Catlin Team Averaging 1.7 Miles Per Day – Only 295 Miles Left to Go!

The Catlin team has been on the ice for 10 days, and has traveled a total of 17 miles so far as the crow flies.  At that rate, they will reach the North Pole in September, except that the ice gets too dangerous by early May and they will have to evacuate. Their current position is 85 47 N  78 22 W, after starting at 85 32 N 77 44 W on March 15.  Their web site uses a cool Google earth plugin to map their tortuous route – seen below.

http://www.catlinarcticsurvey.com/GoogleEarth.aspx

The Google Earth map below shows how far they have traveled in reference to the North Pole.  Note that their starting point and current position are almost right on top of each other at that scale.

The team have been making lots of noise about how unusual the ice conditions are in the Arctic, based on the tiny fraction of the Arctic they have navigated.

The conditions we’re experiencing are unlike anything I’ve seen in any of the nineteen expeditions I’ve previously been on,” says Martin Hartley. “There are great swathes of only recently refrozen open water peppered with small snow-covered islands of ice in the distance. I wonder if this is a sign of things to come for Arctic travel?”

The map below shows just how insignificant their coverage has been.  Their starting and end points appear to be right on top of each other at Arctic scale.

The Arctic Ocean covers 5,427,000 square miles.  Catlin 2010 has seen maybe ten square miles of it, meaning they have sampled less than 0.0002% of the ice.  They also choose to travel on refrozen leads because they are flatter and smoother, so their sampling is not random.  No serious scientist would attempt to draw any conclusions about the quality of the ice based on a cherry picked sample representing less than 0.0002% of the Arctic, but this is no ordinary scientific expedition.

Same story, different year.  From 2009 :  Can the Catlin Arctic Survey Team Cover 683 km in the Next 21 Days?

Catlin Team Averaging 1.7 Miles Per Day –  Only 295 Miles Left to Go!

The Catlin team has been on the ice for 10 days, and has traveled a total of 17 miles so far as the crow flies.  At that rate, they will reach the North Pole in September, except that the ice gets too dangerous by early May and they will have to evacuate. Their current position is 85 47 N  78 22 W, after starting at 85 32 N 77 44 W on March 15.  Their web site uses a cool Google earth plugin to map their tortuous route – seen below.

http://www.catlinarcticsurvey.com/GoogleEarth.aspx

The Google Earth map below shows how far they have traveled in reference to the North Pole.  Note that their starting point and current position are almost right on top of each other at that scale.

The team have been making lots of noise about how unusual the ice conditions are in the Arctic, based on the tiny fraction of the Arctic they have navigated.

The conditions we’re experiencing are unlike anything I’ve seen in any of the nineteen expeditions I’ve previously been on,” says Martin Hartley. “There are great swathes of only recently refrozen open water peppered with small snow-covered islands of ice in the distance. I wonder if this is a sign of things to come for Arctic travel?”

The map below shows just how insignificant their coverage has been.  Their starting and end points appear to be right on top of each other at Arctic scale.

The Arctic Ocean covers 5,427,000 square miles.  Catlin 2010 has seen maybe ten square miles of it, meaning they have sampled less than 0.00002% of the ice.  They also choose to travel on refrozen leads because they are flatter and smoother, so their sampling is not random.  No serious scientist would attempt to draw any conclusions about the quality of the ice based on a cherry picked sample representing less than 0.00002% of the Arctic, but this is no ordinary scientific expedition.

Same story, different year.  From 2009 :  Can the Catlin Arctic Survey Team Cover 683 km in the Next 21 Days?

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NickB.
March 26, 2010 7:20 am

I hope for their sake that’s faux fur… or maybe they’ll get lucky and not run into any PETA activists with buckets of red paint in their oh-so-slow trek

Henry chance
March 26, 2010 7:25 am

They are really mis understood. The group is on a little marketting trip. They have to move slow so they can take pictures of the band of trobadors wearing the parkas from their sponsors. This is not about science at all. They could get a machine, ride a few miles, drill a hole with an auger and measure sea ice and move on. But they have to show how they are dragging their “inflatable” over broken ice formations and show how it holds up.
At the Olympics, each skier had to hold the skis so the shot included the name of the providor of freebies.
I watched the Iditarod. It shows what work looks like.

Chase
March 26, 2010 7:28 am

If at first you don’t succeed fail, fail again

Phil.
March 26, 2010 7:28 am

Actually they’ve seen rather more of the ice than you suggest since at that location over the last 6 days the ice has drifted in the region of 50km away from the pole! It’s a bit like walking up the down escalator.

Ale Gorney
March 26, 2010 7:35 am

I thought all of the ice at the north pole melted a few years ago ??

March 26, 2010 7:36 am

I ate a snow cone yesterday, I should be able to predict the future of the Arctic Ice from that similar experience.

JustPassing
March 26, 2010 7:37 am

I hope they’ve stocked up on Pot Noodles.

Jeff
March 26, 2010 7:41 am

I spent a long time on the Beaufort Sea in the middle of winter, Ice that was several meters thick would often crack and shift in front of your eyes during 4 week stretches below -40C…. Seeing open water somewhere each day was not really news. How come it is now??

Phil.
March 26, 2010 7:42 am

I just took a look at the MODIS image of the region they’re in and it is a mess, the ice is very fragmented, lots of leads perpendicular to their route.
It’s a longish download but worth a look.
http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/realtime/single.php?2010081/crefl1_143.A2010081235000-2010081235500.250m.jpg

DirkH
March 26, 2010 7:42 am

Top Gear’s approach:

gt
March 26, 2010 7:44 am

Sigh, I can only lament with this highly overused yet appropriate cliche:
WHAT’S WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE?
Who are they trying to impress, really? And what’s their carbon footprint for that little adventure?

Clark
March 26, 2010 7:50 am

Wow, they are at it again? I wonder if they will leaving rusting fuel drums around this time?

Pofarmer
March 26, 2010 7:51 am

I wonder if this is a sign of things to come for Arctic travel?”
What “Arctic travel?”
Whadda buncha idjits.

DirkH
March 26, 2010 7:53 am

Oh look, after posting the Top Gear clip and watching it myself i asked myself “Where’s Bathurst Island?” and found that MiniTruth at the wikipedia made a slip:
“Brooman Point Village[1] on the eastern coast of Bathurst Island was the site of Thule native tribes around A.D. 1000, conceivably during a warmer climate episode.”
Also, in
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorset_culture
we find
“Since the Dorset were highly adapted to living in a very cold climate, and much of their food came from hunting sea mammals through holes in the ice, the massive decline in sea-ice which the Medieval Warm Period produced would have had a devastating impact upon their way of life, and they seem to have great difficulty adapting to this change.”
It’s funny how you just can’t make the truth go away even after trying so hard, Wikipedia goons, you know the drill, make it disappear…

Hu Duck Xing
March 26, 2010 7:54 am

They want to get to the North Pole before everything goes South. Errrrr,,,,,

Severian
March 26, 2010 7:56 am

Well, so far color me unimpressed with their progress. I mean, a year or so ago the wonderful lunatics from Top Gear in the UK decided to have one of their infamous races with Clarkson and Mays driving up in a specially prepped Toyota Land Cruiser and Hammond going by dog sled with an arctic explorer. The Toyota won handily, though it was obviously not easy for anyone of them, the broken up ice boulders and ridges made passage in a straight line impossible, often they would go a whole day and only advance a few dozen meters. But they made better progress than this, and made it to the pole (as determined by GPS).
Clarkson made the comment that according to Al Gore all of this ice wasn’t supposed to be here!

Tony Goad
March 26, 2010 7:59 am

For real science buy or rent the Top Gear Arctic Special.
Clarkson and Captain Slow in a modified Toyota pickup race the Hamster using a dog sled to the North Pole.
Great shots on the ice field and a lesson on how to make a gin and tonic in a moving vehicle.

Henry chance
March 26, 2010 8:01 am

http://www.henshaw.co.uk/
This sponsor makes inflatable tubes. Like on my inflatable AVon yacht tender or our inflatable Sea Doos.
It is a lot of work to load your junk on one of these and play sled dog and drag it 1.7 miles a day.
Tiger Woods was sponsored by Nike and recently did some studies in Anthropology that covered a larger area sample field study. The Woods group also dealt with warming issues and fear of extinction of a species. Tiger also studied green grasses, taller native grasses and other golf related fuana. The Woods group study also faced some disprespect from the anti science crowd. Did I mention he also took physical risks?

