Arctic Climate Explorers give up sailing to the 'melting' North Pole because – there's too much ice!

From the arcticmission reports, where they try to put the best spin on this colossal failure as reported by the BBC:

Pen Hadow sets sail for North Pole as Arctic ice melts

British explorer Pen Hadow and his crew have set sail from Alaska, in an attempt to become the first people ever to sail to the North Pole.

With Arctic ice melting at an unprecedented rate, previously inaccessible waters are opening up, creating the potential for their planned 5,500 km (3,500 mile) journey for the first time in human history.

Um, no. Here is the view of the North pole today, as reported by the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC):

Image source: NSIDC, captions by WUWT


Cooler conditions, slower melt

August 21, 2017

A cooler than average first half of the month kept ice loss at a sluggish pace with little change in the ice edge within the eastern Arctic. Retreat was mostly confined to the western Beaufort and northern Chukchi seas. Ice extent remains above that seen in 2012 and 2007.


Here is the photo of the beached sailing vessel at the end-game:

by Pen Hadow & Erik de Jong

Arctic Mission’s furthest North was 80 degrees 10 minutes North, 148 degrees 51 minutes West, reached at 22:04:12 (Alaskan Time, GMT-9hours) on 29 August 2017 by yachts, Bagheera and Snow Dragon II.

Arctic Mission moored its yachts to an ice floe on 29 August to conduct one of its 24-hour marine science surveys, while drifting with the sea ice. The strategy for any future northward progress had been to monitor the sea surface currents, sea ice, and weather conditions (both observed from the yachts and through satellites imagery downloaded onto our computers), and decide how to proceed as we approached the end of the 24-hour survey.

A meeting of the four skippers was held led by Erik de Jong, with Pen Hadow present, and it was agreed further northward progress would increase considerably the risks to the expedition, with very limited scientific reward. The decision to head south, back to an area of less concentrated sea ice in the vicinity of 79 degrees 30 minutes North, was made at 18.30 (Alaskan time).

Arctic Mission has demonstrated that commercial fishing and shipping vessels can now access and exploit a new, unexplored and vulnerable ocean region on the planet, the Central Arctic Ocean, due to the melting of its sea-ice cover. Approximately 1 million square kilometres of the Central Arctic Ocean is likely to have been ice-free this summer, having had year-round ice cover throughout human history until the 1980s, and likely has had for many tens of thousands of years.

The commercial activities made possible by this loss of summer sea ice puts at risk the extraordinary wildlife that has evolved to survive in this extreme environment. Polar bears, whales, seals, fishes, seabirds, invertebrates and microbes all contribute to a unique and special ecosystem which is unlike any other on earth.

Arctic Mission has undertaken an extensive oceanographic, wildlife and ecosystem research programme during the voyage, led by Tim Gordon of the University of Exeter (UK). This has included work on acoustic ecology, copepod distributions and physiology, microplastic pollution surveying, inorganic carbon chemistry, seabird range expansion and microbial DNA sequencing. Scientific findings will be released following comprehensive data analysis and formal publication in peer-reviewed journals in 2018/19.

It is believed Arctic Mission has sailed further north from the coastlines surrounding the Arctic Ocean than any vessel in history without icebreaker support.

Its vessels were the first to reach the international waters surrounding the North Pole (aka the Central Arctic Ocean), without icebreaker support and without freezing in.

Its vessels have set the first furthest north within the Central Arctic Ocean without icebreaker support.

Arctic Mission’s northernmost position was 590 nautical miles (678.5 statute miles) from the North Pole.”


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I sent this email earlier today to a couple of contact addresses at the arcticmission website.
Back in 2009 Pen Hadow proclaimed, before an earlier Arctic publicity stunt, that failure was his hoped for outcome as he expected smooth sailing and ice free waters, but failure would be a sign of hope for the planet.
He gloriously succeeded in failing and he could proudly wear the mantle of failure where ever he went.
Although there was a noticeable lack of press conferences trumpeting his successful failure.
Now with a second fantastic FAILURE under his belt, he is truly the Lord of Failure and I hope we can expect to see news stories and press conferences boasting of his multiple failures.

Hadow is busy drinking climate Kool-Aid.
At this point, he is risking an early winter storm that could surround Hadow’s sailing ship with ice. For the next 8-10 months at a minimum.
How do four captains sail a couple of ships?


They have D&D dice with them.


IMHO the success of the Catlin 2010 failure, which itself aimed to build on the success of the 2009 failure, was even greater than the Hadow 2017 success: it failed to secure a single uptick by any of the unprecedentedly low number of thirty-two Guardian commenters. It was beset by problems such as pitching tents on ice, which promptly cracked because it was “thinner than expected”, and facing a cold wind which seemed to coming from the North, though the determined explorers managed to spot an Arctic fox and made a hole in the ice. They don’t say if they remembered to bring a bottle of Old Pulteney to celebrate their triumph.

Patrick MJD

He’s being paid to drink it.


” Ice extent remains above that seen in 2012 and 2007.”
Wow , that is unprecedented ! Last years ice was only greater the the 2012 min.
I guess what is unprecedented is that the rate of loss of ice have gone negative.

I Came I Saw I Left

comment image

Ray in SC

Nobody would agree to be first mate so, in a compromise worthy of a participation award, they agreed that they will all be captains.


Another climate cultist that doesn’t keep up with climate science, I’m shocked I tell’ya!
Near ice-free or seasonally ice-free conditions in the central Arctic Ocean during the Holocene Climate Optimum has been the ‘consensus’ for quite some time now and is backed up by several types of proxy data.

