The Top Ten Reasons why I think Catlin Arctic Ice Survey data can't be trusted

First, I loathe having to write another story about Pen Hadow and his Catlin Arctic Ice expedition, which I consider the scientific joke of 2009. But these opportunistic explorers are once again getting some press over the “science” data, and of course it is being used to make the usual alarmist pronouncements such as this badly written story in the BBC:

Click for a larger image
Click for a larger image

WUWT followed the entire activist affair disguised as a science expedition from the start. You can see all of the coverage here. It’s not pretty. When I say this expedition was the “scientific joke of 2009”, I mean it.

On to the Top Ten List.

Top Ten Reasons why the Catlin Arctic Ice Survey data can’t be trusted


High profile news and PR from the beginning, plus an unrealistic vision of self importance related to the mission. The entire venture was publicized well in advance of the actual expedition, and the mission was “too important to fail” according to the January 23rd interview with The Guardian Catlin team leader Pen Hadow said:

“During this mammoth expedition we will gather the essential data that scientists need to more accurately determine when the permanent floating sea ice will disappear altogether. We cannot afford to fail on this mission – there is too much at stake.”

With pronouncements like that, you also can’t afford not to bring home  a result consistent with the theme of the expedition.


Reality Show Science as reported here, “The trio will be sending in regular diary entries, videos and photographs to BBC News throughout their expedition.” When you tie science too closely to the media from the beginning, it predetermines some outcomes. That pressure is always there to produce the story rather than focus on the task. This is why most proper science is done well away from the media and the results are reported afterwards.


Hadow, by his own admission, has an unrealistic and biased warmer view of the Arctic that doesn’t match the current data. In his Curriculum Vitae posted here, he writes:

“Twenty years ago, you could walk to the North Pole – now you have to swim part of the way there.”

Only problem is, the satellite data showed a completely different picture of solid ice, and Hadow’s expedition encountered temperatures of -44F (-42C) along the way, and the vast majority of the trip was below 32F (0C). He didn’t encounter vast leads of water along the way, and in fact encountered ice conditions far worse than he expected. This shows his bias for a warmer trip from the start.


The Catlin team’s scientific advisor at the beginning of the trip seemed to already have a predetermined outcome for the Arctic. In this BBC article and  interview they write of Professor Wieslaw Maslowski, a science advisor to the survey:

“Ultimately, Professor Maslowski hopes to finesse his forecast for when the first ice-free summer might arrive.

Currently, he has it down for 2013 – but with an uncertainty range between 2010 and 2016.”

So if they already had this figured out from the beginning, why make the trip at all? Is it so the BBC could recycle the headline again today saying Arctic to be ‘ice-free in summer’? Why do “science” at great personal risk when you already are sure of the end game? There’s also another nugget of predisposition wisdom by Catlin’s science advisor Professor Maslowski. Read on.


They failed to advise of major equipment failure in a timely manner, inviting suspicion. The ice radar sounding equipment that was designed to do the thickness survey failed miserably, almost from day one, yet even though they were “sending in regular diary entries, videos and photographs to BBC News throughout their expedition,” the world didn’t learn of that failure until day 44 of the 73 day expedition. When Apollo 13 had a problem, the world knew about it almost immediately. When Catlin had a problem, it was covered up for well over a month, yet that didn’t stop the BBC from paraphrasing Apollo 13’s famous words for a headline ‘London, we have a problem’ as if there was some parallel in integrity and timeliness here.


Hadow and his scientific advisor erroneously believed that their expedition was the only way ice thickness measurements could be done, and they seemed oblivious to other efforts and systems.

From this BBC article and  interview:

“No other information on ice thickness like this is expected to be made available to the scientific community in 2009,” explained Arctic ice modeller Professor Wieslaw Maslowski, a science advisor to the survey.

While this was obviously a selling point to sponsors and an ego boost for the team, it was flat wrong. For example, there’s a bouy network that provides ice thickness data,. Then there’s ICEsat which provides mass and balance measurements, as well as ice thickness maps, shown below:

This sequence shows Arctic sea ice thickness derived from fall campaigns from the ICESat satellite. While the sea ice extent might look similar from year to year this thickness data shows dramatic thinning especially near the North Pole (shown in dark blue). This image was generated with data acquired between Oct 4 - Oct 19, 2008.

ICESat data for Fall 2008, source NASA Scientific Visualization Studio

As reported on WUWT, another data source of Arctic Ice thickness in 2009 came in the form of an aerial survey with a towed radar array from the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research. They didn’t have to risk lives, create drama, or bleat constant headlines to the BBC while doing the science. They simply flew the plane over the ice a few times.

Here’s some excerpts of what was reported on WUWT in the story Inconvenient Eisdicken – “surprising results” from the Arctic

At the North Pole ice sheet is thicker than expected

Das Forschungsflugzeug "Polar 5" in Bremerhaven [Quelle: AWI]

The “Polar 5″ in Bremerhaven

The research aircraft Polar 5 “ended today in Canada’s recent Arctic expedition.  During the flight, researchers have measured the current Eisstärke measured 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 the researchers had suspected.

Normally, ice is newly formed after two years, over two meters thick. “Here were Eisdicken up to four meters,” said a spokesman of Bremerhaven’s Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research. For scientists, this result is still in contradiction to the warming of the seawater.

Gosh. Where’s the polar death defying drama in that?


Due to the extreme cold conditions they were not fully prepared for, they completed less than half of the planned trip. Originally it was to be a 1000 kilometer trip to the North Pole which according to early interviews given by Hadow was easily done, yet they failed. The original start point was to be at 81N 130W but they actually started closer to the pole by about 100 kilometers.

Click here to explore the Catlin Arctic Survey in Google Earth (right click and save as)

According to the Google Earth KML file provided by Catlin, they started at  81.7N 129.7W and ended at 85.5N 125.6W for a total distance of approximately 435 kilometers over 73 days. Hardly a broad survey of the Arctic Ice when put into perspective on the Google Earth and ICEsat maps shown below:

Catlin Route Map from GPS data with planned and actual start/end points
Catlin Route Map from GPS data with planned and actual start/end points

Here’s the Catlin Arctic Ice Survey Route overlaid on the ICEsat map. You can see just how little of the ice was actually surveyed.

Catlin Arctic Survey Path over ICEsat map
Catlin Arctic Survey Path over ICEsat map - click for larger image

Note that the ICEsat image is from Fall 2008, while the Catlin trip was in the Spring of 2009. Since we all know sea ice moves, often connected to the Beaufort Gyre, it is likely that the path depicted does not represent the ice Catlin actually traveled over. The sea ice may have moved so that the Catlin path traversed some of the thinner ice to the west, though some thickening of the ice would also be expected during the winter of 2009. The point of this map was to put the route in perspective.


There’s very little actual data return for 73 days on the ice, only 39 datapoints. See the dataset they provide in the Excel file here:

Ice Report CAS Snow Ice Measurements – Final 2009

Final surveying results from the 2009 expedition.

The actual number of holes drilled and measured for ice thickness by Pen Hadow is said to be in the hundreds, and what we see in the Excel file is the average of those many holes at each drilling session. While I commend them for providing the raw hole data, problems with potential measurement bias don’t appear to be well addressed in the methodology paper they provide here (PDF) while it is mentioned in the preliminary June report:

“One further consideration, when interpreting the ice thickness measurements made by the Catlin Arctic Survey team, may be navigational bias. Typically, the surface of First Year Ice floes are flatterthan that of multi‐year ice floes and because the team systematically seeks out flatter ice which is easier to travel over and camp on, there is a risk that the ice surveyed will not be representative.”

Since they make no mention of the potential measurement bias in the final report, it appears that there wasn’t anything but lip service consideration given to it in the early report, possibly to appease critics.


One of the most prominent sea ice researchers in the world, Dr. Walt Meier of NSIDC said he would not use the Catlin data saying in a post here on WUWT:

“I don’t anticipate using the Catlin data.”

That begs the question then, beyond the use of the data for generating news stories like we’ve seen in the BBC and other media outlets, who will? Even the media outlets have ignored the actual data Catlin made available, preferring sound bites over data bytes.


The Catlin Arctic Ice Survey knowingly presented false data to the public and to the media in their web presentation.

As many WUWT readers recall, it was here that it was discovered that Catlin’s website had bogus telemetry data on it, giving the impression of “live data from the ice” when in fact the data repeated in an endless loop from a short period.

Here’s the story from WUWT

Catlin Arctic Survey website recycles biotelemetry data?

Something quite odd is going on at the Catlin Arctic Survey website at:

It appears that they are presenting recycled data from the biotelemetry sensors on the team. The “live from the ice” biotelemetry data for each team member is presented here:

Here is a screencap of what the biotelemetry section of that webpage looks like:

click for full sized imageclick for full sized image

A WUWT commenter posted this:

karl heuer (07:40:46) :

The “Live from the Ice” biotelemetry is definitely not live:

When the data loads,

Pen Hadow core temp starts at 33.25 C every time the page loads, then increments up to 33.57, 33.64, 33.7, 33.75

every time, I have refreshed, cleared temp files and rebooted — still the same

WUWT commenter “hotrod” did his own check:

I just tried it looking at Pen Haddow’s pulse rate — Hmmm what are the odds that 32 consecutive pulse rate measurements would be identical?

Yes looks like the bio metric data is just white was to make their site look nifty, and has absolutely no value at all — perhaps they already have all their ice measurements in the can too?

When called out on the bogus telemetry data issue, the Catlin support team, rather than addressing the issue head on and with transparency, simply changed the web page for “live” telemetry to read “demonstrational”, and it remains that way today.

This is what it originally showed:


Now it says:


Of course they could just end the farce and remove it. Because, well,  who needs demonstrational biotelemetry anyway?

They also posted this at the bottom of the main page:

An apology

We’d like to apologise to anybody who felt misled by our recent biometric data. The data was initially displayed in error in a way that gave the impression that it was live. The intended qualification and explanation that it was, in fact, delayed information, was at first missing. We have subsequently corrected this with specific information concerning the above data. We apologise for the errors and to anyone who may have found the data misleading.

The real question is: how long would they have let that “live” impression go on had WUWT not called them on it? Originally the URL for the “biotelemetry” was

Now that URL if typed in your browser is automatically redirected to:

So with the words “telemetry” and “live_from_the_ice.aspx” it is clear what the original intent was. The apology is about saving face, nothing else.

So the question to readers and media is: with these sorts of issues listed above, do you really want to trust the data from a group of people that perform and present “science” in this way? If you do, it would seem to me that you are putting form over substance. Even if we didn’t have these trust issues, are 39 datapoints over a short section of the Arctic really that useful given the other tools shown to be at the disposal of real science?

The Catlin Arctic Ice Survey is in my opinion, nothing more than a badly executed public relations stunt covered with the thinnest veneer of attempted science.

Update: On the morning of 10/15 I fixed about a half dozen typographical and grammatical errors in the essay. h/t to Harold Ambler and others for the tips on these. This included changing the description to “opportunistic explorers” in the first paragraph as in retrospect I felt my original description of was too harsh, since despite the shortcomings, omissions, and PR fluff, these people did a physical feat that few could do. My conclusion above remains unchanged by that fact though. – Anthony

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October 15, 2009 1:38 am

Just when they opened a debate about the BBC’s bias in climate matters :
It would be good to take part.

Al Gore's Holy Hologram
October 15, 2009 1:39 am

Their “dangerous” expedition on “disappearing” Artic ice was such a joke that a marathon was taking place at the North Pole at the same time. Not one of the runners feared falling through ice over the 27 mile run.

Patrick Davis
October 15, 2009 1:41 am

I glad there is an article about Catlin survey. On SBS news tonight here in Australia, apparently the results prove there is “climate change” and dramatic action is required now and a robust agreement in Copenhagen is required to reduce emissions. The Arctice *will* ice free in 10 years (2019, 6 years on the Goracle).

October 15, 2009 1:51 am

Extremely well put.
Lets follow the ice-free Arctic bet. 2010-2015 is not that far.
Studied Arctic since 1960 and learned nothing.

Ed Zuiderwijk
October 15, 2009 1:54 am

Catlin is an Insurance company specialising in selling cover against risk from “climate change”. Well, let’s say: it’s not an oil company.
The expedition, by definition will come back with biased data: multi-year old ice is bumpy and considerably less negiotiable than fresh, one-year ice. So the “expedition”, completely naturally, will be forced to follow the young ice and then measures that it’s “thinner than expected” (expected by whom, the Prince of Wales perhaps?). It’s a no-brainer.
O, I almost forgot: nothing has been published in the peer reviewed journals, it’s all PR and self-promotion. With respect to the learned professors involved, I’d put it that it borders on scientific misconduct.

October 15, 2009 1:55 am

“Follow the money!”
Wise words, and just look at the primary sponsor of this expedition – an insurance company!
Colour me surprised.
Many years ago, when the AGW boondoggle was just getting started, and neighbouring waterfront property owners were fretting about Global Warming and sea-level rise, I flippiantly suggested starting an insurance company to insure properties against sea-level encroachment.
As only the seriously wealthy would be affected, the premiums would reflect the risk – a target-market insurer which would provide Global Warming peace of mind, for as little as $1,000 per annum, per property.
I have been kicking myself ever since, as you can imagine……

Rhys Jaggar
October 15, 2009 1:58 am

1. If the arctic will be ‘ice free’ in 6 years or so, why has it’s minimum extent INCREASED significantly for both the past two years?
2. What are these ‘drivers’ which will drive this further??
3. Are these scientists prepared to resign their positions if they are proved to be flat wrong??
4. Are they prepared to share in detail their modelling assumptions which ‘prove’ that this ice will not exist??
My take on this:
1. If you believe global warming, you have the Socialist escape route from the credit crunch.
2. If you don’t, you have a 1981-style crushing of state expenditure.
Nothing to do with science, is it??

October 15, 2009 2:01 am

I’m surprised these jokers have the fortitude to show their faces in public, let alone preaching, after the debacle, the expedition turned out to be.
But then again, I can only go by the way I would feel!

October 15, 2009 2:03 am

If you have to lie to justify your claims, then your claims are NOT just!
Climate alarmists have lied about Catalin, lied about the cause of low ice in 2007, the tree rings and ice cores basis for the “hockey stick”, the extent of sea-level increase, the numbers of Polar bears, and pretty much every thing else that they claim in order to frighten money out of the tax-payer.
I knew that the BBC had not had a conversion to sound climate science reporting. They are still blatantly reporting utter rubbish (as today’s ice scare shows), but it is not just rubbish, but deliberately fraudulent rubbish.
The BBC are failing in their duty to remain impartial. Reporting anything about the Catalin “adventure” without the caveats listed in the excellent article above, is a betrayal of science and scientific journalism.