March 26, 2010 8:07 am

Who is funding this junket? Big Windpower?
Geoff Alder

sunsettommy
March 26, 2010 8:08 am

I am very happy that this expedition is happening,since it will once again expose how scientifically shallow AGW believers are.
Their entire scope of the trip should they manage to get that far, will be too small to make a credible contribution to science.It has all the flavor of a media show.
I do hope they survive their silly expedition.

DesertYote
March 26, 2010 8:09 am

Henry chance (07:25:08) :
Plus the chance of months worth of daily press releases where the AGW scriptures can be recited and re-enforced for the “Reality TV” generation. All background by real life drama. They might even tranc a polar bear so they can film it drowning because of rotten ice!

Joel
March 26, 2010 8:16 am

Henry chance nailed it above. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Deb
March 26, 2010 8:16 am

You’d think they’d have learned from last year that they might have a better shot making it to the pole if they actually looked at a map of ocean currents & dumped themselves onto ice heading toward the pole instead of away from it. This is not exactly rocket science. But at least their adventures provide us with an ongoing source of amusement. 😀

Al Gore's Holy Hologram
March 26, 2010 8:23 am

Money better spent

johnh
March 26, 2010 8:26 am

Maybe they will find the Top Gear debris for their drive to the North Pole in a Toyota pickup.

Layne Blanchard
March 26, 2010 8:27 am

At least all their tents are matching colors….
Gucci?

The ghost of Big Jim Cooley
March 26, 2010 8:34 am

God this is funny – I get so much amusement out any Catlin expedition, so please keep on giving us a progress report, as the TV over here in England isn’t showing any decent comedy programmes at the moment. This could only be funnier if Ponce Charles was a member of the expedition!

Richard P
March 26, 2010 8:42 am

One would have thought that they would have learned from their last attempt not to tempt fate again. How many hammer strikes to the head does it take to realize that this is not good for you? I am afraid that they are going to cause the death of someone trying rescue them from a perilous situation. There easier and safer methods to measure Arctic Ice conditions. As was mentioned in the article above, their measurements would be useless due to a limited sample and selection bias. They will not even be able to help the AGW cause since their plight will be because of harsh cold weather conditions further eroding the public perception.

geo
March 26, 2010 8:44 am

I’m stunned that somebody ponied up the cash for these jokers to do this a second year.

March 26, 2010 8:45 am

“I wonder if this is a sign of things to come for Arctic travel?” The Top Gear team could probably show them how to get to the pole by 4×4.

Mark
March 26, 2010 8:46 am

Why are these people trekking around the Arctic ice?

NucEngineer
March 26, 2010 8:46 am

These clowns are traveling against the prevailing drift of the ice pack. They did the same thing last year. Are they really that dense, yes.

Wade
March 26, 2010 8:52 am

What is the motivation for going to the north pole? The outcome of the trip is already determined.

March 26, 2010 8:56 am

Anthony said;
“No serious scientist would attempt to draw any conclusions about the quality of the ice based on a cherry picked sample representing less than 0.0002% of the Arctic, but this is no ordinary scientific expedition.”
Swap the references to ice to that of sea surface temperatures, and surely we are also trying to draw conclusions -back decades- from the sampling of a tiny fraction of the ocean surface.
Tonyb

Chuckles
March 26, 2010 8:59 am

But if we are to believe this quote from the website, the basecamp has moved 42 kilometres south from them?
Or they have moved 17 miles towards the pole on a piece of ice while it drifts 42km south away from the pole?
Survey Director Pen Hadow explains more.
“By reviewing the distance and direction that the team’s campsite drifts each night as they sleep, we can roughly determine how mobile the sea ice has been over the course of their first 9 days of the expedition. It would seem the extent of their drift due south is around 42km.”

Rob Spooner
March 26, 2010 9:00 am

For March 25, the IARC-JAXA data for ice extent is the highest for the date since 2003. It’s not surprising that an expedition at this time would be encountering the nine million sq km that have refrozen since the minimum. It’s not surprising that the first ice they encounter, which will be the most recently frozen, would be the very thinnest. Is there a story here?
With the caveat that another anomaly can occur, the ice at this point seems poised to sustain itself another half million sq km above 2009’s minimum. “Third worst ever” wasn’t all that impressive in 2009, and “Seventh worst ever” would be really lame. I’m guilty of a lot of wishful thinking and weak science here, but it would be so nice to watch Mark Serreze squirm his way out of another annual increase.

March 26, 2010 9:01 am

They aren’t lost, they’re wandering around hoping to come across a Starbucks, but refuse to ask any polar bears for directions.

Dillon Allen
March 26, 2010 9:07 am

Actually, they might have a better shot this year, since the ice extent (at least the 15% extent) is trending later in the year as has been posted here a few times. I suppose we’d have to look at the higher percentage extent lines to figure out if they actually have a shot. And regardless, they’ve had wonderful trekking weather this year.
/sarc off

Steve Goddard
March 26, 2010 9:19 am

Phil. (07:42:07) :
Good catch. Looks like they are sitting on a huge fissure in the ice.

Richard deSousa
March 26, 2010 9:20 am

In the famous words of John McEnroe, they can’t be serious.

Jarmo
March 26, 2010 9:20 am

Would be nice if WUWT contacted those Germans who fly over Arctic and made a story of their efferts to record ice thickness. Certainly a more scientific method than this Catlin escapade.
They actually avoid the thickest ice areas because the going gets so tough there. They are like geographers sent to record the height of both hills and valleys who choose to measure only valleys.

Pogo
March 26, 2010 9:29 am

I’m amazed that these bloody idiots have the chutzpah to try this stunt, and try to get themselves killed again!

BrianMcL
March 26, 2010 9:32 am

After the UK Govt.’s scare campaign to get believers to do without central heating for the winter I’m surprised that there are any believers left to attempt stunts like this.
Mind you, maybe spending 3 months shivering at home terrified to turn on the heating lest some dogs drown (?) was good preparation for more nonsense like this.

DesertYote
March 26, 2010 9:33 am

Wind Rider (09:01:04) :
Maybe a wise choice. A coffee wired polar bear might mistake them for fur seals 🙂

D Caldwell
March 26, 2010 9:37 am

In Texas an individual who wishes to have the appearance of importance, but is considered to be without substance is referred to as, “All hat and no cattle.”
Around here we call it, “All show and no go.”

Aviator
March 26, 2010 9:51 am

Just a reminder – the Top Gear guys went to the North MAGNETIC Pole, not the geographic pole. Still, I’d rather be in a Landcruiser with a nice heater than a tent; there is a reason the igloo was invented.

Mad
March 26, 2010 9:58 am

Any chance we can persuade their relief to forget to pick these numbskulls up? 🙂

JimAsh
March 26, 2010 10:04 am

Can I get funded to study rising sea level at the shoreline in Tahiti ?
I’ll drill some holes, and use a ruler in the water. I will personally sample the
air, and observe the quality of the sand.
And I will catch some bugs. Shouldn’t take long. Just a couple of years.
Promise.

rbateman
March 26, 2010 10:06 am

Yawn. Wake me up when they find flaming ice.
At this rate, it will take them 1,000 years to get to the Pole.

George E. Smith
March 26, 2010 10:06 am

Not again ! I thought we saw this episode of the three stooges last year.
Well who knows; maybe the polar bears will get lucky this year. Well maybe it’s illegal to feed polar bears; even if you are the tucker box.
Surely if you want to walk to the North Pole; wouldn’t it be better to go in winter time, when you can be more sure of a walkable route, so you don’t have to do much swimming.
Seems like these chumps waited till the JAXA ice graph headed south, beofre they set off; really good timing their chaps.

Paddy
March 26, 2010 10:09 am

I note the depiction of the Arctic Ocean as open water rather than ice covered. You have to give the Catlin team credit. Every time you look at the map, you visualize the Arctic as ice free.

The ghost of Big Jim Cooley
March 26, 2010 10:26 am

Ann says:”Too much acid can create problems for marine life” http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/devon/hi/people_and_places/newsid_8528000/8528219.stm As far as I can make out, even the crazies at the ‘Science & Environment’ section of what passes for the BBC’s science section aren’t covering this pathetic expedition! The news item says, “No one would guess if they saw Ann Daniels going through passport control that she was an Arctic explorer.” No one would guess, because she isn’t!
Priceless.

The ghost of Big Jim Cooley
March 26, 2010 10:29 am

Catlin have turned off the email section at the expedition website (crafty, eh?). But wait, you can email Catlin here! catlininfo@catlin.com Let them know what you think, I’m sure they’re keen to learn.

Phil.
March 26, 2010 10:36 am

The Catlin team is already further North than the Pole that the Top Gear team went to!

