More Polar Scientists Stuck in the Ice

Icebreaker Laurence M Gould

Icebreaker Laurence M Gould. Photo taken by Remi Jouan 2006 source Wikimedia

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

h/t Breitbart / James Delingpole – US scientists appealed to Argentina for help when the US icebreaker Laurence M Gould failed to break through the ice.

American scientists rescued from icebound Antarctic island


March 12, 2018

A group of American scientists was rescued from an island off Antarctica’s coast after ice prevented a U.S. Antarctic Program research vessel from reaching them.

The four U.S. scientists and a support staff member conducting research on Antarctica’s Joinville Island were airlifted by helicopter Sunday from an icebreaker ship dispatched by Argentina, said the National Science Foundation, which funds and manages the Antarctic program.

Argentina sent the icebreaker ship after receiving a request for assistance on Friday, the country’s foreign ministry said Saturday. The Argentine ship has helicopters able to reach the group’s camp “regardless of the ice conditions,” the National Science Foundation, a U.S. government agency, said.

Read more:–abc-news-topstories.html

No doubt in a few decades helicopter rescues of scientists stuck in the global warming will be a thing of the past.

Having said that, perhaps the USA should consider upgrading its ice breaker fleet, just in case the ice melt takes a little longer than anticipated.


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Getting caught unawares by icy conditions in the Antarctic: a mistake only an Akademik could make.


Akademik is the transliteration of академик, a term that might correctly be applied to a Russian scientist. They, as a group, tend not to do dumb things in cold environments.

They, as a group, tend not to do dumb things in cold environments.

Unless their surname is Shokalskiy. (Sorry if my pun has proven more obscure than I intended.)


“Sorry if my pun has proven more obscure than I intended”
Perhaps because that vessel was involved in an entirely different Antarctic “ship of fools” incident (2013):

Gary Pearse

commie, indeed the Russians, No Fools, are building big nuclear icebreakers. Canadian, US and European global warmists are waiting for the ice to disappear.


Perhaps because that vessel was involved in an entirely different Antarctic “ship of fools” incident (2013):

I know about the 2013 incident. That was the joke. I even linked to a story about it.

Akademik Lomonosov is designed to do just that.


Notice that BEN GITTLESON of ABC news failed to mention the island is at the very northern tip of the Antarctic peninsula. 63 degrees South is about equivalent to central Norway or southern Finland or a few Degrees south of Iceland. The season is also equal to early September in the NH.
Is it normal for ice to form there at this time of year? A good journalist would not allow people to continue wondering.


Notice that BEN GITTLESON of ABC news failed to mention the island is at the very northern tip of the Antarctic peninsula. 63 degrees South is about equivalent to central Norway or southern Finland or a few Degrees south of Iceland. The season is also equal to early September in the NH.
Is it normal for ice to form there at this time of year?

To be honest, I don’t know about this specific island’s usual fast ice history. (Fast ice is actually sea ice, but ice that is forced up against the shore, held fast to the shoreline using old sailing nautical terminology.)
But, the Antarctic sea ice reached its yearly MINIMUM in Feb 22-23 this year, so ANY extra sea ice ANYWHERE along the coastline of ANY island – particularly an island at latitude 63 south – should be questioned as unusual. Almost all of Antarctica’s sea ice melts out every year.


The Antarctic Peninsula (whose northern-most tip is where the scientists were stranded) was heralded by the climate alarmists, until recently, as one of the most rapidly warming areas of the continent.comment image?w=300&h=273

Gary Pearse

I got the dig Brad. With the new ship rescuing global warmers, the Ship of Fools looks to becoming a Fleet of Fools. Hubris is a dangerous thing in Antarctica


Where did you get the idea that this latest group was a bunch of global warmers?

I got the dig Brad.

And what, you think that makes you better than everyone else here?
So do I.


Russia and China are investing in bigger and stronger icebreakers, because they know CO2 doesn’t cause global warming.

Breaker, breaker: Russia has 41 icebreakers, the US has two – yes two. Time to catch up
“Whether or not the House and White House concur with the Senate’s recommended defense budget proposals, part of the authorization – an amendment passed under the leadership of Senator Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, with bipartisan co-sponsors Senators Angus King, I-Maine, and Martin Heinrich, D-New Mexico – would add six new polar icebreakers to our U.S. fleet.”
end except


except what?


Take a look at where our ports are located, and then look again at where Russia’s ports are located. There is a big reason why Russia needs more ice breakers. Last time I looked, the busiest port in the US by a long shot, San Pedro (Port of LA), has never seen ice (except from a refrigerator). I’d be surprised if the water temperature has ever dipped below 13 °C. Out side of Alaska, it is a rare event for any US port to have ice issues. Some New England ports experienced ice issues (manageable) last winter, but it was mentioned that such events hadn’t happened in 35 years.