October 15, 2009 2:10 am

What a wonderful parable of our time was the expedition to the North Pole led by the explorer Pen Hadow. With two companions, he aimed to measure the thickness of the ice to show how fast it is “declining”. His expedition was one of a series of events designed to “raise awareness of the dangers of climate change” before December’s conference in Copenhagen, where the carbon dioxide Taliban hope to get a new treaty imposing much more drastic cuts on CO2 emissions.
Hadow’s Catlin Arctic Project had top-level backing from the likes of the BBC, the WWF (it could “make a lasting difference to policy-relevant science”) and Prince Charles (“for the sake of our children and grandchildren, I pray that we will heed the results of the Catlin Arctic Survey and I can only commend this remarkably important project”).
With perfect timing, the setting out from Britain of the “Global Warming Three” was hampered by “an unusually heavy snowfall”. When they were airlifted to the start of their trek by a twin-engine Otter – one hopes a whole forest has been planted to offset its “carbon footprint” – they were startled to find how cold it was. The BBC dutifully reported how, in temperatures of -40ºC, they were “battered by wind, bitten by frost and bruised by falls on the ice”.
Thanks to the ice constantly shifting, it was “disheartening”, reported Hadow, to find that “when you’ve slogged for a day”, you can wake up next morning to find you have “drifted back to where you started’’. Down to their last scraps of food, and two days from officially being described as starving, they were saved in the nick of time by an Otter plane. They were disconcerted to see one of those polar bears, threatened with extinction by global warming, wandering around, doubtless eyeing them up for its dinner.
But at least one of the intrepid trio was able to send a birthday message to his mum, via the BBC, and they were able to talk by telephone to “some of the world’s most influential climate change leaders”, including Development Secretary Douglas Alexander in front of 300 people at “a conference on world poverty”.
The idea was that the expedition should take regular radar fixes on the ice thickness, to be fed into a computer model in California run by Professor Wieslaw Maslowski, whose team, according to the BBC, “is well known for producing results that show much faster ice-loss than other modelling teams”. The professor predicted that summer ice could be completely gone by 2009.

October 15, 2009 2:12 am

Ed Z:
Great minds think alike!

Phillip Bratby
October 15, 2009 2:14 am

I agree entirely. Comments should be posted at the BBC for providing this propaganda as a main news item.

M White
October 15, 2009 2:19 am

Slightly OT but checkout the Cryosphere Today comparison page
Every date I put in, even if the page is just refreshed I get a random image record thrown out. This has been going on for several days now. Has anyone else had this problem?????

Britannic no-see-um
October 15, 2009 2:27 am

A welcome precis of this farce.
Typo para 5 line 5 hot-texted ‘buoy’

UK John
October 15, 2009 2:27 am

Before we all leap to display our doubts and prejudices, is the scientific study/report that led Proffessor Wadhams to reach these conclusions available to us?
If it is available we should look at it then conclude, if it isn’t available then it is just [snip]

October 15, 2009 2:31 am

Ah, Mr. Hadow. Look, old boy, we need (for our own reasons) to prove that the arctic ice sheet is thinning, and as a result we’re all going to die. It’s not really negotiable, so It would be really useful if you could go to the arctic and make it so. OK? Jolly good, off you go, then – we’ll hold off publishing your, er, “results” until you get back, we don’t want any “misunderstandings, do we?

October 15, 2009 2:49 am

BBC says: “When the ridges of ice between floes are included, the expedition found an average thickness of 4.8m.”
To me that sounds quite thick average thickness. Were is the data for this average thickness? If it really is 4.8 meters, why all the noise?
Has the Catlin crew published the detailed drill hole data, not just the averages?

October 15, 2009 2:57 am

It’s now being reported that
“Wadhams, one of the world’s leading experts on sea ice cover in the North Pole region, compared ice thickness measurements taken by a Royal Navy submarine in 2007 with evidence gathered by the British explorer Pen Hadow earlier this year.
“Hadow and his team on the Catlin Arctic Survey drilled 1,500 holes to gather evidence during a 280 mile walk across the Arctic. They found the average thickness of ice-floes was 1.8 metres, a depth considered too thin to survive the summer’s ice melt.”,2933,566601,00.html
Could one of you much-smarter-than-I-am folks please explain to me how 39 data points miraculously expands into 1,500 holes?

October 15, 2009 2:59 am

I’ve just heard Dr Vicky Pope on BBC news say “that every year there has been year on year ice loss” when asked about the Catlin prediction.
Obviously the Met office doesn’t include the data for the last two summers.
The statement would have been true if said in 2007.
And the press go on about taxpayers money going to bankers, maybe they should look at some other areas where taxpayers money is wasted 🙁

October 15, 2009 3:00 am

Or how an average ice thickness of 4.8 meters somehow becomes 1.8 meters?

October 15, 2009 3:14 am

Just love the sponsor above Nokia in the pic.
The European Climate Exchange, exchanging fear for cash since 2005.

October 15, 2009 3:15 am

I’ve made a formal complaint to the BBC re the innacuracy of the article.
I’m not holding my breath for the result!

Robin Guenier
October 15, 2009 3:22 am

The BBC is now giving this story huge prominence (2 column picture with scary headline) at the top of its website:

Margos Maid
October 15, 2009 3:24 am
Patrick Davis
October 15, 2009 3:27 am

Bill Tuttle, these are trick questions right?

October 15, 2009 3:29 am

This press release was issued by WWF (the wildlife organisation campaigning for massive carbon dioxide reductions in the run-up to Copenhagen).
As a conservation biologist I find it very disturbing. I am greatly indebted to the quality of this site and the analysis. Here below is an example of how an organisation I previously had great respect for has lost itself in propaganda, hype and very poor science (I will post my response – having written to their co-ordinator, and his reply):
New data, released today by the Catlin Arctic Survey and WWF, provides further evidence that the Arctic Ocean sea ice is thinning, supporting the emerging thinking that the Ocean will be largely ice-free during summer within a decade.
The data (1), collected by manual drilling and observations on a 450-kilometre route across the northern part of the Beaufort Sea (2), suggests the survey area is comprised almost exclusively of first-year ice.
This is a significant finding because the region has traditionally contained older, thicker multi-year ice. The average thickness of the ice-floes measured 1.8 metres, a depth considered too thin to survive the next summer’s ice melt. (4)
These findings have been analysed by the Polar Ocean Physics Group (3) at the University of Cambridge, led by Professor Peter Wadhams, one of the world’s leading experts on sea ice cover in the North Pole region.
“With a larger part of the region now first year ice, it is clearly more vulnerable,” said Professor Wadhams. “The area is now more likely to become open water each summer, bringing forward the potential date when the summer sea ice will be completely gone.”
Wadhams continued: “The Catlin Arctic Survey data supports the new consensus view — based on seasonal variation of ice extent and thickness, changes in temperatures, winds and especially ice composition — that the Arctic will be ice-free in summer within about 20 years, and that much of the decrease will be happening within 10 years.”
“That means you’ll be able to treat the Arctic as if it were essentially an open sea in the summer and have transport across the Arctic Ocean.”
According to the scientists who have studied the data, the technique used by the explorers to take measurements on the surface of the ice has the potential to help ice modellers to refine predictions about the future survival or decline of the ice.
Catlin Arctic Survey expedition leader Pen Hadow commented: “This is the kind of scientific work we always wanted to support by getting to places in the Arctic which are otherwise nearly impossible to reach for research purposes. It’s what modern exploration should be doing. Our on-the-ice techniques are helping scientists to understand better what is going on in this fragile ecosystem.”
At the unveiling of the results in London, Dr. Martin Sommerkorn from WWF International Arctic Programme, which partnered with the Survey, said: “The Arctic sea ice holds a central position in our Earth’s climate system. Take it out of the equation and we are left with a dramatically warmer world.”
“Such a loss of Arctic sea ice cover has recently been assessed (5) to set in motion powerful climate feedbacks which will have an impact far beyond the Arctic itself – self perpetuating cycles, amplifying and accelerating the consequences of global warming. This could lead to flooding affecting one-quarter of the world’s population, substantial increases in greenhouse gas emissions from massive carbon pools and extreme global weather changes” Dr. Sommerkorn said.
“Today’s findings provide yet another urgent call for action to world leaders ahead of the UN climate summit in Copenhagen this December to rapidly and effectively curb global greenhouse gas emissions, with rich countries committing to reduce emissions by 40% by 2020.”

October 15, 2009 3:50 am

Following on the WWF saga, I wrote to Rod at who was handling the WWF story and copied to their press officer, Johannah Sargent
Dear Rod,
I don’t know if you will take much heed of this feedback – but to preface – I am a lifelong conservationist, professional ecologist, and experienced policy analyst on science and environment – and I find this whole survey casts WWF in a very, very poor light. Which is a shame.
Of course you have found 1 year old ice – because 2009 saw an increase from 2008 and 2007, when the same area was obviously ice-free.
How useful is one year’s set of measurements? It has little scientific value unless repeated – and over several decades. And even then – as every Arctic specialist knows – there are cycles! What were the data for ice-coverage in 1940, when the last cycle peaked?
The current warm period in the Arctic has just peaked. Even it it were extended a few more years, it is almost certain to go down and summer ice will come back up. This was predictable if you studied the dynamic.
The record ice loss in 2007 (and the trend over several decades) was due to a combination of factors – none of which can be laid directly at the door of GHGs or be taken as proof of ‘global warming’ projections. (And I can give you references to top NASA scientists and NOAA oceanographers who will agree with that – the warming of the late 20th century is primarily an oceanic phenomenon driven by thinning cloud and excess short-wave radiation to the ocean surface, where it is stored and redistributed to land (and to the Arctic), with time lags – it is still an open scientific question whether such thinning cloud could be a consequence of GHGs, or whether it is a natural cycle – the fact that the cycles are now dragging down global temperatures points to the latter, and the next ten years will tell.
Please read my chapter ‘Poles Apart’ in ‘Chill: a reassessment of global warming theory’ for an understanding of Arctic dynamics (it is fully referenced – and I predicted 2009 would be up on 2008) and 2010 will almost certainly continue that upward trend.
How can I think this? Because all the Arctic warming factors (warm-water incursion from Pacific and Atlantic; cloud cover; and wind ) are related to ocean oscillations in those marine basins, as well as the 70-year Arctic Oscillation. If you check out the temperature patterns (not long term trends from 1980) you will see that all three cycles peaked around 2005-2008, and the Pacific and Atlantic inflow waters are now cooling (both in sea surface temperatures and overall heat content at depth). The Arctic will thus be deprived of its warmwater and cloud inputs. With the latest el Nino likely to be followed by a stronger La Nina – the globe will cool significantly over the next decade.
It behoves an organisation like WWF to behave responsibly in relation to science and most particularly in relation to any energy policy based upon fears of global warming – the very least you can do is to properly review the science and not simply pick those experts who will agree with you – and there are plenty of polar commentators who do not understand the marine dynamics.
It is particularly important when the international community is likely to be bounced into targets for CO2, based upon IPCC models which they themselves acknowledge cannot incorporate cycles, and which will precipitate ill-conceived renewable energy strategies which will have far-reaching implications for the very biodiversity WWF seeks to protect. And WWF has hardly begun to investigate those impacts.
And just to add – I am not some right-wing, free-market nutcase – I sat for three years on a UK government advisory panel looking at how to integrate renewable energy into landscape/community/biodiversity policies – that was what caused me to spend three years analysing the global warming science. I strongly advise WWF to instigate its own review, and my book will give you some guidance on the literature and the acute lack of real consensus on the causes of the late 20th century warming.
Please bring this mail to the notice of your senior people – at least so that you know you have some informed critics.
with regards
Peter Taylor
This was the reply:
‘Thank you for your comments.
I would recommend you listen to the whole or Professor Peter Wadham’s comments when they are posted on YouTube .’
I shall reply recommending that they publish their material in a peer-reviewed journal, and in the interim, swallow their pride and read the whole of Anthony’s post together with Tony Berry’s analysis.
In the UK, right now, we have an alliance of WWF, RSPB (bird protection), Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Oxfam and even the Woodland Trust, all campaigning to reduce carbon emissions in order to protect wildlife, or in the case of Oxfam, impoverished and starving people who depend on a stable environment. Not one has instigated their own review of the science. All have signed up to ‘Stop Climate Chaos’ and lobbied for the 30% reduction in carbon emissions by 2020 that is now ‘legally binding’ on the UK government (I guess it could either fine itself, or put itself in jail if it fails!). That’s 3% reduction per year (and the new Climate Committee in Parliament tells us we cannot use the recession to count toward that!). I won’t comment further on the absence of any realistic means of doing that – but even the attempt will massacre the countryside, wild places, tropical forests and indigenous peoples – all the things these organisations are supposed to care about. Are there any social psychologists working on this?

Ian Blanchard
October 15, 2009 3:52 am

Well, at least there’s one positive to come out of this – a (reasonably) clearly stated falsifiable prediction within a time frame that many will be able to remember.
A quick google of Professor Wadhams suggests that he is widely respected in his field, and has been looking at Arctic ice for a lot longer than the current warming crisis has been going on.
This raises a couple of questions:
1) Could he be correct and all of us ameteur and semi-professional scientist/bloggers be the ones mistaken about the scientific veracity of the Caitlin expedition?
2) Is the dash for research cash now so competetive that a Cambridge University professor with an international reputation and a few years from retirement will sell himself out just to keep the funding coming in for the last few years?

M White
October 15, 2009 3:54 am

BBC front page 15/10/09
The panic must have set in after these articles appeared all over the net

Chance Hooper
October 15, 2009 3:59 am

Let me jsut say that I am a scientist by training (Chemsitry) and that this expedition is/was a joke.
Given the difficulty of accurately predicting weather patterns (when was the last time you trusted a weather report? Most people just look out of the window and guess instead), the fact that a lot of data that is supposed to show how things comapre to 10,000 years ago is actually based on a bunch of extrapolations of some fairly vague data from the Georgian era (i.e there wasn’t a whole lot of rigourous scientific data collection when people were chasing Mammoths, being invaded by the Romans or living in wattle-and-daub huts), you can confidently say that the climate will do *something*. That could, however, be another ice age, a world-wide warm-up, or absolutely nothing. The data does not go back far enough to make accurate hypotheses as, at some point, we have to make a logical jump and that, unfortunately, is where the bias of the person doing the jumping comes into play.
The fact is that when Mt St. Helens blew up, the ash cloud did more damage to the environment in terms of climate-altering emissions than every car ever made if they’d all been running non-stop from the day cars were invented. I am curious, too, to ask what the eco-terror camp would have us do for fuel and transport – we aren’t supposed to use fossil fuels (CO2 emissions, resources being used), yet we can’t burn wood (deforestation) or even use wood-fired steam power (deforestation and presumably over-humidification of the environment through steam clouds – ah, and we are supposed to have a water shortage, too), we can’t use Nuclear Fission power (scaremongering around reactor leaks, problem of radioactive waste) and we haven’t yet mastered Nuclear Fusion…
So, until we come up with a way to power generators using the waves of smug pomposity given off by the AGW brigade, I think we are doomed to be starving, cold and living in darkness….
Meanwhile, the developing nations who don’t care about Kyoto or anything else, will not be reverting to cannibalism in an attempt to find food, as they are building power stations and damming rivers like it’s going out of fashion.

October 15, 2009 3:59 am

Goreacle Report:
“The green jungle drums are already at full volume”.
“Terence Corcoran: Trillion-dollar black holes
The costs of climate control dwarf the financial crisis”
The green jungle drums are already at full volume in preparation for the Copenhagen climate policy extravaganza, even though the two week negotiation marathon isn’t set to open until Dec. 7. From now till mid-December, our days and nights are going to be filled with dark nightmares of global warming and bright utopian visions of the greatest reordering of economic activity since the industrial revolution — except run in reverse. No citizen of the world will be able to escape the run-up to Copenhagen where, one way or another, catastrophe looms.
At Copenhagen, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will attempt to get about 140 nations to approve a new global plan to reduce carbon emissions and, at the same time, engineer a major redistribution of money from developed nations to developing nations. An early draft of the Copenhagen agreement, to replace the collapsing Kyoto Protocol, suggests the focus is as much on redistribution as on carbon reduction, with no guarantee that any of it will have the slightest impact on carbon emissions or the global climate.
In climate policy circles, trillion-dollar transfers and programs proliferate and, in total, easily overtake the paper losses suffered by financial markets through the 2008 crisis. ” (More)

October 15, 2009 4:07 am

It’s also over at theDaily Telegraph, written by the increasingly ridiculous and utterly credulous Louise Gray. I’m trying to add a comment, actually just a link over to here, but the DT website is such a mess at the moment it’s not taking anything.