OceanTwo
March 26, 2010 10:42 am

Deja Vu?
I thought you’d mis-linked a page from the archives (of disasters…)

Henry chance
March 26, 2010 10:42 am

Some folks subscribe to Playboy just to read the articles.
I am sure some follow this scientific excursion just for its broad reaching scientific impact.
The WWF and this band of troubadors are meant for each other.The IPCC must be fidgiting and waiting for the scoop on this daring excursion.

Enneagram
March 26, 2010 10:58 am

They have enough data by now to make a computerized model so to avoid going up there and collect the same money without risking their lives.
In the worst case thay just need to plainly lie, and, if needed some help they can ask for help from the many global warmers’ post normal science colleagues, currently in the IPCC payroll.

Dave
March 26, 2010 11:00 am

They ONLY need to cover 32.5 kilometers a day for the next three weeks to get to the North Pole on time.
Considering they are averaging just under three kilometers a day they just need to go ten times faster and they got it.
Considering most of the trip and information are a fantasy, why not?

Catlin's competitor
March 26, 2010 11:00 am

Don’t you all wish you had competition as stupid as these guys? The map looks like “Where the Woozle wasn’t” for A.A. Milne fans.

Phil.
March 26, 2010 11:01 am

Severian (07:56:35) :
Well, so far color me unimpressed with their progress. I mean, a year or so ago the wonderful lunatics from Top Gear in the UK decided to have one of their infamous races with Clarkson and Mays driving up in a specially prepped Toyota Land Cruiser and Hammond going by dog sled with an arctic explorer. The Toyota won handily, though it was obviously not easy for anyone of them, the broken up ice boulders and ridges made passage in a straight line impossible, often they would go a whole day and only advance a few dozen meters. But they made better progress than this, and made it to the pole (as determined by GPS).

Actually they didn’t even make it to the pole, their target was the 1996 position of the Magnetic Pole 78°35.7′N 104°11.9′W, the magnetic pole has been moving northwards at ~40miles/year since then so they were a long way from the pole. The current position is 85.0N 132.6W.

Steve Goddard
March 26, 2010 11:07 am

George E. Smith (10:06:28) :
Last year they left earlier and almost froze to death.

H.R.
March 26, 2010 11:10 am

(I asked this on the preceding Catlin thread, but I’ll ask here because I do really want to know without increasing hits on the Catlin site).
I thought this expedition was out to prove WAGTD from ocean acidification.
If so, then how do they titrate their sea water samples at -45C?
Inquiring minds want to know.

franks
March 26, 2010 11:10 am

Is their compass playing up, their route looks rather torturous. Perhaps they should use their GPS for navigating as well

nc
March 26, 2010 11:11 am

Catlin expedition sponsored by the Catlin insurance group. Is that correct? Not so sure I would buy insurance from these people.

March 26, 2010 11:19 am

Wait, I thought there was a bug in WordPress that caused random posts from the past to reappear.
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Albert Einstein
http://despair.com/selfesteem.html

Jeff L
March 26, 2010 11:20 am

Why are they doing this again?
Not enough punishment last year?

kadaka
March 26, 2010 11:23 am

One: As pictured, the men have not grown out full beards, which is practically a requirement for all serious male polar explorers, thus it certainly looks like they are not having that bad of a time so far. I’m probably being too critical, as I am overlooking how the importance of looking good for the camera trumps a mere aid to survival. And yes, serious female polar explorers can join in the fun as well.
Two: Where are all those starving polar bears when you need them? Umm, strictly so they can take nice pictures of them, yeah that’s it.

Bruce Cobb
March 26, 2010 11:34 am

It isn’t about the destination; it’s the PNS you get to do along the way, the funding, plus future lecture circuits, book deals, etc.
It’s a Zen Warmist thing.

hunter
March 26, 2010 11:47 am

Here is the real purpose of the Catlin survey- really hush hush:
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RigS2WJUPGs&hl=en_US&fs=1&]
http://tstein4.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/spies_like_us.jpg

Big Al
March 26, 2010 11:49 am

Houston-
We have a problem-
Quazi ‘scientists’ attempting an expedition in the wrong season-
Obviously a publicity stunt-
Obviously a waste of money-
Obviously these folks need to review Darwin, as they do not know you need to do this in Mid-Winter… not in spring!
WUWT- needs peer review power over these clowns – there are REAL problems to address and, when I last checked, the world has rather limited resources.
File it under good luck, but stop wasting resources.

stephen richards
March 26, 2010 11:52 am

D Caldwell (09:37:03) :
In the UK it’s “all mouth and trousers”

Douglas DC
March 26, 2010 11:53 am

Note to the Catlin crew: “Meddle not in the affairs of Polar Bears for you are
crunchy and good with catchup.”-unk.
Truly, they are asking for it. Trouble is- someone may have to bail them out again…

Antonio San
March 26, 2010 11:58 am

Catlin 2009 was discredited. The fact these clowns are at it again is a simple PR operation. Just as is the cover of the Economist…

Keith W.
March 26, 2010 11:59 am

At least this year, they started closer to the Pole. Too bad they decided to start on ice drifting away instead of getting the drift to help them. Who wants to lay odds that they end up further from the Pole than they started if they have to sit through a few storms, or have to wait for resupply?

Ed Murphy
March 26, 2010 12:13 pm

Here’s some interesting bits some of you might be interested in doing something with…
These guys have no realistic idea how many polar bears there are. Most of the count information is 10 years old or more.
•Status: Data deficient
•Current trend: Data deficient •Estimated risk of future decline: Data deficient (but put in a rating of High)
Summary of polar bear population status per 2010
http://pbsg.npolar.no/en/status/status-table.html
Data deficient Data deficient Data deficient
••Amstrup rebutts unscientific audit
http://pbsg.npolar.no/en/news/archive/2009/Rebuttal2009a.html
Data deficient Data deficient Data deficient
•Original reports from USGS
http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/special/polar_bears/
Data deficient Data deficient Data deficient
•Armstrongs audit
http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/6317/
The extinction of polar bears by the end of the 21st century has been predicted and calls have been made to list them as a threatened species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. The decision on whether or not to list rests upon forecasts of what will happen to the bears over the 21st Century…
Much research has been published on forecasting polar bear populations. Using an Internet search, we located roughly 1,000 such papers. None of them made reference to the scientific literature on forecasting. We examined references in the nine unpublished government reports that were prepared “…to Support U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Polar Bear Listing Decision.” The papers did not include references to works on scientific forecasting methodology. Of the nine papers written to support the listing, we judged two to be the most relevant to the decision: Amstrup, Marcot and Douglas et al. (2007), which we refer to as AMD, and Hunter et al. (2007), which we refer to as H6 to represent the six authors. AMD’s forecasts were the product of a complex causal chain. For the first link in the chain, AMD assumed that General Circulation Models (GCMs) are valid. However, the GCM models are not valid as a forecasting method and are not reliable for forecasting at a regional level as being considered by AMD and H6, thus breaking the chain. Nevertheless, we audited their conditional forecasts of what would happen to the polar bear population assuming that the extent of summer sea ice will decrease substantially in the coming decades.
… AMD could not be rated against 26 relevant principles because the paper did not contain enough information. In all, AMD violated 73 of the 90 forecasting principles we were able to rate. They used two un-validated methods and relied on only one polar bear expert to specify variables, relationships, and inputs into their models. The expert then adjusted the models until the outputs conformed to his expectations. In effect, the forecasts were the opinions of a single expert unaided by forecasting principles. Based on research to date, approaches based on unaided expert opinion are inappropriate to forecasting in situations with high complexity and much uncertainty. Our audit of the second most relevant paper, H6, found that it was also based on faulty forecasting methodology. For example, it extrapolated nearly 100 years into the future on the basis of only five years of data – and data for these years were of doubtful validity.
In summary, experts’ predictions, unaided by evidence-based forecasting procedures, should play no role in this decision. Without scientific forecasts of a substantial decline of the polar bear population and of net benefits from feasible policies arising from listing polar bears, a decision to list polar bears as threatened or endangered would be irresponsible.
•Steven Amstrups new rebuttal
http://pbsg.npolar.no/export/sites/pbsg/en/docs/Amstrup2009Int.pdf
Steven Amstrup and colleagues have now rebutted this challenge in an article published in the same journal (Interfaces).  Amstrup also included an easy to read tutorial on global warming and projections of climate models in the rebuttal.  Hence, readers are made clearly aware that the threat to polar bears is real, unless actions to reduce greenhouse gases are taken.
Data deficient Data deficient Data deficient
Meanwhile down in the lower 48…
FWC News – Record cold leads to record number of manatee deaths
http://myfwc.com/NEWSROOM/10/statewide/News_10_X_ManateeRecordDeaths.htm
As of March 19, biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) have documented 431 manatee carcasses in state waters so far in 2010. This preliminary data indicates that in just three months, the number of manatee deaths has exceeded the highest number on record for an entire calendar year, which was 429 in 2009. The cause of death for the majority of these animals is cold stress.