Ron Long

If the Captains are stooges you only need three, but because this is a Ship of Fools you need four.


Greg September 1, 2017 at 1:31 am
As well as the low years of 2007 and 2012, Arctic sea ice extent is also above 2016, 2015 and 2011, while bearing down on 2008 and 2010. Only 2009, 2013 and 2014 are liable to remain higher than 2017 among the past ten years.
Not at all what Griffiepoo so confidently predicted. Never before in the dedicated satellite era have five years passed without a new record low.
The now trend is growing Arctic sea ice, not falling. The next milestone will be sea ice minima higher than 2009, 2013 and 2014. The trend was interrupted by the Super El Nino of 2015-16.

“jorgekafkazar August 31, 2017 at 10:40 pm
They have D&D dice with them.”

You mean the plastic molded dice with uneven rounded faces, poor edges and proclivity to repeat certain rolls?
Just as many D&D dungeon masters had their “favorite” dice for rolling. Even some D&D dungeon owners who swapped dice when rolling doom upon players versus deific gifts to preferred shapely attendees.
Back in those days, one used to be able to buy quality craps dice retired by casinos for a few bucks.
Sharp corners and edges, flat sides, accurate angles. Great dice.
Swapping out cheap rounded dice for the quality ones does make a difference in a number of games; e.g. Monopoly.
Cutting twenty and ten sided dice out of stone with accurate angles and even faces made for huge differences in D&D Dungeon master rolls.
Early lessons on people’s active abuse of randomness.
Many people hate randomness and much prefer fudged numbers in their favor.
Guess what Hadow’s explorers and shysters prefer in their number soup?

Steve R

How many cooks in the kitchen?

Bryan A

Well, at least he didn’t fail to fail. As long as he continues to successfully fail his failures might lead to the penning of the phrase “Pulling a Hadow” to reflect any massive failure when ones beliefs lead them repeatedly down false paths to a lack of glory
Reply: a satisfactory riff ~ctm

Stephen Richards

🙂 🙂 : ) numero 1

Nigel S

Speaking of riffs …
‘Some speak of the future
My love, she speaks softly
She knows there’s no success like failure
And that failure’s no success at all’

Add me to the list of agreements with your comment Bryan A.!
“Pulling a Hadow” or “Do a Hadow”: Huge expensive confirmation bias PR initiative pretense that has zero success intent.
Normally defined as fraud: For priors watch either of “The Producers” movies.
Hadow’s fakery and fleecing donors depends upon climastrology’s complete failure to define and apply success or failure metrics for climate science.
We need new descriptions for Dante’s levels of hell where climastologist fraudsters are rewarded.


I love that movie! “Inga? Time to go to work.”


penning of the phrase “Pulling a Hadow”
Measuring ice in Wadham’s is another going around.
Ship of fools, redux.
Feel free to pile on

Eamon Butler


Failures litter the path of progress.

M Seward

The great beauty of this imbecilic clusterf^&k of a boondoggle is that it sits in such perfect harmony with the Ship of Fools imbecilic clusterf^&k in the Antarctic not that long ago.
There is a certain harmony putting these two ‘misadventures’ into the intellectual frame and I will sleep soundly tonight.


turkey turney was given airtime on abc recently and when questioned..developed teflon skin to slide outta a decent answer
today we had an hr of flim flam man
ruined my lunch!
as for this idiot..dont i remember the 30s they sailed boats right through and return trips?
unlike this pratts stuffupsx2


Wherever there’s a pot of money the opportunists will form a conga-line.

A triumph of hope over experience! I am sure that had they succeeded we would have never heard the last of it and they would have publicised the fact that these areas were available for human exploitation and as a result they would be plundered.. They are a bunch of ignorant hypocrites!

this was never going to go well. The start of the journey was delayed as they beached one of the yachts, before they left the harbour!


Is it true that they got within 678 miles of the pole? I find that hard to believe.


charles off topic but…whats with the rainbow stripes at the page top?
arent we getting enough of this all over everything everywhere already?
speaking personally its not got thing one to do with science warming or much else inc general interest that the header used to run with.
cant this be one spot we dont cop the indoctrination, please?

Eric H

Assuming /sarc?
Otherwise the only “rainbow” stripes I see is the Aurora Borealis above the Earth as seen from space…though it could’ve been artistically modified.


It is probably an ad. All I see up there is the very tiny letters of the word “advertisement” in a white box above the header.

Steve R

Probably an personalized ad based on your web browsing history.


No failure. They got this message on BBC:
‘British explorer Pen Hadow and his crew have set sail from Alaska, in an attempt to become the first people ever to sail to the North Pole.
With Arctic ice melting at an unprecedented rate, previously inaccessible waters are opening up, creating the potential for their planned 5,500 km (3,500 mile) journey for the first time in human history.’
Success! The actual journey is irrelevant.


The melt of Arctic ice is unprecedented, all right. Slowly. Its extent actually grew on Aug 29!

Caligula Jones

As mentioned, if you live long enough, you’ll realize that Monty Python had a sketch for it:
The Black Knight continues to threaten Arthur despite getting both his arms and one of his legs cut off
Black Knight: Right, I’ll do you for that!
King Arthur: You’ll what?
Black Knight: Come here!
King Arthur: What are you gonna do, bleed on me?
Black Knight: I’m invincible!
King Arthur: …You’re a loony.


It is claimed that they sailed around the north pole
Most people will not see that kind of statement challenged.


I laid out how they could actually accomplish their stated mission of sailing around the North Pole in another thread on this clown. My suggestions clearly went unheeded.