October 15, 2009 4:22 am

My top ten reason number one.
The Catlin expedition damm near won a darwin award.

Peter Plail
October 15, 2009 4:25 am

It’s not just the BBC. UK Channel 4 news has just devoted several minutes showing amongst other things:
1. The route leading in a straight line to the pole.
2. An animation (from Rigor & Wallace, Washington University – I’ll follow that up later) showing multiyear ice disappearing by 2008. Admittedly they did say the it was the wind wot dun it.
3. The obligatory shot of the team swimming.
4. They concluded by saying that the ice wouldn’t survive the coming summer – excuse me – the summer has been and gone and the ice is still there.
It makes me incandescent!
I am now off to complain to all the media purveying this climate pornography.

Mick J
October 15, 2009 4:27 am

This story is also at the London Telegraph. Comments enabled. 🙂
I found this “real” research interesting.
Follows several other papers now attributing causes for recent ice melt to more factors than the warmists would like us to believe.

Allan M R MacRae
October 15, 2009 4:37 am

Bill Tuttle (02:57:28) :
Could one of you much-smarter-than-I-am folks please explain to me how 39 data points miraculously expands into 1,500 holes?
Bill – the explanation is simple: The remainng 1,461 were pissholes in the snow.

Peter Plail
October 15, 2009 4:44 am

I have tracked down the animation used on Ignatius Rigor’s web site at:
It appears to attribute ice changes to the Beaufort Gyre. A major reduction in older ice appears to have occurred in 1989 and by October 2007 there appears to be virtually no old ice left, according to their buoys!
This just doesn’t make sense to me – perhaps a scientist could explain.
And how this relates to the Catlin extravaganza eludes me as they went over a year later.

October 15, 2009 4:44 am

Bill Tuttle (02:57:28)
“Could one of you much-smarter-than-I-am folks please explain to me how 39 data points miraculously expands into 1,500 holes?”
Only a suggestion, but 39 squared=1521 which is close enough for foxnews

Ron de Haan
October 15, 2009 4:52 am

A most effective destruction of the Catlin Hoax.
I have send the Catlin Group Ltd an e-mail with a link to WUWT.
In the mean time all over the televised media in Europe now:
1. Polar region will be an ocean in 20 years time!
2. Climate Change is causing a dramatic increase in the number of natural disasters:
Tropical Storms, droughts, earthquakes, floods and sea level rise!
The alarmist media campaign of the loons will at least continue until the Copenhagen Climate Conference.

October 15, 2009 4:55 am

What rigorous double-blind protocols were employed in this “experiment”? His data might be correct, but it’s impossible to trust because of the inherent bias. We only have his word that he even bothered to drill, because the real kit never worked.
“I’ve been slogging away for hours through the ice. I’m beyond cold. Hmm, maybe I’ll just write down 1.83, 1.92, er, 1.69. Done.”

October 15, 2009 5:00 am

I have not seen a report from the Catlin expedition dated later than June 2009. I wonder why the sudden publicity. I suspect this is merely another in a long list of doom and gloom stories from the warmaholics in the lead up to Copenhagen. All sound and fury, signifying nothing (Shakespear).

October 15, 2009 5:05 am

Sadly journalists have no idea about science… not the slightest intuition it seems. So anything sensationalist immediately makes it way onto the web/broadsheet. It certainly makes it challenging for the lay person to see the wood for the trees these days, let alone the tree rings…

Frank K.
October 15, 2009 5:13 am

Chance Hooper (03:59:09) :
“Let me just say that I am a scientist by training (Chemsitry) and that this expedition is/was a joke.”
I agree that the “science” here was a joke, but the expedition certainly was NOT a joke, but rather a carefully executed marketing plan by a huge Bermuda-based insurance company. Of this I have no doubt. The fact that you are seeing these press releases in the news many months after the demise of the Catalin debacle is a testament to the marketing plan’s effectiveness.

Przemysław Pawełczyk
October 15, 2009 5:20 am

@Robin Guenier (03:22:10) :
The BBC is now giving this story huge prominence (2 column picture with scary headline) at the top of its website:
BBC World repeats the … throughout the world via Internet Radio (for sure, I’ve heard the … 5 min ago, after the news) and shortwave broadcasting (possible).
How can we/you fight with this world sci scam efficiently not having reliable and popular global media network? Global brainwashing… WUWT readers are only a freak tiny minority to them, the “media gods”.

Hans Erren
October 15, 2009 5:21 am

Who would benefit from announced disaster stories? Insurance companies perhaps?

October 15, 2009 5:23 am

There was a nice summary of the Catlin nonsense here:
This is what Penn Hadow gets out of it:
Peter Wadhams has been pushing this theme for years and was part of the “40% ice loss shown by submarine data” along with Rothrock. This was challenged by Greg Holloway and reported by the BBC:
It was addressed here:
..rather than either melting or export, the apparent ice loss was only a shifting location of ice within the Arctic such that the sampling pattern of the submarines missed the shift.
Large-scale wind patterns are ever changing, and the Large-scale wind patterns are ever changing, and the Arctic ice pack is readily rearranged.
(Didn’t NASA discover this again recently?)
Hypothesise that the five early cruises each occurred one year earlier (Sept 1957, 59, 61, 69 and 75) and the three later cruises each one year later (Sept 1994, 97, 98), spreading out the baseline on which to detect change.
What would the result have been? The submarine surveys would have shown no change at all to average Arctic ice thickness. Thus the actual results from the actual submarine surveys appear to be a fluke of timing coupled with a natural mode of Arctic sea-ice variability.
Observations to date, together with model physics, imply only that the loss of sea ice volume is not inconsistent with the 3% per decade loss of ice area, a modest rate itself not inconsistent with multi-decadal natural variability.

George S.
October 15, 2009 5:26 am

What bunk! Look at how the warmists are frothing…here are three headlines from “objective and dispassionate” media sources:
Explorers: North Pole summers ice free in 10 years
By Maresa Patience, Associated Press Writer – Wed Oct 14, 8:59 pm ET
Arctic to be ice-free in summer in 20 years: scientist
By Peter Griffiths, Reuters – Thu Oct 15, 4:46 am ET
Arctic ice cap ‘to disappear in future summers’
By Elodie Mazein, AFP – Thu Oct 15, 4:35 am ET
I’m considering buying some northern Alaska shoreline property for the family to summer. We may adopt a few seal pups to keep in the backyard. No need to worry about polar bears…there are hardly any about.

October 15, 2009 5:38 am

It is regrettable that the authors of the study were not conversant with the records of the Cook expedition in 1908 or the Peary expedition in 1909.
Peary’s report is full of remarks about leads, the difficulties he occasioned in crossing them, and the incredibly dangerous return trip south. He was more worried about drowning than freezing.
The solid, impermeable ice cap is a myth.
Perhaps there once was one, 12,000 years ago.
But not within the past 10,000 years or so.

Bill Illis
October 15, 2009 5:41 am

The logic of an ice-free summer is based on extrapolating the assumption that the thinner ice will cause an ever-increasing melt each year.
But the thinnest ice was 2007 and we have had two years of significant recovery since then.
Obviously, thinner ice is more likely to melt so the assumption is not horribly wrong. It is just that there are far more factors that have to considered (and global warming types don’t like to look at other factors – its greenhouse and melting 24/7/365 and that is all they can think about).

October 15, 2009 5:50 am

Come on guys, I thought we put this boondoggle to rest months ago.
A little googling for Peter Wadhams came up with:
Each with a different Email address. I sent to both:
Subject: Be careful of an association with the Catlin Arctic Ice Survey
I followed their efforts this spring on Anthony Watt’s Watts Up With That
blog and the Survey’s web pages themselves. My conclusion was that it
was a ruse to garner funding for expedition on the ice cap. Their contribution
to science is virtually nil, and what there is tainted by personal beliefs,
poor planning and a quest for attention.
All this is well summarized in (gawd I hope this is the last) article
Why these folks get so much attention for following a route on young ice and
finding young ice is beyond me.
A much more interesting story is the recovery in Arctic ice since 2007.
-Ric Werme

Midwest Mark
October 15, 2009 5:51 am

This morning I sipped my coffee and watched a news report on NBC that covered the Catlin Survey. As a parka-clad scientist thrust a long pole into the snowpack, it was asserted–again–that the Arctic COULD be ice free by next summer, which I suppose is a viable statement. After all, a huge meteor COULD destroy New York City this afternoon and Al Bore COULD decide that global warming isn’t an immediate threat.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but weren’t these scientists also claiming that the Arctic would PROBABLY be ice free by the end of summer 2008? Does no one in the mainstream media have an attention span? Maybe it’s me. I’ll PROBABLY lose my mind by the end of the year…

October 15, 2009 5:52 am

This obsession with Artic/Antartic ice really came to fruition when the North Atlantic Hurrican/Tropical Storm narrative died. Polar ice is a much friendlier metric as a)ice coverage and thickness is open to a very wide zone of interpetation, b)it is difficult if not impossible to verify accurately, and c) because of a) and b), the debate and its attendent warnings of impending doom can go on in prepitutiy.
I suppose when the data eventually makes it quite impossible to use Polar ice coverage as an AGW metric, the Alarmists will pick some other proxy (tornados, floods, dust devils?) and move on.

Alan the Brit
October 15, 2009 6:07 am

timbrom (04:07:53) :
“The seasoned Arctic Explorer, who was the first person to trek to the North Pole alone, was forced to continue with just a simple ice drill. During the 73 day trek he took 1,500 readings, often during pitch blackness and with windchill factors down to -70 degree C. The team also took thousands of visual observations to give an impression of how the shape of the ice sheet is changing. ”
“Mr Hadow insisted the effort was worth it. He pointed out that no other readings of this year’s winter sea ice was available to scientists and surface readings can pick up changes in the ice that were not being picked up by computer models.” Changes like recovery I presume!
Presumably they made those “observations” in daylight or they might have got a rather different impression in the dark! Taking “accurate” readings by torchlight would be tricky in most cases too.
1500 holes/73 days is around 20 holes a day. Is it feasible in those conditions to walk 6km (3¾ miles) per day for 435km & do that back breaking, arm twisting work, day in day out, breaking open the equipment, setting it up, drilling, reading, packing away again, loding up the back-packs, trudging off again, etc???? I am presuming for now that it was all manual work as battery life would be critical in such conditions for power tools. I have my doubts. As I understand it the exteme cold can play tricks with the mind for even the fittest of us, how do we know they were not so affected? Come to think of it, if they were using radar electronics for the first week or so that bumps it up to almost 23 holes a day. (They should have gone a year earlier & they could have hitched a lift with Jeremy Clarkeson & James May in their 4 x 4, although I somehow doubt that those two would actuallly want them aboard.)
Good job the good Professor managed to mention satellite data, or Pen would be right!

October 15, 2009 6:24 am

I like #10 the best. It is my observation that when it comes to religion, politics, and strongly entrenched beliefs, which AGW falls into all those categories, people start the answer. For example: “The earth is flat. Now lets find data to support it.”; “AGW is real. Now lets find data to support it.”; “America must provide (or not provide) Universal healthcare for its citizens. Now lets find data to support it.”; and so on. Science should be on a different plane than politics and religion, although that does not mean scientists can be political or religious. It simply means that science should not start with the answer. Science should not pre-determine the outcome. Scientists should say “Is AGW real? Lets do some honest research and find out?”; “Is the earth flat? Lets do some honest research and find out?”; and so on.
I will not accept any scientific study which starts the answer.

Pamela Gray
October 15, 2009 6:30 am

I just visited the European Climate Exchange web site (notice the “pick up the skies and show the advertisement” name displayed on the boat). Slower than watching grass grow.

October 15, 2009 6:32 am

Question … did the Catlin Team arrange for the fuel drums to be removed from the ice?

Douglas DC
October 15, 2009 6:33 am

George S. (05:26:58) :
Make sure you have the mineral rights,as we will need the oil here in the lower 48…

Pamela Gray
October 15, 2009 6:45 am

I also visited the Catlin Insurance site to check on its market. Using one month averages plotted since 2004, the linear trend (if I could put one in) would appear to be going up!
Much like the linear trend in ice is going down and the linear trend in global temps is going up. There is a correlation there. If it can be shown (in as many media spots as possible) that the linear long term temperature trend is going up, then a decent advertising spin on the insurance market share for Catlin can be made that its shares are going up. I’ll bet they are looking at those same tree rings for confirmation. Pretty soon every “church” in the world will have a holy piece of that one Yamal tree ring enshrined in the CEO’s office.
rhetoric off

October 15, 2009 6:49 am

The joke was the BBC news report talking about thinning and melting ice in the face of -70 degree temperatures.

Pamela Gray
October 15, 2009 6:50 am

There’s a typo in the caption below the picture of the boat and the little yellow radar thing. In the BBC screen cap, it says, “The yellow SPRITE radar was the expedition’s key piece of kit (sic).” I think they meant “sh**”?

Jimmy Haigh
October 15, 2009 6:54 am

jon (06:32:54) :
“Question … did the Catlin Team arrange for the fuel drums to be removed from the ice?”
Not sure if they bothered, after all, they’ll just float away when the ice melts…

October 15, 2009 6:57 am

“… jon (06:32:54) :
Question … did the Catlin Team arrange for the fuel drums to be removed from the ice?”
…No, they just tore out of there before they starved or froze to death.

October 15, 2009 7:06 am

RR Kampen
The zeikertjes know what pi means.

Gordon Ford
October 15, 2009 7:12 am

“jon (06:32:54) :
Question … did the Catlin Team arrange for the fuel drums to be removed from the ice?”
Last word I had from Nunavut was that they were planning on recovering all their drums etc. Never got confirmation.

October 15, 2009 7:15 am

Just saw this story on Yahoo’s front page. Funny how they never mentioned the words “Catlin Expedition” in the article, LOL.

John Galt
October 15, 2009 7:32 am

Gordon Ford (07:12:21) :
“jon (06:32:54) :
Question … did the Catlin Team arrange for the fuel drums to be removed from the ice?”
Last word I had from Nunavut was that they were planning on recovering all their drums etc. Never got confirmation.

Aren’t they worried about the drums falling through all that melting ice and polluting the Arctic Ocean? If they really believed the ice was going to melt, would they leave such toxic and unnatural waste behind? Would a real environmentalist behave this way or condone it?

October 15, 2009 7:35 am

Miller, at Bill O’Riley’s yesterday show, talking about GWRs.:
“Beware of profit-seekers prophets” Great!

October 15, 2009 7:45 am
Al Gore's Holy Hologram
October 15, 2009 7:58 am

The BBC’s biased stance on this subject of climate change is the reason I stopped paying for a TV licence and watching TV. I have not missed a thing and have more drinking money.

October 15, 2009 7:59 am

Alan the Brit (06:07:15) :
1500 holes/73 days is around 20 holes a day. Is it feasible in those conditions to walk 6km (3¾ miles) per day for 435km & do that back breaking, arm twisting work, day in day out, breaking open the equipment, setting it up, drilling, reading, packing away again, loding up the back-packs, trudging off again, etc????

