Posts Tagged ‘Antarctic ice’

Reading University shows Antarctic ice increased over last 3 decades and is largely unchanged over 100 years

November 24, 2016

You cannot have “global” warming which applies differently to different parts of the globe. If man-made CO2 is having any significant effect on “global” temperature it must be an effect that is visible in both the Arctic and the Antarctic. Even if all the Arctic ice melts but the Antarctic ice does not then “global” warming is clearly not “global”.

A new study by Reading University shows that Antarctic ice is largely unchanged over 100 years and increasing over the last 3 decades. The man-made “global” warming theory is just not possible with these results.

Research article
21 Nov 2016

Estimating the extent of Antarctic summer sea ice during the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration

Tom Edinburgh1,a and Jonathan J. Day11Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, Reading, UK
acurrently at: Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK

Abstract. In stark contrast to the sharp decline in Arctic sea ice, there has been a steady increase in ice extent around Antarctica during the last three decades, especially in the Weddell and Ross seas. In general, climate models do not to capture this trend and a lack of information about sea ice coverage in the pre-satellite period limits our ability to quantify the sensitivity of sea ice to climate change and robustly validate climate models. However, evidence of the presence and nature of sea ice was often recorded during early Antarctic exploration, though these sources have not previously been explored or exploited until now. We have analysed observations of the summer sea ice edge from the ship logbooks of explorers such as Robert Falcon Scott, Ernest Shackleton and their contemporaries during the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration(1897–1917), and in this study we compare these to satellite observations from the period 1989–2014, offering insight into the ice conditions of this period, from direct observations, for the first time. This comparison shows that the summer sea ice edge was between 1.0 and 1.7° further north in the Weddell Sea during this period but that ice conditions were surprisingly comparable to the present day in other sectors.

Citation: Edinburgh, T. and Day, J. J.: Estimating the extent of Antarctic summer sea ice during the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration, The Cryosphere, 10, 2721-2730, doi:10.5194/tc-10-2721-2016, 2016.

Ice observations recorded in the ships’ logbooks of explorers such as the British Captain Robert Scott and Ernest Shackleton and the German Erich von Drygalski have been used to compare where the Antarctic ice edge was during the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration (1897-1917) and where satellites show it is today.

The study, published in the European Geosciences Union journal The Cryosphere, suggests Antarctic sea ice is much less sensitive to the effects of climate change than that of the Arctic, which in stark contrast has experienced a dramatic decline during the 20th century. ……

……. Jonathan Day, who led the study, said: “The missions of Scott and Shackleton are remembered in history as heroic failures, yet the data collected by these and other explorers could profoundly change the way we view the ebb and flow of Antarctic sea ice.

“We know that sea ice in the Antarctic has increased slightly over the past 30 years, since satellite observations began. Scientists have been grappling to understand this trend in the context of global warming, but these new findings suggest it may not be anything new.

“If ice levels were as low a century ago as estimated in this research, then a similar increase may have occurred between then and the middle of the century, when previous studies suggest ice levels were far higher.”

The new study published in The Cryosphere is the first to shed light on sea ice extent in the period prior to the 1930s, and suggests the levels in the early 1900s were in fact similar to today, at between 5.3 and 7.4 million square kilometres. Although one region, the Weddell Sea, did have a significantly larger ice cover.

Published estimates suggest Antarctic sea ice extent was significantly higher during the 1950s, before a steep decline returned it to around 6 million square kilometres in recent decades.

The research suggests that the climate of Antarctica may have fluctuated significantly throughout the 20th century, swinging between decades of high ice cover and decades of low ice cover, rather than enduring a steady downward trend.


Updates on the Antarctic global warming pilgrimage

January 1, 2014

Chris Turney and his warmists thought the globe was sweltering,
To the Antarctic they sailed to prove that the poles were melting,
But to their great surprise,
They got stuck in the ice,
But they had a festive time on board and got on with their drinking.

