Student propaganda cruise to the Arctic to be carried by webcast

From the “ship of fools” department and the UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND – INNER SPACE CENTRE

Scientists, students to make first live, interactive broadcasts from Arctic Ocean’s Northwest Passage

Expedition in August/September seeks to increase understanding about changing Arctic frontier; For citizen scientists, teachers, students, and the public worldwide: First interactive events from Northwest Passage, via Facebook Live

The Arctic Ocean, with its vast icy islands and peninsulas, was once known as terra incognita – the unknown land – the planet’s last great un-navigated maritime frontier.

This summer, a team of scientists and students, conducting research aboard One Ocean Expeditions’ vessel Akademik Ioffe, will offer select museums, as well as classrooms and citizen scientists worldwide, an opportunity to explore with them in real time a dramatically changing Arctic Ocean, and to discuss their research in the first-ever live, interactive broadcasts from the fabled Northwest Passage.

From August 23 to Sept. 13, the University of Rhode Island’s Inner Space Center (ISC), with major funding from the U.S. National Science Foundation and additional support from the Heising-Simons Foundation, will conduct the innovative Northwest Passage Project research expedition with a team of natural and social scientists, students, and a professional film crew. This ground-breaking opportunity is also supported by One Ocean Expeditions as a key marine partner, having operated in Arctic waters for over 20 years.

Aboard the Akademik Ioffe, the team of scientists and 22 students will collect water, ice, and air samples to advance understanding of and document the effect climate change is having on the environment and biodiversity in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. CREDIT One Ocean Expeditions

Research to aid understanding of / document climate change effects

Aboard the Akademik Ioffe, the team will collect water, ice, and air samples to advance understanding of and document the effect climate change is having on the environment and biodiversity in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.

The project will help fill significant gaps in critical scientific data about the region, using of a suite of oceanographic instruments throughout the ship’s 22-day transit.

The expedition’s chief scientist, Dr. Brice Loose of the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography, is coordinating and leading the research into the exchange of greenhouse gases between the water and atmosphere, and changes in distribution and abundance of two vulnerable levels of the Arctic food web – plankton and seabirds.

The project’s four scientific research areas are further detailed in an appendix below.

A suite of high-tech tools: 1st autonomous underwater glider flight to collect information in NW Passage water column

Plans include deployment of the Slocum Glider, an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), to be retrieved after sampling the waters of eastern Lancaster Sound – a critical choke point in the Northwest Passage between the Beaufort Sea and Baffin Bay.

Freshwater export from the Arctic can have dramatic impacts on ocean circulation inside the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, as well as globally when it discharges into the North Atlantic Ocean.

Led by Donglai Gong of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, the AUV team will be the first to fly an underwater glider collecting water column information inside the Northwest Passage.

Named Amelia (after aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart), the glider’s sensors will collect valuable information about increased freshwater storage and transport from the upper Arctic Ocean.

The glider will be deployed for more than 10 days and will focus on water column measurement of temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll-a fluorescence, colored-dissolved organic matter fluorescence, and optical backscattering (the reflection of waves, particles, or signals back to the direction from which they came). This suite of measurements will provide a high resolution view of the Lancaster Sound currents, water masses, and primary biology.

NW Passage geopolitics, and how climate change affects indigenous populations

The project will also contribute to understanding of the maritime history of the Northwest Passage, the role of the Inuit people in Arctic history, the effects of climate change on indigenous populations, and the geopolitics of a waterway confronted with threats from resource extraction, increased shipping commerce, and pollution.

Engaging students and the public

A group of 22 undergraduates, graduate students, and post-doctoral researchers from the U.S. and Canada will join the scientists. In addition, six teams of high school teachers and students (total 18) will be in residence in the ISC’s mission control facility during the first week of the expedition and interact directly with the participants at sea.

The expedition team will engage a wide public audience through an extensive and unprecedented Internet presence from the area, including Facebook Live broadcasts from sea. Special interactive broadcasts will be beamed via the Inner Space Center (ISC), the U.S. facility that supports ocean exploration and education, to three prestigious science museums across the country – the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington DC, the Exploratorium, San Francisco CA, and the Alaska SeaLife Center, Seward AK.

Information and details on the project’s other general public events via Facebook Live and daily highlight videos will be available at

A two-hour, ultra-high 4K definition television documentary by the onboard film company David Clark, Inc. will air in 2019.

“It is important for people everywhere on Earth to understand how this region affects all citizens. The region’s meltwater, water circulation, and flux of greenhouse gases between the ocean and the atmosphere are impacting wide-scale environmental and climatic changes, including how these changes affect people and wildlife diversity,” says NPP principal investigator and project director Gail Scowcroft.

“The project’s natural and social scientists will engage a group of university students in hands-on research, as the team addresses important research questions. In addition, diverse audiences will be reached through real-time interactions from sea, a two-hour documentary, and related events. The NPP will provide a visually stunning and historically poignant platform from which diverse audiences will experience this innovative expedition.”

The Akademik Ioffe

The project will take place onboard Akademik Ioffe with One Ocean Expeditions, a world leading expedition cruise operator whose core mandates include ocean health, science, and education as part of it’s educational programming, while offering immersive experiences for passengers.

The 364-foot Akademik Ioffe is equipped with multiple laboratories, cranes, a “moon pool” shaft through the hull for lowering and raising equipment, and a full suite of oceanographic research tools.

The ship will depart Resolute Bay on August 23, travel south and west to Cambridge Bay via Bellot Strait, then return to Lancaster Sound and Pond Inlet, before travelling down the east side of Baffin Island, with many stops along the way. The expedition will end in Iqaluit on September 13, 2018.

On the 22-day journey, students will participate in hands-on research with onboard scientists, and make shore visits, including to wildlife and research sites.

