Catlin Crew Out Of Time

Guest post by Steve Goddard

An Arctic Blizzard

As reported here two weeks ago, April 30 is the last safe date to recover explorers from the Arctic.  The people who rescued Pen Hadow from the Arctic in May, 2003 said this :

“People are at risk – the ice breaks and it shouldn’t really happen. No one should expect to be picked up from there later than 30 April … Going to the Pole this time of the year is a bit stupid and you put a lot of people’s lives at risk.”

In today’s Catlin update they say:

The ice team are positioned in the path of a huge storm. Pen reported this morning that winds are picking up, and the Ops team can see that over the next 36 hours the team will experience blizzard conditions with winds of up to 40 knots and a strong possibility of heavy snowfall.”

By the time the storm is over, they will have reached what has been described by the experts as the last safe date for recovery, both for them and for the rescuers.  They are still 542 km from the pole, which is 82 days away at their average rate of travel so far.

What is the sensible thing for them to do when the delayed Twin Otter plane (hopefully) arrives later in the week?


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Burch Seymour

I can’t even think of a comment for this apart from, why are they still there???
Completely off-topic, but this is an interesting story about the strange world view of the greens…

George E. Smith

Well given that they have not been too comfortable recently; they should get out of there as soon as weather allows.
Not a very great idea for a demonstration, is my view.

George Tobin

I thought the plan was to hunker down, wait for the imminent complete melt, inflate the rafts, break out the Aloha shirts and float out on the current while sipping maitais.
I’m just flabbergasted at the amount of ice and cold they are experiencing–in the ARCTIC of all places–who could have seen that coming?

Dave the Denier

I truly hope that they return safely, without further frostbite or injuries. More importantly, I hope those on the rescue mission do not take unnecessary risks with their personal safety to rescue the Three Stooges.
Years of ridicule is an appropriate outcome.

Richard deSousa

The Catlin team deserves the Knucklehead award of the year.

Mike Bryant

“yddar (05:02:20) :
Important Message:
The german Alfred-Wegner-Institut finished an expedition today:
The Ice in the arctic is two times thicker than expected: 4m instead of 2m”
In view of the above news, perhaps they have a few more weeks of safety… perhaps.


“What is the sensible thing for them to do …?”
So far, I haven’t seen anything sensible out of this crew. Their methodologies are junk science at best, and their strategy sounds like something out of a sixth-grade science fair project.
I hope they all survive their self-imposed ordeal…

Declare “Victory”, fly out.

Steven Goddard

Good point George – Guardian readers should know by now that the Arctic is a place for sunbathing and cuddling cute Polar Bears.

A measly 6.59km/day ?! Shackleton must be spinning in his grave. I bet we see some scathing comments from Pen about his tent mates once he starts yacking to the media.

Jeff B.

Hopefully no one dies in the process of extracting them. Especially the extraction team whom they put at risk with this stunt.

It’s clear what the sensible thing is – and Ann Daniels who has four children and who is often crying under her hoodie
will probably agree. But these folks were not sent to do reasonable things. They were sent to bring the prophecy from the AGW God, that may help the global carbon junta to regulate the world in Copenhagen, or to be sacrificed.
The April 30th deadline is now absurd, and it has always been. 97% of my readers
think that they won’t make it to the North Pole. Among them, 57% of all readers think that they will be dramatically evacuated. 16% think that at least one of them will perish.


Ah yes! But science marches on!
“The team declined the offer of a ‘drop’ because of its one-way nature. They’d be unable to hand over scientific results, film and photographic footage – the expedition’s essential data – for delivery to the UK.”
I hope they get some video of the following:
“Directly in their path is a stretch of open water that’s getting wider as the days go on, meaning they face the prospect of putting on their immersion suits and swimming across if satellite images are unable to detect an accessible crossing point.”

P Folkens

“yddar (05:02:20) : Important Message: The german Alfred-Wegner-Institut finished an expedition today: The Ice in the arctic is two times thicker than expected: 4m instead of 2m”
Das Dokument existiert nicht (mehr). (trans: The article does not exist.)
I’d be nice to have a working link or a copy of the article.


“Completely off-topic, but this is an interesting story about the strange world view of the green”
what is strange? is no mystery that the green main objective is to cause the death of 2 or 3 billions people. anything that goes against this mad project is “environmentally unsustainable”


AMSR-E shows that there is more ice right now than any other time on this date (in that time series).

These people are heading into Darwin Award territory. “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.”
Perhaps it’s time to start pressuring the sponsors of this quixotic quest to pull the plug and get these people out and safe, while there’s still time.

Mike Bryant (09:42:34) :
“yddar (05:02:20) :
Important Message:
The german Alfred-Wegner-Institut finished an expedition today:
The Ice in the arctic is two times thicker than expected: 4m instead of 2m”
(the document of the link is lost)
Anyone check out were the Wegener Institut ice measurements were taken?. I gather when they say that the ice is twice as thick as expected – 4 metres, they are talking about 1st year ice then. Even the Catlin expedtion were reporting thicker than usual first year ice (Ice that is still probably thickening up in that region. Also, if this is a big three or four day storm on top of thicker ice, the arctic is going to have a higher albedo for a bit longer than usual. The temperature at Alert on the northern tip of Ellesmere Is., the closest station to the C crew is -21C: See the interactive map of the arctic with clickable weather station data:

Also, note a sun spot(?) on right of centre below the equator.