Javert Chip

Big deal. I sailed around the North Pole this year, except I did it at the equator. Took longer but it got the job done.

Hot under the collar

Never saw that coming did they? “Sailing mission to North Pole stopped by Ice!! SHOCK!!! HORROR!!!” So deluded they probably thought the white stuff was a heat mirage until they hit it!
I like the way they can’t even bring themselves to use the word cold or colder … “A cooler than average first half of the month kept ice loss at a sluggish pace with little change in the ice edge” ….
Hubris meets ice.

John Silver

Charles, you’re a very naughty boy.

Joe Fone

Brilliant! That email gave me a good laugh. Very funny and very well put! 🙂 Thanks Charles. Joe

Jimmy Haigh

Oh how I did guffaw!

Richard G

The Ship of Fools has been fooled again.

The Ship of Fools is sailed by fools on a fool’s errand.


“Arctic Mission has demonstrated that commercial fishing and shipping vessels can now access and exploit a new, unexplored and vulnerable ocean region on the planet..,”
No, Arctic Mission has demonstrated that they are barmy in the crumpet.


‘Vulnerable’? Where do they get this crapola?
They are ‘studying’ a tiny little section of the Arctic ocean that sits under thick ice for 11 months of the year and has probably never had another human within a mile of it at any other time in history. It will soon disappear under thick ice again, oblivious to anything any of us are thinking or saying or doing.

Another Ian

Like that old Harpic ad – “Clean round the bend”?


“vulnerable”, “fragile”, the same usual stupid talking points by the presstitutes. If they don’t say that at least once per article, they don’t feel well.

Charles — that is beautiful…..

Luc Ozade

Hahaha! We told ’em so.

Luc Ozade

Adversity in the face of triumph…


And then there was this comment they made on Instagram 24 hrs and a few miles before they came to a screeching halt.
” arcticmissionI wandered lonely as a … dying ice floe in an ever more ice-free ocean… Yes, to answer the many questions, we are seeing ice. Sailing through it and around it where necessary. It’s been fairly easy to this point to navigate as we continue to head north, though the conditions are changing rapidly. What we have seen, however, has a decadent beauty – free moving chunks and slushy sea”
Their foolishness is really remarkable!

Curious George

They seem to have enough rum left for a triumphant return.


Captain, captain? Captain, captain!


It would have been a lot easier to sail on up to Svalbard and they could have gotten closer up to the North Pole.


It would’ve been easier to simply access free satellite imagery courtesy of NASA. I wonder if the BBC will be wanting a refund since he failed to deliver on his documentary promise?


There is, I think, a rowing boat [and some of its crew] on Svalbard.
They were striving to set a record, and managed eight, IIRC.
Cannot say where Is aw this – BBC – or elsewhere. Some of the crew, I think, have decided to go home.
found it:

Leonard Lane

Another stunt based on false theory, false beliefs, and logic of those who fail over and over to accomplish anything.
And old story, true, but makes a joke to match the people who see what they wish and are blind to the truth.
“A number of tender feet were in a group riding horses in Colorado.
She: ‘What does a Columbine Flower (State flower of Colorado) look like?’
He: ‘See that blue flower on your right between the path and the trees?”
She: ‘Yes.’
He: ‘Well I don’t, but if you do see one like that it is probably a Columbine”


“…having had year-round ice cover throughout human history until the 1980s, and likely has had for many tens of thousands of years.”
Even during the MCO and the Roman warming and the Minoan warming plus the peak temps of the Holocene?
So if those eras (which were warmer than now) had year-round ice cover, why did they think there would be open water now?


Having responded in like fashion to that quote from the text, please add my…. Huh? to yours.

richard verney

It was probably ice free during those periods. It is just that the warmists cannot admit to past natural variation as it is inconsistent with their mantra.


Art, there is evidence of little to No Summer ice during the WMP time frame. Here is one with full PDF access.
Kenneth Williamson (1975) Birds and Climatic Change, Bird Study, 22:3,143-164, DOI: 10.1080/00063657509476459
Published online: 24 Jun 2009
Between 1000 and 1300 average summer temperatures were about 1°C higher than today, with the mean annual temperature higher by perhaps 4°C in a largely ice-free Arctic. Eric the Red, a renowned world citizen of that time, has been much maligned as the first progressive publicity man for giving Greenland a false image in order to attract settlers; but in truth, the southwest of that vast country was warmer and greener by far than at any time until the Fieldfares Turdus pilaris arrived there in the mid-1930s. The sea-temperature of the Atlantic was higher than it has been since, and there appears to have been none or very little ice to hinder the Vikings’ communications between Iceland, Greenland,Newfoundland and Labrador (Mowat 1965). Indeed Brooks (1926) considers thatthe polar ice-cap may have disappeared entirely during the summer months, tobuild anew each winter.”


The history they talk about does not go back very far. Roughly 111,000 years ago, the previous interglacial period, the Eemian, was warmer than the current interglacial period with more ice cap melting and higher sea levels and the cause could not have had anything to do with Mankind’s use of fossil fuels.


Will, Don’t worry about the Eemian, biodata indicates that the current level of sea ice is actually very high compared to all but a short period of the Holocene.
That short period when the extent was higher than now, was the LIA, the coldest period in 10,000 years.comment image

Pretty slack, they could have gotten out and walked the last 1,100 km. (/sarc)

Roger Knights

Or unloaded an ice-boat and continued in it.

Roger Knights

Or in a hovercraft.


Sooooo many Wadhams of sea ice !!! 🙂


Where is he when he is needed? He could have disappeared this ice with a few key strokes.