Mark
March 26, 2010 12:13 pm

I can’t believe these idiots are at it again! Where’s a hungry polar bear when you need one?

Leon Brozyna
March 26, 2010 12:13 pm

So the poor fools really did learn something from last year’s misbegotten adventure. Then they were aiming for 1,000 km in 100 days and fell short on both counts.
But, just as in last year’s early going, they’re having trouble making headway as the ice carries them backwards when they stop at night.
Still, they just might make it to the pole this year, if only they can get to an area of ice that’s not seeing them having to make up for ground lost overnight. And they’ll probably come up with the same findings they had last year — the ice is thinner than expected. Except that they’ll be finding what they’re looking for – easy to travel, flat ice, which is by nature thinner than the ice ridges they’ll be trying to avoid.
The bad news for Catlin (the expedition & the company) — who cares?!! After this past winter in the US & UK, who wants to hear about Arctic snow and ice? We’re all looking forward to green grass and trees and warm breezes.
Now if Catlin were to underwrite expeditions to the tropics during January, that might garner some public interest, especially if winters start turning out to be as nasty as this last one.

Ibrahim
March 26, 2010 12:26 pm

They could read Farthest Nord; Fram expedition1893-1896
Fridjof Nansen
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/30197/30197-h/30197-h.htm (volume 1)
http://www.archive.org/details/farthestnorthbei02nansuoft (volume 2)
A long read (with sludge)

kadaka
March 26, 2010 12:44 pm

Leon Brozyna (12:13:48) :
(…)
Now if Catlin were to underwrite expeditions to the tropics during January, that might garner some public interest, especially if winters start turning out to be as nasty as this last one.

They could schedule expeditions to the IPCC climate change conferences, explore strange exotic lands like Bali and Mexico City. Seems likely they could also get more scientific research done that way.

March 26, 2010 12:46 pm

This is not just deja vu. They may be stuck in an infinite loop. Well, it will only be infinite if they’re very lucky. 😉

Claude Harvey
March 26, 2010 12:47 pm

These people proved beyond reasonable doubt last year they have no talent for this kind of thing. Tell a couple of rednecks that Polar bears taste like chicken, put them on a pair of four-wheelers towing beer-sleds and they would have been to the pole and back by now (complaining bitterly that Polar bears do NOT taste like chicken).

quarter
March 26, 2010 12:48 pm

Insanity – The process of doing the same thing over and over, while expecting a different result.

Al Gore's Holy Hologram
March 26, 2010 12:57 pm

Monty Python did a better expedition to Kilimanjaro

G. Karst
March 26, 2010 1:06 pm

I think this expedition is of supreme importance. It proves undeniably that the AGW convinced (OMG the ice is disappearing) crowd are reckless idiots. It is a shame that they must also risk the lives of the brave rescue units. For what?? Nothing more than publicity. No one is going to use their dubious data. Why would anyone buy insurance or stock, from a company, that cannot properly weigh risk/reward. GK

DirkH
March 26, 2010 1:07 pm

I don’t know if they measure ice thickness again but here are the two threads about the Alfred Wegener institute measurements:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/04/28/inconvenient-eisdicken/
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/05/17/catlin-artic-ice-survey-an-annie-hall-moment/#more-7911

Stephen Brown
March 26, 2010 1:11 pm

I say! What an absolutely wizard idea! March north on south-moving ice during nice Spring weather when the ice starts to melt to show … er … that the ice is melting.
You really couldn’t make it up, could you?

March 26, 2010 1:16 pm

stephen richards (11:52:53) :
I thought it was “all fur coat and no knickers”. Seems apt.

Dave Wendt
March 26, 2010 1:18 pm

Phil. (10:36:54) :
The Catlin team is already further North than the Pole that the Top Gear team went to!
Phil. (11:01:07) :
Actually they didn’t even make it to the pole, their target was the 1996 position of the Magnetic Pole 78°35.7′N 104°11.9′W, the magnetic pole has been moving northwards at ~40miles/year since then so they were a long way from the pole. The current position is 85.0N 132.6W.
Maybe that accounts for the dithering initial progress of these intrepid explorers. Nobody explained to them which Pole they were supposed to be heading towards.
By my reading of their website the focus this time is not ice thickness, but CO2 generated “OCEAN ACIDIFICATION”. Given that Wootton & Pfister 2008, one of the more cited papers in this area
http://www.pnas.org/content/105/48/18848.full.pdf+html
measured PH values varying from 7.5 to 9.1 over fairly short time spans, any measurements the Caitlin crew are able to collect will be less scientifically meaningful than one of Leif Erikson’s letters home.

Ibrahim
March 26, 2010 1:21 pm

Interesting book:
The Arctic problem : and narrative of the Peary relief expedition of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia (1893) (in search of the icefree pole)
http://www.archive.org/details/arcticproblemnar00heil

Frank K.
March 26, 2010 1:23 pm

You know, when I see the suffering in places like Haiti and Chile, and then see the enormous amount of money being literally wasted on this marketing stunt by an insurance company from Bermuda, it really puts these people’s values (or lack thereof) into perspective…

Henry chance
March 26, 2010 1:31 pm

Cognitive dissonance.
Actual temps Minus 45 and wind chill minus 75
Paid to claim it is melting, getting warmer, heat is up, tipping point, Open water, Poley bears are sweating
Only a troo liberal would risk frostbite and death to claim we are reaching the boiling point.
Does is feel as cold as the readings say it is?
Priceless~!!!!

AEGeneral
March 26, 2010 1:33 pm

Well, you know what they say: Everything is within walking distance if you’ve got the time.

Roger J
March 26, 2010 2:05 pm

They’re just using the standard peer reviewed scientific procedure of extrapolating what all ice conditions are like within 1200 km of their current observation location.

a dood
March 26, 2010 2:07 pm

Will our friends make it to the North Pole in time to save Christmas?

pecqror
March 26, 2010 2:07 pm

The next crossing of the North Pole by balloon.
Generali is also an insurance company
http://www.jeanlouisetienne.com/generali_arctic_observer/EN/
The first shipment “Total Pole Airship” (Total as oil) has been canceled due to crash

a dood
March 26, 2010 2:08 pm
Pamela Gray
March 26, 2010 2:18 pm

This is a prime example of why many of us think that insurance companies are charging excessive amounts for premiums. Their purpose isn’t to cover us when disaster occurs. Their purpose is to get rich off the paychecks and earnings of the people and the companies they try to build. In this economy, when people are out of work, trips like this, on our premium dime, just make me boil. They are no better than loan sharks.

RichieP
March 26, 2010 2:18 pm

@ Tony Goad (07:59:45) :
“For real science buy or rent the Top Gear Arctic Special.
Clarkson and Captain Slow in a modified Toyota pickup race the Hamster using a dog sled to the North Pole.
Great shots on the ice field and a lesson on how to make a gin and tonic in a moving vehicle.”
A broadcasting triumph and an excellent demonstration of ironic sang-froid

Enneagram
March 26, 2010 2:19 pm

I have found how to make Al Baby´s dream come true: Easy!, just build a big city on the north pole and it will melt down because of the UHI effect.

RichieP
March 26, 2010 2:21 pm

@ stephen richards (11:52:53) :
‘D Caldwell (09:37:03) :
In the UK it’s “all mouth and trousers”’
Or “all fur coat and no knickers”.

Enneagram
March 26, 2010 2:25 pm

Hey! Perhaps they are looking for the Lost UK, the one they lost after Margaret Thatcher left it to the left.

March 26, 2010 2:38 pm

E pluribus anum!
Pen Hadow seems to take this title whoever he takes to the pole with him!
Thanks for the humour Pen. Keep on ‘exploring’ – the world needs at lot less people like you.

noaaprogrammer
March 26, 2010 2:49 pm

stephen richards (11:52:53) :
D Caldwell (09:37:03) :
In the UK it’s “all mouth and trousers”
In China it is: “He who speaketh from both ends.”

RhudsonL
March 26, 2010 3:04 pm

Pictures make them look like polyps. They need to be place on a tiny iceberg.

symonsezwlky
March 26, 2010 3:24 pm

Wonder if they will be celebrating Earth Hour? http://wp.me/pduTk-2uH

AngusPangus
March 26, 2010 3:29 pm

Here’s a – what do you call it? – Gedanken experiment. Since the ice minimium after their last run out was greater than the ice minimum before their last run out, the thickness of the ice this time round ought to be, on average, greater. N’est ce pas? What’s the point?