And don’t forget that there were at least 15 days when they didn’t move at all…remember freezing to death waiting for the Otter to bring them more nummies…subsisting on 1000cal per day? And early in the expedition remember they simply weren’t making much progress. Something like a km or two per day?
I guess the BBC figures that enough time has passed that people have forgotten the idiocy of the entire adventure.

October 15, 2009 7:59 am

John Galt (07:32:52) :
Gordon Ford (07:12:21) :
“jon (06:32:54) :
Question … did the Catlin Team arrange for the fuel drums to be removed from the ice?”
Last word I had from Nunavut was that they were planning on recovering all their drums etc. Never got confirmation.
Aren’t they worried about the drums falling through all that melting ice and polluting the Arctic Ocean? If they really believed the ice was going to melt, would they leave such toxic and unnatural waste behind? Would a real environmentalist behave this way or condone it?

I recall their air support company (Borek Air?) confirmed that they had picked up the drums. Bear in mind that Borek do this sort of thing all over the Arctic for many expeditions, it’s part of their SOP.

October 15, 2009 8:03 am

John Galt (07:32:52) :
Would a real environmentalist behave this way or condone it?

Apparently that’s how the “New Age” environmentalists behave. Not happy with causing severe injury or death to loggers due to tree spiking (which also hurts the tree), to advance their “destroy civilization” agenda they feel they must destroy the environment…in order to save it.

October 15, 2009 8:18 am

I wonder if this Arctic trip inspired any of last Monday’s episode of ABC’s “Castle” (link goes to video). There were a few different details, such as having a better Internet connection.

October 15, 2009 8:21 am

And for my Spinal Tap moment – Reason #11 why the Catlin Arctic Ice Survey data can’t be trusted.
Because the release of their report was obviously timed to have as much impact on the upcoming Copenhagen Climate Change Conference as possible.

Cassandra King
October 15, 2009 8:26 am

Alan the Brit makes a good point about the number of holes that the Catlin crew claimed to have drilled.
Manual drilling with an augur is incredibly hard work, in the prevailing freezing conditions at the time its almost impossible to drill through six odd feet of sea ice.
The mechanics are simple, the body sweats buckets with the hard pyhsical exertions and taking into account the survival suits couldnt be taken off the sweating that follows such hard work could be fatal.
A body needs to ingest at least 5000-6000 calories per day in that enviroment and do hard physical labour.
Considering the time to walk to the target area, unpack the equipment, drill the hole, take the measurements and rest/drink/eat and repack the equipment and move to the next site it would be nigh on impossible for a normal person to complete more than two holes before exaustion/fatigue/hypothermia set in, this is not counting the trek back to base camp.
I have drilled in lake ice of about 1.5m and its bloody hard work and that was only in -50°C with little wind, I was pretty fit but I was sweating buckets and stripped off to a t shirt but in windchill -70° it would have been impossible to drill more than a couple of holes no more disatant than a couple of clicks from base camp in one day.
The fact that they were on starvation rations of only a fraction of the 5/6k calories suggests they hardly had the energy to trek let alone drill!
I would like to see a group try and replicate the Catlins claims of the number and range of boreholes while treking and limiting food intake, its my guess that the claims…uhm…inflated?

October 15, 2009 8:28 am

Okay, this expedition does seem to exist primarily so that Pen Hadrow can go to the Arctic rather than for scientific reasons, but could you please criticise the expedition on its scientific merit rather than your own prejudices; not one of the 10 reasons criticises methods used in anything remotely approaching a scientific manner. The only one that does is no. 3 (lack of datapoints) and that is misleading because you’ve said there were only 39 datapoints when there are clearly more than that (the standard deviation column in the excel chart you’ve linked to indicates that the figures shown are mean values. Yes, it would have been nice to have an ‘n’ column).

Methow Ken
October 15, 2009 8:30 am

Go back to the Guardian interview for a moment:
“During this mammoth expedition we will gather the essential data that scientists need to more accurately determine when the permanent floating sea ice will disappear altogether.”
Note the ”when”, not ”if”.
Those of us who are engineers have a word for this:
Drylab: To confirm the desired preordained results.
The fact that various MSM outlets are still calling this a ”scientific” expedition is both hilarious and deeply disturbing at the same time.
Many thanks to WUWT for continuing to shine the light of objective reality on this farce.

October 15, 2009 8:33 am

It’s not just the BBC. All four of the UK ‘quality’ papers are thoughtlessly regurgitating the same press release. At least those that allow comments are getting a good kicking.

October 15, 2009 8:36 am

Actually, the aerial survey with a towed radar array did risk lives. Flying low over a remote area is not a safe activity. But the risk was over a much shorter time, and the types of risks were different.

October 15, 2009 8:38 am

Come on other David, they damm near won the Darwin award; they only complted 1/2 their route, that alone is adaquet as a top ten reason not to trust them.

October 15, 2009 8:41 am

1,500 holes in sea ice they claim is only 1 metre thick? Did they just create a perforation that would cause a large section of ice to disconnect from the rest of the shelf?

Steve M.
October 15, 2009 8:42 am

Hadow and his team on the Catlin Arctic Survey drilled 1,500 holes to gather evidence during a 280 mile walk across the Arctic. They found the average thickness of ice-floes was 1.8 metres, a depth considered too thin to survive the summer’s ice melt.

funny…summer’s over. Why is the reporter too lazy to check the facts and find out that much of this ice did survive the summer melt?

October 15, 2009 8:42 am

This is an invaluable overview of the whole process behind the Catlin scientific expedition, including press relations, history and equipment failures not reported. Perfect to favorite and have in your arsenal. Thank you!
As for the ice cap being GONE in 2013 – “but with an uncertainty range between 2010 and 2016” which is why they had to study it after all –
perhaps there is a hockey stick in all of this for Anthony Watts? If he were to plot the shrillness of the claims for global warming leading up to Copenhagen, he would have everyone’s favorite sports motif in fine form, and he could be sure it would never be debunked.

October 15, 2009 8:43 am

There are lots of obvious answers to your comment. no 3 is the biggest.
1. They had clearly made their mind up what the result was going to be beforehand – not a scientific approach.
2. They had clearly not been properly prepared in terms of their equipment for the cold weather (!)
3. The results are of no scientific value, because there is nothing to compare them with. If they had been to the same area five years ago, and made the same measurements, then they would have been able to make a valid comment on whether the ice was getting thinner or not. But they didn’t, so no conclusions can be drawn.
It is perhaps a pity that Anthony did not make this point in his list of 10. Perhaps he thought it was such an obvious point that it was hardly worth spelling out.

Phillip Bratby
October 15, 2009 8:45 am

I’ve just been listening to Pen Hadow being interviewed on BBC Radio4 “Material World”. Pure propaganda and scientific nonsense and yet the BBC lets him get away with it without seriously questioning the BS. I emailed the interviewer before the programme suggesting he read this article, but he obviously didn’t or he ignored it.

Barry Foster
October 15, 2009 8:48 am

Pen Hadow has just (few minutes ago) been on a BBC Radio 4 ‘science’ programme ‘Material World’ – or rather it used to be a science programme up until a few minutes ago. In it he gave his usual tosh and finished off with, wait for it… “The Arctic ice cap has always been there”. Yes, that’s right, he said it – even though it’s only been there for 1% of the history of the Earth (45 million years). Priceless.

Cassandra King
October 15, 2009 8:48 am

Appologies for being boring and going on but the mechanics of the manual drilling in sea ice of 6 odd feet.
A good quality ice drill moves down throught the ice at a rate of a around an eighth of an inch per revolution of the drill which means the opperator would have to turn the drill a total of about 600 times to drill through to the underlying water plus of course the resulting spurt of water under pressure has a nasty habit of freezing round the drill head making extraction difficult.
Now imagine the physical effort it takes to turn a big long drill 600 times in freezing conditions encased in survival suits and then doing the same thing a number of times per day on very limited rations and trekking there and back, something smells fishy about the Catlin claims doesn’t it?
Are there any ice fishing experts out there who can attest to the difficulties of ice drilling?

October 15, 2009 8:50 am

Reason 6 also refers to the methods, where the failure of the radar device failed and its problems were not immediately reported. They knew there were problems because they were repairing cables. What reason 6 does fail to mention is that the radar unit was the primary reason for the trip, with the holes intended to improve the interpretation of the radar ice data.
Reason 3 is also somewhat confusing. It says the spreadsheet only has averages, but also mentions that raw data is available without mentioning where the raw data is available. I don’t think an average is raw data, so it seems to be saying there is more data available.

October 15, 2009 9:06 am

Caitlin Survey = Media Stunt
All the action scenes we examined looked staged.
Website was stuffed with glitter.
Hadlow admitted he never had any intentions of returning to that awful place again.
The last straw is the data collection: You drilled how many holes by hand 1.8m in that awful place while dragging all that stuff around? That will surely wear out those gloves and make a tattered mess of them. Only on TV does your clothing never get shredded by actual work. And your drill never shattered in those conditions and remained sharp?
In real life, nothing escapes damage.

Mike McMillan
October 15, 2009 9:08 am

“Ultimately, Professor Maslowski hopes to finesse his forecast for when the first ice-free summer might arrive.
Currently, he has it down for 2013 – but with an uncertainty range between 2010 and 2016.”

Don’tcha just wish Las Vegas had a betting line on this ?
Bill Tuttle (02:57:28) :
Could one of you much-smarter-than-I-am folks please explain to me how 39 data points miraculously expands into 1,500 holes?

If I may quote the Beatles –
“They had to count them all. Now they know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall.”
But they probably meant Albert Gore.

October 15, 2009 9:08 am

The CORRAL Project shows how to take correct temperature and other readings. The Catlin folks should read up on how to do it right.
BTW, the CORRAL Project is debunking numerous alarmist claims with its real world measurements.

October 15, 2009 9:10 am

AnonyMoose (08:50:32) :
Yes, the real data is just as available as a Yamal tree ring survey. And probably based on the same # of data points.

M White
October 15, 2009 9:10 am

“Arctic explorer Jim McNeill has launched a new hunt for volunteers to make Arctic history; this time to ski to the North Pole of Inaccessibility”
ExplorersWeb: What is your goal with this expedition and what scientific investigations will you conduct?
Jim: The expedition’s main aim is to conduct a scientific transect of the ocean, gathering “crucial data” on climate change on a daily basis and passing this back to the many schools, businesses and homes who are following our endeavours; raising awareness of the Arctic Region, the plight of its wildlife and its people.
These will be simple measurements like depths of sea-ice and snow, temperatures at various levels which gives an indication of density, sea-ice roughness which catches the wind and exacerbates break-up. The NASA supported NSIDC guys will be overseeing things and coming out with us.
The expedition is supposed to start 16th Feb 2010 and end 8th May 2010.
As with the Catlin expedition it appears that this expedition will also use Ice Augers to measure the ice thickness. “The best validations are from ground measurements taken by ice auger. A major uncertainty in the satellite data is an accurate knowledge of the snow thickness and density. Only surface measurements can provide quality information on snow cover.”
See page 8 – The Science – Walt Meier

Steve S.
October 15, 2009 9:11 am

This Catlin group’s work is so stupid they must be Oregon Liberals.
Their sloppy methods for measuring make their measurments entirely unreliable and on their own are meaningless.
The only way they will every mean anything is if some day the exact same approch is repeated for comparison.
Am I wrong?

Sam the Skeptic
October 15, 2009 9:17 am

“Pen Hadow’s team completed an extensive survey of the Arctic ice cap”
How is anyone supposed to deal with what is a blatant untruth? I agree Shukman is probably not responsible for the caption but is there no-one in the BBC to say that what they did can only just be described as a survey and can certainly not be described as extensive as the maps above show?
And, of course, there is no way of commenting on this piece of propaganda masquerading as a news item.

October 15, 2009 9:19 am

Bill Tuttle (02:57:28) :
Could one of you much-smarter-than-I-am folks please explain to me how 39 data points miraculously expands into 1,500 holes?
I’m not sure if I’m smarter than you Bill, but I’ll try:
You put your ice drill in
Your your ice drill out
Shake it all about
You do the hokey-cokey and you turn a-round
That’s what it’s all about
SING …..

Ron de Haan
October 15, 2009 9:42 am
October 15, 2009 9:49 am

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, next they fight you, then you win.

Frank Kotler
October 15, 2009 9:58 am

(The Catlin team – well, Ken Borak – did remove the oil drums from the ice. Someone sicced the Interior Department – or whoever – on ’em to check. The subject appeared on their blog shortly after it was raised here. Hmmm…)
We can do science…
I observe:
One of ’em got frostbite.
Virtually all of their equipment broke down from the extreme cold.
I conclude:
The Arctic may be “warming”, but it’s still way too cold to mess with!
Slightly off topic, but from the Open Passages expedition blog, I learned that there are jellyfish in the Arctic, 2m in diameter with 35m stinging tentacles. When Global Warming makes the place warm enough to swim in, these will constitute a Grave Danger to humans. Something must be done! 🙂

October 15, 2009 10:04 am

What do facts matter when one has already reached a conclusion? And what do conclusions matter when one has already decided a goal?
It is all about convenient lies, for the greater good, of course.
Why this panic in some to halt human progress? Well, the pace can be frightening but the truth of the matter is that a corrupt, unstable economic system is making a mess of things, IMO.
The solution is to reform banking and money creation. Otherwise, expect more insanity and instability as “respectable” bankers do their mischief in a money we are all forced to use.
OK, my last word on that subject here.
Good work guys, on demolishing the CO2 scare. It could easily have much greater ramifications in restoring sanity to the earth as the current world view is discredited.
They must have been really insane and deluded to have chosen the climate as a battleground. I thank God they did.