If we ever hope to exploit the North Shore of Alaska, we are going to need icebreakers.


As General Buck Turgidson might have said to Merkin Muffley:
‘Mr President! We have an ice-breaker gap!’

Y. Knott

– there’s a reason Canada owns most of our Arctic – nobody else wants it.

John M. Ware

Are there not still icebreakers on the Great Lakes, especially Lake Superior? I seem to remember something about them when we lived in Superior, WI, 1972-75, One year the ice didn’t go out until the 10th of June, and harbor traffic still proceeded, thanks to ice breakers (I think). Perhaps my memory is faulty; that was 45 years ago.


This is I think the third time something like this has happened.


Both Scott and Shackleton had ships trapped in the ice. Shackleton’s sank. It seemed a typical hazard for the early explorers.Maybe we have become too complacent about the very real dangers.


“Both Scott and Shackleton had ships trapped in the ice. Shackleton’s sank.”
Maybe their GPS & radar systems malfunctioned?


You might have also mentioned that both ships were wind powered.
Perhaps if they had been solar powered as well they may have got through.


A group of scientists “was” rescued.
GOd help us

charles nelson

I’m sure you have a point…maybe you’d care to share it with the rest of us?


The point is that “a group” is singular and thus the singular form of the verb is appropriate. Clear ‘nuf?


Bird brains does not seem happy with that.

Patrick MJD

“Greg March 13, 2018 at 1:06 am”
Weight for weight, birds have more brains that dogs. And women have brains more dense than men.

David A

? Women are dense??

Tom in Florida

toorightmate March 13, 2018 at 3:50 am
That goes against the axiom that one should never piss off a witch.

Bryan A

I thought that it was
One should never piss on a Witch

save energy

No it’s –
One should never piss on a switch….especially when its connected to the mains.


Look up “humor” in the dictionary. Chillax, man!


“a group of scientists were rescued”
Actually, the correctness of this usage depends on where you are from. In the U.K. collective nouns, such as “group”, are considered grammatically plural, if they represent something that is plural. Same applies to the names of companies (“Microsoft are …” etc), because a company is also considered to be a “plural” entity.


If a group is plural, what happened when you have more than one of them (groups)? Superplural?

Dennis Sandberg

Interesting, thank you


@rocketscientist: Superplural?
In English, we have only singular and plural. The only language I know that comes close to having a “superplural” is Russian.
When forming plurals with numbers in Russian, there are 3 different rules, depending on the final digit of the number. Numbers ending in “1” (except 11) are considered singular, ending with 2,3 or 4 are rendered with genitive singular and ending with 5-6-7-8-9-0 are rendered with genitive plural.
So I have 1 ruble, 2 of ruble, 5 of rubles, 21 ruble, 22 of ruble and 30 of rubles. etc etc
Simple, no?


No wonder so many Russians get drunk.


A group (American scientists) was rescued….
American scientists, stranded as a group, were rescued….
The wage of sin is death.
The wages of sin is death.
The wages of sin are death.
The reward of sin is end of existence.
God seems to help them that choose to figure it out on their own, and help themselves.

Brent Hargreaves

If they truly believed in Global Warming TM couldn’t they wait for the ice to melt?


Two wadhams they have to wait. Why this money-waste? Don`t they have life jackets for after the two wadhams?


The courageous ones parked their boats in the ice on purpose (Nansen of the Fram … no wimps or foreigners allowed)

Robert from oz

Who put the ice there in the first place someone could have been hurt !


Too right. If they had any sense and were in touch with the environment they’d have noticed there’s no polar bears hanging about there.


They needed the ice for their drinks….


Joinville is at the end of the peninsula. Was summer pack ice pushed out there by winds?
The article stated, they weren’t in trouble because they had a “weeks worth of food”. Hmmm, I would call not having a year’s worth of food a problem.

Ed Zuiderwijk

Any penguins left behind?


It is worse than they thought ™ All the polar bears have disappeared, obviously a result of climate change.
(Yes I know there are no polar bears in Antarctica, but I am not sure said researchers know that.)
Come to think of it, a sequel to “Eaten” with aggressive penguins instead of bears could be good for a laugh.


Unfortunately penguins tend to be quite peaceful and simply ignore you unless you deliberately provoke them. In which case it is possible to get nipped:

Attack of the killer penguins!


