP this soap opera. No more Catlin promotion.


It seems to me that even the AGW believers must be able to see the light with this kind of thing. This is like announcing the results of the football game during the opening kickoff. Even if the expedition was doing “real science”, there are no results yet, let alone any actually analyzed results.
I, too, weep for science.
The irony of charades like this? The warmists keep whining that “we” are not “looking at the science”… that one always makes me laugh!

Jack Green

How soon will Global Warming affect your business? Soon if your name is Catlin because Catlin offers highly speculative securities in disaster insurance swaps. Scare people and they buy insurance.


The Catlin crew is all over the place as they try to spin cold, warming, ice, wind and water into their propaganda web.
It starts to get a little awkward:
They celebrate that it’s warmed to -20′. BUT, that will cause:
1. ” . . .increased likelihood of coming across open water. . .” (huh? doesn’t water still freeze at -20′ ?)
Two sentences later:
2. ” . . . the team were expecting to have to cross a fairly wide lead, of approximately 1km, but they reported ‘NO’ leads today.”
Next sentence:
3. “With the winds, the ice opens and closes in a matter of hours and it would have been quite likely that this is what would have happened here.”
Talk about conjecture, spin and just plain winging it. If all that planning and fancy telemetry has them ‘best guessing’ about what’s goin’ down up there . . . well, I’m sure not prepared to trust one scintilla of data they coming dragging back on those sledges.
Well, maybe a verified picture of a frostbitten toe or two.

On March 19 on my own blog when I was “following the money” I quoted the Catlin blurb on the sponsor’s page:
“Catlin Group Limited, a leading global specialty insurer and reinsurer writing more than 30 classes of business. We provide creative risk management solutions and excellent financial security to clients worldwide. ”
…and added the following parenthetical observation:
(Any bets about their “Climate Change Mitigation” lines of insurance?)
Now how did I see this coming?

[snip – off topic, sorry, windmills not relevant to this thread]

Chris D.

Excellent job of documenting this farce, Anthony. To quote my son: “They’re busted.”
Perhaps now Dr. Meier would like to take a stronger position than “I don’t anticipate using the Catlin data”?
It’s clearly time for outright condemnation of this masquerade by those whose field will be further tainted by those seeking to cash in with pre-determined outcomes.

“The melting of the sea ice will accelerate climate change, sea level rise and habitat loss on a global scale. Its loss is also a powerful indicator of the effects of human activity on our planet’s natural systems and processes. The Survey’s scientific findings will be taken to the national negotiating teams working to replace the Kyoto Protocol agreement at the UN Climate Change Conference of Parties in Copenhagen in December 2009.” (italics mine) — Catlin Arctic Survey
Apparently the conclusion of the study was prepared before any data was collected. In the “normal” scientific process (whatever that is anymore), this is the second to last step, but they moved it to number 1.

Jack Green

OK at the risk of getting the snip: The next thing Catlin will offer is anti-Pirate insurance. Pen Hadow will be the skipper of an oil tanker that will steam near Somalia while surveying small boats filled with Pirates. Catlin has underwritten the survey Catlin Gulf of Aden Survey. Mr Hadow made famous from his Arctic Expeditions has recently changed his career due to lack of ice in the Northern Regions. He was quoted recently as saying “Lack of Arctic Ice Surprises Explorers”.
Just trying to add a little humor here.

John W.

Wouldn’t this be a form of insurance fraud? Generating false data to drive up the demand for business?

Low frequency sound and health problems:
In moderate infrasonic exposures, the physiological effects observed in
experimental studies often seem to reflect a general slowdown of the
physiological and psychological state. The reduction in wakefulness and the
correlated physiological responses are not isolated phenomena and the
physiological changes are considered to be secondary reactions to a primary
effect on the CNS. The effects of moderate infrasound exposure are thought to
arise from a correlation between hearing perception and a following stimulation
of the CNS. The participation of the reticular activating system (RAS) and the
hypothalamus is thought to be of great importance. Taking this into account,
changes in the physiological reactions are not just a question of whether the
sound waves are above the hearing threshold. Furthermore reactions within
the CNS, including RAS, hypothalamus, limbic system, and cortical regions are
probably highly influenced by the quality of the sound. Some frequencies and
characters of the noise are probably more effective than others for producing
A high degree of caution is necessary before ascribing the origin of
physiological changes in working situations to infrasonic exposure because of
their association. When analysing the factors promoting fatigue e.g. driving,
many aspects have to be considered. The environment is usually a
combination of many factors such as seat comfort, visibility, instrumentation,



Nasty Sea Ice Returns East of Newfoundland
Unbeknownst to most folks (except perhaps to those who have seen The Shipping News, that spacey Kevin movie), there is significant oil & gas off the eastern coast of Newfoundland. This is roughly the area where Titanic went down in 1912, a bad year for ice, and about the time of the last significant drop in sunspots.
Curiously, drilling operations on the White Rose Field east of St. John’s were suspended last week due to heavy ice conditions. See
Nice report with map from Husky Energy:
Things are getting curiouser and curiouser.
Note that you won’t hear about this in the MSM, unless and until they decide to change bandwagons to the Global Cooling one; in which case the entire herd (well, whatever’s left) will send reporters to “report live from St. John’s”.
NB contrary to the wackie, greenie tone of “The Shipping News”, there hasn’t EVER been a spill from drilling or production operations in the Maritimes, AND (since the cod got decimated) oil & gas provides the only truly lucrative employment in the region.
[Not that it isn’t terribly dangerous; a few weeks back the main rotor shaft on a Super Puma broke on the way to the Hibernia platform, killing all 18 aboard, almost all Newfoundlanders.]
Oh, and BTW, contrary to the Monroe Doctrine, there IS still a european colony in the New World: the islands of St. Pierre and Michelon, just south of Argentia Bay. They are an “overseas department” of France (like Tahiti). I have been to both; more godforsaken places do not exist. Like New Orleans, folks must be buried in above ground crypts; not because of a high water table, but because there’s not enough SOIL to actually bury a body. Unlike New Orleans, many f the crypts have glass portholes so you can see inside; a nice jaunty nautical touch if you ask me.