Bill Sticker
March 26, 2010 4:09 pm

The way they’re organised and the timing of the ‘expedition’ makes me wonder if they aren’t deliberately trying to fail. Maybe the Catlin team want to fall through the ice when open leads begin to form as they usually do in late spring. They get the drama and publicity of being rescued from ‘rotten ice’, their sponsors get to sell their ‘climate change’ insurance, and the CO2 and carbon trading bandwagon gets to keep rolling on.

Al Gored
March 26, 2010 4:14 pm

I’m guessing Prince Charles is absolutely spellbound by these latest heroes of the British Empire.
They don’t just leave all their turds on the ice, do they? Surely they do the poop and scoop thing and haul them all back – as all good environmentalists would. They probably contain evidence as valuable as the rest of their findings. Perhaps they have rings that prove something?

Jimbo
March 26, 2010 4:18 pm

Follow the money! Here are their sponsors:

“Catlin Group Limited is an international specialist property/casualty insurer and reinsurer which operates through six underwriting hubs: London, Bermuda, the United States, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Canada. The Group underwrote gross premiums of US$3.7 billion in 2009.”
“Catlin looks at risk with a wider perspective to help realise the ambitions of their clients. They work in parallel with clients and their brokers to develop imaginative and effective solutions to manage the risks they face.”

[My emphasis]

AusieDan
March 26, 2010 4:18 pm

Anthony, you said in part:
QUOTE
No serious scientist would attempt to draw any conclusions ……..
UNQUOTE
That’s where you made your first mistake.
These people are not *serious scientists*.
They’re climate scientists!
That’s the difference.

Skip
March 26, 2010 4:29 pm

Seems like even the expedition on the north face of Uxbridge Road made better progress:

Bones
March 26, 2010 4:30 pm

“This is no longer conjecture,” Lorenzen added. “This is a full-blown crisis.”
Truly disturbing to discover the hidden truth behind this eco-expedition:
http://xrl.in/4wks

Thomas
March 26, 2010 4:40 pm

It’s nothing more than a propaganda trip.

Jimbo
March 26, 2010 5:11 pm

THEIR MISSION:

“Within only a few decades, an increase in ocean acidity may cause seawater to become corrosive to the shells, skeletons and armour-plating of many marine life forms, and could seriously undermine the growth of coral reefs.” [Catlin Survey]

Then they say on their FAQ page:

“Why is it called Ocean Acidification? The ocean is alkaline and model predictions suggest it will never become acidic.
Acidification refers to the process of the lowering of the ocean’s pH on the pH scale. If the ocean’s pH falls it is referred to as acidification regardless of whether the water remains alkaline i.e. above pH 7. [Catlin Survey]”

While others say:

“In a striking finding that raises new questions about carbon dioxide’s (CO2) impact on marine life, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) scientists report that some shell-building creatures—such as crabs, shrimp and lobsters—unexpectedly build more shell when exposed to ocean acidification caused by elevated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2)” [Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution – December 1 2009]

“The oceans have an ‘acidity’ measured on a pH scale of around 8.0, a figure larger than neutral pH=7.0, which means that they are alkaline or basic.”
….
“One of the important variables in this chemical balance is carbon dioxide CO2. As CO2 dissolves in water, the water becomes mildly acidic (clean rain water has a pH=5.6), enough in fact to dissolve calcium from soils and to create dripstone formations inside caves while it evaporates. Intuitively one may think that a doubling in CO2 would result in a doubling of acidity but this is not the case as this graph shows. Without CO2, pure rain water would have a neutral pH of 7.0, and that is where the graph begins on left. Initially CO2 is very willing to dissolve, thereby rapidly acidifying the otherwise pure water, but eventually this slows down. [Dr J Floor Anthoni]”

A doubling of CO2 from 380 ppmv to 760 ppmv (the 2 × CO2 scenario) increases the seawater acidity approximately 0.19 pH units across the same range of seawater temperature. In the latter case, the predicted increase in acidity results in a pH within the water-quality limits for seawater of 6.5 and 8.5 and a change in pH less than 0.20 pH units. [University of California]

For more acidity articles and papers see below:
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/sci;320/5874/336
http://www.co2science.org//articles/V12/N5/EDIT.php
—————-
So my friends there you have it. Catlin says “corrosive” and also admits “water remains alkaline”!!!! What a complete and utter waste of time and money over a non-problem. BS at its best sponsored by big business and spewing out dis-information to scare little kids over ‘acidic seas’.
I cant’t wait for when their survery concludes as I will have to re-post this.

Ken S
March 26, 2010 5:14 pm

“Clark (07:50:47) :
Wow, they are at it again? I wonder if they will leaving rusting fuel drums around this time?”
Forget about the empty ones: what happened to the set of full fuel drums that they left last year? Is there any chance of them using the fuel in those?

PaulR
March 26, 2010 5:21 pm

It is pretty disgusting to see an insurance company slobbering over the prospect of underwriting for every conceivable “climate change” proclaimed blip in the future of mankind, especially when it’s they and their mates who are deciding what is and isn’t climate change related. Catlin however is slobbering so bad they have their own circus troop performing on the ice every year to drum up alarmism and thus business.
Talk about rotten ice, what we have here is endemic rottenness from the usual suspects. Quo Bono?

Brute
March 26, 2010 5:21 pm

Fur lined coats? Tsk, Tsk…….
Not politically correct I’m afraid.
I hope none of these intrepid exploers get mistaken for lunch by the “nonexistent” polar bears because the bears are “open for business” this time of year.
Worse still, a male bear looking for some affection………it’s been a long winter you know!

bubbagyro
March 26, 2010 5:26 pm

Dear Anthony:
I was wondering how you managed to keep the excellent website content going with the addition of monitoring hundreds and thousands of comments,
We so very much appreciate your work. Many of us have relied upon your up-to-date news and outstanding commentary.
Hope you can keep it up.
God bless you and yours,
Bob from Exeter NH

Doug in Seattle
March 26, 2010 5:38 pm

I’m all for these idiots proving that indeed what they are. Knowing they will be hyping nonsense, I expect them to be monitored and properly chastised by WUWT readers who write feedback to the Times, Guardian, WaPo, etc.

rbateman
March 26, 2010 5:39 pm

The money must have been really good, otherwise who in thier right mind would be attempting to walk to the North Pole?

a dood
March 26, 2010 5:51 pm

Daffy Duck planned a similar course to Planet X.
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YV9ifFkqVc&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0&border=1]

Jimmy Haigh
March 26, 2010 6:00 pm

Why don’t they walk in a straight line? Are they pissed?
Hey, Tamino! Is this a random walk?

Justthinkin
March 26, 2010 6:11 pm

For what it’s worth….Top Gear went to the MAGNETIC North Pole, not the GEOGRAPHIC North Pole. Still,all and done,it was a hell of a trip. But why let a little fact get in the way of good science/TV? Oh wait.

Jimbo
March 26, 2010 6:12 pm

Follow the money!
From Stephen Catlin – chief executive of the Catlin Group
25 March, 2010

“Catlin has become a global company and I wanted to do something to reflect that, but also to find something that was relevant to our business,” Mr. Catlin said in an interview.
…….
“For example, in California there is about $250 billion worth of residential property built below the flood plain,” Mr. Catlin said.

http://www.royalgazette.com/rg/Article/article.jsp?articleId=7da3ca730030009&sectionId=65
Find something!!! Last year Catlin found thinner, first year ice while Polar 5 found the ice to be thicker than expected.
Seek and ye shal find. Follow the money.

Jimbo
March 26, 2010 6:36 pm

“What will happen to all the human waste and litter?
The Ice Base has an environmentally friendly toilet. The PETT is a lightweight and portable ‘dry’ system toilet, which uses a disposable bag. All human waste is being dealt with in accordance with the regulations laid down by the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) that has granted permission for the Ice Base location. Any litter created by the Explorer Team will be picked up during resupplies and disposed of accordingly.”

http://www.catlinarcticsurvey.com/faq.aspx
What about the fuel oil drums used by the resupply plane(s)? Will they be picked up later – again?
What does “disposed of accordingly” entail?

Dave Wendt
March 26, 2010 7:25 pm

Al Gore’s Holy Hologram (12:57:00) :
Monty Python did a better expedition to Kilimanjaro
Almost as funny as this band of intrepid celebs, including the aptly named Lupe Fiasco, who ventured to the top of Kilimanjaro to highlight something or other. Note the way they are all garbed, which, since the climb occurred in January during the middle of the SH summer, should have alerted these dopes to a major flaw in the scare stories about AGW causing the Kilimanjaro glacier to disappear. But that’s probably asking too much.