Scientific research areas

The physics of Arctic ocean circulation: Transpolar water drift through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago (CAA)

Scientists will investigate the increased freshwater storage and export from the upper Arctic ocean due to a warming Arctic. As ice melting occurs, increased freshwater is accumulating in the Arctic, resulting in a large freshwater anomaly.

Freshwater inputs can have dramatic impacts on ocean circulation, particularly when freshwater is discharged into the North Atlantic Ocean from the Arctic. The CAA, and particularly Northwest Passage, is one of the principal conduits for freshwater transport from the Arctic Ocean to the North Atlantic.

There is uncertainty about the magnitude of the flow of water through the various restricted outlets from the Arctic to the Atlantic. One of the pathways for this freshwater transport can be found in the Northwest Passage, where the Northwest Passage Project expedition will take place.

Chemistry of the melting Arctic and marginal seas: Water column chemistry affecting greenhouse gas fluxes

The concentration and isotopic composition of methane and carbon dioxide in the Arctic Ocean and atmosphere are of great interest, as both are greenhouse gases and the sources and flux of both between the ocean and atmosphere are important components of the global climate system.

The Arctic Ocean generally absorbs carbon dioxide, but ice cover limits air-sea exchange. Measuring carbon dioxide and its isotopic composition can provide information about the carbon system’s sources and fluxes into the atmosphere.

Methane, a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, is found throughout the Arctic Circle, and the Arctic appears to be an ever growing source of methane to the atmosphere. Methane is found in land-based permafrost and as methane ice or methane hydrates, which are distributed along the seafloor.

With less sea ice cover, there can be an increased flux of methane into the atmosphere from the ocean. However, some microbes in ocean water use methane as a food source. If microbial breakdown of methane is rapid enough, it may serve to offset the methane that escapes to the atmosphere. There is little data to provide estimates of this methane breakdown in Arctic water. The Northwest Passage Project will study this microbial breakdown of methane and the rate at which it occurs in the Northwest Passage region.

Ecosystem surveys of Arctic habitats in transition: Distribution and abundance of zooplankton and phytoplankton

As the waters of the Arctic warm and the sea ice cover decreases, the Arctic surface ocean ecosystem is anticipated to undergo considerable changes. Habitats are changing and moving, perhaps disappearing, and species distribution and abundance also may be changing rapidly.

To observe phytoplankton and zooplankton, the Northwest Passage Project will periodically conduct plankton net tows in the upper water column (100m and less). The contents of the nets will be catalogued. The organisms collected in these net tows will be counted with a laboratory bench-top Flowcam.

The Flowcam counts and images micrometer size particles using an imaging microscope. This provides the ability to identify and quantify ‘particles’ from some sampled volume. These particles can be sediments, phytoplankton, or even zooplankton. This imaging system will generate a library of images for each run and store them for processing later.

Ecosystem surveys of Arctic habitats in transition: Distribution and abundance of seabirds

In addition to the water column studies, there will be surveys of marine birds for the duration of the expedition. As top predators of marine food webs, seabirds play an important role in marine ecosystems. Colonies of international importance are found in this region and their abundance and distribution at sea can be used to monitor changes and variability. The Northwest Passage Project cruise will use a standard method to perform seabird counts and contribute to the seabird survey database of the Canadian Wildlife Service used to monitor the status of marine birds in Canada.

URI Inner Space Centre’s advanced telepresence technology

Live interactive broadcasts throughout the expedition will use the ISC’s advanced telepresence technology and video production facility. Pre-expedition webinars, archived online for public viewing, will prepare the students for their research experiences.

The ISC will also produce daily video blasts using footage supplied by the onboard filmmakers. These video blasts will be used during broadcasts and live interactions with partner sites. They will also be available on the ISC’s YouTube channel.

The ISC will receive a live satellite link from the ship and connect it to the partner sites, allowing audiences to communicate with the shipboard scientists and students. The pre-produced video segments will be made available to the partner institutions for use in their other educational activities, and will also be made available on the project website.

Since the Arctic is an extreme environment and at any time during the expedition may experience weather that disrupts the satellite signal, these highlight videos will allow the ISC to conduct an interactive program with the partner institutions without the live interaction from sea, if necessary.

Frozen Obsession: A two-hour television documentary by Emmy-winning director David Clark

Emmy Award-winning director David Clark will produce and direct a two-hour television documentary, Frozen Obsession, which will explore the changing Arctic by documenting the NPP expedition. The film will highlight the expedition’s research and document the activities of the diverse group of participants (scientists, historians, journalists, educators, and students) and their various experiences.

The documentary will also explore the maritime history of the Northwest Passage, the role of the indigenous Inuit people in the Arctic’s history and changes affecting their way of life, and the geopolitics of this Arctic waterway (more information:

Special screening events will take place at each of the NPP partner institutions, at Penn State’s Polar Center, and at the Environmental Film Festival. The film will have a television broadcast and also be available for future theatrical distribution. The program will be combined with online/social media, community outreach, and youth activities. The project’s participants will host screenings of the documentary in their schools and institutions.

Award-winning author and journalist Ed Struzik, who has written about the Arctic for three decades, will be onboard to share his perspective on critical wildlife issues, the native Inuit culture, impacts of climate change, and prospects of Arctic resource extraction and commercial shipping traffic in the Passage.


Project Partners:

Lead Institution:

University of Rhode Island:

Graduate School of Oceanography:

Inner Space Center:

David Clark Inc.