For those of you who have never done scientific experiments, you invariably encounter unforeseen problems that prevent you taking the measurements you want. If you are in your lab you can redesign the experiment, order different equipment, or move on to a different experiment.
On an expedition you don’t have those luxurys, and have to persevere with whatever experiments you planned to do with whatever you brought with you.
On expensive expeditions like this, requiring months of planning, they are under considerable pressure to produce results (ie measurements).
Nobody wants a reputation for spending a lot of money and not producing anything worthwhile. So they must ‘measure and persevere’ irrespective of the quality of their measurements.
I’m not accusing them of scientific fraud, but I’m sure their quality control leaves a lot to be desired. It will be interesting to see who, if anyone, uses their data.

John H

I’m sure countless business owners are waiting with bated breath for Catlin to deliver their helpful report.
Yeah, you bet.
I can’t imagine what information they would be collecting to help any business at all. Unless it’s the mental health care industry.
Or the cold weather gear/clothing-expedition industry?
Oh I got it! The comedy business, Leno, Colbert, Stewart, will beneift.


Here’s more of their ignorance:
“The snow reduces the suns strength meaning Ann must resort to only using the winds direction as a navigation tool. They are still close enough to the Magnetic North Pole for it to play havoc with compasses, and as batteries are at a premium, the GPS is only switched intermittently during the day”
A wrist mounted Garmin Foretrex costs $99 on Ebay and will run 15 hours on two AAA batteries . For this trip, I’d splurge and get lithium batteries which work at -40 (C or F), and last twice as long. They are about half the weight of regular batteries, which weigh in at one ounce per pair. Our intrepid scientists are hauling several hundred pounds and cant bring a few ounces in batteries???

Douglas DC

Well, give the Catlin folks credit-maybe they know that the bloom’s off the AGW rose and they are trying to make a few bucks before the AGW insurance maket crashes.
Of Course there’s always the AGC market (Anthropomorphic Global Cooling-returns)
to exploit when things literally go south…
Get the team out NOW…

James P

“creative risk management”
That explains it…

D. King

Dr. Ron Kwok JPL NASA
Dear Sir,
I know you must be very excited to present
the results of the Catlin Arctic icehole data;
but could you please wait until our team of
intrepid arctic explores returns, so as not to
have the appearance that we reached our
conclusions before we reviewed the data.
Thank You,
Prince Chuck

John in NZ

On Monday morning ( my time which is 20 hours ahead of the expedition’s time ) the Catlin site (
reported the following
” Weather Snow
Present location 84°46’16.4″N
127° 36’ 55” W
Estimated distance to North Pole 548.93 km ”
Today which is Friday morning (my time)they are reporting
“Weather Cloudy
Present location 84°52’55″N
125° 54’ 42” W
Estimated distance to North Pole 568.93 km ”
Note the that in 4 days they estimate they are now 20 km further from the pole than on Monday.
This does not match up with the lat and lon which does have the getting closer to the pole.
Also, is it a coincidence that both estimates end in .93 ???
Errors like this make me have very little confidence in any results they publish.

John in NZ

Looking again at Monday’s
“Estimated distance to North Pole 548.93 km ”
I think it should have read “584.93 km”
This also raises the question, why do they “estimate” to two decimal places?


I do not remember this being predicted AT ALL. I’m in richmond, VA, and our high today is supposed to be 71. It’s sunny outside so I’m sure we should reach it….well, maybe.
I just got a shock. I just checked and our current temperature is…
Windchill is 17!!!!!!!!!
It is now noon here.
I check on this stuff every day, it’s not as if I’ve been in a closet the last few days.

Dave Middleton

Q: How soon will global warming affect your business?
A: Soon after Cap & Trade goes into effect…Then I won’t be able to afford to drive to work. Even if I take the bus, I won’t be able to afford to turn the lights on when I get there.


Krueger, I’m literally apathetic with surprise. But will the environmental and science story editing cretins in the main-stream media realise?

Warren Z

[snip – off topic]

Jack Green

Oh quit it. Everyone knows the coordinates are for demonstration purposes only.
Soon there will be a disclaimer just like the bio data: demonstration only, not realtime.

David Ball

This is really turning into a Kwok of (snip). Someone had to say it,….


With our current president delivering on his promises to address global warming, he has proposed hundreds of billions of dollars to ‘solve’ this problem. Catlin is like many companies that are lining up at the trough for a good feed. They will get theirs for now but how will we live with the consequences.

Leon Brozyna

John in NZ (08:56:56) :
Looking again at Monday’s
“Estimated distance to North Pole 548.93 km ”
I think it should have read “584.93 km”
This also raises the question, why do they “estimate” to two decimal places?

You were correct the first time. On Monday (Day 50) the distance to the pole was estimated at 548.93 km. On Wednesday (Day 52) the estimated distance was first shown as 551.16 km; they later (finally) corrected the distance to the pole on Day 52 as 583.38 km. They seem to have had a problem with estimating distance to the pole for some time now (as with everything else they’ve been doing).
On Day 53, the distance traveled (355.58) + estimated distance to pole (568.93) = total distance of 924.51, close to the original distance projected from their start point of 928.5 km.
For awhile their total distance they’ve been showing had been around 892 km, just a tad off.