“Unfortunately penguins tend to be quite peaceful and simply ignore you unless you deliberately provoke them.”
Penguin: Naff off and don’t come around here spouting that global warming snake oil!


Notice that they’re at the perfect height to peck you where the sun don’t shine.


Nature’s equalizer


Penguins come in different sizes, from ankle high to waist high. But don’t worry, I’ve seen almost every penguin species (there are about 15) very close up, and as I said before unless you deliberately provoke them, like trying to shoo them off their nest, they never attack. You can even stand in their way, they will simply either climb right over your boots or go around you.


Hmmm, penguins, drool.


The weird thing is that Joinville Island is off the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, an easily accessible area with several near-by bases and regular tourist traffic. I’ve been within a hundred kilometers of it myself. Ice conditions must be quite exceptionally difficult this year.

A C Osborn

Were they studying the affects of “Climate Change”?

Randy in Ridgecrest

Isn’t that required these days?

Javert Chip

Nope. It’s settled science,


I wonder if being stuck in the ice changes their affection to climate change.


Of course not, it will be proof of AGW. Like everything else.

Donna K. Becker



New Zealand is not that far from Antarctica and NIWA are telling us that our summer 2017-18 just gone was the hottest evarrr ‘and it even beat the record that had stood from 1934-35 .There wasn’t much CO2 in the thirties how did it get so hot way back then . The heat mainly from a very warm sea around the country and should have had some effect further south and melted most of the outer sea ice . March is the low point for sea Ice in Antarctica .The ice starts to build as the sun retreats to the north .


The seas outside and inside the Antarctic Convergence are pretty isolated from each other climatically. A warm summer in NZ does not equal a warm summer in Antarctica. The convergence is usually down near Macquarie Island.

Ian H

I beg to differ. New Zealand is NOT close to Antarctica, not unless you think Spain is close to the Arctic. It is just that that there is nothing much between them except ocean.

Javert Chip

We’re quibbling over a couple hundred miles, but I think you mean France.


Actually the southern tip of Stewart Island is almost exactly as far from the Antarctic as New York is from Iqaluit (capitol of Nunavut)

Philip Mulholland

They certainly know how to do weather down there.
WorldView Joinville Island 9 March 2018


worth zooming out of that view as far as possible . some serious global cloud cover there.


Climate scientists should bring along a meteorologist.

David Chappell

But what self-respecting meteorologist would agree to go with them?


Excellent, Mr. Chappell!


Yeah well a few years ago Prof Chris Turney, whose team got stuck in the ice investigating how the Antarctic Ice was disappearing said
“…Unluckily for us, there appears to have been a mass breakout of thick, multiyear sea ice on the other side of the Mertz Glacier; years after the loss of the Mertz Glacier tongue. There was nothing to suggest this event was imminent…”.
Well Ice has a habit of being Ice Prof!
What Prof the models were down and couldn’t update you in time?

David A

A massive breakout of ice, is that like this year’s flu breakout?


The LMG is not an icebreaker – it is ice rated (extra steel up front ).. The scientists were a geologist group


So that’s the problem. Geologists at the Antarctic summer waters without an icebreaker.
All right, it does not mean there was a lot of ice, just that it was unluckily placed where it usually is not.


There aren’t enough icebreakers to go around.
Typically the icebreakers will drop a group off and then go execute some other assignment, then return to pick up the group at the designated time.
Problem was, at the designated time, the icebreaker wasn’t big enough to get through the ice that had accumulated around the island.

As he ice potentially thins the Russians build Ice breaking transports to exploit the Arctic while North America worries about the Polar Bear extinction, and penguins up their NW passage. You can’t fix eco stupid.
PS Love the obs comment someone finally made that climate scientists intending to travel should consult a meteorologist regarding the weather there, not a model. [ But that may be a heretical act – and end their grants.]


I seem to remember that when it became public knowledge that the Russians were going to increase the number of nuclear-powered ice breakers in their fleet, President Obama stated that the US would also start building more ice breakers. What ever happened to that program?

What exactly would America do with its ice breakers? America doesn’t have a long arctic coastline stuffed wih natural resources. Canada has the coastline but not a lot of known natural resources. USA has Prudhoe Bay that has a pipeline, no need for tankers. Russia more than any has an arctic coastline that’s exploitable to to exploit, and not so achiraggy, and a chunk of Russia’s is accessible all year thanks to the gulf stream. Oh, and there’s a shedload of resources available in the Russian Arctic/Siberian land area. Is that an answer? Easier to build a nuclear powered tanker that just sails straight under the ice cap for those with no useful Arctic coastline. Now that’s a technological solution I’d like to see, but what would it carry? No obs oil route. Better conecentrate on bringing Venezuela back under control and getting their oil flowing again. Do a Putin on VZ. .Or make them an offer they can’t refuse and screw the UN. etc. Just IMO

Steve O

The next icebreaker commissioned should be named the USS Ironic.


