Saturday, December 28, 2013

UPDATED: Still stuck in the ice

A research ship with New Zealanders aboard is still stuck in ice in Antarctica; the Herald reports:

The Akademik Shokalskiy is trapped in pack ice 3,000km southwest of Bluff.
A Chinese icebreaker responding to a stranded research ship with six Kiwis on board has been blocked by heavy Antarctic sea ice.
The Xue Long was expected to reach the MV Akademik Shokalskiy, which is trapped in heavy ice about 3000km southwest of New Zealand, late last night.
But the Australian Maritime Safety Authority's rescue co-ordination centre (RCC), which is overseeing the rescue, said on Twitter this morning that the Chinese icebreaker had also encountered heavy ice.
"She cannot continue to MV Akademik Shokalskiy. RCC Australia is considering all available options.''
The Xue Long was reportedly 6.5 nautical miles from the stranded Russian-flagged ship.
The authority said the Australian Antarctic Division vessel Aurora Australis, one of three ships responding to the stranded ship, was still continuing to the area.

The MV Akademik Shokalskiy left Bluff on December 8 on an expedition led by scientists from the University of New South Wales.
It became trapped in heavy sea ice, with 74 scientists and crew on board, on Christmas morning.
Among the stranded passengers are six New Zealanders - ornithologist Kerry-Jayne Wilson, University of Auckland doctoral student Colin Tan, historians John and Barbara Tucker, and two chefs.
Dr Wilson said on Thursday that everyone on the ship was safe and in absolutely no danger.

But what we find both interesting and amusing is that this expedition is led by a self-professed climate change expert. Professor Chris Turney's website reads thus:

I am an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow and Professor of Climate Change at the University of University of New South Wales where my team and I are focussing our efforts on using the past to better understand the changes we are seeing today. To do something positive about climate change, I helped set up a carbon refining company called Carbonscape which has developed technology to fix carbon from the atmosphere and make a host of green bi-products, helping reduce greenhouse gas levels.

We wonder what Prof. Turney is going to make of "the changes we are seeing today" in Antarctica. Will he, as he looks out on the ice that has trapped his ship where they thought there was no ice, renounce his views on polar ice melt? Will he publish a research paper admitting that his views on climate change might have changed as a result of this week's experience?

Oh, the irony of it all.

UPDATE: The Herald is now reporting a setback:

The rescue of a ship trapped by pack ice in Antarctica with 74 people on board, including six Kiwis, has suffered another setback.
Chinese icebreaker Xue Long, or Snow Dragon, was on its way to the MV Akademik Shokalskiy, but abandoned the rescue after itself striking heavy ice.
Australian Maritime Safety Authority spokeswoman Andrea Hayward-Maher said the Snow Dragon came within 6.1 nautical miles of the stranded ship early this morning before its master decided to turn back.

Goodness! That melting Antarctic ice has a lot to answer for!


Morgan said...

This is akin to saying, "It rained on Boxing Day, therefore summer didn't happen this year." Or "The All Blacks lose a game once in a while, therefore they're aren't a good team."

Climate is a trend. You can't say this incident discredits man-made climate change anymore than zealots from the other side can say a particular storm is proof of it.

Keeping Stock said...

Morgan - there's no argument that our climate is changing, as it has throughout civilisation. Man-made? Hmmm: for me, the jury is out on that.

But lighten up a little good sir; don't you find it ironic that a scientific expedition to Antarctica looking to prove the effects of AGW is currently stuck fast in ice they thought had melted? I think it's an absolute hoot!

lovinthatchangefeeling said...

KS did you not know that expanding sea ice in summer is proof of global warming! :-)

Meanwhile "Despite evidence that earth has not warmed for 15 years" the U.N. calls a summit on global warming

lovinthatchangefeeling said...

Twitter post from UK Greens ‏@UKGreens

'Prayers to Gaia go out to the heroes who are trapped in #Antarctic ice. We’ve always said that #globalwarming will cause more ice at poles.'

To be filed under HUMOUR category

lovinthatchangefeeling said...

A request has been made to Prof Turney:

"How much fossil fuel per hour does it take to push a 10,000 ton icebreaker through 10 feet of ice?"

He hasn't replied and they are still stuck.

Meanwhile only those on the lunatic fringe (gweens?) would say that the amazing run up of Southern Hemisphere Sea Ice is because of "Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming"

Grant M. McKenna said...

I guess that the Antartic Ice is so thick that it doesn't understand what global warming is.

Keeping Stock said...

That's probably the definitive word on this subject Grant!

jabba said...

Some Muppet wrote in the Wanganui Chronicle that the climate change deniers (right wingers) are sending members out with a ploy to attack him and his fellow believers by calling them hypocrites.. Poor lad.
He then threatened anyone who challenged him with having their views published in the paper.

lovinthatchangefeeling said...

UPDATE: Saving the Antarctic scientists, er media, er, activists, er tourists trapped by sea ice

Keeping Stock said...

Cheers for the link LTCF