March 26, 2010 7:25 pm

Actually, I envy the Catlin team. I’ve always wanted to do some expedition participation in the Arctic and other places.
Well planned and properly funded I think it surely is a great adventure.
Why do it? Because it is there. Great tradition in expeditions . . . and fun.
I (we) may mock their reasons and baloney and publicity antics, but for me it would fun to be on a similar expedition. Green with jealousy [not green environmentally or with green US$ Big Oil money]. : )
John

Dave Wendt
March 26, 2010 7:25 pm
Ed Murphy
March 26, 2010 7:50 pm

Tell a couple of rednecks that Polar bears taste like chicken, put them on a pair of four-wheelers towing beer-sleds and they would have been to the pole and back by now (complaining bitterly that Polar bears do NOT taste like chicken).
Or you could have told a group of republicans that there are big tax cuts for the rich at the north pole and they’d be there by now. They’d be back by now if they were told there is no trickle down to it.
Of course you could also say to a group of democrats that there’s loads of insurance company money… hmmm, wait there is.

Steve Oregon
March 26, 2010 8:02 pm

These are typical paid professional enviro-hobbyists who tinker around and deliver absolutely nothing meaningful or useful.
Oregon is chuck full of them at nearly every government and academia institution.
They take their useless busy “work” product, call them studies and report concocted analysis and conclusions which serves only to legitimize their work and demonstrate to funding sources a need for more of it.
Then it’s off to more hobby play time.

March 26, 2010 8:06 pm

How many barrels of fuel and oil will they dump this time?

March 26, 2010 8:51 pm

“Tell a couple of rednecks that Polar bears taste like chicken, put them on a pair of four-wheelers towing beer-sleds and they would have been to the pole and back by now (complaining bitterly that Polar bears do NOT taste like chicken).”
No, they will be complaining bitterly that Polar Bears do NOT taste like rattlesnake.
On another note, I am wondering why they don’t just START at the North Pole, and walk away from it. They could then just map a straight line relative to the position of the North Pole when they start walking, and regardless of what the ice does underneath them, they could take their samples at regular intervals, in relation to the ice sheet itself. As it is, they are chasing a moving object. They simply need to move in relation to some physical zero point.

JAN
March 26, 2010 10:20 pm

Henry chance (08:01:20) :
“Tiger Woods was sponsored by Nike and recently did some studies in Anthropology that covered a larger area sample field study. The Woods group also dealt with warming issues and fear of extinction of a species.”
Was this a Woods Hole expedition, by any chance?

Ray
March 26, 2010 10:31 pm

Another year… same idiots! … and still ice up there.

LightRain
March 26, 2010 10:43 pm

“They also choose to travel on refrozen leads because they are flatter and smoother”
I hope they discover open water under a weakened refrozen lead, by falling through — now that would be proof!
By the way, did they ever clean up the garbage they left up there last year?

crossopter
March 26, 2010 10:59 pm

Controller: Having just glanced at the route taken could any member just deviate two metres to the left and do us all a favour by tilting ‘Spirit’ 35 degrees south.
Or north.
Did I hear east….? I made that 4:2 concensus……
“Wes——————————-

kadaka
March 26, 2010 11:02 pm

Ed Murphy (19:50:43) :
(…)
Of course you could also say to a group of democrats that there’s loads of insurance company money… hmmm, wait there is.

Yes, and at around 5% profit margins on health insurance those companies are certainly swimming in it.
Of course, they expect to soon have lots more, as they made certain the health care “reform” specified that everyone must have insurance, including many healthy young people who skip it to save money for minor things like housing and transportation. Thus they will be acquiring an influx of premiums from those who won’t be using anywhere near as much in benefits, if any.
Notice how quiet the big oil companies have been about carbon regulating legislation, not directly running any ads opposing it? Notice how quiet the big insurance companies have been about health care reform legislation, not directly running any ads opposing it?
Notice how the big oil companies stay silent even when they are being demonized by the progressives? Notice how the big insurance companies stay silent even when they are being demonized by the progressives?
But of course it is actually Big Oil that is funding these climate change deniers who seek to stop the legislation and deny there is a problem. But of course it is actually Big Insurance that is funding these health care reform deniers who seek to stop the legislation and deny there is a problem.
The only way to fight Big Oil and save the planet is for you, the little person, to support the progressives in establishing government control of carbon emissions. The only way to fight Big Insurance and save America is for you, the little person, to support the progressives in establishing government control of health care providing.
Don’t listen to the massive disinformation campaign funded by Big Oil! Climate change is a real problem! Don’t listen to the massive disinformation campaign funded by Big Insurance! Health care is a real problem!
Fight the power! Support the progressives in fighting this problem by supporting more government control!

David Ball
March 26, 2010 11:10 pm

Their route looks more like a moebius trip.

Tim James
March 27, 2010 3:10 am

To avoid future embarrassment, next year they should start at the north pole and walk back.

AllenL
March 27, 2010 3:51 am

What? They’re not looking for the fortress of solitude?
I must have them mixed up with another serious expedition….

Chris Wright
March 27, 2010 4:07 am

symonsezwlky (15:24:23) :
“Wonder if they will be celebrating Earth Hour? http://wp.me/pduTk-2uH
I’ll definitely be celebrating Earth Hour – by turning my lights on. Thanks to WWF for giving me an opportunity to show my utter contempt for this anti-science nonsense.
As for the Catlin expedition: like zombies, these green fundamentalist idiots just keep coming back….
Chris

Jan Pompe
March 27, 2010 4:16 am

Sorry but the Top Gear impresses me more.

RexAlan
March 27, 2010 5:11 am

Onw word, sorry two words … Cognitive dissonance!!!

Ian W
March 27, 2010 5:12 am

Yet the entire Arctic can be, and has been, surveyed accurately at low risk by aircraft. This has been done by ‘Polar 5’ a German research aircraft which reported ice ‘twice as thick as expected’. see:
http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/10662
But the unscientific Catlin team are successfully flooding the internet with tags of their own that it is difficult to find actual scientific research, results.

Rabe
March 27, 2010 5:12 am

@Larry Sheldon (20:06:27):
No, what do you think. Look at their route. They are searching the barrels they left last year.

March 27, 2010 6:10 am

“The conditions we’re experiencing are unlike anything I’ve seen in any of the nineteen expeditions I’ve previously been on,” says Martin Hartley. “There are great swathes of only recently refrozen open water peppered with small snow-covered islands of ice in the distance. I wonder if this is a sign of things to come for Arctic travel?”
Only if future Arctic travellers also walk in circles, continuously looking at the same terrain from different observation points.
Lemme guess — the point man is using a mag compass…

Steve Goddard
March 27, 2010 6:28 am

John Whitman (19:25:45) :
You should read through the logs from their 2009 trip. It was complete misery for everyone. Frostbite, hypothermia, insomnia, wet sleeping bags, cabin fever, disorientation, failure, bone chilling cold. Why do you think Pen Hadow stayed home this year?

INGSOC
March 27, 2010 6:28 am

Hopefully they wont leave so much trash behind this time. I notice that there are even fewer ways to verify their position beyond them telling us. I could stick a marker in the ice about where they supposedly started and it just might drift to the pole. Hmmmmmm…

March 27, 2010 6:33 am

“Start at the pole?”
1. Doesn’t fit the narrative?
2. Not bright enough (the people)?
Hmmmmm. How does that go? Do not attribute….what stupidity is sufficient to explain.

March 27, 2010 6:34 am

They probably have a certain number of barrels of fuel and oil to abandon.

savethesharks
March 27, 2010 7:32 am

With your donation now, you can help to save a polar bear family.
Your donation to the Caitlin Expedition…will ensure that wayward polar bears unsure about their future…might have a chance at a good, Caitlin-sponsored, man-sized meal.
Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and Abearican Express accepted. Call now.
Operators are waiting
….and hungry polar bears are stalking….hopefully near the Caitlin Expedition.
Chris
Norfolk, VA, USA

dkkraft
March 27, 2010 7:47 am

2 things here:
Hopefully everyone “gets” why Insurance companies would promote AGW. Simply put, they can charge premiums for insurance against an outcome with low (or zero) probability of ever having to pay for claims. Asymmetric information about the true risk profile can be very profitable.
Also, last years WUWT Woody Allen/Annie Hall post on the ’09 Catlin expedition with it’s Marshall McLuhan reference is now so cool in light of Climategate. Everyone should read McLuhan’s Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. His Narcissus metaphor is perfectly apt for our warmist friends…..