One Ocean Expeditions:

U.S. Minority Serving Institutions:

California State University Channel Islands:

City College of New York:

Florida International University:

Virginia Commonwealth University:

University of Illinois at Chicago:

Alaska Sea Life Center:


Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History:

Virginia Institute of Marine Science / William and Mary:

Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment and Climate Change Canada:

Climate Change Education Partnership Alliance:

Consortium for Ocean Science Exploration and Engagement:

Penn State:

Climate Central:

People, Places, and Design Research:

Interface Guru:

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Jimmy Haigh
June 21, 2018 11:04 am

When I were a lad there were bloody mammoths kayakin’ around ‘t pole.

June 21, 2018 11:05 am

With all that technology onboard what could possibly go wrong?

Reply to  markl
June 21, 2018 4:45 pm

You mean, if people with common sense were attending and in charge?

June 21, 2018 11:06 am

A luxury cruise at taxpayers expense.

I’m doing something wrong.

Reply to  HotScot
June 21, 2018 3:43 pm

… sort of what my first impression was too.

… funding applied for and spent on exotic vacations for offspring of very affluent parents, who keep university alumni associations financially viable to finance more enticements to attract more offspring of more affluent parents to take pride in their offspring going on well-funded exotic vacations, mass marketed on modern social media as being research for a good cause.

I’m SUCH an unreasonable snark.

Tom Halla
June 21, 2018 11:11 am

it doesn’t look as if they are actually transiting the Northwest Passage, just going into the Atlantic approaches.

Reply to  Tom Halla
June 21, 2018 3:09 pm

A laugh really as sailing ships back in the 19th century were only 150 kilometers short of traversing the NWP. As the data from back then illustrates the NWP conditions to be similar to today I’m not sure what they are trying to prove.

Komrade Kuma
Reply to  richard
June 22, 2018 7:24 am

They are trying to prove how virtuous they are and of course add to their cv…..

Reply to  Tom Halla
June 22, 2018 9:42 pm

The precious little snowflakes won’t even be on the ship. “…six teams of high school teachers and students (total 18) will be in residence in the ISC’s mission control facility during the first week of the expedition and interact directly with the participants at sea…” It does say some college students will be on the ship and “…participate in research with on-board scientists…”. I gotta tell you, I was achieving nearly six eye-rolls/paragraph.

Andrew Cooke
June 21, 2018 11:16 am

Well of course they aren’t going through the Northwest Passage. Mommy and Daddy would be most displeased if their lil’ pumpkin found themselves trapped in ice.

Reply to  Andrew Cooke
June 21, 2018 11:54 am

I fully expect it to get trapped in ice by an “early” freeze.

Reply to  John
June 21, 2018 2:04 pm

I fully hope for it. I thought I read at realclimatescience that the NW passage is frozen over.

Reply to  John
June 21, 2018 3:48 pm

Caused by Globall Warmining!

James Beaver
Reply to  Andrew Cooke
June 21, 2018 12:39 pm

The ships captain is obviously not a fool, they rarely are. He’s responsible for the safety of the ship and it’s cargo (the precious snowflakes).

Reply to  James Beaver
June 21, 2018 1:01 pm

One suspects the captain of Akademik Shokalskiy was also not a fool, yet he managed to be trapped in Antarctic ice during Christmas 2013

Reply to  Rhee
June 21, 2018 2:33 pm

The so called scientists had left the ship and refused to return when the captain ordered them to.
The captain was faced with the choice of abandoning scientists to an almost certain death, or allow his ship to be iced in.

Gerry, England
Reply to  MarkW
June 25, 2018 2:20 am

OK, so the captain got it wrong first time round and next time it will be a toot of the ship’s horn as they wave goodbye.

Reply to  Rhee
June 22, 2018 1:58 am

I completely agree with MarkW. I’ve been on a few cruises with these russian “Professor” and “Akademik” ships and the crews are very professional with extensive arctic experience. The “Ship of Fools” incident was entirely due to the irresponsible behavior of the so-called “scientists”.

It is always emphasized that if the Captain recalls the land parties you comply immediately and as fast as physically possibly, no matter what you are doing at the time.

June 21, 2018 11:40 am

So they aren’t actually traversing the Northwest Passage. Just sailing in a big circle. It looks like this time they might have looked at how thick the ice was… on the edges don’t be surprised… I was going to say that it was thinner, but then the ice bridge is melting late at Baffin Bay. Last year was a banner year for ice bergs. With all the melting this past winter at -30 C, it should be clear sailing…. I like how they use the term ‘students’, reminds me of the Taliban. Brainwashed psychopaths.
Do I expected any other findings than ‘ global warming is worse than we thought’?

Peter Plail
Reply to  rishrac
June 21, 2018 1:31 pm

I am sure the press releases have already been written.

Reply to  Peter Plail
June 21, 2018 3:47 pm

I always think of something else… after I posted. Since they already know what they are going to find…. I mean the models outweigh reality…. and if it’s not, they just change it anyway… maybe they’ll say they went, but didn’t go.

Reply to  Peter Plail
June 21, 2018 3:50 pm

And paid for.

David Chappell
Reply to  Peter Plail
June 21, 2018 7:44 pm

And the research conclusions are already in the current press release.

Joe Wagner
Reply to  rishrac
June 22, 2018 2:55 am

“Catastrophic global warming is worse than we thought!’

Roy Everett
June 21, 2018 11:45 am

Make sure they have enough peanut butter and banana milkshakes. There was trouble on Turney’s Antarctic expedition when these key tourist stocks ran out.

Bruce Cobb
June 21, 2018 11:46 am

“Frozen Obsession” would also be a great name for a cologne. Might even make more money than the two-hour yawner.

June 21, 2018 11:46 am

So wait…..they are not actually going inside the NWP……only hanging outside and looking at it

…did they really just admit it might not be open..and they don’t want to run the risk of having to cancel

or the biggly press if they get trapped

Me thinks they don’t even believe their own hype……..