[snip this commenter has been banned, for thread bombing using multiple identities, and repeatedly told that he’s been banned, yet persists -Anthony]

It turned out exactly as most predicted here at WUWT, (except for Griff).

Posted this when they first set sail, and it turned out exactly as predicted:


somebody’s ox got Gored…

Not sure if Pen Hadow believes all the crap. But, if he goes along with it he gets to go on free trips to incredible places


While he’s busy pollution surveying, he could have a look at the ship’s hull.


Every year scientists and surveyors go the arctic and, thanks to government logistics, work in comfort and safety, where comfort involves living in a tent.
I have nothing but contempt for most adventurers who clearly haven’t done their homework before turning up in the high arctic to make their ill-considered attempts.
On the other hand, I have great respect for surveyors who go literally everywhere, no fuss, no muss, no bother … as long as you ignore things like the Blackfly.


Hiking on the Appalachian Trail in Vermont one summer, we had the good fortune to be able to climb an old fire watch-tower to get above the tree tops- which effectively got us Out of the bugs. However having to cook our food down on the ground, my pot looked like it had been well peppered by the time it was ready- all black flies, of course.

Great rendition of Blackfly! Gawd, I remember those and their little napoleon cousins, sandfly. Then there were the deerfly and horsefly just for variety. Did I mention mosquitoes so big they lined up and refuelled on 80/87 at the airport…


Just to be pedantic …
“Here is the photo of the beached sailing vessel at the end-game:”
Not beached ( no land therefore no beach), but TWO sailing vessels MOORED to an ice flow.
There must be joy in the warmest camp that their beloved ice has not melted ! (:-))


No, it’s a travesty.
They want and need the destruction of the earth in order to tell everyone else what to do and how to live. If things get better before we bow to their dictates, it’s a catastrophe for them.


But, do not you see the blue ice under the sea level. Now a ton of sand on it and a palm of rubber, then the reporter can go swimming.


“… then the reporter can go swimming.” … briefly. Folks do that sort of thing. It’s called the Polar Bear Plunge. Sadly, the folks in Great Britain and the Netherlands are deprived of the true arctic experience because the North Sea doesn’t get all that cold. You can get a more authentic experience by jumping into a small lake just as it is about to freeze over.

I have gone skinny dipping as the Antarctic peninsula, pushing ice aside as I waded in. Our rule among the participants was that it didn’t count if you couldn’t get your head underwater.


Here is the ice thickness for 2017, 2016 and 2012 for the end of Augustcomment imagecomment imagecomment image
Notice anything?
Here’s today’s concentration mapcomment image
The ice is thin and broken up over a very large area… not at all solid all the way to the pole.
In a season with weather like 2012, we will see a new record. Only a cold summer has kept even this much ice.


You never give up do you Griffie? Do try to read up a bit on arctic history and arctic conditions. The reason it took so long for anyone to get to the North Pole (Peary didn’t you know) is exactly this: the ice has never been “solid all the way to the pole”, it is broken up, mushy and full of leads in summer.
I particularly suggest you read Nansen’s description of his polar attempt from Fram in 1895-96 in Farthest North. How they got stuck in networks of leads, had to use their kayaks and had great difficulty in finding even small areas of second-year ice to camp on. And this was between 82 and 83 degrees north of Franz Joseph’s land just after the end of the LIA.
By the way, those ice-thickness maps are “models all the way down”.


Only a cold summer has kept even this much ice.

And by similar logic, it was only the warm summer of 2012 which meant there was less ice, so we should ignore it.
The data is what the data is. You don’t need to make excuses for it doing the “wrong” thing. Ice extent is greater this year than 2007 and much greater than 2012. That recovery is “unprecedented”.
Get used to it. The next five years will also be “unprecedented”.

Leo Smith

The next five years will also be “unprecedented”.

They always are sweetheart.
In Greenspeak. Gotta keep the emotional level above 100.
Bet the Arctic ice next year is almost as thick as you.

Leo Smith

Sorry, I thought I was replying to Griff, not Greg. Muy Bad Greg.


Nope. Very little to do with the “cold” summer (although I’m glad you noticed, since the arctic is cooling in the summer). Also, 2012 was nothing to do with a warm summer either. You can view the historic records at . Temps were often below average or at average.
Griff is right about one point, although for the wrong reasons. A grow season like 2016/2017 and a melt season of 2012, you most certainly would see a new all time low. I’m not sure what point there is playing the “what if” game it though.


However, all I see is a misguided model. It was compromised by trustworthiness years ago under the Obama era to non-believability so that stupid people like you can spread their propaganda. However, the reality looks different, like this:
javascript: BasinClicked (2);
It is always surprising how model and reality are still gaping in the post-Obama country.

He should try sailing between 15 and 30 east longitude, north of Svalbard, the ice there is a bit broken up and he can take his boat up leads that eventually allow him to sail a few hundred miles north. The problem I see us that ice is still over one meter thick, and I’m not sure a sailboat can take that pounding.


Yep! You are correct, griffie! The Arctic Sea has ice all over it, again, still.

Bob boder

Take the bet or go away. I am betting the only reply I’ll get is crickets again.

Tony mcleod

It’s going to be a Pyrrhic victory for you Bob.

Yes, those NRLSSC links use a SSL certificate that is hosted on a .mil server we can’t access. I talked with them a bit about that while fixing our Sea Ice reference page.
Copy the GIFs to your own web site and post links to them.

The owner of has configured their website improperly. To protect your information from being stolen, Firefox has not connected to this website.