March 27, 2010 7:57 am

“Why do you think Pen Hadow stayed home this year?”
Just a guess: He turned out to be capable of rational thought so was rejected for the trip?

DirkH
March 27, 2010 8:50 am

Munich Re also has banged the AGW drum mightily last year, sponsoring “studies” etc… Insurance companies just love it.

Phil.
March 27, 2010 9:15 am

Ian W (05:12:22) :
Yet the entire Arctic can be, and has been, surveyed accurately at low risk by aircraft. This has been done by ‘Polar 5′ a German research aircraft which reported ice ‘twice as thick as expected’. see:
http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/10662

But that was because they had unrealistic expectations, not because the ice was thick.

DirkH
March 27, 2010 9:24 am

“Phil. (09:15:35) :
[…]
But that was because they had unrealistic expectations, not because the ice was thick.”
They’re from the Alfred Wegener institute in Bremen, their business is sea ice, the article says:
“Normally, newly formed ice measures some two meters in thickness after two years. “Here, we measured ice thickness up to four meters,” said a spokesperson for Bremerhaven’s Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research. At present, this result contradicts the warming of the sea water, according to the scientists.”
And you call them unrealistic. What are you, Roald Amundsen’s reincarnation?

Arn Riewe
March 27, 2010 9:33 am

Geoffrey Alder (08:07:52) :
Who is funding this junket? Big Windpower?
No, Big Insurance.
Convince the world of the impending doom of global warming and it’s easier to sell higher premiums! So in reality it will be consumers of insurance funding the junket through higher cost of insurance (and higher profits to insurers).
Pardon the cynicism.

dkkraft
March 27, 2010 9:57 am

Speaking of Roald Amundsen, hopefully this farce doesn’t turn into tragedy. Or put more accurately horror, as the Catlin expedition lacks the necessary component of nobility (pun intended – see Nobile) to be classified as tragedy. It would only be pointless suffering and death. That is not tragedy, that is not pathos, that is horror.

Gary Hladik
March 27, 2010 10:18 am

DirkH (07:42:55), thanks for the YouTube link. I watched the whole 6-part Top Gear episode and found it utterly fascinating. Even with all their (mostly off-camera) support, the trip was no picnic for either team.

March 27, 2010 10:20 am

Why are we (common sense) even commenting on this non-event?

Phil.
March 27, 2010 11:08 am

DirkH (09:24:46) :
“Phil. (09:15:35) :
[…]
But that was because they had unrealistic expectations, not because the ice was thick.”
They’re from the Alfred Wegener institute in Bremen, their business is sea ice, the article says:
“Normally, newly formed ice measures some two meters in thickness after two years. “Here, we measured ice thickness up to four meters,” said a spokesperson for Bremerhaven’s Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research. At present, this result contradicts the warming of the sea water, according to the scientists.”
And you call them unrealistic. What are you, Roald Amundsen’s reincarnation?

No, but I don’t need to be to know that it’s unrealistic to expect to find “newly formed ice” in an area which for many years has been known to be covered by thick perennial ice. As their more detailed report makes clear the 4m ice was found in “perennial ice in Canadian offshore regions”.

April E. Coggins
March 27, 2010 1:12 pm

As a follower of last year’s Catlin misadventure, I have a few observations. I am probably playing Captain Obvious, but after reading their Science Equipment page, it appears that they are going to gather plankton and then expose the plankton to artificially high amounts of CO2 in order to “prove” that man-made CO2 will cause the oceans to acidify.
http://www.catlinarcticsurvey.com/Science.aspx
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v450/n7169/pdf/nature06267.pdf
This year’s misadventure is much more scaled back, with fewer sponsors.
They remembered to pack an actual wind measuring device, rather than relying on borrowed black panties.
No more watching simulated samples of team member’s heart rates, breathing, etc., which turned out to be another fraud exposed by readers on WUWT.

March 27, 2010 1:17 pm

Where are the polar bears when you really need them?

Pascvaks
March 27, 2010 1:29 pm

It looks like they’re nearly in Russia. Didn’t the Russians claim all that Arctic Ocean area a few years ago? Something about an underwater mountain chain that came off the Asian landmass. Well, looks like someone’s going to have to rescue them before all the ice melts. They should have gone to Brazil and sought the source of the Nile; it’s a little warmer down there –not much, but a little. Global Climate Change is a bummer!

H.R.
March 27, 2010 5:32 pm

April E. Coggins (13:12:37) :
“As a follower of last year’s Catlin misadventure, I have a few observations. I am probably playing Captain Obvious, but after reading their Science Equipment page, it appears that they are going to gather plankton and then expose the plankton to artificially high amounts of CO2 in order to “prove” that man-made CO2 will cause the oceans to acidify.
http://www.catlinarcticsurvey.com/Science.aspx […]”

Well, April, you got me to go over there and look for myself at their “science project.” I’d been avoiding a visit to not add to the hits, but I’ve had a question go unanswered so it was time to go look for myself.
They’re not analyzing the seawater on the expedition. I wondered how they’d titrate, use a pH meter, or a portable spectrum analyzer on samples of seawater brought up to -45C air. In an uncommon display of good sense, they’re just taking the samples and storing them until they can be sent back on the re-supply plane. It doesn’t look like they can store very many samples. I’m guessing when it’s all said and done that they’ll go out on a limb and pronounce that they’ve characterized the entire Arctic Ocean based on 120 or so *ahem* random samples.
Stay tuned for the next performance of the Catlin Circus, under the little tents.

March 27, 2010 6:45 pm

””””’Steve Goddard (06:28:43) : – You should read through the logs from their 2009 trip. It was complete misery for everyone. Frostbite, hypothermia, insomnia, wet sleeping bags, cabin fever, disorientation, failure, bone chilling cold. Why do you think Pen Hadow stayed home this year?””””’
Steve,
I did follow their last year expedition here at Anthony’s house. I followed it day by day, inch by inch . . . . slowly he turned . . . wait, that is another story . . . . : )
I think, as many commenters on this post think, the Catlin expedition’s associated people are publicity seeking AGW supporters (and maybe more). They apparently are unprofessional regarding their approach to the ‘expedition’.
But, expeditions per se have a grand tradition. In that vein it is not foolhardy to do a trek like theirs just for the challenge and experience of it. I would, if I was satisfied that preps/plans/equip/support were up well done. And if I was 15 yrs younger.
So, in that respect . . . . I envy these people for the expedition they are on!!!
John

DirkH
March 27, 2010 6:56 pm

They’re now drifting sideways, have managed 30km in 12 days, that’s 2.5 km/day or 1.56 miles/day.

Steve Goddard
March 27, 2010 8:30 pm

Yesterday they were 17 miles from their start location, today they are only 14 miles from their start location and 299 miles from the pole. They lost several miles in their quest.
In their credit, they may have already gone further than Lewis Pugh, who attempted to kayak through the ice to the pole two years ago.

Phil.
March 27, 2010 9:29 pm

Steve Goddard (20:30:01) :
Yesterday they were 17 miles from their start location, today they are only 14 miles from their start location and 299 miles from the pole. They lost several miles in their quest.

Given the current drift pattern in the Arctic they picked the worst starting point for the Pole! That said there really isn’t a good one from the American side, Cape Brightman possibly the best, but that would be a gamble too, they could be flushed out the Fram pretty fast.

james griffin
March 28, 2010 5:48 am

Recall seeing a graph on WUWT last week showing the ice cap had grown past its normal cut off ponit when the slow melt begins.
Catlin “half wits” will get away with it as it is both a government and media policy to promote global warming.
If things change…as they have done. it goes un-reported.

March 28, 2010 6:22 am

“In their credit, they …”
I’m sorry, but I don’t see any reason for credit.
“Stupid” is one of those qualities that really doesn’t take a modifier, even if people try to attach them frequently.
Stupid is stupid. What they are doing is stupid. They are stupid. They think we are stupid. In their stupidity they are doing great harm.
Now, if they were to finish killing themselves, or bankrupt their patrons, I might be able to find something creditable.

David Ball
March 28, 2010 12:43 pm

Phil. , why don’t you get real and admit this is a fool hardy waste of resources and time, and as far as sampling and experimentation goes, beyond the ridiculous. Purely PR at it’s worst. The climate is not doing anything unusual and you know it. 25 years we have been told we are going to burn up. Where is it? When is it? Can you guys just grow some stones and admit that you are wrong. Then we can move on to solving real problems like providing reasonably priced energy to all the people of the world. CAGW has wasted enough precious time and resources.