October 15, 2009 10:05 am

I feel it appropriate to re-publish this article in it’s entirety. I call it TREASON!
None Dare Call It Fraud
Imagine the reaction if investment companies provided only rosy stock and economic data to prospective investors; manufacturers withheld chemical spill statistics from government regulators; or medical device and pharmaceutical companies doctored data on patients injured by their products.
Media frenzies, congressional hearings, regulatory investigations, fines and jail sentences would come faster than you can say Henry Waxman. If those same standards were applied to global warming alarmists, many of them would be fined, dismissed and imprisoned; sanity might prevail, and the House-Senate cap-and-tax freight train would come to a screeching halt.
Fortunately for alarmists, corporate standards do not apply – even though sloppiness, ineptitude, cherry-picking, exaggeration, deception, falsification, concealed or lost data, flawed studies and virtual fraud have become systemic and epidemic. Instead of being investigated and incarcerated, the perpetrators are revered and rewarded, receiving billions in research grants, mandates, subsidies and other profit-making opportunities.
On this bogus foundation Congress, EPA and the White House propose to legislate and regulate our nation’s energy and economic future. Understanding the scams is essential. Here are just a few of them.
Michael Mann’s hockey-stick-shaped historical temperature chart supposedly proved that twentieth century warming was “unprecedented” in the last 2000 years. After it became the centerpiece of the UN climate group’s 2001 Third Assessment Report, Canadian analysts Ross McKitrick and Steve McIntyre asked Mann to divulge his data and statistical algorithms. Mann refused. Ultimately, Mc-Mc, the National Science Foundation and investigators led by renowned statistician Edward Wegman found that the hockey stick was based on cherry-picked tree-ring data and a computer program that generated temperature spikes even when random numbers were fed into it.
This year, another “unprecedented” warming study went down in flames. Lead scientist Keith Briffa managed to keep his “lost” (destroyed?) all the original data.
The supposedly “final” text of the IPCC’s 1995 Second Assessment Report emphasized that no studies had found clear evidence that observed climate changes could be attributed to greenhouse gases or other manmade causes. However, without the authors’ and reviewers’ knowledge or approval, lead author Dr. Ben Santer and alarmist colleagues revised the text and inserted the infamous assertion that there is “a discernable human influence” on Earth’s climate.
Highly accurate satellite measurements show no significant global warming, whereas ground-based temperature stations show warming since 1978. However, half of the surface monitoring stations are located close to concrete and asphalt parking lots, window or industrial-size air conditioning exhausts, highways, airport tarmac and even jetliner engines – all of which skew the data upward. The White House, EPA, IPCC and Congress use the deceptive data anyway, to promote their agenda.
With virtually no actual evidence to link CO2 and global warming, the climate chaos community has to rely increasingly on computer models. However, the models do a poor job of portraying an incredibly complex global climate system that scientists are only beginning to understand; assume carbon dioxide is a principle driving force; inadequately handle cloud, solar, precipitation and other critical factors; and incorporate assumptions and data that many experts say are inadequate or falsified. The models crank out (worst-case) climate change scenarios that often conflict with one another. Not one correctly forecast the planetary cooling that began earlier this century, as CO2 levels continued to climb.
Al Gore’s climate cataclysm movie is replete with assertions that are misleading, dishonest or what a British court chastised as “partisan” propaganda about melting ice caps, rising sea levels, hurricanes, malaria, “endangered” polar bears and other issues. But the film garnered him Oscar and Nobel awards, speaking and expert witness appearances, millions of dollars, and star status with UN and congressional interests that want to tax and penalize energy use and economic growth. Perhaps worse, a recent Society of Environmental Journalists meeting made it clear that those supposed professionals are solidly behind Mr. Gore and his apocalyptic beliefs, and will defend him against skeptics.
These and other scandals have slipped past the peer review process that is supposed to prevent them and ensure sound science for a simple reason. Global warming disaster papers are written and reviewed by closely knit groups of scientists, who mutually support one another’s work. The same names appear in different orders on a series of “independent” reports, all of which depend on the same original data, as in the Yamal case. Scientific journals refuse to demand the researchers’ data and methodologies. And as in the case of Briffa, the IPCC and journals typically ignore and refuse to publish contrary studies.
Scandals like these prompted EPA career analyst Alan Carlin to prepare a detailed report, arguing that the agency should not find that CO2 “endangers” human health and welfare, because climate disaster predictions were not based on sound science. EPA suppressed his report and told Carlin not to talk to anyone outside his immediate office, on the ground that his “comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision,” which the agency supposedly would not make for several more weeks.
The endless litany of scandals underscores the inconvenient truth about global warming hysteria. The White House, Congress and United Nations are imperiling our future on the basis of deceptive science, phony “evidence” and worthless computer models. The climate protection racket will enrich Al Gore, alarmist scientists who get the next $89 billion in US government research money, financial institutions that process trillion$$ in carbon trades, and certain companies, like those that recently left the US Chamber of Commerce. For everyone else, it will mean massive pain for no environmental gain.
Still not angry and disgusted? Read Chris Horner’s Red Hot Lies, Lawrence Solomon’s Financial Post articles, Steve Milloy’s Green Hell, and Benny Peiser’s CCNet daily climate policy review. Go to a premier showing of Not Evil Just Wrong.
Then get on your telephone or computer, and tell your legislators and local media this nonsense has got to stop. It may be that none dare call it fraud – but it comes perilously close.

Robert Wood
October 15, 2009 10:06 am

Michael @09:49:35
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, next they fight you, then you win.
The AGWERS seem to be doing it in reverse:
1. Declare victory
2. Fight
3. Be rediculed
4. Be ignored

October 15, 2009 10:11 am

Midwest Mark (05:51:29) :

Correct me if I’m wrong, but weren’t these scientists also claiming that the Arctic would PROBABLY be ice free by the end of summer 2008? Does no one in the mainstream media have an attention span?

One of two answers come to mind. The first possibility is yes they do have an attention span. After all they dutifully sat on this story for a year before posting it. That requires both a long attention span and an agenda!
It also presumes that the reading public does not have an attention span or any historical reference for the “facts reported”. That implies a sinister agenda.
The other option is the media does not have an attention span and are just regurgitating news releases because they are too lazy to do their job, incompetent journalists, or forced by peer pressure or management guidelines (spoken or implied) to follow a party line.
Or they did way too much drugs and booze and are just trying to keep anyone from noticing they have no clue what is going on in the world.

October 15, 2009 10:12 am

Good one Robert.
That’s exactly how their minds work.
They’ve taken insanity to a higher level.

M White
October 15, 2009 10:12 am

“jellyfish in the Arctic”
Possibly the Lion’s Mane jellyfish
You’ll find the Lion’s Mane in the cold Arctic and Pacific Oceans, the North and Irish Seas and around the coast of Australia. They are mostly no deeper than around 20 metres.

George E. Smith
October 15, 2009 10:14 am

Well I’m not an ice expert; but if somebody were to ask me (and they haven’t) I would tell them that the secret is in how many holes you measure; not how many holes you have drilled.
So maybe the bored 1500 holes; that’s only 20 holes per day; not counting all those days they were “holed” up in their survival gear and tents.
How about those 39 “data” points; I see the first one on the list has a standard deviation almost as large as the measurement; maybe they just stuck their arm down the hole and felt for the bottom of the ice.
Could you just measure from the surface of the ice down to the water surface, and simply multiply that by 10 or 11 or whatever; well they would have to know somethinga bout the local ice density and the salinity to figure that out I suppose.
This ice core drilling is the old tree ring scam in spades; and worse because in this case the only thing they are trying to measure is the thickness of the ice.
Of course if they had recovered the ice cores, instead of slaughtering them; they would actually be able to count the rings and find out how many year ice they were on.
But in any case; this has to be one of the worst examples of Nyquist sampling theorem violation, I have ever heard of.
The best summary of the work of the Catlin Ice Survey, that I can muster, is to refer the reader to a classic Far Side Cartoon by Larsen; which consists of a single panel.
The lady with the beehive hairdo, is in her living room talking on the phone to her neighbor across the street.
“Say Hazel; take a look out your front window, and describe for me that thing that is on my front lawn !”
The reason that the lady of the house wants her neighbor’s description, is that her own front window is blocked out by one huge gigantic humungous eye; which is all she can see from inside HER living room.
That is the way I see the Catlin Ice Survey; their sampling regimen Sucks !

P Gosselin
October 15, 2009 10:17 am
October 15, 2009 10:24 am

Al Jazeera falls for the hilarious Catlin fiasco.
Arctic icecap ‘gone in a decade

October 15, 2009 10:27 am

“hotrod (10:11:49) :
Midwest Mark (05:51:29) :

Correct me if I’m wrong, but weren’t these scientists also claiming that the Arctic would PROBABLY be ice free by the end of summer 2008? Does no one in the mainstream media have an attention span?
One of two answers come to mind. The first possibility is yes they do have an attention span. After all they dutifully sat on this story for a year before posting it. That requires both a long attention span and an agenda!
It also presumes that the reading public does not have an attention span or any historical reference for the “facts reported”. That implies a sinister agenda.
The other option is the media does not have an attention span and are just regurgitating news releases because they are too lazy to do their job, incompetent journalists, or forced by peer pressure or management guidelines (spoken or implied) to follow a party line.
Or they did way too much drugs and booze and are just trying to keep anyone from noticing they have no clue what is going on in the world.
Oh, my poor dear Hotrod.
The Rothschild’s own AP and Reuiters.
You don’t know who the Rothschilds are? Google them.
They only disseminate the news they deem fit for you to hear to every news outlet on the planet.
Oh, and they own every major news outlet on the planet too.

October 15, 2009 10:37 am

My favorite is that the expedition made ‘thousands of visual observations’.

October 15, 2009 10:39 am

Fox news is reporting the same crap. People apparently do not realize that the arctic ice cap floats on water and if 100% of it melted, it would not change sea levels an inch.

October 15, 2009 10:43 am

An oldie but goodie.
The 2012 Pelosi GTxi SS/RT Sport Edition

Cassandra King
October 15, 2009 10:44 am

The BBC science reporter David Shukman has openly stated during a report that the Catlin crew drilled “several hundred holes in the ice” The stated number of drilled holes seems to go up and down wildly, does anyone actually know the actual number they claimed to have drilled?

Dodgy Geezer
October 15, 2009 10:44 am

Is anyone going to compile a complete list of the inaccuracies in this report which could easily have been rectified with a little simple research and lodge a formal complaint with the BBC regulatory authority?
It may have to be a team effort….

October 15, 2009 10:47 am

The latest travesty of an interview with junk scientist Pen Hadow on the BBC’s so-called “science” program “Material World”, all 11 minutes and 13 seconds of it, can be downloaded here:
If you want to make any comments directly to the program makers (maximum 1000 characters) go here:
If you want to contact the BBC about anything you can send an email to:
Or use their web page
This is one way to set the record straight for the BBC, but after listening to that load of global warming claptrap today, which went completely unchallenged by the interviewer, I know what an uphill battle it will be.

steven mosher
October 15, 2009 10:53 am

Anthony, you remember a couple years back when you started the challenge of the land record ( hat tips to steve Mc and others as well) you remember how as the debate heated up the warmists followed a tactic which I termed “running for the ice” that is, changing the topic to the ice retreat ( it was 2007) Running for the ice. I didn’t mean for them to take me seriously.

October 15, 2009 11:00 am

Would anyone in MSM ask Catlin/Hadow for the raw data on the 1500 drill holes? Will Mr. Hadow make this data available for other “scientists” to study in detail? Is there a map of the 1500 locations? Photos? Findings?
It would be nice to see an insurance company such as Catlin dedicated to climate science offer the wider science community access to this hard to come by Arctic ice data set.

Bill Sticker
October 15, 2009 11:12 am

An insurance company specialising in ‘Catastrophe insurance’ sponsors an expedition to find evidence of impending catastrophe. According to all their press releases, the expedition ‘discovered’ what they were briefed to find.
No surprises there, then.
Great marketing. Poor science.

October 15, 2009 11:14 am

Isn’t it rich, this hypocracy!
Suppose the situation were reversed: Suppose this was an expedition sponsored by Exxon, consisting of a group of oil riggers. They then return to great fanfare (or not) and proclaim that they took 1500 ice core datapoints and found the average thickness to be 4m. The data is given to somebody like Richard Lindzen (ok, I know he’s not an ice man, but just go with me on this). Professor Lindzen announces the ice is thicker than previously thought – it won’t be disappearing any time soon.
Can you imagine the fallout! Total MSM silence, so it can only be followed on the blogs. RC jumps in and trashes the whole experiment. Ridiculous, Schmidt would trumpet, these weren’t even trained glaciologists. And to drive home the point, he would add “Yet when the German team of climate scientists surveyed the whole arctic ice extent with airborne radar they found the average ice thickness to be – ahem, only 1.8m. Perhaps we should give these eminent climate scientists them the devastating news that their results are all wrong, eh?”.
Yet, the warmists are digging their own grave, by allowing the work of amateurs and hacks to be afforded the same credulity as science. For this expedition has unwittingly set a precedent. Now, anybody can (with necessary financial support) repeat exactly what the Caitlin team has done, and if they should come back and report that the ice is now thicker than 1.8m, how could the warmists then attack their work for doing what everyone agreed was wonderful science when Caitlin did it?

George E. Smith
October 15, 2009 11:15 am

“”” crosspatch (10:39:02) :
Fox news is reporting the same crap. People apparently do not realize that the arctic ice cap floats on water and if 100% of it melted, it would not change sea levels an inch.
Jeez. “””
And to make matters worse, if it all melted, the sea level would go down; not up.
It takes about 80 calories per gram of latent heat to melt ice. The vast majority of that energy is going to come out of the ocean; not the atmosphere, so for example to melt one gram of ice, you could cool 80 grams by one deg C; or coo; one gram by 80 deg C, or any other combination.
If the temperature coefficient of expansion was constant (it isn’t) then the drop in water level, would be the same no matter if 80 grams cooled by one deg C or 800 grams cooled by 0.1 deg C.
But the whole point is the sea level would fall, and not rise, if all the floating sea ice melted.

October 15, 2009 11:33 am

Alan the Brit (06:07:15) :
I think you made a good point there. How many holes you can drill with a hand-auger per day through 1-4 meters of ice? The professional ice fishermen drill maybe 20-30 holes per fishing session and they use power (petrol or battery operated) augers if the ice is thicker than 20 inches.

Henry chance
October 15, 2009 11:37 am

Conservative pundit Michelle Malkin calls these dramas, “Kabuki Theater”
Peanut Farmer Jimmah Carter was famous for carrying empty suitcases infront of cameras. He was of course doing the heavy lifting.

John Nicklin
October 15, 2009 11:43 am

I have been outside in temperatures of -60C, you don’t want to do much work at all, let alone turn an ice auger 600 turns through hard ice. Windchill of -70C is almost debilitating. If they drilled 1500 holes in these conditions, they deserve some kind of award. The Darwin Award maybe.

Stephen Brown
October 15, 2009 11:58 am

The European Climate Exchange, one of the sponsors if the Catlin fiasco, has a ‘fascinating’ write-up of the results ofthe “expedition” at this address
Here’s taster …
“The Catlin Arctic Survey combines a pioneering feat of human endurance with scientific discovery on a geographic scale most would think impossible in the 21st century, a detailed and accurate mapping of one of the earth’s largest geophysical surface features: the floating North Pole sea ice. ”
That’s right! The Catlin expedition mapped the North Pole Sea Ice. All of it!

October 15, 2009 12:01 pm

Whilst the whole exercise is a farse, just surviving in those conditions in a real challenge both phsyically and mentally and I have respect for them for doing that.
I often camp out in temps of -10 degrees C when am mountaineering, and thats not easy, let alone -40! When you sleep in cold you are still breathing freezing air into your lungs despite being wrapped up and often nights are cold and misserable with sleep on and off, often needing to eat high energy food in the night to keep yourself from shivering away. So lets not forgot what they have done is quite and acheivement, despite it being for nothing!

October 15, 2009 12:01 pm

ten reasons why i think you are an idiot for publishing this anti-climate action rubbish:
1) any exploration of ice sheets is better than nothing, regardless of the integrity of who’s carrying it out
2) people such as you, who like to sound off about everything, instead of sticking to things they know about, are arm chair academics, capable of spinning a good argument. But unable to accept the truth…climate disaster will come, and the proof is in the ice sheets
3) the earth is heating up, whether you think it is or not – if it isn’t, prove it!
4) CO2 is responsible for damaging the water cycle of the planet
5) which means ice will melt more frequently
6)reliable surveys, from decades ago until now, show ice melting all over the world that wouldn’t have melted as quickly if it weren’t for CO2 poisoning that capitalism causes
7) you’re probably a fascist
8) you’re probably a cop
9) or both
10) you probably get paid to write the rubbish that you do…which is a shame.
dont reply, because i won’t read it or acknowledge it. you’re an idiot
REPLY: Thanks for your brilliant insight and list of “probablys”, which all happen to be wrong. The website you put in the name entry is interesting also
– Anthony

Jeff Shifrin
October 15, 2009 12:05 pm

Anthony, I think you left out one other very important reason not to trust the results of this so-called scientific expedition. Suppose Exxon did the financing for a similar “unscientific scientific expedition”, and the resulting conclusion was that the world should use three times as much oil as it presently does, and should pay four times the present price. Can you imagine the reaction of the MSM? They would be outraged, and as a result, no one would believe the conclusion. In this case, the Catlin Arctic Sea Survey is so-named because it was financially sponsored by the Catlin Insurance Company. What kind of insurance does Catlin specialize in? It specializes in disaster insurance. If Catlin can convince enough people that a climate disaster scenario is just around the corner, they can sell an awful lot of disaster insurance. And when, of course, the climate disaster doesn’t occur, Catlin won’t have to make any payouts, and as a result, will make enormous profits. Is this simple linear thought process too complicated for the MSM to handle, or do they just prefer to ignore it?