I was wondering why my anti-virus protection started popping up with that. Now I know!

Stephen Skinner

Griff – Who says that the Arctic ice should be solid and has always been.
I read National Geographic from the 1960s and all the stories of the Arctic talk about Summer ice break up. Those wishing to trek to the pole had (and still have) a short window to get there because of the annual break up of the ice. If we add in the huge increase in shipping that is capable of smashing through >m thick ice then the break up is only accelerated as it is on the Great Lakes etc. I don’t get why it is important to imagine that the Arctic has been the same for thousands of years:
“…the Central Arctic Ocean is likely to have been ice-free this summer, having had year-round ice cover throughout human history until the 1980s, and likely has had for many tens of thousands of years.”
What human history is Hadow talking about? Modern human history is about 120,000 years old. Modern humans left Africa around 70,000 years ago. Humans only arrived in the Arctic during the current inter-glacial and Polar Bears have only seen between 4 and 2 Inter-glacial depending on study. The Thule Eskimos arrived in the high Arctic around AD500 from the Baring Straight (Beringia) and to quote Wikipedia:
“Punuk and Birnirk stages c. A.D. 800 to 1400
…Whaling has a greater emphasis in the Punuk stage. Hunters would use umiaks and kill whales in narrow ice leads as well as in the open sea in the fall. Open sea whaling required skilled leadership, teams of expert boatmen and hunters, and the cooperation of several boats. The whaleboat captain, the umialik, is still a prominent position in Arctic communities today…”
Equally Polar Bears are supremely adapted to swimming great distances in near freezing water. Why is it that the Eskimo have excellent open water skills and the Polar Bear (a land mammal) is adapted to swimming huge distances? The Arctic would have been very different during the last glaciation which would have stretched back 120,000 years to the previous Inter-glacial. The current Greenland Ice Sheet is only 110,000 years old which hints that it melted completely during the last inter-glacial, which was hotter than the one we are in. It would appear that the present inter-glacial has facilitated the peopling of the Arctic and also extended the range of the Polar Bear as the shore line and open water has increased since the great ice sheets have melted.

Greenland’s ice sheet has been in place for 2-3 million years.


Now that Griff’s, area extent claims have failed,she has been all over the sea ice Volume babble instead these days.
Extent is unchanged since 2007:
Unfortunately for her she is wrong here too:
Arctic Sea Ice Volume Up 20% Since 2008comment image


With poor Griff, it’s always next year when the ice starts dying.


Griff is like the first generation of Christians, who kept waiting for the expected Second Coming of Christ. He just hasn’t yet reached the stage of accepting that it could be a while, and that a new sort of Church organization is needed.


Griff you keep ignoring Cam’s comment about Arctic sea ice volume.
Here it is again.

Gerald Machnee

**notice anything?**
Sure Griff. Noticed that you do not know what you are saying.
Also, Pen must be really afraid of a little ice. So why do you not
sail to the pole?


Skanky, has anyone ever told you that you’re a few sandwiches short of a picnic?
Meanwhile, have you apologised to Dr. Crockford for lying about her professional credentials yet?

Frederik Michiels

griffie unless they send ROV’s under the ice, all thickness models are just estimates based on the density.
when they sent in antarctica a real ROV to really observe they found this:
the thickness estimates for antarctica were thus completely wrong so i wonder how that’s been with the arctic….


Anyone know the extent of ice in the area in say 1700, or 1650 ?
Well the answer to that is simple , NO .
And in human history terms that is ‘recent ‘
So next time you hear claims about ‘in human history ‘ remember they may even be talking about something that was totally unknown during most of human history .


“human history ” or ” recorded history” started in 1979 😉

There is a Nimbus satellite picture from 1969 showing a large area of open water roughly where they halted.

knr, some folks have looked into the records from the many 19th century scientific expeditions into the Northwest Passage part of the Arctic.
“There were more than seventy expeditions or scientific enterprises of various types dispatched to the Canadian Arctic in the period between 1818 and 1910. From this number, we analyzed 44 original scientific reports and related narratives; many from expeditions spanning several years. The majority of the data come from large naval expeditions that wintered over in the Arctic and had the capacity to support an intensive scientific effort. A table listing the expeditions and data types is located at The data cover about one-third of the possible number of years depending on data type, and every decade is represented.”
Conclusion: The Arctic today is not much different from 150 years ago.


So variable quality data for just over 200 years , and for the other 9,800?
Of course there are always ‘models’ which can give you any answer you want, and that is there problem. Or proxies, when there is little idea of what else affects them and to what degree.
The reality is good quality data is often ‘lacking’ in climate science once you move beyond 200 years into the past, and often even in recent periods there is a lack of coverage. Much does really come down to , ‘better than nothing’


Lots of paleoproxy data permit scientists to reconstruct Arctic sea ice extent not just for the Holocene, ie the past 11,400 years, but for much longer periods into the past.