P Folkens,
here is my previous post with translation from German:
From Radio Bremen interview:
“The research aircraft Polar 5 ended today in Canada a recent Arctic expedition. During the flight, researchers have measured the current ice thickness at the North Pole, and in areas that have never before been overflown. Result: The sea-ice in the surveyed areas is apparently thicker than scientists had suspected.
Normally, after two years newly formed ice is over two meters thick. “Here ice thickness was up to four meters,” said a spokesman of Bremerhaven’s Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research. For scientists, this result is contradicting the warming of the seawater.
Besides the ice thickness, also the composition of the air was investigated. With the help of a laser, the researchers reviewed how polluted the atmosphere by emissions from industrialized countries. In the next few weeks the results are evaluated. On the expedition were some 20 scientists from the U.S., Canada, Italy and Germany.”
The translation is mine so I cannot guarantee the accuracy.
Here is more about the expedition:


There is a point where physical decline hits an inflection point and mental capacity follows. I would not be surprised to see them die out there.


What a cluster*&#$.


I’m surprised they didn’t bail out earlier.
Then they could have claimed that they were surprised at how rapid the ice was melting and they proved that the sea ice is even thinner than originally even they thought.
“We barely made it out alive and we could literally watch the sea ice melting before us. When they took off from Eureka, we thought we had enough ice to last buoy use for several days, but when the plane landed, it was sinking into the ice and the last person had to literally jump into the plane as it was getting airborne. Thank the Goracle we made it out alive.”


Opps…cut it short again……
the last bit should read:

Dear P Folkens,
the following copy of the article about the thick ice still exists:
Please, someone, make a copy for yourself. 😉 Best wishes, Lubos

At Richard De Sousa
Hi Richard,
R U the same Richard De Sousa that wrote a humorous article on gossip with a quote from Patricia Meyer Spanks (initials pms), somehow connected with the University of Toronto?
I have used that article in a couple of sermons and then saw your name in the list of comments today.
Grant Hodges


I also find it funny that they have kept changing the goal posts on this trip.
Initial starting point was supposed to be 80N, 140W, which would have put them right in the middle of the Beaufort Gyre (home of those playful, cuddly polar bears from the AIT video), in the midst of what has historically been an area dominated by first year ice.
Then they actually started close to 130W, so as to be “traversing through an area with more multi-year ice” even though this is still part of the Gyre, and the satellite images projected this area to still be predominantly first year ice.
They have now drift East more than 7 degrees, meaning they have traveled further East than North in this trip. Basically, they ignored the known ice drift pattern of the currents in the Gyre.
The Gyre’s currents rotate in a clockwise circle, taking the ice pack above it to the East and South, pushing the floes against the Northern Canadian coastline and breaking up the pack in the process. If they would just sit still, they would end up in Alert in a couple of months


Gary Pearse,
here is the flight route for the ice thickness measurements:

P Folkens. Add .html in the end.

Frank Lansner

I think all this ICE focus from the alarmists is grotesk. And i think we sceptics should be better to point out the obvious problem:
I asked a guy in a debate:
“What does best say something about the global temperatures?
a) The Ice area?
b) The global temperatures?
The guy didnt answer. But its so obvious, that in times with falling global temperatures we are all hypnotised to focus on the ice instead. Very convenient. Until of course even the ice dont reflect any potential sign of global warming. I think its briliant the way that Goddard and Anthony and everyone disproves the lies about ice extend, but it would be nice repeatedly to also remember all, that this is about global temperatures and nothing else. And global temperatures HAVE stagnated for 10 years, and appears to have falling tendensy.
The global tempartures speak a clear language never mind what on earth happends to the ice. As long as people has ice for their Martinis, ice itself is not that important.
Another question to the alarmist:
Which ice area is then important?
a) Antarctic winter ice?
b) Antarctic summer ice?
c) Arctic winter ice?
d) Arctic summer ice?
Of course, only d) really showed something that significantly could be interpreted as global warming, and then only d) seemed to have his interest.
And then, what happends when even d) is not usefull for the alarmists anymore?? What will they then try to focus on?
Lubos: “They were sent to bring the prophecy from the AGW God, that may help the global carbon junta to regulate the world in Copenhagen, or to be sacrificed.”
As A Dane im so ashamed of this Copenhagen meeting dec 2009. Many Danes thinks it brings a good light on Denmark, but in all ways its a disaster im sad my town Copenhagen will be linked to this scandal in many years ahead.
(By the way Lubos, a guy called Roman i work with -SAP- seems to know you?)


I don’t think they ever planned on being sensible in the first place. Their website says they planned on trekking across the ice for “around 100 days”. They didn’t leave until Feb 28. That means they didn’t plan on being picked up until the first week of JUNE.
Could a large helicopter make it to their position and back?