Andy Pag
October 15, 2009 12:15 pm

Yeah, too right man, and the thing that gets me is they’ve got some guy called Wadhams to make it sound like it’s all really official.
I mean who is this Emeritus Professor Peter Wadhams, and what’s this jumped up academic backwater that goes by the name of Cambridge University?
And then there is this charity involved. I’ve never heard of the WWF, sound like something they made up themselves.
These are all people who don’t know as much about it as you. Cos you spend time reading stuff on the internet. I bet IF you’d ever called up the Science Project Director at CAS (who’s left now to do some other b.s. eco project – he would have tried to explain your ballanced views as misunderstandings. I don’t think much of that journalistic technique of calling and speaking to the people you are defaming before you rip them apart on the internet.
I doubt they even really went to the south pole, If you look at the shadows in the pictures looks like they were done on the opposite side of the planet.
I think it’s all just a stunt by this insurance company to make excuses for their high premiums. Thankfully I don’t have an oil platform, which is the sort of thing they insure so they won’t be getting any more cash out of me.
Andy Pag

October 15, 2009 12:39 pm

thanks for the advert for my anti-E.ON website……by the way, how can you call satellite footage of depleted ice shelves, “wrong” – you truly are an idiot.

October 15, 2009 12:40 pm

I bet eye8eon will be one of those descending on Ratcliffe power station on Saturday.

October 15, 2009 12:42 pm

eye8eon (12:01:03) : This explains it all:
…if it weren’t for CO2 poisoning that capitalism causes
Were you aslept for twenty years? The Berlin’s wall fell down back in 1989.

October 15, 2009 12:43 pm

Looks like some RC regulars are posting here!
At least they don’t get deleted just replied to 🙂

Tom in Texas
October 15, 2009 12:52 pm

“…I’ve never heard of the WWF…”
World Wrestling Federation

October 15, 2009 12:52 pm

Hello from Russia!
Can I quote a post in your blog with the link to you?

October 15, 2009 12:54 pm

I am recommending to all the homeowners in Florida I know to drop their hurricane insurance, it’s called going naked down here , and save themselves a ton of money. I predicted zero hurricanes this year hitting us and I was 100% accurate. Solar minimum is the reason for my prediction. My prediction holds for the next 5 years.

George S.
October 15, 2009 1:00 pm

is there raw data from which the “averages” were derived? Any other documentation? photos? video? I’d like to see these uber humans at work. Maybe they could demonstrate their technique this winter in Copenhagen?

October 15, 2009 1:07 pm

eye8eon (12:39:54):
Can you please provide us with links to the “reliable surveys, from decades ago until now, show ice melting all over the world” because according to the National Sea & Ice Data Center, Antarctic Sea Ice Extent is currently above average:
and Cryoshpere Today doesn’t seem to show any significant trend in Global Sea Ice Area:

Midwest Mark
October 15, 2009 1:09 pm

Sad, but we see it once again. It’s futile to argue with the closed-minded.

October 15, 2009 1:10 pm

Thank you, Anthony, for once again exposing these farcically sloppy studies reported unquestioningly in the not-ready-for-prime-time-but-we-are-stuck-with-them-anyway-media. We owe you a lot for your efforts and persistence.

October 15, 2009 1:11 pm

CBC in Canada also reported the Catlin Survey’s results this morning as proof of AGW. I didn’t know about Catlin’s track record but the results sounded just like a PR exercise Thanks for the comprehensive report.

October 15, 2009 1:13 pm

David (08:28:45) :
You want scientific? Fine, here goes.
It’s supposedly never been done before. What is it compared to?
Meaningless expedition!

October 15, 2009 1:14 pm

Michael (12:54:06) :I absolutely agree with your forecast!, though I would extend it to nine years.

Kum Dollison
October 15, 2009 1:16 pm

Apologies if someone has already posted this, but Dr. Spencer has updated the SST chart through Oct 14. Back to zero.

Robin Guenier
October 15, 2009 1:19 pm

I see the BBC is no longer showing this story on its main webpage – it can only be found buried deep in the Science & Nature section (not even on the S&N headlines). That’s odd: these types of story usually hang around for days.
Could it (just possibly) be that it’s taken note of the barrage of criticism. Surely not?

October 15, 2009 1:24 pm

According to the Catlin Group press release Hadow’s data will be worked into a publication by Professor Wadhams under the title of “Verification of Catlin Arctic Survey Surface Observation Techniques” (N. Toberg & P. Wadhams), for submission to the scientific journal “Cold Regions Science and Technology” (Elsevier).
Professor Wadhams is on the editorial board of this journal (see second link). Does anyone else see a conflict of interest?

matt v.
October 15, 2009 1:39 pm

For some time I have been exchanginge some e- mails directly with NSIDC with particular reference to the possible effect of AMO on Arctic ice . If the AMO is heading into the cool phase as it is doing now and say for the next 20-30 years and it’s effect turns out to be similar to the period 1950 to 1976 [ no reduction in ice ] then I think this latest prediction of no ice in a decade will turn out to be just another exaggerated fear creating ploy by AGW camp prior to Copenhagen. Here is what NSIDC said and I quote only partly here with reference to natural variabilty and its effect on Arctic sea ice.
Simply put, both rising greenhouse gas levels and natural variability are playing a role. When they are both in phase with each other (i.e. both are working to remove the sea ice), dramatic things may happen, such as the record low ice extent observed in 2007. Consider
the last couple of years (2008 and 2009) in this context. The very strong “dipole” sea level pressure pattern that persisted through summer 2007, which contributed to the record low ice extent, has not been as prominent in these past two years. This helps to explain why September ice extent was higher in 2008 (second lowest) and 2009 (third lowest).
Changes in ocean heat transport have certainly played a role in the sea ice trend. Warm Atlantic waters enter the Arctic Ocean through eastern Fram Strait and the Barents Sea, and form an intermediate layer as they subduct below colder, fresher (less dense) Arctic surface waters. Hydrographic data show an increased import of Atlantic-derived waters in the 1990s, and warming of this inflow. This trend appears to have continued, characterized by pronounced pulses of warm inflow. Strong ocean warming in the
Eurasian basin in 2004 can be traced to a pulse entering the Barents Sea in 1997/1998.
So some cooler headed scientists at NSIDC are beginning to acknowledge the effect of natural variabilty on Arctic Sea ice .

October 15, 2009 1:43 pm

Robin Guenier (13:19:24) :
I see the BBC is no longer showing this story on its main webpage – it can only be found buried deep in the Science & Nature section (not even on the S&N headlines). That’s odd: these types of story usually hang around for days.
Could it (just possibly) be that it’s taken note of the barrage of criticism. Surely not?

Holy Crap I can’t find the story on Fox News online front page either, but it does still list on the Science and Technology page as a “top story” but it has no listing in the Scitech Headlines tabular listing.
Could it be the Media is paying attention?

Edgar Pechin
October 15, 2009 1:44 pm

This Arctic Survey Farce must be a huge PR dance like you say. This looks like something the Nat. Geocrapic Socialist Society would do. Showing how brave that are to “save the planet man” is a perfect PR ploy. Good call on the BS these guys can generate. Just one out of ten should disqualify this study.
Almost every Nat Geocrapic show I have watched, on any subject, has someone burst in several times for no reason and say ” there is irrefutable evidence of man-made global warming”. Serious brainwashing of the public is the main reason they make all their shows. Just like this.
I am “so” convinced that 19 ppm(manmade) of 380 ppm CO2 could wreck such havoc on the poor, poor planet. Gore has me convinced!!! Damn, 9 years of college down the drain. Melted of course!!!
It was the polar bear tragedy that did it though. 5000 bears in 1970 and now 25000 bears. Must be the new Gore-math. More is less??? More or less. Gore probably co-wrote the script before they left the warmer world.
Keep up the great work!!!

October 15, 2009 1:46 pm

OK which of you jokers wrote in pretending to be an alarmist using the soubriquet Eye8eon. Nice try but you overdid it – nobody is that stupid….. are they?

October 15, 2009 1:47 pm

Correction it has disappeared from the Fox News home page in the latest news section which previously listed it but if you scroll waaaay down the page it does still appear in the scitech section on the bottom of the front page, but no longer as a bolded headline in latest news.

Peter Plail
October 15, 2009 2:27 pm

The catlin circus claim in their methodology that they drilled “up to 10” holes in the evening of each day, the location chosen to reflect the terrain over which they had travelled that day.
Given that their spreadsheet summary only shows records for 39 out of the 73 days, then the absolute maximum number of holes would be 390. But of course we all know what “up to 10 “means – they probably managed it once then decided it was too much hassle and cut it down to 1 subsequently. But to make up for the differences they stuck their tape measure down the hole a few times to get an average (it’s a bit difficult to tell from the top of a 2 to 4m hole only a few cm in diameter where the ice/water interface actually is). The difficulty will of course be compounded by the fact that the slush in the hole will be freezing pretty quickly. Hm, might have to clear it again with the auger – hey, call that another hole, no-one is looking! Also, I didn’t nitice a level or plumb-bob in the pictures so there is no certainty that the holes were vertical.
My vote for the actual number of holes drilled is therefore 48 at unique locations.
For those who missed it, the “full” data for March, April and May is on the last three pages of the spreadsheet referenced by our host in his ten points.
Still, it is better to base a report on ice decline on 39 measurements than base the whole theory of AGW on one Siberian tree!

October 15, 2009 2:31 pm

I would get some popcorn and a supersize drink and sit around for the ‘eye8eon show’ but i suspect he won’t be back (and if he is I’m sure it will be with some more ‘capitalist pigs’ statements).
If he does come back, perhaps he will tell us how to live a puritan earth-friendly life.

October 15, 2009 2:33 pm

Cassandra King (10:44:34) :
does anyone actually know the actual number they claimed to have drilled?

We have one photo-op with the light so bright that you can’t tell where Pen is.
We scrutinized it in this forum best we could, but there are no clues to be found that say “By golly, he really was there and drilled a hole”.
Most of the expedition was like that… thin evidence.

October 15, 2009 2:33 pm

just the facts: i didn’t say anything about the antartic…..i said all over the world. you prove to me that it isn’t melting all over the world, and i’ll shut up and go home……..[snip].

Gary Hladik
October 15, 2009 2:34 pm

Roger (13:46:16) : “OK which of you jokers wrote in pretending to be an alarmist using the soubriquet Eye8eon. Nice try but you overdid it – nobody is that stupid….. are they?”
I think Anthony forged it as a bonus joke for this amusing thread. The giveaway is the repeated presence of the word “idiot”, which I believe the moderators usually snip. No doubt he’s illustrating the very real extremist religious CAGW view via dramatization, i.e. “fake but accurate”. 🙂
On topic: Whereas the Catlin “Expedition” is fake and inaccurate.

Gary Hladik
October 15, 2009 2:36 pm

*sigh* Some day I’ll learn proper HTML use:
…fake and inaccurate…

October 15, 2009 2:39 pm

I wonder if this might possibly be the last we hear from them, at least in the UK.
A couple of years ago Newsnight (BBC) raised the issue that temperatures had been flat for years, and wasn’t this “extraordinary”? (IIRC that’s the word they used)
This last Wednesday, Newsnight has been on again, this time confronting the leader of the Green Party, the director of Greenpeace, and a Conservative politician, on whether the greens, having brought the environment to our attention, have now become too unpragmatic to be of further use, actually becoming the roadblocks to any solutions.
Personally, it looked like they ducked and dodged the accusation, whilst in the end, when pressed, they simply restated their view that, “small” changes will lead to “everything” changing.
Absent from the discussion was any reference to data, past or present, about the climate. No figures, no charts, no “unprecedented warming”, no ice data, no nothing.
The politician in the group simply noted that he didn’t think people would change their behavior, but he did think there was an interest in green that politicians could listen to (as a way to get elected, methinks).
But absent any fresh startling “evidence” of global warming, nor any newsworthy “unprecedented” discoveries, perhaps the media is now using greens for a different kind of story–the ineffectual idealists who are too lacking in pragmatism to actually solve the problems they’ve been so preachy about. The opening introductory clips were of people running around fully naked, with sound clips of them looking forward to the end of ambition and capitalism.
Those clips, stuff like Burning Man, were always available, it is just that I’ve not seen the media choose to show them before in this way.

October 15, 2009 2:50 pm

Roger (13:46:16)
Well I hope it is parody but I suspect not. Unfortunately it has claimed to have bred. Shows that some women aren’t very fussy or discerning.

October 15, 2009 2:58 pm

And can I just add, I’m glad Newsnight showed those green figureheads up for lacking real solutions. The environment is absolutely critical for life, as everybody knows, and has always known. But simply asking that we stop growing and stop developing and stop engineering high technology is not the answer and never has been–that’s just three men trapped in a mine deciding to breathe more slowly until they can be rescued–there is no rescue, there is nothing that “conservation” will grant us in the long run, there is only higher development and progress, for when we run out of brain power, then our species will go extinct.
Promoting “conservation&efficiency” as “sustainability” is the most ironic thing. A highly efficient system has no spare capacity for a crisis. A highly conserved system has no flexibility for a crisis. The people who want an end to “ambition” are the ones who lack the drive to get anything done, especially when it comes to the big problems. (Really, the greens make a weird study in shadow psychology.)

October 15, 2009 2:59 pm

Well it’s still “hot” news here in Australia- on radio news early this a.m. I nearly fell out of bed laughing (FOOBL???). Not proof of global warming, but proof of global PR.
And last night on Catalyst, a “science” show, we had our top climate adviser Will Steffen proclaiming it’s worse than we thought- ocean temperatures at the upper level of projections, ice breaking off Antarctica raising sea level, a recent surge in CO2 concentration showing a weakening of the ocean sinks. Trouble is, otherwise intelligent people believe this nonsense.
Must be a climate conference coming up…

October 15, 2009 3:01 pm

I’m really not concerned about number 1, I don’t even see it as an issue. I am really concerned about number 3 though. That to me is the really important aspect of this.

October 15, 2009 3:14 pm

“I’m not asking anybody…I’m just telling everybody. We can look for the North Pole, or we can play ‘Here we go gathering Nuts in May’….”
Oh, I am sorry Eye8, I thought you said Eeyore.
Listening to my fascist local talk show this morning whilst driving to work I heard Fox radio news give the Club Med moving to Baffin Island report. I honestly never imagined it could be the Caitlin frostbite in the Summer report after what you did to them in the event, Anthony. They have no shame…uh,duh.
As per someone above suggesting the drilling by hand of all the holes is suspect, perhaps an audit is in order. Mr. McIntyre has experience with trees. I am sure there will be easy access to a Starbuck’s at the lakeside in Toronto this winter.