Steve Oregon
March 28, 2010 1:27 pm

John Whitman (18:45:26)
“But, expeditions per se have a grand tradition. In that vein it is not foolhardy to do a trek like theirs just for the challenge and experience of it.”
Huh?
The Catlin adventure is not stupid because “expeditions per se have a grand tradition”?
Stupidity has an even grander tradition.
Sorry John, but with your logic any dumb ass attempt in the world can avoid the foolhearty label with a grand tradition of trying.
There is nothing of any sense from any angle in this Catlin mission.
Is not only stupid but it’s chaos, risky, unscientific, useless and utterly random.
No different than a similar illequipped party wandering around in the vast Sahara randomly measuring sand dune shapes. While seemingly oblivious to the wind altering the dunes.
Under your logic, would expedition also not be foolhearty because of the grand traditon of expeditions, per se?

March 28, 2010 5:53 pm

””’Steve Oregon (13:27:05) : Under your logic, would expedition also not be foolhearty because of the grand traditon of expeditions, per se?”””’
Steve,
There have been many expeditions to many places on earth in the past 200 yrs in the grand expedition style. Of course, including ones to the North Pole. Great stuff.
Although I disagree with the Catlin group’s political/social/climatological motivations plus I find it a silly media ploy, and although they sound rather unprofessional in their approach to their expedition, I do admire people who do expeditions like the one they are on.
I envy them.
John

West Houston
March 28, 2010 6:24 pm

Cryosphere Today has these images for today and two years ago. None are available for this time last year (alas). They show that the area where the Catlin bunch find themselves was 100% two years age and 100% now. Not only that, but you may notice that rich, deep purple over most of the 2010 picture in contrast to the more faded look of 2008, indicating 80% or less in large areas now @100%.
http://igloo.atmos.uiuc.edu/cgi-bin/test/print.sh?fm=03&fd=28&fy=2008&sm=03&sd=28&sy=2010
I’m just sayin…

Pete H
March 28, 2010 9:02 pm

Why does the film Groundhog Day spring int my head?

AJ
March 29, 2010 1:17 am

Perhaps we should stop referring to this fiasco as the Catlin Arctic Survey and use it’s proper name of “Carry on up the Arctic”

Shevva
March 29, 2010 4:28 am

Should of just gone to the BBC and asked them about Top Gears drive there would of been quicker, saved money and i’m sure there was lots of footage of the ‘right kind of ice’.

DirkH
March 29, 2010 5:44 am

60 km now (as the crow flies), albeit into a direction that will miss the pole. What they’re doing is like crawling sideways on a slow treadmill.
Note to self: if you’re on a drifting surface, try to be significantly faster than the drift.

March 29, 2010 5:57 am

John Whitman (17:53:06) :
Although I disagree with the Catlin group’s political/social/climatological motivations plus I find it a silly media ploy, and although they sound rather unprofessional in their approach to their expedition, I do admire people who do expeditions like the one they are on.
I think the term “expedition” is rather overblown with regards to this jaunt onto the ice. I could accomplish the same thing they’re attempting to do during an afternoon sprint into the Atlantic — at less expense and with less danger to my associates, and still have time to justify the trip by catching some bluefish for dinner.

March 29, 2010 6:31 am

Well, from that position, they hooked southwest for a bit and are now travelling northwest — present position is listed as 85°56’27.99″N by 80°43’09.70″W.
Only 245.79 nautical miles to go….
Or 282.85 statute miles…
Or 455.20 kilometers…

Phil.
March 29, 2010 9:33 am

David Ball (12:43:26) :
Phil. , why don’t you get real and admit this is a fool hardy waste of resources and time, and as far as sampling and experimentation goes, beyond the ridiculous. Purely PR at it’s worst.

When have I said otherwise? If someone wants to spend their time and money hiking around over the Arctic sea ice best of luck to them. Similarly if someone wants to climb Everest etc., why do you care?
The climate is not doing anything unusual and you know it. 25 years we have been told we are going to burn up. Where is it? When is it? Can you guys just grow some stones and admit that you are wrong. Then we can move on to solving real problems like providing reasonably priced energy to all the people of the world. CAGW has wasted enough precious time and resources.
You’re entitled to your opinion even when it extends to misrepresentation of the science. I prefer to stick to the science not politics.

Rachelle Young
March 29, 2010 12:49 pm

Global warming activist and reporter freeze to death in Antarctica.
http://www.ecoenquirer.com/south-pole-tragedy.htm

March 29, 2010 1:14 pm

“When have I said otherwise? If someone wants to spend their time and money hiking around over the Arctic sea ice best of luck to them. Similarly if someone wants to climb Everest etc., why do you care?”
Why do I care?
Why do I care!?
Why do I care!!??!!!?
I care because I don’t think they are using money–they are using money that might have a more useful use available, like, for example, compost in somebody’s Victory Garden.
And worse yet, they are littering the Arctic with barrels of fuel and oil (and God knows what else) that will take eons to recover from.
And don’t even get me started on the press coverage and the rest of that rot.

Phil.
March 29, 2010 1:18 pm

Rachelle Young (12:49:22) :
Global warming activist and reporter freeze to death in Antarctica.
http://www.ecoenquirer.com/south-pole-tragedy.htm

I think you’ve been had Rachelle, the pilot Jimmy Dolittle!
One wonders why they weren’t missed for 8 months?
REPLY: As I indicated on the “tips and notes” thread, this story is a hoax perpetrated by the “eco enquirer”. Ignore it. – Anthony

Phil.
March 29, 2010 1:20 pm

Larry Sheldon (13:14:16) :
“When have I said otherwise? If someone wants to spend their time and money hiking around over the Arctic sea ice best of luck to them. Similarly if someone wants to climb Everest etc., why do you care?”
Why do I care?
Why do I care!?
Why do I care!!??!!!?
I care because I don’t think they are using money–they are using money that might have a more useful use available, like, for example, compost in somebody’s Victory Garden.

It’s their money.
And worse yet, they are littering the Arctic with barrels of fuel and oil (and God knows what else) that will take eons to recover from.
They aren’t.

Rachelle Young
March 29, 2010 3:51 pm

Sorry. I posted the link to the report that the global warming activists in Antarctica froze to death. I am now seeing other sites reporting that this as a spoof. It’s hard to tell when it is first posted and, somehow, this was so believable. People are toying with fate on expeditions of this type and nobody will be very surprised if something bad does happen sooner or later. Again, I apologize for the link to the misleading report.

David Ball
March 29, 2010 9:03 pm

Phil. (09:33:01) :” You’re entitled to your opinion even when it extends to misrepresentation of the science. I prefer to stick to the science not politics”. How is it that I am “misrepresenting the science” and you are not? How is my statement political and yours is not? A very weak rebuttal at best. When did you say that the warming was going to “runaway”? What was the cause of this runaway warming? I’m afraid that your attempt at dismissal was dismal. Gimme some of that high fallootin’ “science” you’re going on about. Show me how Co2 drives the climate. I guess it is political when I say that I do not know what drives the climate, but I know it is NOT Co2. There have been a lot of “scientist” in the past who turned out to be wrong. That still happens, you know. It is happening right now. But I suppose I am just being political. By the way, I am sad that the battle became political. It was NOT the skeptics who initiated that, just so you know.

Editor
March 29, 2010 9:15 pm

At the other end of the globe…
Global Warming Activist Freezes to Death in Antarctica
Famed global warming activist James Schneider and a journalist friend were both found frozen to death on Saturday, about 90 miles from South Pole Station, by the pilot of a ski plane practicing emergency evacuation procedures.
“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing”, recounted the pilot, Jimmy Dolittle. “There were two snowmobiles with cargo sleds, a tent, and a bright orange rope that had been laid out on the ice, forming the words, ‘HELP-COLD’.”
http://www.ecoenquirer.com/south-pole-tragedy.htm
REPLY: This is a HOAX, ignore it. – Anthony

March 29, 2010 11:02 pm

Does it seem to anybody else that if we needed a single deifining word for all of this, the word would be “Hoax”.
How far science has fallen!

geo
March 30, 2010 2:38 pm

Lovely discussion today about landing a 29,000lb airplane on the disappearing sea ice for resupply. Apparently not so rotten after all.

Alec, a.k.a. Daffy Duck
March 31, 2010 7:43 am

hmmm?????
from The Guardian
Posted by
Ann Daniels Wednesday 31 March 2010 07.30 BST
“We’ve also been seeing vast areas of open water and very thin ice – it’s the first time any of us have experienced anything quite like this on such a large scale. The way the ice is behaving is simply the strangest we have ever seen. We’ve spent days on ice that was bending, bouncing and wobbling as we passed over it….”
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2010/mar/31/catlin-arctic-survey-melting-ice

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