Reply to  Latitude
June 24, 2018 7:21 am

They are going into the more difficult areas of the passage by not a through transit

J Mac
June 21, 2018 11:50 am

And then they all write up their ‘findings’ as technical papers and present them at the next ‘climate crisis conference’ in Bali… or Bangkok….. or Tuvalu!

“Yeah! That’s the ticket!”

Roger Collier
June 21, 2018 11:52 am

How can they measure and document change if they are measuring something for the first time?

R. Shearer
Reply to  Roger Collier
June 21, 2018 1:11 pm

Does it really matter? It takes two points to make a line, but they already know what they want the slope to be.

Reply to  Roger Collier
June 21, 2018 2:34 pm

We know what the conditions used to be.
We used our climate models to hind cast the conditions.

Taylor Pohlman
Reply to  MarkW
June 21, 2018 3:07 pm

You forgot the /sarc yah, I hope

Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  Taylor Pohlman
June 21, 2018 7:44 pm

I suspect it’s more factual than hyperbole.

flow in
Reply to  Roger Collier
June 22, 2018 5:54 pm

Lots and lots of data used to be recorded via sensors, buoys and cameras, but that’s been dialled right back since the early 2000s. So they’ll be collecting data to fill the gap that’s occurred since the data stopped being collected when it diverged from AGW theory.
I’m half expecting the trip to be cancelled on orders from on high

June 21, 2018 11:54 am

“It is important for people everywhere on Earth to understand how this region affects all citizens. The region’s meltwater, water circulation, and flux of greenhouse gases between the ocean and the atmosphere are impacting wide-scale environmental and climatic changes, including how these changes affect people and wildlife diversity,” says NPP principal investigator and project director Gail Scowcroft.

Gail already knows what she will find. She just needs to make the trip to justify her “scientific” confirmation of the wide-scale changes, so she can then extrapolate that confirmation towards how it affects the world (and her future income).

June 21, 2018 11:57 am

Collecting data, providing field experience to students, broadcasting the activity with state of the art technology to the public who paid for it– what’s the problem?

Okay, the problems come with the politicization and lousy press releases, but going out and sampling the environment is WAY better than modeling it from physical principles.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Gary
June 21, 2018 12:22 pm

The problem is that from the get-go, the agenda isn’t science, though they’ll pretend that it is. They are looking for “signs” of “climate change”.

Martin Mayer
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
June 21, 2018 1:04 pm

They aren’t looking for “signs” of “Climate Change”. They are looking for “effects” of “Climate Change”. If they were looking for signs of “Climate Change” they might have to report that they couldn’t find any.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
June 21, 2018 1:24 pm

Still not the problem until the data are either 1) misrepresented, 2) restricted from access by others, 3) associated/correlated/linked with a false assumption. This expedition is doing the first part of all scientific investigation — collecting data.

Of course they’re looking for climate change. And they’ll find it ONLY if they have comparable data from an earlier period. That’s the hard part. We may not have faith in their motives or competency in interpretation, but they should not be criticized for collecting data.

Reply to  Gary
June 21, 2018 2:10 pm

‘Aboard the Akademik Ioffe, the team will collect water, ice, and air samples to advance understanding of and document the effect climate change is having on the environment and biodiversity in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago’

Climate is analysis of weather over decades. Taking a few measurements in the Arctic tells you double ought nothing about climate. Camp out there and take measurements for 30 years, THEN you can talk about climate.

Reply to  Gary
June 21, 2018 3:49 pm

All their findings will be meticulously written up and then pay walled at $150 per read, to generate a little more money for the next exotic cruise — I mean, “scientific expedition”.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Gary
June 21, 2018 4:00 pm

I agree. Let them collect lots of data. Data is good.

Then we will see what is done with the data, and if it is being tortured, skeptics can point it out.

Christopher Simpson
June 21, 2018 12:12 pm

When I got to the part where they said they were taking “social scientists” along I sopped reading. Are they also including astrologers and homeopaths?

James Beaver
Reply to  Christopher Simpson
June 21, 2018 12:43 pm

Polar bear phrenologists. Can’t wait to hear how that works out…

Martin Howard Keith Brumby
Reply to  Christopher Simpson
June 21, 2018 4:53 pm

Not only that. But have they sorted out the details of “safe spaces” and “transgender bathrooms”?
Enquiring minds need to know!
Gazing into my crystal ball, I ‘project’ – nay, predict that they will prove that Things Are Worse Than They Thought.
Get ready for the footage of various critters choking on Plastic Waste. Why, they’ll take some stock footage from a river in Vietnam. To be certain.

Reply to  Christopher Simpson
June 21, 2018 5:45 pm

Astrologers at least give decent advice sometimes.

Reply to  Christopher Simpson
June 22, 2018 7:23 am

Exactly what I did. As soon as I saw “social scientists” (aka activists), I just skimmed through the balance of the material. It does appear that this does have a chance to collect some interesting data – as long as it the data is kept in its original form for use outside of this group.

flow in
Reply to  Christopher Simpson
June 22, 2018 5:56 pm

I missed that bit. That’s great. We now have the full set required for an interesting horror movie. I hope they have lots of on board webcams for the authentic docco feel as they tear each other apart

Reply to  flow in
June 22, 2018 9:49 pm

And actually, I want to play with that drone, the “Underwater Glider”? That sounds like fun!

June 21, 2018 12:16 pm

Akademik Ioffe???


What kind of Putin’s pawns are these students? Don’t they realize that these RUSSIANS are dangerous foes who hijack our elections so that Hillary receives the most votes and still loses?

Giving aid and comfort to our enemies!