”It is believed Arctic Mission has sailed further north from the coastlines surrounding the Arctic Ocean than any vessel in history without icebreaker support.”
Pure unadulterated bullsh-t.
In 1806 Scoresby reached 81 deg 30 min north in Resolution
In 1868 Nordenskiöld reached 81 deg 42 min north in Sofia
In 1908 Peary reached 82 deg 30 min north in Roosevelt
In 1934 Nikolayev reached 82 deg 42 min north in Sadko
The last I think is still a record “without icebreaker support”. Scoresby’s ship was of course a pure sailing vessel. Sofia had a 40 hp(!) auxiliary engine.Incidentally Scoresby had open water to the north, but had to turn back since his supplies were runnning out (he was on an ordinary summer-only whaling cruise).
Not even the waffle about “the coastlines” holds water. All of the above, except Sadko were much further from the nearest continent. Sadko was just about as far from Taimyr as Hadow was from Alaska.
Most tourists going on wildlife cruises to Svalbard routinely gets almost exactly as far north as Hadow did. These cruises normally visit Hinlopenstraedet and to get there you have to round Verlegenhuken (which is just north of 80 degrees) at a safe distance.
Ironically if Hadow had tried in the same area as Sadko, west of Severnaya Zemlya, he might have gotten about as far North, the ice situation this year, at least in the Atlantic sector, being much the same as in 1934.

“Its vessels have set the first furthest north within the Central Arctic Ocean without icebreaker support. Arctic Mission’s northernmost position was 590 nautical miles (678.5 statute miles) from the North Pole.”
It’s a blatant lie! Hadow’s position equals 81 deg 10 min. He didn’t even beat Scoresby’s record in 1806.
This ‘ship’ has no problem reaching North Polecomment image

Correction: Hadow’s position is 80 deg 10 min. it’s worse

Paul Blase
Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7

Thank you. I strongly suspected that statement was false, but hadn’t done the research to verify it.

Alan Robertson

That’s not the only BS emanating from this group of adventurers.
I’ve been following their progress daily and their public pronouncements and accompanying photos have been less than honest, giving facts of the moment, as if they were truth.
Consider their course shown in this article’s Google map screenshot. See how the furthest- North progress came after a semi- circular course around an area and then to the Northwest, before halted? That’s because the team had to navigate around a large area of meter- thick ice of several degrees latitude and into an open water channel, to get as far North as they did. So far, so good.
What news did they report at the time? From their Facebook posting, August 30th:
80N in open water. It’s been astonishing how much open water we have been sailing through. Even after spending months of studying satellite images and other datasources, seeing it in real life really drives the point home. The changing Arctic is much more then a statistic. Photo: Conor McDonnell #arcticmission #protect90north
The photo accompanying the publicity also shows no ice, while they are in fact, nearly surrounded by thick Arctic sea ice, with only one route into and out of the area, albeit the open water around their boats is some miles wide in that ice- free channel.
We’ve seen endless examples of claims made by those supporting the CAGW agenda which can only be justified by supporting the notion that “the means justifies the end”.
Pen Hadow and crew have not made statements that were outright lies. However, since their mission began, they have made a number of very carefully crafted statements, that unless examined closely, would give the reader the impression that the Arctic is experiencing very much worse melting than is actually true.
Hadow and crew have been presenting facts as if they were the truth. That’s one of the oldest propaganda techniques in the world.
Facts are not truth. Facts are only facets of the whole hard diamond of truth.

Alan Robertson

edit: should read: “Pen Hadow and crew have not made statements that were outright lies, other than their claims about surpassing others’ furthest North progress“…


In an earlier blog post, Pen had warned the crew about the Polar bear threat. They did not take him seriously. If I were in charge , that is the point where I would bug out, fast. You cant have your watch falling asleep, or slack about using the weapons or anti bear equipment.
‘In closing the meeting, I raised the need for us all to switch on mentally to full polar bear alert, and all the safety procedures and equipment that this entailed. We had just seen our first sea ice. From now on, we could find ourselves in a highly dangerous situation with almost zero notice. I got a whiff of a sense of, Oh really, Pen? ‘


Is someone keeping track of all of these? It seems to happen almost every year now. A list of all the incidents where someone has tried to sail/row/canoe/steam to the North pole to highlight climate change only to get stuck in the ice would make a nice blog post. I remember the Lewis Pugh expedition back in 2008.

Over at Breitbart, James Delingpole describes this as “Ship of fools IV”. But I’m sure there are more.

Oh #%^^ maybe it was Pugh that said failure was his best hope. I may have insulted the wrong people. And yet, I don’t feel bad for some reason.


Hadow is such a Leftist fool and has become the poster boy for showing how reality always trumps (pun intended) Leftist dogma…
He’s VERY lucky to have escaped death. Ice floes can grow extremely fast and often close in from behind blocking any possible retreat from advancing ice.
This year’s Arctic Ice Extent will not be “unprecedented”, with this year’s Minimum Arctic Ice Extent likely ranked the 6th lowest in the past 38 years (satellite data from 1979) and will likely be well over +1,000,000 KM^2 larger than the 2012 Arctic Minimum (which was caused by longest and strongest Arctic cyclone in 50 years…. not CO2 forcing).
Leftist will soon have some explaining to do once Arctic Ice Extents slowly recover to 1980’s levels once both the PDO and AMO are in their respective 30-yr cool cycles from 2019 and the weakest solar cycle since 1790 starts in 2021…
I can’t wait to hear Leftists’ excuses once Arctic Ice Extents soon show significant recovery.


Griff has already started to explain that for us. It’s only because this summer was colder then 2012, otherwise the ice would have melted even more !
Duh, yes.
So the underlying “trend” is still catastrophic but is being “masked” by unusual cold arctic weather.


Actually this year is not unusually cold, it is typically cold.


Ah, yes, Greg….
It’s that darned CO2 warming that’s causing the Arctic cooling…. because…. we’ll… umm…. “Polar Vortices!!”
That was the hilarious excuse made by Obama’s Science Advisor John Holdren to explain away extremely cold winter events under the Obama administration…
It sounds so sciency (TM).