October 15, 2009 3:29 pm

This was posted on this site a couple of months ago:
Here’s the Catlin linked re the drums:
All gone quite since then.
“From the Ice
Logistically, all the loose ends of the expedition have now been tied up.
On the 5th June, Kenn Borek Air scooped up the remaining fuel drums from our fuel cache on the Arctic Ocean, before returning to the base at Resolute.

Don S.
October 15, 2009 3:50 pm

At Cassandra King: I, too have found drilling ice with an augur to be incredibly exhausting. Their cutting edges are simply up to the task. Therefore I have begun to use augers, which function much more effectively.

Sam the Skeptic
October 15, 2009 4:00 pm

I think I’m missing something.
Has “all over the world” become a new scientific method of measurement for ice extent?
And is the Antarctic not part of the world anymore?
I think this eye8eon must be a Klingon. The name certainly reminds me of something I met last time I visited Planet Gore.

October 15, 2009 4:03 pm

DMI out of action for a week now what is happening. I would suspect ALL NH ice cryosphere etc from the past week or so except JAXA?

October 15, 2009 4:04 pm

eye8eon (14:33:59) :
“just the facts: i didn’t say anything about the antartic…..i said all over the world.”
The second link that I provided is “Global” Sea Ice Area:
It is from Cryoshpere Today;
which bases its data on “Snow and ice data provided by the National Center for Environmental Prediction/NOAA”.

October 15, 2009 4:14 pm

I think eye8eon is a language called txtork. It’s a variation of Newspeak.
In English I think it means ‘I hate Eon’ though I can’t be sure. I gave up on learning new languages after 50. (Unless they’re useful languages 😉 ).

October 15, 2009 4:16 pm

I don’t let it sour me on all arctic expeditions. There was one taken by Birkeland who directly observed the auroral lights, which yielded tremendous results to science. Also, I believe Alfred Wegener froze in Greenland taking supplies back to some stranded fellows from his team, if I remember. He was a great man.
These other types always have an entourage and a catering service and lots of cameras following them around.

October 15, 2009 4:17 pm

As for the antartic, again not sure.
An ‘artic’ is an abbreviation for an articulated lorry, (Semi on the U.S.A.), so I suppose it means not an articulated lorry, (semi).

Patrick Davis
October 15, 2009 4:24 pm

“eye8eon (14:33:59) :
just the facts: i didn’t say anything about the antartic…..i said all over the world. you prove to me that it isn’t melting all over the world, and i’ll shut up and go home……..[snip].”
I didn’t know Antartica wasn’t part of this world, nor did I know there was ice melt in Jamaica (But only in my pina colada). The world is populated with people with very little insight into reality.

October 15, 2009 4:30 pm

I would like to draw your attention to the BBC news website dated 12th October which had an article by Paul Hudson ,the climate correspondent BBc news ,with the title WHATS HAPPENED TO GLOBAL WARMING ? in which he puts forward the case for GLOBAL COOLING ! Please read because this is the first time the BBC has ever admitted the possibility that its normal stand on global warming ( ie. that man made CO2 emissins are responsible), may be wrong . An astounding turn around .

Ron de Haan
October 15, 2009 4:50 pm

Another bad prediction by Al Gore!?!

Milwaukee Bob
October 15, 2009 5:04 pm

Come on all, what was the reason for the “expedition” in the first place? It wasn’t science! It was – -well, let’s follow the money:
The European Climate Exchange (ECX) was started in 2005 by the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) started in 2003 with initial funding of $1 million from the Chicago-based Joyce Foundation whose advisory board (which approved the funding) included one Illinois State Senator by the name of Barack Obama amongst 18 other members. Obama’s early connections to and approval of “cap-and-trade” taxation schemes is well documented. The Joyce Foundation president, Paula DePerna, became CCX’s VP at the point of a second and much larger tranche of money.
The ECX and the CCX, along with Chicago Climate Futures Exchange (CCFE) are now (as of 2006) held (owned) by an entity call the Climate Exchange, PLC. The CLE is a holding company of sorts registered in The Isle of Man. The CCFE also started the California Climate Action Registry, (CCAR) a kind of futures exchange.
The CLE has also started the California Climate Exchange (CACX), the Montreal Climate Exchange (MCEX) AND the Insurance Futures Exchange (IFEX). Any bets as to which “insurance” company is a member of the exchange?? Here are some members of the CACX: the cities of – CHICAGO, OAKLAND, BERKELEY, BOULDER AND PORTLAND, PLUS VARIOUS COUNTIES LIKE SACRAMENTO AND STATES LIKE NEW MEXICO. I’m sure I do not need to spell out where the money is coming from that they are paying to these “exchanges” to “off set” their carbon foot prints.
I have a lovely chart of all of this, but have no clue as to how to paste it into a blog…..
So what you say, you do not live in any of those locations. Well, here are some the other advisory board members of the CHICAGO CLIMATE EXCHANGE:
Elizabeth Dowdeswell, former head of the UN Environmental Program (UNEP) who is remembered for leading the organization into the deepest crisis in its history during her five-year tenure from 1993 to 1998.
Rajenra Pachauri, head of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; the panel’s reports over a 10 year period tracked scientific studies and in 2007 concluded that the weight of scientific evidence now showed not only that global warming was occurring, but that it was a man-made phenomenon and that its consequences were immediate and dire. The reports have become the basis for all the proposals to bring about drastic reductions in man-made greenhouse gases, starting immediately.
Michael Jammit Cutajar, former executive director of the U.N. Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC); The UNFCCC is supposed to keep the Kyoto Accords process moving forward by setting up meeting between member states like the summit on climate change in Copenhagen later this year, where a successor to the Kyoto Accords is expected to be drafted and signed. Thomas Lovejoy, former science adviser to UNEP and currently senior adviser to the president of the U.N. Foundation, which was originally founded with a $1 billion gift from CNN founder Ted Turner. The foundation calls itself “an advocate for the U.N. and a platform for connecting people, ideas and resources to help the United Nations solve global problems. He is also chief biodiversity advisor to the World Bank and senior adviser to the president of the United Nations Foundation. He is noted for developing “debt-for-nature swaps,” under which environmental groups purchase troubled foreign debt at low prices. They then convert the discounted debt into local currency to purchase environmentally sensitive tracts of land. Critics of the scheme argue that the plan deprives poor nations of a chance to extract raw materials that are critical to their economic growth.
And the most controversial figure is, Maurice Strong, whom was one of former Secretary General Kofi Annan’s key aides at the U.N. for years until the Iraq Oil-for-Food scandal forced him to leave. Since then Strong has lived mostly in China.
On one level Strong’s involvement in the exchange is not surprising. He has been a player in virtually all the U.N.’s environmental initiatives over the past four decades. His work includes organizing the 1972 U.N. conference on the environment in Stockholm, which was a launch pad for the worldwide environmental movement, as well as the 1992 Earth Summit and the Kyoto Accords.
Strong left the U.N. under a cloud in 2005, after an investigation into the corruption ravaged Oil-for-Food Program revealed that he had received nearly $1 million in cash from Tongsun Park, a South Korean businessman who was later convicted of conspiring to bribe U.N. officials who ran the program. Strong claimed that the money was an investment by Park in a company owned by Strong’s son. He admitted personally taking other money from Park but claimed it was for an “office rental.” After the revelations Strong resigned his last U.N. post as Annan’s North Korea envoy and moved to China.
So what was the purpose of the expedition? Right, 1,500 holes of propaganda that would make Joseph Goebbels proud.

October 15, 2009 5:39 pm

Some calculations:
1500 holes in 39 days = 38.46 holes per day. (This is from their spreadsheet)
Ice drills drill about 3mm per revolution (Cassandra King).
Average thickness = 1.8 meters or 600 revolutions of drill.
Assume each revolution takes 1 second.
Assume measurements take 2 minutes.
Assume packing/unpacking drill equipment takes 4 minutes.
With the above we have each hole takes 16 minutes.
With 38.46 holes per day this means they drilled for a total of 10.25 hours per day.
Assume 10 hours sleep per day.
Assume 1 hour for each food break and 3 food breaks per day.
This breaks down their drilling days as follows:
10 Hours sleep.
10.25 Hours drilling.
3 Hours setting up, preparing and eating food.
This leaves a total of 45 minutes for travel on every drilling day. If you take into account the holes they drilled then they travelled for 1 minute 17 seconds between drilling each hole.

October 15, 2009 5:51 pm

From BBC report on Catlin Expedition, April 9 2009:
“But when the expedition, the Catlin Arctic Survey, set off in late February, it encountered an unexpected wind chill as low as minus 70 degrees Celsius, and the technology failed.”
From BBC report on April 14 2009:
“The expedition was blighted in the first few weeks by temperatures well below minus 40 Celsius, the equivalent of minus 70 allowing for the wind chill.”
Gee, Louise! How unexpected was that! I mean the expedition surely couldn’t have expected a warmer welcome than that faced by previous explorers. Or did they?
And how about this for and an unashamed and blatant shifting of the goal-posts? From BBC report on Catlin expedition, February 21. This is before the expedition set off:
“No other information on ice thickness like this is expected to be made available to the scientific community in 2009,” explained Arctic ice modeller Professor Wieslaw Maslowski, a science advisor to the survey.
“We would like to use this information in real time to determine our skill in representing the observed ice thickness,” he told BBC News.

Ultimately, Professor Maslowski hopes to finesse his forecast for when the first ice-free summer might arrive.
Currently, he has it down for 2013 – but with an uncertainty range between 2010 and 2016.”
Now that the expedition is over, BBC has this piece of info on October 14 under the headline “Arctic to be ‘ice-free in summer'”:
“Professor Wadhams said: “The Catlin Arctic Survey data supports the new consensus view – based on seasonal variation of ice extent and thickness, changes in temperatures, winds and especially ice composition – that the Arctic will be ice-free in summer within about 20 years, and that much of the decrease will be happening within 10 years.”
What? Do they mean to say arctic to be ice-free in summer not in 2016 but in 2029? Was this fresh irreversible appointment with doomsday gathered from the raw Catlin expedition data?
Nope! It seems Catlin data merely “supports the new consensus view”. The new consensus was reached while the ridiculous expedition was away slogging hard to prove the imminent disappearance of Artic ice.
I can imagine a few of them, rich, unashamed and unrepentant, looking at the the vast white Arctic landscape in 2029 and saying: “Gee, Louise! That was unexpected!”

October 15, 2009 7:00 pm

MarcH (13:24:34) :
According to the Catlin Group press release Hadow’s data will be worked into a publication by Professor Wadhams under the title of “Verification of Catlin Arctic Survey Surface Observation Techniques” (N. Toberg & P. Wadhams), for submission to the scientific journal “Cold Regions Science and Technology” (Elsevier).

From the “Cold Regions Science and Technology” ethical guidelines for authors:
“Authors may be asked to provide the raw data in connection with a paper for editorial review, and should be prepared to provide public access to such data (consistent with the ALPSP-STM Statement on Data and Databases), if practicable, and should in any event be prepared to retain such data for a reasonable time after publication.”

October 15, 2009 7:11 pm

Best chuckle today!
eye8eon (12:01:03) :
[…amusing rant…]
dont reply, because i won’t read it or acknowledge it. you’re an idiot
REPLY: Thanks for your brilliant insight and list of “probablys”, which all happen to be wrong. The website you put in the name entry is interesting also
– Anthony

Now, count ’em…
Jeff Shifrin (12:05:03) :
…that’s one and…
Andy Pag (12:15:04) :
…that’s two, and the very next post…
eye8eon (12:39:54) :
“thanks for the advert for my anti-E.ON website……by the way, how can you call satellite footage of depleted ice shelves, “wrong” – you truly are an idiot.”
Not so keen on keeping promises eh, eye8eon?
In the immortal words of Bugs Bunny, “What a maroon!”

October 15, 2009 7:12 pm

Not sure if your blogging system is working for me ATM – delete if duplicates appear:
This blog appeared on The Australian newspaper this morning from former minieter for resources, and also finance minister, Peter Walsh:,25197,26215154-5015664,00.html
Oddly The Australian also ran the disappearing arctic ice story since yesterday. Hence my somewhat terse blog reply (copied here in case it gets nipped in the bud there)
Peter – your assessment is dead on accurate, but you will cop it from the dogma swilling crowd and the rent-seekers. You are wrong in saying only Fairfax and the ABC are supporting AGW (I almost threw up watching the naive responses from the young girl on Q&A last night … that was pathetic), because this paper is not averse to the odd AGW fairy story.
Witness the disappearing arctic ice story:,25197,26215581-11949,00.html
Within a day this story was shown to be a complete fraud here:
Most importantly it clearly shows the rent-seeking behaviour in action (how topical), because the expedition sponsor was none other than Catlin Underwriting Ambition:
Three guesses what the major sponsor (Catlin) does for crust? You guessed it:
They (in their own words):
“Catlin Group Limited is a leading global specialty insurer and reinsurer. We provide creative risk management solutions and excellent financial security to clients worldwide.”
I did all this in a few minutes and a few mouse clicks and I am not even a journo…. so why, oh why, do stories like this even see the light of day? It is an embarrassment to journalism.
(No doubt this will not be blogged up so I have taken the liberty to copy my response to Wahtsupwiththat for posterity.)

October 15, 2009 7:30 pm

Bill Tuttle (02:57:28) :

It’s now being reported that
“Hadow and his team on the Catlin Arctic Survey drilled 1,500 holes to gather evidence during a 280 mile walk across the Arctic. They found the average thickness of ice-floes was 1.8 metres, a depth considered too thin to survive the summer’s ice melt.”,2933,566601,00.html
Could one of you much-smarter-than-I-am folks please explain to me how 39 data points miraculously expands into 1,500 holes?

I can’t believe no one has done this today. The story is wrong – I think they rounded up the number of data points (1,350) to 1,500.
The spreadsheet at is an incredibly poorly laid out mess, but the number of data points is easy to fish out:

                 Ice    Free    Snow  Column  Column
Month  Totals  Thick   board   Depth   grams  Height  Temp
March      60      3       3      46       8       0     0
April    1002    142     142     610     108       0     0
May       288     30      30     138      30      30    30
Total    1350

This says they drilled 175 holes, I see they drilled 10 on several days, but that’s what settles into 39 averaged ice depth readings. The majority of the 1500, err, 1350 were snow depth, a much easier thing
to measure than ice depth.
Here’s hoping the <pre> stuff works as intended.

October 15, 2009 7:39 pm

It looks like this Prof Wadhams has been involved with the expedition since the early days.
Here’s an excerpt from which will strike awe in the hearts and minds of anyone who appreciates good data:

It was decided early on in the project that measuring mean ice thickness by drilling randomly selected sample positions posed arisk of damage to equipment which could only be replaced at resupply, and therefore a risk to the amount of data that could effectively be gathered. Drilling through ridges is also physically very demanding and only usually attempted with a powered auger and not a hand auger The fatigue caused and time required to drill through ridges by hand would result in less data being gathered. Many ridges are deeper than the length of the drill (5.2m) so the ridge thickness data would be incomplete with an unquantifiable bias.
Given the constraints on the team, it was decided in collaboration with our science partners that the most valuable results would come from using time and human ffort to collect data using this selective sampling technique with a known and quantifiable bias, to give modal thickness.
These methodologies were developed in ongoing discussions with Prof Wadhams, of Cambridge University, and Prof Christian Haas of the University of Alberta, world leaders in field techniques for data gathering on sea ice.

In other words, they drilled where it was easy to be easy on the team and equipment. I guess modal thickness is the most common thickness, so you can write off the ridges immediately, escpecially the 5 meter ice because that’s too thick to measure.
I sure seems like that airborne radar was the way to go!