Too busy with their models to take a look at ‘Maunder Minimum’ on Google?


Winter is coming.. to the Southern Hemisphere. Probably a great idea to get extracted out of the area ASAP once they realized they were stuck. Things can go from bad to worse in hurry in the polar regions.


Two weeks into autumn using the Australian method of seasons, one week before the end of summer by the European system.

Frederik Michiels

i think the warm el nino waters are moving away from the antarctic….


lol sort of funny as I am getting 18-22 inches of AGW today and tomorrow.
lot of snow on top of semi thawed gravel….always fun to plow.
another 20-30 hour day (with few breaks closer to 40 hrs) plowing


Send in the Al Gore rescue team.

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Bishkek

Is it groundhog day yet?
[Come on! Bishkek? Karabalta? Are you just making these up now? Next you’re going to claim Narnia or Isengard or somesuch… -mod]

Bruce Cobb

I wonder why the Laurence M Gould doesn’t have helicopter capability?


It appears to have a gantry and a crane where it could have had a helipad. Maybe one should find out the mission(s) for which it was designed?


Rather than spending money on ice-breaking ships the White House disband and disestablish the National Science Board and the National Science Foundation. That would nicely remove the Antarctic Program from the budget.
Ha ha


Another “ship of fools”
What is it with these climate “scientists”?
Are they incapable of learning from past mistakes?


Not exactly a ship of fools. This was a group of geologists who had been set down on an island to do some research with the expectation that they would be picked up some time later when their research was done.
Came time for the pick-up, and the ship couldn’t get to the island.

They need wind-powered ice breakers and solar-powered helicopters to save out “fragile” planet.

Taylor Ponlman

Interesting backdrop to this is that summer ice melt minimum ice extent happened very early, back in February, when normal minimum is in March. Extent was very low at that point, but since then ice growth has accelerated at a very abnormal rate. Could be these guys just got complacent and got caught. Check out the NSIDC website for details on the recent Antarctic ice growth. On the same site you can see that counter to some opinions, Arctic ice extent has not maxed yet. Recent growth and extreme cold conditions ( -27C in 80 degree north region) has got the experts guessing.

Today’s Antarctic sea ice extents ARE expanding rapidly as the yearly refreeze continues.
The Antarctic sea ice extents are well within the 2 standard deviations band of the long-term average sea ice extents for this date (12 March is displayed). So, at most, one can claim “Antarctic sea extents are low!” – which is true.
But more accurately, you must also add, “… but they are within the normal range for this date.


And it seems that Europe is due for another “beast from the East” the coming weekend.

Tari Péter

„A group of American scientists was rescued from an island off Antarctica’s coast after ice prevented a U.S. Antarctic Program research vessel from reaching them.”
They were not the only scientists having ice trouble at the Antartic these days. See for example:
The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) announced today (March 2) that the captain of the research vessel RRS James Clark Ross had made the “difficult decision” to turn back from the Larsen C region after encountering pack sea ice up to 16 feet (5 meters) thick.
Another ship of fools? Definitely not. It was a wise decision on part of the captain to turn back.


There is no ice, look at the computer models.

Tom Judd

It’s high time these people chose a ‘real’ icebreaker such as the Mighty Mac which crushed ice on the Great Lakes for over 40 years.
Unlike this wimpy 200+ foot ship and its pathetic 4,575 hp the Mighty Mac, at about the same length, boasted 10,000 hp along with a removable bow propeller to either set a forward wave to lift and crack ice ahead or increase water flow around the hull to assist in forward motion.


Enjoy the Drake Passage before we dam it next century.

Kurt in Switzerland

I find it charming that whenever the folks are rescued, not a single one of these brilliant scientists has the presence of mind to reflect on what technology they depended on for their rescue.
You guessed it: fossil fuels.
Go figure.


Well of course this will all be settled by about 2030 when they ban fossil fuelled vessels. Nothing wrong with sail – as long as the winds favour you.
My big thing is I cannot wait for the Tesla Plane to go from JFK to Heathrow or wherever to take all the alarmists to their Annual Conference.

Smart Rock

Canada is not building any icebreakers because our masters oops our mistresses(sorry) those people in Ottawa haven’t figured out how to make them gender-neutral.

eddie willers

Send Boaty McBoatface to the rescue!