This shows us only the underlying physics (with the warmonger had not so much ) namely that the ice from a certain thickness acts as a strong isolator and it therefore completely no matter whether it has -20 or – 30 degrees ( Celsius). The polar bears will be looking forward to -20 degrees. The temperature at the melting season was always close to the average, so no conclusions like “Griff” can be drawn. On the contrary, the last El Nino is not so long ago and also the Blob not, so that would expect warmer water with Bottom-Melt in the Arctic. But nothing since, the melt rate is ridiculously small:
I wrote in a comment months ago, that an event with long ice free waters in Fall will lead to more ice in the follow season, because the water has more time to cool out. I was right, to the second lowest ice cover in 2016 follows in 2017 a recovery, like 2012/2013.


Fact is that for the last few years while Arctic winters have been warmer than the mean quite often the temps were still well below freezing. During the same period summer temps have been at or below the mean. Alarmists don’t seem to understand that it will take temps above the mean during the summer months for the Arctic to become “virtually ice free”.

Shanghai Dan

@Samurai – the explanation for why it’s getting cooler is simple: they elected President Obama in 2008 and that is when the Earth started healing. Right? Right?


Chris Turney, who led the faithful from the Guardian amongst others, on that ship of fools expedition to the Antarctic a couple of years ago has recently published a book on his exploits. I wonder if he will be donating the proceeds to repay the Australian government and others the costs of rescuing him.

Angus McFarlane

They should have gone by submarine. The USS Skate surfaced at the North Pole on 17 March 1959 (see link below).


Yes, but look at the thickness of the ice on deck and continuous surrounding ice pack, hardly “ice free” conditions.comment image


comment image


But it is definitely first-year ice, and very thin first-year at that, so that area was clearly open water in 1958 (though it was probably not situated exactly at the Pole).

comment image
Maybe Capt Hadow should have joined these folks in the 80’s when it was MUCH colder……

I don’t think Greg’s photo is from March, it may be from an August surfacing. This is from March:comment image
The whole record of what surfaced where and when is totally confused, at least it was when I wrote

1970 was equally as cold as 57/58/87…… check out the term “rising through open water”….
“It arrived at the North Pole on Aug. 5, 1970, rising through open water. On the ice, an impromptu Santa Claus in a red suit frolicked with crew members.
The submarine then sailed for the Siberian continental shelf, where it began its mission of secret reconnaissance.”

Oh. Add to other ‘cold’ years
Is it me or does melting ice smell of BS?


They should have gone by Toyota Hilux like Jeremy Clarkson and James May.

Peta of Newark

work on acoustic ecology, copepod distributions and physiology, microplastic pollution surveying, inorganic carbon chemistry, seabird range expansion and microbial DNA sequencing.

IOW and respectively:
Playing loud music, cleaning slime off things, throwing empties overboard, burning charcoal on a barbie, shooting birds so they’ll go on the barbie and lastly, having mindless sex with each other.
Great innit…..


What, the ice thickness at the North Pole was then only 50 centimeters? How unforeseen!

Leo Smith

Sure the arctic region is vulnerable, the worst imaginable manmade ecological disaster ever, Tsar Bomb, ravaged it in 1961. Seecomment image
Now it serves as a unique laboratory of life for the next millions of years, with occasional oasis like thiscomment image

Ed Zuiderwijk

‘…. is likely to have been ice free this summer ……’
(but we don’t know for sure)
By golly, these guys must be desperate to put a gloss on the debacle.

John B

Missing ice found.


LOL, you made me think of a new headline. Ice found at North Pole!


Well hell, I just about won the deadpool on the Clown Hadow North Pole Stupidity Tour. Guess they ran out of Mezcal for their Arctic Oceanic Margaritas.

Nigel S

Well at least all the diesel they wasted was made from recyled tires which does sound like quite a good idea.

From Aug 16: Reaching the North Pole in a sailboat? Pen Hadow got to be kidding!
British explorer Pen Hadow and his crew have set sail from Alaska, in an attempt to become the first people ever to sail to the North Pole.
“With Arctic ice melting at an unprecedented rate, previously inaccessible waters are opening up, creating the potential for their planned 5,500 km (3,500 mile) journey for the first time in human history.”
How is the Arctic ice melting? Let us count the ways
Arctic ice minimum volume will be reached in a couple of weeks at more than 6000 km3, which is 1000 km3 more than 2015 and 1500 km3 more than 2016.
It was very warm in the Arctic above the 80th latitude last winter. Late summer two hurricane strength storms broke up a lot of ice up and transported it south to areas where it was bound to melt. The ice area reached a new low, except for the year 2012, but the ice volume hit a new all time low on Sep 9 2016.comment image
2. Northern Greenland ice has already started growing
3 The ice mass on Greenland has grown more than 150 km3 above normal this season.
4. The average Arctic temperature above 80 degree latitude has already dipped below freezing.
5. The Arctic ice area will still decrease for another month or so since sea ice does not start forming until temperatures are -4 degree C, but the ice volume is near its minimum since snow season in the Arctic has already started, and new snow on ice stays, and fresh snow has a higher albedo than old, tired ice.
The North East Passage choke point Cape Chelyuskin is still blocked. That is one week later than last year and three weeks later than 2015comment image
Pen Hadow and crew set sail out of Nome 0300 GMT Aug 15. My prediction: They will reach the 80 th latitude, a full 600 nautical miles short of their goal.

Stewart Pid

Re “arctic ice decreasing for another month or so” …. Obuoy 14 started showing the first freezing last week and had more on Wednesday … I’m sure this new ice melted again since it looked to be 2 -3 cm thick in one picture with an edge tipped up in the air. None the less scattered minor freezing is already happening in places.