October 15, 2009 7:43 pm

In case anyone was thinking I was being overly harsh about the “young girl’s” comments on yesterday’s Q and A program, you can view it here:
and read the transcript here:
The young girl (Deepa Gupta) made such priceless comments as:
“Yes, I understand that they do both want more electricity but I think that that lies in renewables. Like, for Australia it is one of the windiest, one of the sunniest countries in the world. It’s surrounded by ocean. It has the best hot rocks and, you know, for Australia – the CSIRO’s study, I think, says that in the next 15 years we can actually generate 1 million clean energy jobs. ”
Sign me up for them jobs! and…
” To be honest, it just feels like non on here actually cares about the issue of climate change. Like this is threatening the survival of – like the future of my generation and all future generation and you’re sitting here debating – you know, one party debating like 10 per cent for 2020 and another party debating whether we do anything or not, full stop.”
“But to ensure the survival of like all nations and people and to stop – like, you know, to stop countries from going underwater, we need to aim for like 350 parts per million as a safe – like the upper limit of safe carbon – carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. And for that, like, Australia needs to be taking targets of like 40 per cent of more by 2020 and none of you guys are even talking about it. ”
Her comments at one point were met with the loudest audience applause for the entire show.
There is still a lot of work to be done gents if her understanding of the issues is anything to go by…

October 15, 2009 8:02 pm

Thank you Anthony for putting up with this one more time.
For reference, here’s a montage “demonstrational” articles you may have missed.
Catlin Survey Begins Arctic Trek:
Supported by some 16 tons of aviation fuel left in depots across the Arctic Ocean ice, the Catlin Expedition team launched its environmental survey of just how fast global warming is melting the pole.
Follow the Catlin Expedition Online:
You can follow the progress of the Catlin Expedition Online. Track location, blogs, and in a first, live data on the team’s Physiometric progress.
“For the first time on an Arctic expedition you can monitor what parts of the team are frostbitten and to what degree. The page will show how many toes and fingers each member still has in real time!”
Rough Start For Catlin Explorers:
The expedition reports it will be relying on manually dug holes for data after their ice radar failed.
“It’s bloody cold here. We actually had to burn most of our electronics to dry our soggy sleeping bags. However, we suffer no loss of data. I drill a 2 m hole in sea ice formed at -40C in about a minute and a half,” Pen Hadow reported.
In Ironic Twist, Polar Bears Endanger Catlin Team:
Sadly, Polar Bears ate one of the Catlin explorers yesterday.
“Ann was taking a sun reading and a pack apparently ganged up and attacked her. There were so many. I thought these things were extinct!”
The team’s mission control confirmed the loss of Ann despite the online Physiometrics showing she still has all ten toes and fingers.
Catlin Team Announces Progress
After only a month and a half, the Catlin Expedition announced the team has traveled half the distance to their destination, the North Pole.
When asked why their reported Lat-Long appears stationary, expedition leaders replied, “First year ice appears not only vulnerable to summer melting, but remarkably fast moving, but we’re keeping up.”
Catlin Team Rescued
Pen “The Human Drill” Hadow gave the rescuers two thumbs up. “We will miss the Arctic. Every time I leave, I feel like I’m leaving a piece of me behind.”
Physiometrics confirmed Hadow leaves with only two thumbs remaining.
Catlin Team Reaches North Pole – July 31, 2009
“The expedition was a complete team effort and we consider our equipment part of the team. Yesterday, our fuel barrels crossed over the North Pole. We’re very proud of our team for finally accomplishing this important goal. We didn’t expect first year drums to make it so far.”
Arctic Open to Navigation in Ten Years
The Catlin team reported yesterday that in ten years time the Arctic will be considered an open navigable waterway.
Maritime stocks skyrocketed on the report.

October 15, 2009 11:48 pm

Nice wrap up and interesting information explored in the comments, as well.
I would like to clarify one issue (pertaining to my statement WRT preconceived “goals” and data) and to Anthony’s point #7.
Having an idea about “the outcome” when you start an experiment is of course not wrong or suspect in itself. On the contrary, it is likely the most frequent approach in hypothesis testing.
When adressing the question: has ice in the N of Canada/Greenland become thinner, this can be regarded as a test hypothesis stating:
“The ice in a specific sudy are is observable thinner” (than a specified and well-defined/representative thickness).
Standard procedure would then be to define a zero hypothesis (H0) and to test if observations enables you to reject the zero-hypothesis (and thereby accepting the the test hypothesis e.g. “The ice in the study area has become thinner”) The philosophically inclined would know that this apparently cumbersome detour via a zero-hypothesis is caused by the inherent logical weakness of inference from “INDUCTION”.
Anyway, the appropriate and decent thing(s) to do would be to
a) When you do not have such data , to acknowledge that you do not have sufficcient data (or of sufficient quality) to reject the zero-hypothesis
b) Specify the test, the statistical sgnificance AND THE STATISTICAL POWER of the tests employed to reach you eventual conclusions
Anyway, The Catlin team has glaring errors in almost any aspect of proper hypothesis testing. All the way from the representativeness of the sample sites (omitting pack-ice), too few samples, poor definition of benchmark ice- situation etc etc.
In Cod we trust

October 16, 2009 5:00 am

“Her [Deepa Gupta] comments at one point were met with the loudest audience applause for the entire show.”
The Aussie’s must be completely wacko. I suspect in the UK she would be met with disinterested silence – unless the audience where handpicked enviro’s. Could that be the reason?

October 16, 2009 6:37 am
Latest episode of Castle portrays a con artist who cons the schools of NYC into funding an arctic expedition that consisted of webcam broadcasts from a tent in his upper west side apartment. Sounds like Castle’s script writers are taking tips from Pen Hadow…

Keith Macdonald
October 16, 2009 9:01 am

I know the BBC Department that’s been involved with this deserves a good (virtual) kicking.
But thanks to another BBC team, there is some great video evidence to the contrary. In May 2007, the BBC Top Gear team drove in Toyota pick-up trucks all the way to the magnetic North Pole. Yes, they did find some thin ice, but their main challenge was too much ice, not a shortage!
Here’s a BBC video of the event – please have a look!
and a Wiki article

BobW in NC
October 16, 2009 12:56 pm

Nonetheless, here is the latest pronouncement involving the Catlin survey from Fox News: “Scientist: Arctic Ocean to Be Ice-Free in Summer”,2933,566601,00.html
“LONDON — Global warming will leave the Arctic Ocean ice-free during the summer within 20 years, raising sea levels and harming wildlife such as seals and polar bears, a leading British polar scientist said on Thursday.
Peter Wadhams, professor of ocean physics at the University of Cambridge, said much of the melting will take place within a decade…
…Wadhams, one of the world’s leading experts on sea ice cover in the North Pole region, compared ice thickness measurements taken by a Royal Navy submarine in 2007 with evidence gathered by the British explorer Pen Hadow earlier this year.
…Hadow and his team on the Catlin Arctic Survey drilled 1,500 holes to gather evidence during a 280 mile walk across the Arctic. They found the average thickness of ice-floes was 1.8 metres, a depth considered too thin to survive the summer’s ice melt….”
The usual catastrophic predictions follow…

BobW in NC
October 16, 2009 12:58 pm

Moderator – sorry used old email address in submission. New one is attached to this one.

October 16, 2009 10:43 pm

For those keeping track, eye8eon posted a very insightful comment on his blog today:
eye8eon Says:
16/10/2009 at 20:29
“But I will say this…I totally believe what I write, give or take a few omissions or errors, after all, I’m self educated. I left school with no GCSE’s and was in prison whilst my school friends were learning how to be adults, etc. I was fighting for my sanity and health in a young offenders jail. Thats my own fault. Whilst there, i met an anarchist named john, from brum. He told me a few things, and it all clicked with the stuff I heard as I was growing up around rebels and political activists. The government lies and kills, capitalism is bad, etc, etc.
So my views will never be changed, ever…certainly not by someones comments, even well formed arguments, because this guys not for turning…….”

October 16, 2009 11:48 pm

WWF is probably the World Wildlife fund. This site is as biased as the artic expeditions was flawed. Would the authors bet their kids lives that the global climate will not slip out of equilibrium? It appears they may do just that. I prefer to take a more conservative course and moderate our behavior and lifestyles to assure we have a proper functioning climate system 50 years from now.

October 17, 2009 1:03 am

I’ve copied this reply from Richard Black’s BBC blog
Post #280
A number of comments here have raised issues connected with our reporting of Arctic stories in general, and in particular of the Catlin Arctic survey. As Catlin was David Shukman’s story, and as David has covered the Arctic regularly over the years, I asked him if he’d like to respond to some of the points you raised – here’s his reply:
The messages cover a range of questions so I hope the following provides answers:
The Catlin Arctic Survey: We never shrank from covering the failures and mishaps of the expedition, reporting on the breakdown of the Sprite portable radar and the telemetry system among others. We explained how a combination of equipment failures and bad weather forced the team to abandon the original objective of the North Pole. The delay in resupply flights and the resulting shortage of food were also part of our coverage. It’s hard to see how that constitutes granting the expedition unwarranted publicity.
However, the fact remains that the expedition did then adapt and managed to gather ice measurements by hand-drilling, albeit over a shorter distance than planned. Several readers question the validity of the data, with one quoting Dr Walt Meier of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Colorado as saying that he did not “anticipate using the Catlin data”. However, that phrase was extracted from a blog in which Dr Meier goes on to say that the Catlin survey could provide “ground truth” to corrobate other sources.
This is where the Catlin expedition can be particularly valuable. To have a group out on the ice taking direct measurements of thickness across a relatively large region (compared to most field expeditions) of the Arctic is something that has only rarely, if ever, been done before. It is unfortunate that the radar may not have worked as well as hoped, but that is the nature of field work, especially in harsh polar environments – things almost never go according to plan. The radar would essentially provide a continuous transect of thickness estimates over several hundred kilometers. However, the drill hole measurements taken regularly over the route will still likely be valuable.
The data has since been passed via Professor Wadhams to a network of Arctic researchers including the NSIDC and the European Damocles project.
Readers further question how the terrible weather which the survey encountered can be squared with the notion of warming. The expedition took place in the tail-end of winter. That was always the plan both because it’s the state of the winter ice that scientists find most useful (before the summer melt) and because any expedition needs to be completed before the ice breaks up.
Professor Peter Wadhams: Like any academic he inevitably needs funding – there’s nothing unusual in that – but his credentials as a polar specialist are surely hard to deny. A veteran of submarine missions under the ice with the Royal Navy and numerous expeditions on the ice itself over the past 40 years, he has never been someone content only with computer modelling. And he is not alone in bringing forward the forecasts for the timing of Arctic melt. Since the record melt of September 2007, a growing number in this field have radically revised their forecasts too. Muyin Wang and James Overland, two noted US specialists, suggested a similar timeframe – 30 years – for seeing a nearly ice-free Arctic Ocean, in a paper published last year in Geophysical Research Letters.
Apparent contradictions: several readers have complained that the findings of the Catlin Arctic Survey, and associated comments from Professor Wadhams, are contradicted by the results of an airborne survey, known as PAM-ARCMIP, carried out by an international consortium of researchers including the Alfred Wegener Institute of Germany. It reported finding ice which was thicker than expected. As I understand, the airborne survey did not follow the route taken on the Catlin expedition but instead focused on areas further east and north.
The fact that the aerial measurements found thicker ice along the northern coasts of Ellesmere Island and Greenland is explained by Professor Wadhams. He and others have for some years forecast that warming would have the effect of dislodging older, multi-year ice allowing the ocean currents to drive it into that very area, on its approach to the Fram Strait and out of the Arctic Ocean. It does not mean that the Arctic ice is “getting thicker”, as some have written; instead, it means that the thickest ice appears to be breaking up and then accumulating, as predicted, in one particular region.
Patterns of melting: more than one reader has suggested that we are ignorant of the fact that much of the Arctic sea ice melts in the summer and re-freezes in the winter, and that we are also somehow ignoring evidence that the ice is regrowing. This follows the confirmation that the peak melt this year did not set a new record. My colleague Richard Black has addressed this in this blog post. But to restate this: the data show that this year’s melt was the third in a row to be well below the average since the satellite record began in 1979. The past five years have seen the five lowest ice extents since that record started and, according to the NSIDC, the rate of decline is currently running at 11.2% per decade. It’s worth noting that in September 2007, the sea-ice shrank to the extent originally forecast for 2055.
David Shukman

October 17, 2009 10:53 am

“It’s worth noting that in September 2007, the sea-ice shrank to the extent originally forecast for 2055.”
Just shows how useless their forecasts are.

October 17, 2009 7:02 pm

What peer reviewed scientific media was this study published in? (if it wasn’t, why are we even discussing it?)

Stephen Skinner
October 18, 2009 1:32 pm

How old is the oldest ice in the Arctic? The impression I get regarding perennial ice at the NP is that it should be permanent. However, I would have thought that with the currents and wind the ice gets completely replaced over a period of time. So, what is an expected age of this ice, because it is not the same as land based perennial ice?

Stephen Skinner
October 18, 2009 2:14 pm

From the BBC (October 2009)
Pen Hadow said he was shocked by the image of how “in my lifetime we’re looking at changing how the planet looks from space.”
He also described how polar explorers were having to change their methods from the days when sledges could be pulled by dogs over the ice.
“Dogs can swim but they can’t tow a sledge through water which is what’s needed now.”
“Now we have to wear immersion suits and swim and we need sledges that can float. I can foresee needing sledges that are more like canoes that you also pull over the ice.”
From the National Geographic (March 1991)
‘The hard way to the North Pole’
“We were crossing ocean covered by a crust of moving ice that cracked and buckled constantly, leaving leads of open water, some so wide we could not see the other side. These we had to ski along until we found a narrow neck to cross…
Past expeditions would wait for days for water to freeze over, but we didn’t let smaller leads stop us. We had designed our sledges extra wide and high to act as boats.”
I have NGs going back to the 1960s. There have been numerous articles on the Arctic, and I remember always about the unpredictably of the ice and how expeditions have a short time before the spring breakup.

chris y
October 18, 2009 7:20 pm

The Catlin story was photocopied by the St. Petersburg Times blog site on energy and the environment. I posted a link to WUWT. The reporter actually responded, saying that Anthony is a weatherman, not a climatologist. Also, the reporter claimed to have contacted Dr. Meier regarding his previous submission to WUWT on the Catlin expedition, and that Anthony has taken Dr. Meier’s comment (“I don’t anticipate using the Catlin data.”) out of context.
The posting is here. Anthony, you might want to drop by and comment if you think its important. Its unusual that this reporter is responding to blog comments.

Ryan Stephenson
October 19, 2009 1:05 pm

Hi All,
I spotted this comment from the UK Met Office (who are usually first in line when banging the drum for AGW):
Seems they are now backtracking furiously and have little faith in the Pen Hadow “research”.

October 21, 2009 9:11 am

It may be of interest to know that the Met. Office issued a press release on October 15th. which appears to contradict the Pen Hadow/Prof. Wadhams predictions. Specifically it states that according to Met. Office models, ice-free summers are unlikely before 2060-80.
Strangely this has not been reported on the BBC, or as far as I know anywhere else. Read it for yourself here:

October 21, 2009 9:32 am

Sorry Ryan, I hadn’t seen your comment when I added mine.
I should add that when I pointed out the press release to the BBC, they claimed that they weren’t aware of it and they say that they have no intention to give it a high profile at this stage.

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