Bryan A
Reply to  Taphonomic
June 21, 2018 12:44 pm

Kinda like the one that got stuck in Antarctica
Akademik Shokalskiy…another Ice Hardened ship that was designed to traverse 1st year ice

Reply to  Bryan A
June 22, 2018 2:02 am

The “Akademik” ships are ice-hardened, yes. Not ice-breaking. Ice-hardening only means that they can follow an ice-breaker through hevay ice.

Reply to  tty
June 24, 2018 5:38 am

tty: Correct. HEAVY ICE can only be broken through by an ICE BREAKER.
The Russians use the ice-breakers to open channels and then
“escort” (tow)other shipping through the NW and NE Passages ,
mostly needed in Winter
but it depends in the conditions. Recently they had to restrict
their use by tourists in the OTHER SEASONS as the ice was
thicker and more persistent.
Surprisingly , the NUCLEAR-POWERED ICE-BREAKERS belong to
The Russian Federation Government but are operated by a Private
company Atomflot or Rosatomflot ,
and ARE NOT PART of the Russian Navy .
The “50 Years of Victory” Or 50 Let Pobedy , is a
two-reactor powered ship and I understand that it is the
most powerful ice-breaker in the World
at 75,000 hp.
( 2 reactors powering 3 electric motors driving 3 propellors )
Impressive !
tty: The Ioffe and Vavilov DON’T FOLLOW ice-breakers usually ,
they just skirt around the heavy stuff and use “zodiacs” to take
tourists ashore , whether there is ice or not ( e.g.Falklands Islands ).
Everybody is doing it these days it seems !
I think that the first vessel at the North Pole was a US Submarine !
Probably been more visits by subs than ships !
Suggest Google :
Images , Dragonfly and Dreadnought Submarines at North Pole.

Richard of NZ
Reply to  Taphonomic
June 21, 2018 2:58 pm

What is the problem? The only thing I know of that Rhode Island is famous for are its reds.

Reply to  Taphonomic
June 24, 2018 5:06 am

“One Ocean” is a Canadian Firm which contracts Russian vessels in their
“OFF SEASON” and uses them in Polar “Expedition” Cruises to the Arctic
and the Antarctic areas.
The Ioffe is the “sister ship” to Akademic Sergey Vavilov , although Russian ,
they were built in Finland in 1989 and 1988 respectively.
Very nice ships and crew. They can safely negotiate THIN ICE and “growlers”
but it scares the hell out of the passengers when they hit something really solid !
Since Reagan and Gorbachev met at Reykjavic ( in the glasnost and perestroika
era ) and eventually worked out a SALT Treaty the Russians haven’t really been
our enemies…….more like “distant one-time allies” !
Both ships STILL engage in polar research.
The term research carries different meanings with different people and in
different times ! The derogatory term used to be “spy ships”.
If you have the opportunity to travel to Svalbad or Greenland or Iceland or
the Polar regions THAT IS A GREAT WAY TO TRAVEL.

June 21, 2018 12:40 pm

I’ve just got an invite to go with Polar Pioneer to one of their polar crusing expedition. Regretfully it’s not free, prospectus is here:
The email said:”With a heavy heart and much sadness that we must now say “пока” to our beloved Polar Pioneer.
It is time to say goodbye… Sadly we must bid farewell to our beloved Polar Pioneer… She has been our home away from home for more than 17 years, and heart and soul of every polar expedition since then.”
Are you tempted to join it’s last voyage? Not me, thanks.

Reply to  Vukcevic
June 21, 2018 12:59 pm

Typo: cruising

R. Shearer
Reply to  Vukcevic
June 21, 2018 1:13 pm

First and last voyages tend to be problematic, especially if it’s both the first and last.

Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  R. Shearer
June 21, 2018 7:50 pm

The last cruise is the one you don’t want to be on.

Bryan A
June 21, 2018 12:41 pm

So a 22 day 2,850 mile Northwest Passage trip that doesn’t actually traverse the entire Northwest Passage but as far as Cambridge Bay. I hope they are faux transiting with an Ice Breaker Escort

Bryan A
Reply to  Bryan A
June 21, 2018 2:40 pm

If they don’t travel behind an Ice Breaker and get stuck in ice, there will be a new Catchphrase “Global Warming Truth…It’s Akademik”

Reply to  Bryan A
June 21, 2018 3:02 pm

Bryan ==> Their “cruise” is cruising around in Canada’s Northwest Passage Region.
comment image
The Google Pin marks their end point.

Bryan A
Reply to  Kip Hansen
June 21, 2018 5:18 pm

And their start point is on the southern side of the small island in the upper right corner. It starts east from there then turns south. They will travel west through a small passage south of Somerset Island then south to the southeastern corner of Victoria Island. Then they backtrack to your eventual end point. So it’s only a partial passage traverse and not the entire NW passage. Similar to the “Row to the Pole” stunts that never went to the pole.

Joel Snider
June 21, 2018 12:51 pm

I wonder if the education system is about anything but protest anymore.
Seriously, seems to me all they teach kids anymore is how to throw tantrums, stamp their feet, and hold their breath until they turn blue. A practical solution to any issue is utterly beyond them.

Greg in Houston
June 21, 2018 12:59 pm

Check out the Heising-Simons Foundation, one of the sponsors: They have nearly $500,000,000 in assets. One contribution last year from a trust in the amount of ~$35M. Director gets paid north of $300K.

flow in
Reply to  Greg in Houston
June 22, 2018 6:00 pm

linked to Clinton Foundation
“James Simons, a hedge fund magnate who spent $11m in support of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, amassed investment profits in the Lord Jim Trust, a vast private wealth fund set up on the Atlantic island in 1974.”

Ed Zuiderwijk
June 21, 2018 1:02 pm

Akademik ioffe? Shoukd that not be Akademik Ioffe Ioffe from the kingdom of Bumundi?