The DMI ice temperature product (IST) uses three thermal infrared channels from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) on board the Metop-A satellite to calculate the surface temperatures in the Arctic.


I have one question: Is the taxpayer paying for this nonsense?


No but if their silly asses get stuck they will pay for their rescue more than likely if history is any indication.


While looking for signs of intelligent life in the Arctic ocean (the area of the Hadow’s Arctic Mission spectacular ‘discovery’ of the Arctic ice existence) and regretfully finding none
astronomers turned to the rest of universe and have detected 15 fast radio bursts from a distant galaxy, reports Canadian CBS

Peter Plail

The BBC appear to have “disappeared” the link to Hadow’s “success”.

I asked the BBC news environment comrades to give an update last week….. guess my request got lost along with the melted ice….

Ed Zuiderwijk

Also in the Dutch daily de Volkskrant (peoples daily) they praise the failure as a triumph. The two Dutch team members have now a ‘record’ they rather not had had. So sad.

I was going to follow this, but between the eclipse trip and the useless mission page (I forget what I found), I didn’t bother.
Time to pay attention to the northwest passage visitors this year at

Approximately 1 million square kilometres of the Central Arctic Ocean is likely to have been ice-free this summer, having had year-round ice cover throughout human history until the 1980s, and likely has had for many tens of thousands of years.

Given all the ice retreat around the world 6,000 years ago, I’d put very little faith in this statement. See

Strange claim: “Approximately 1 million square kilometres of the Central Arctic Ocean is likely to have been ice-free this summer”.
MASIE shows the Central Arctic Sea maxes at ~3.25M km2 each March. The lowest it got in last decade was 2.62M km2 in 2012. Average minimum is 2.91M km2 for the Central Arctic. And it is not an ice cap, it is all drift sea ice.


I asked Jim Hunt this very thing,asking if they are lying about it,silence is all I got.


“Approximately 1 million square kilometres of the Central Arctic Ocean is likely to have been ice-free this summer”
I would dearly like to know where. It is certainly not anwhere between Baffin’s land and Taimyr. In this area there is reasonably good historical data, and there are no areas that have been ice-free in recent summers that haven’t also been occasionally in the past.

When looking how Capt Haddock sorry Hadow was getting on last week I couldn’t remember the daft name of his “mission” so I googled “mission north pole arctic” and came across a group of intrepid boaters heading up into the arctic waters in completely unsuitable vessels and thought these must be the fools…… turns out there are many ship of fools.
http://www, with Pen Hadow have failed to get further north than 80deg due to “very cold solid water” (ice in old speak). with similar ideas to the above have failed to get further north than 80deg and failed to sail through the northwest passage due “very cold solid water” and “none favourable atmospheric conditions” (bad weather in old speak).
Strange that rather than finding decimated populations of emaciated polar bears both “missions” found live healthy polar bears that basically were doing polar bear type stuff – like lounging about on ice flows, having cubs, swimming, eating, etc.
But don’t worry Pen never said he was sailing to the North Pole as it was always a pre-planned failure. The north pole line was just the media ‘hook’ to get interest. He had to get back by next week as he is getting married….. what a muppet :-)))))


However, Jeremy Clarkson and James May made it in a Toyota Hilux. They were assured they would never survive due to melting ice. It seems the trip is possible if the fools select the right vehicle.

Pamela Gray

Well, that was a prime example of putting lipstick on a pig. Reads like the good folks who have lived around there forever never used an even smaller boat to go out into the ocean and do a lot more work.

Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale
a tale of a fateful trip,
that started from this arctic port,
aboard these tiny ships.
The mate was a mighty sailin’ man,
Four Skippers brave and sure,
five passengers set sail that day,
for a three week tour,
a three week tour.
The weather started getting cold,
the tiny ships were tossed.
If not for the courage of the fearless crew
the Bagheera would be lost.
And, The Snow Dragon II would be lost.


Those were the days of nonpartisan, nonpolarizing entertainment……..and the Professor was more trustworthy.


So trustworthy that he could build all kinds of things from a phonograph to an electroencephalograph from coconuts, bamboo, and scraps of metal but could never repair and refloat the Minnow. I think he didn’t want off the island until he had a go at Mary Ann. Can’t say I blame him.


Listening to these maroons, one gets the impression that prior to this year, accessing any portion of the arctic ocean was impossible.


It’s 2 to 3 weeks too early to make the call, but it looks like sea ice levels are already bottoming out. About 2 weeks early.

What are these people smoking?? They’re like a bunch of flat-earthers setting boldly out to sail off the edge of the world – every year – and always confused that they wind up back at the same place. They quite literally and badly need to be recommended for professional psychiatric evaluation. I mean they only have to look at a satellite image to know that there’s no route to the pole at this particular time in history. Stark raving, burbling, honking and quacking at the moon insane.


The question I have is what are the sponsors of these people thinking? After meandering about a bit they are now headed south.
Their original mission statement said they would sail the north pole:comment image
Then they said they would sail around the north pole:comment image
Now it looks like they’ve decided to run away, run away!


But surely they go a lot of science work to do!
Jim Hunt keeps telling us that………..

Curious George

These science types don’t trust satellite pictures, or historical records.

Their voyage was based on wishful thinking… like so much of the alarmists’ views. Nature gave them another reality check. Some people just take longer to learn things.


The Mission of the Geographically Impaired for the education of the geographically challenged was successful. The next educational mission is to the moon by way of a high altitude plane ride. There will be lots of pictures and highest ride milestones since the 1970s moon missions.