John Wright

“Das Dokument existiert nicht (mehr). (trans: The article does not exist.)” Correction: The document no longer exists.


I can not wait for the Catlin crew to return.
I expect them to post a video on their website depicting them hurriedly drilling ‘one last sample hole’ before departing.
Later some industrious hacker will examine the video file and determine that it was actually taken BEFORE they left for their adventure on the Arctic ice.

I have no more sympathy for these fools than I had for Siegried & Roy after the lion attacked. Play with fire…
Their death might save trillions of dollars and millions of lives.
Martyrs for what they perceived as a good cause. Let Al Gore and his ilk say hossanahs in their memory.

Steven Hill

I expected that guy who was going to Kayak the ice free arctitc ocean to be on his way by now, afterall, all I see on NBC, CNN, CBS and ABC is the arctic is melting at an alarming rate.


To answer Frank Lansner (10:49:20),
“What will they then try to focus on?”
The answer is ‘Ocean Acidification due to increased atmospheric CO2.’ This train is already running down the tracks.
What is so cute about acidification is that CO2 emissions are directly linked to industrial production. Since the objective of the AGW people is not to limit global warming, but rather to limit economic expansion, this gives them further tools to attack consumerism.

The translation of the four-meter-ice German article is here:
I hope that Google Translate combined with my German were sufficient. 😉

John G. Bell

The money shot was going to be our heroes swimming the gap to save their lives as the plane waits on the other side. Alas, the hard won data left behind. What a loss to humanity! And just at the close, Ann, with tears says in a close up, “We always had hope. Imagine what a drowning polar bear goes through.”
If they freeze to death on the ice due to global cooling, it will take a bunch of spin to get the story right. I’ll start working on it. Thinking “Climate Change” not “Global Warming” is probably key.
It could be worse. I mean if one of them got eaten by a bear. How do you spin that?

Steven Goddard

They should get out before ice extent goes above the 1979-2000 mean.

Dear Frank, I can only guess which Roman – but do you work with Roman Staněk? I hope you enjoy it! 😉 I also know Roman Beránek and a few other Romans.

OT Astronomers find distant and odscure nestle where HE was incubated!!!
Many eons ago before this alien and horrendous being (The One who does not exhale CO2), would have decided to invade our earth :


I hope the remainder of the ice doesn’t evaporate (as according to Waxman) before the resupply plane arrives. I’d hate to see them eaten by the tundra.

Steven Goddard

OK, So temperatures aren’t rising and the Arctic isn’t melting – but we can still try to find something to blame on CO2!

They believe the world’s oceans are becoming more acidic because of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and they are predicting the end result could be a massive extinction of sea life.

Indiana Bones

There’s a photo today of Pen Hadow with a 12 foot ice drill in hand. Apparently the “unexpected lack of multi-year ice” has come to an end. And I found this quote from the Catlin site interesting:
“There’s no question that the Catlin Arctic Survey’s manual measuring techniques have the capacity to provide the first large scale direct measurements of ice thickness in the High Arctic,” says Seymour Laxon, from the Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling at University College London. “Drilling holes might be the most basic method, but it’s also the most fundamental.”
Obviously Mr. Laxon has never heard of the Polar 5 Expedition that has just returned data questioning the Catlin claims. And not to harp on semantics, but how does a “basic” hole differ from a “fundamental” hole?

Steven Hill

With articles like this one, I am starting to wonder what is gong on…..are people really this stupid?
Planet On the Brink,28804,1888728_1888736,00.html
Though scientists have directly assessed the viability of fewer than 3% of the world’s described species, the sample polling of animal populations so far suggests that we may have entered what will be the planet’s sixth great extinction wave. And this time the cause isn’t an errant asteroid or megavolcanoes. It’s us.

Frank Lansner

Lubos, thanks to you and havel, theres only 11% of the Tjeck republic people who believes in man made global warming, correct?? You derserve a medal.
I have not commented on your site but use it often.
(Your explanation of AMO is splendid :
I think Roman is working in “olamaud”.

Stephen Skinner

I’m sorry that this is a little OT but I cannot find where else to put this. This was on Yahoo and the sentiment makes me cross.
“Icebergs break away from Antarctic iceshelf”
“There is little doubt that these changes are the result of atmospheric warming on the Antarctic Peninsula, which has been the most rapid in the Southern Hemisphere,” explained David Vaughan from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS).
There is a certainty in this point of view that raises suspicions considering the nature of the ice cracks as shown in the photo. The Antarctic is moving further into Winter and getting colder by the day. What looks convincingly like structural failure is not even considered and does not even appear to have been explored?
So Australia has landed an Airbus on the this ice shelf; and here is a video of a C17 landing on the same ice:
I sometimes wonder whether all the physical effort used to study the poles might be bringing about the very changes that that effort is trying to find.

Steven Hill

“They should get out before ice extent goes above the 1979-2000 mean.”
We all know that chart is flawed, there is no ice on the planet now, it’s all melted.

Lol…there would be a certain irony if the idiots were ice cubed, though no doubt their fellow travellers, and other useful idiots, would be putting the blame on AGW.