Mike the Morlock
June 21, 2018 1:04 pm

Hmmm, I wonder if it’s time for Dr Crockford to do a sequel to “Eaten”


Bryan A
Reply to  Mike the Morlock
June 21, 2018 2:41 pm

Ship of Fools to Antarctica and Ship of Tools to the Arctic

Howard dewhirst
June 21, 2018 1:24 pm

Weeping for the thinning ice when Shackleton saw it as a wonderful opportunity to boldly go…..

June 21, 2018 1:41 pm

Humm….let’s use ships and ice breakers to break up arctic ice to publicize how humans are causing arctic ice loss…

June 21, 2018 2:07 pm

Yes, the route chosen is to avoid getting frozen in.
Some friends are booked on the cruise from Coppermine to the East.
We will see how it goes.
But mainly these trips are to prove to the world that the polar regions are losing ice.
Bob Hoye

June 21, 2018 2:15 pm

Science and activists. Yuck. Is there a pool and water slide?

June 21, 2018 2:17 pm

So Climate Central is involved… maybe it’s time for WUWT to sponsor a cruise!0

Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  Wharfplank
June 21, 2018 7:57 pm

How about a conference in Bali?

Andrew Dickens
June 21, 2018 2:23 pm

Please tell me that Pen Hadow will be on board

David Chappell
Reply to  Andrew Dickens
June 21, 2018 8:00 pm

I think Ed Struzik is Canada’s Pen Hadow.

This gives a clue as to where he’s coming from:
” Ed Struzik … was a finalist for the Grantham Prize for Excellence in Reporting on the Environment.”

Reply to  David Chappell
June 22, 2018 10:01 pm

So this is one of those Orwellian titles, where “…Excellence…” and Truthfulness are mutually exclusive.

June 21, 2018 2:29 pm

“an opportunity to explore with them in real time a dramatically changing Arctic Ocean”
This implies that the arctic will change dramatically during the time of this cruise. Or maybe they will observe the Arctic going through dramatic change as it does every year and all the time. There is NO month, week, day where the vast expanse of ocean ice is not either expanding or contracting and although the max and min extent is less that 30 years ago the amount of water that freezes and then melts is still around 10,000,000 sq km.

June 21, 2018 2:29 pm

“Named Amelia (after aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart),”

Let’s hope the glider doesn’t disappear mysteriously.

Reply to  MarkW
June 21, 2018 3:45 pm

I don’t care what anybody says, I hope that for the sake of irony it does disapear.

Craig from Oz
Reply to  MarkW
June 21, 2018 7:52 pm

Not JUST a glider, an UNDERWATER glider.

Apart from the that Earhart disappeared at sea I fail to see the connection. After all, Amelia was sailing in one of those Airborne Submarines when she disappeared.

June 21, 2018 2:35 pm

Only the North-West Passage isn’t “fabled”!! An ordinary Canadian police schooner (RCMPV St. Roch) sailed from Vancouver to Halifax in 1942 and back next year. Many others did likewise. There was a warm period in the Arctic from 1917 to 1937 (Danish temperature data), similar to this present one.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  AndyE
June 21, 2018 4:09 pm

There’s the 1930’s/40’s again.

Reply to  AndyE
June 21, 2018 7:22 pm

That’s news to me. According to Wiki, they also transited the northern route, the real Northwest Passage. That little boat should be trotted out all the time.

Craig from Oz
Reply to  AndyE
June 21, 2018 7:55 pm

During WW2 the Germans attempted to run blockade runners across the top of Russia to trade with Japan.

No references to hand, sorry, and if memory serves they were not successfully, but I think the point is that the voyage was considered a viable one.

Reply to  Craig from Oz
June 22, 2018 2:08 am

Actually only one ship “Komet”, and it got through fairly easily in 1940, though with russian icebreaker assistance for two short stretches. And while it was called a blockade runner to the russians it was actually a camouflaged commerce raider.

Svend Ferdinandsen
June 21, 2018 2:38 pm

How would they see climate change from a single observation? Change can only be observed over some time.

Reply to  Svend Ferdinandsen
June 24, 2018 6:08 am

Svend Ferdinandsen : They will PROBABLY be going at the WARMEST
TIME OF THE YEAR and so they will see the GLACIERS CALVING and the
“moraines” at the foot of the glaciers and that will show them HOW FAR
the glaciers have “RETREATED” since……LIKE YESTERDAY……….
and they will all be mightily impressed and dazzled by it all !
SO IT IS ONLY TO CONFIRM the propaganda and indoctrination
What they SHOULD DO is stay at home and READ THE EXCELLENT BOOK :
“The Ice Master : The Doomed 1913 Voyage of the Karluk ” by Jennifer Niven .
Now THAT would give them SOME IDEA of what LIFE IN THE ARCTIC
on Wrangel Island is really like !

Gerald Machnee
June 21, 2018 2:38 pm

***an opportunity to explore with them in real time a dramatically changing Arctic Ocean,***
Somehow I have failed to see the “dramatically changing Arctic Ocean”. I was there 45 years ago and it still melts a bit in the summer and freezes in the fall. That narrative is full if misinformation and dreams. Tell me how a student going there for the first time will ‘experience” climate change. They will obediently repeat what they have been told. Probably why I would not be invited.

June 21, 2018 3:01 pm

Could we please have a definition of Climate Change. It cannot be measured in trip of this nature; so they must have some preconceived idea of what it is. Is it a Radiative forcing rate of say 1.6 Watts/sq.m as per the IPCC or is it just an assumed temperature rise? We just don’t know do we; but it is vital if any sense is to be made of their conclusions with respect to global influence.

Also I note that there is no mention of any note being taken of volcanic activity in the area. A vital constituent if again any sense is to made of Arctic ice volumes and melting characteristics.

I am fighting my sceptical prejudices here as I am sure some remarkable research will be carried out with due dedication; but fear that the publicity hype obvious in this article will manipulate the findings to reinforce the propaganda of the CAGW MEME.
I worry about how the honest scientists on this trip will be treated.

We shall see.

PS: I trust that ALL those on board appreciate that the trip could not be achieved without considerable use of fossil fuels.

Reply to  Alasdair
June 21, 2018 9:32 pm

If they really wanted to avoid hypocrisy (since they obviously have pre-concluded in a very unscientific way, that human activity is causing climate changes) they (meaning sponsors) would have sprung for a ship with a huge galley where a few dozen burly young men could row to get them to their destination and back! And they could even have a drummer to set the speed like in the movie Ben-Hur. All cooking, bathing/personal needs + powering the submersible, and scientific instruments and electronics could only be taken care of with wind and/or solar. Only then would they be a bit LESS hypocritical…..

June 21, 2018 3:04 pm

I do hope they’ll be more careful than the other lot!

June 21, 2018 3:07 pm

The ship they are using is interesting, about the length of a US football field with the end zones — a great size for this type of work. I served on a vessel just 50 feet longer when I was but a lad. Big enough to smooth out rough weather, but small enough to know everyone aboard and feel like you are a integral part of the crew. Out ship carried no passengers — everyone had to be a qualified Able Seaman at minimum — I served as a junior officer with bridge duties.

The students would learn a great deal more, and more important things, if they just made them qualify and serve as deck hands or snipes in the engine rooms.

Rick K
June 21, 2018 3:24 pm

Look, everyone! Dead ahead! Liquid water!


John Bell
June 21, 2018 3:30 pm

Any model projections of how much fossil fuel this voyage will use?

June 21, 2018 3:46 pm

Do we get to see them die after their cruise ship gets trapped in ice? Or do we get to pay for their rescue after their cruise ship gets trapped in ice? Yea, our money pissed away, yet again.

June 21, 2018 3:59 pm

One should not wish an iceberg on this enterprise, but the gods of schadenfreude require a sacrifice

June 21, 2018 4:10 pm

It’s amazing how little substance snowflakes actually exhibit.

Andy Pattullo
June 21, 2018 4:29 pm

I suppose this will all be done under sail, the ship’s diesel engines having been conscientiously and permanently decommission. The broadcast will be powered by solar electricity generated by panels made from recycled, unbleached, fair trade coconut husks, and the passengers and crew will subsist on vegan sea gruel scraped from the edges of sacred icebergs. And once they are firmly and irretrievable stuck fast in the ice they will all commit to donating their emaciated bodies to the care and feeding of our beloved but starving polar bear ambassadors of Mother Earth.

Jacob Frank
Reply to  Andy Pattullo
June 21, 2018 8:13 pm

Masterfully enunciated

Reply to  Andy Pattullo
June 21, 2018 9:36 pm

If they had a smaller ship, they could try rowing it…but of course that would leave even less meat for the poor polar bears!

Robert B
June 21, 2018 4:48 pm

Reminds me of the very important work we did at a conference in Crete. Or was it at Jupiters Casino at the Gold Coast Queensland one winter, I forget. So much important work needed to be done.

June 21, 2018 5:58 pm

It’s really too bad this kind of important cruising will all be over in a couple of years when fossil fuels are all banned. Do you think there will be any protesting/posting/moaning on board to hasten the end of fossil fuels?

Brooks Hurd
June 21, 2018 6:44 pm

With the stated purpose in print, I fail to see how social scientists contribute to the purpose of this cruise.

Reply to  Brooks Hurd
June 22, 2018 5:28 am

Well someone has to handle all the social media which will be brought to bear on this event. So it might as well be a social scientist or two or three or so.
Think of the Tweets!

Hermit Oldguy
Reply to  Brooks Hurd
June 22, 2018 2:55 pm

They’ll be able to study group-think.

Michael Carter
June 21, 2018 7:43 pm

In terms of sea ice extent and thickness they may be in for a disappointment. There is a cold sea surface anomaly up at that neck of the woods.

David Chappell
June 21, 2018 7:53 pm

Please, can anyone explain the meaning of “historically poignant platform” in context – or at all?

Reply to  David Chappell
June 22, 2018 5:39 am

The term ‘historically poignant platform’ is gobbledygook for ‘hogwash’. It just sounds more elegant than using ‘hogwash’.

June 22, 2018 12:21 am

The government is absolutely shameless. This is over the top waste of taxpayer money. What does it take for people to tell the gov’t to STOP spending more money?

June 22, 2018 1:52 am

It is ironic that the ship is actually Russian, belonging to the Russian Academy of Science which leases out a number of its research ships to expedition-tourism firms. They are known as “the Professor ships” in the trade because their names all begin with “Professor” or “Akademik”.

I’ve gone on a couple of cruises on them, and they are good, Finland-built, vessels with very professional crews. Extremely sea-worthy, though prone to rolling and pitching rather badly in high seas since they are fairly small and shallow draft (which is a good thing in constricted waters). However, they have very limited ice-breaking capability, so it is probably wise not to try to go through the North-West Passage, especially since melting is going rather slowly this year.

slow to follow
June 22, 2018 3:50 am

Thick Sea Ice Blocks LNG Exports From Russia’s Arctic Plant

by Reuters|Oleg Vukmanovic|Thursday, June 21, 2018

LONDON, June 21 (Reuters) – Thick sea ice is impeding Arctic shipments of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Russia’s newly-built export plant in Yamal, Russia’s state-run nuclear-powered tanker company Rosatomflot said.

Unseasonably severe ice conditions are also clogging routes to Asia through the Northern Sea Route (NSR), leading to the extension of the winter-spring navigation of Atomflot’s nuclear ice-breakers, it said.

The Novatek-operated LNG facility’s fleet of LNG ice-breaking tankers aim to deliver gas to Northeast Asia along the NSR in summertime when ice sheets thin.

In winter, LNG tankers take a westward route to Europe, where cargoes will be reloaded onto waiting tankers for onward transport to Asia.

However, ice has formed on the sea channel in Ob Bay – where Yamal LNG is located – which has “paralysed the independent movement of ships,” it said.

The company said it will extend deployment of its nuclear-powered ice-breakers in the Bay for at least the first 10 days of July and go about dislodging ships stuck in the ice.

Shipping data shows the Boris Vilkitsky tanker loaded LNG at Yamal on June 14 but remains in the area. The Christoph de Margerie LNG vessel has remained stationed north of Yamal for almost a week.

Reporting by Oleg Vukmanovic Editing by Alexandra Hudson

Reply to  slow to follow
June 23, 2018 10:43 am

I think that this is a clue as to why that sea ice is still in place, actually a clue for the Northern Hemisphere, imo.

comment image

June 22, 2018 4:08 am

“how climate change affects indigenous populations” Most climate change pronouncements have a monetary subtext — either funding, or required marxist re-distribution. Someone should study THAT!

James Bull
June 22, 2018 4:29 am

How much emergency backup have they got for when they get stuck or it all goes pear shaped in some other way, like they run out of ice for the martinis?

James Bull

June 22, 2018 6:03 am

Last winter, a newly-launched US Navy ship – an LCS – got stuck in the ice during its transit of the Seaway and had to winter over at Montreal. Those poor sailors were forced to put up with French cooking, for Pete’s sake!

Can you imagine the pain they must have experienced over coq au vin or crepes avec boeuf et champignons? And probably some of the less inferior table wines, too!

Even the US DOD’s water dogs couldn’t get them out of their predicament!

But not to worry! In the spring, when the Seaway finally melted, the Navy ship and its crew waved ‘Adieu’ to Montreal and transited the Seaway. I think they ended up at Groton – not sure. I felt so sorry for them.

These “students” aren’t checking things they should check, such as how much ice-free water there is available. So far, Hudson’s Bay is only open on its west side and that thumb on the south looks like it has cleared a little. But there is ice a-plenty in that entire area, and with the coolish air and weather we’re getting from Canada (Merci bien!), it’s my considered opinion that if this expedition does take place, they will get stuck and have to be rescued unless the captain of the ship puts his foot down and says “We leave NOW!”

I’m only bringing this up because when we get snowy owls and snowy gulls from the Arctic as we did last winter, which has not happened before, there is something going on up there and we should pay attention NOW.

Not paying attention can be fatal in a place like the Arctic. I have the distinct feeling that the only people on that Russian ship who will know what they’re doing are the captain and crew.

The rather blithe stuff coming out of those announcements means that the people planning this just assume that everything will fall in line they way they want it to happen. That is a huge mistake in judgment on their part.

Reply to  Sara
June 22, 2018 11:47 am

On a side note here, the rainstorm sitting on the Midwest like a broody hen has pulled so much chilly air out of Canada that I turned the furnace on this morning.

This is THE latest date I’ve had to run the heat past the end of winter.

And this is one reason I think this expedition will fall flat on its face in a most embarrassing way.

E. Martin
June 22, 2018 6:19 am

Looking forward to this — likely to be great entertainment!

E. Martin
June 22, 2018 6:20 am

Looking forward to this voyage – likely to be great entertainment.

Dr. Strangelove
June 22, 2018 7:16 am

The climax of the “educational” film is Leonardo DiCaprio sinking in the Arctic ocean while the polar bears cheer in the iceberg

comment image?itemid=5637913

Mumbles McGuirck
June 22, 2018 8:38 am

Where is a Tuunbaq when you need one?

Johann Wundersamer
June 22, 2018 10:23 am

“The project will also contribute to understanding of the maritime history of the Northwest Passage, the role of the Inuit people in Arctic history, the effects of climate change on indigenous populations, and the geopolitics of a waterway confronted with threats from resource extraction, increased shipping commerce, and pollution.”

BUT BUT BUT: why not study indigenous from the living room with


Reply to  Johann Wundersamer
June 22, 2018 11:49 am

Another obvious question: why ONLY the Inuit?

Rob Dawg
June 22, 2018 10:25 am

> The journey into the Passage will commence in August of 2018 departing from Resolute Bay then traveling south and west to Cambridge Bay via Bellot Strait. The expedition will return to Lancaster Sound and Pond Inlet before traveling down the east side of Baffin Island.

Notice that they don’t dare attempt an actual Northwest Passage.

June 22, 2018 12:19 pm

If they get stuck in the ice, can we leave them there until “Gore-bull warming” frees them up?!?

June 22, 2018 1:16 pm

At the moment ice-conditions in the Northwest Passage aren’t exactly encouraging:

flow in
June 22, 2018 5:50 pm

This is brilliant. I wonder how they’ll spin the results. Especially when they get stuck.
Also, Poor Amelia. She’ll get lost.

Dr. Strangelove
June 22, 2018 6:50 pm

To students out there. Don’t be fools!
Ship of fools or nobody’s fool?

June 23, 2018 5:32 am

Seldom does the opportunity for tragedy, irony and farce intersect so well.
But using children as pawns, whether to promote “climate change” or to lie about illegal immigration is one wsy to do just that.

June 24, 2018 5:22 pm

Seems like they have all the (funding) bases covered.
Now we’ll get one data point, which of course will need more to confirm the fact that we are …..fu

eddie willers
June 25, 2018 1:24 pm

This never turns out well.
Who will be sent to rescue them?

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