UPDATE 2: A Chinese helicopter arrived close to the vessel, bringing in a crew to assess the landing situation. The aircraft is expected to return within the hour to begin ferrying the first passengers out to another vessel.

The Chinese helicopter has arrived @ the Shokalskiy. It’s 100% we’re off! A huge thanks to all. …

Update 1: Thursday, 2nd January

The Guardian: The latest rescue mission for scientists, tourists and journalists on a ship trapped in ice off Antarctica has again been postponed.

two-stage rescue had been planned for Thursday with a helicopter rescuing 52 of the passengers on Akademik Shokalskiy and taking them to the Chinese ship Xue Long before transferring them to another ship, Aurora Australis, on a barge in a 36-hour window of decent weather.

However, sea ice has prevented the barge from the Aurora Australis, where the passengers would ultimately be transferred, being able to get close to Xue Long.

The helicopter component of the rescue was to consist of seven 45-minute round trips to collect 12 passengers at a time and then their equipment and luggage.

AMSA Release: The Australian Maritime Safety Authority’s (AMSA) Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC Australia) has been advised this morning that sea ice conditions in the area are likely to delay today’s planned rescue of passengers from the MV Akademik Shokalskiy. AMSA understands that current sea ice conditions prevent the barge from Aurora Australis from reaching the Chinese vessel Xue Long (Snow Dragon) and a rescue may not be possible today. 

The Xue Long’s helicopter is unable to land on the Aurora Australis due to load rating restrictions. It is not safe to land the helicopter next to Aurora Australis at this time. The preferred and safest option at this stage is to ultimately transfer the passengers onto Aurora Australis. …. 


These “climate scientists” and hangers-on set out to demonstrate that the poles were melting.

Instead they have been stuck in the Antarctic ice for eight days now. Today the helicopter rescue of the climate scientists and their tame journalists who want to abandon ship was aborted because of bad weather. Their denials that the purpose was to demonstrate global warming sound very hollow:

It is also a bit rich now for expedition organisers to say they did not have climate change in mind when the trip was conceived. Promotional material says the expedition’s aim was to “discover and communicate the changes taking place in this remote and pristine environment”.

Outlining the science case, the expedition says: “Three years’ worth of observations gleaned by Mawson and his men provide a unique dataset against which we can compare the changes seen today. “Policy documents highlight numerous science questions that need to be urgently addressed across the region. And yet, despite of a century of research, major questions remain about whether the changes seen today are exceptional.”

The expedition notes say the East Antarctic Ice Sheet contains enough fresh water to raise the world’s sea level by about 52m.

The US icebreaker Polar Star (which can plow through ice 6m thick) could reach the trapped ship in about 8 days but as Anthony Watts points out the forecast winds could allow the ship to get free also in about 8 days.

As Real Science puts it

Only A Complete Moron Would Attempt To Take A Ship To The Coast Of Antarctica Under These Conditions.

They do not seem to be in any immediate danger – these scientists on their Ship of Fools.They seem to have celebrated Christmas and the New Year with great gusto and spirit! And their alcohol consumption is – of course – only to keep the cold out.

Spirit of Mawson is dead as Turney and his Antarctic tourists prepare to abandon ship

December 31, 2013

UPDATE! The BBC reports that the Chinese icebreaker Xue Long may itself be stuck in the ice!!


The Spirit of Mawson dies as Antarctic pilgrims/tourists and their great leader – but not the crew – are to be rescued by helicopter

The spirit of Sir Douglas Mawson is well and truly dead.  They have “fresh” supplies for at least two weeks and are well enough stocked to last through the entire summer. But the global warming pilgrims, the tourists, other diverse hangers-on and their tour guide have chickened out as they wait to be removed from the Akademik Shokalskiy by helicopter.

But not the crew.

If Turney is the leader shouldn’t he be the last one to leave the ice?

Chris Turney, the tour guide, describes himself as “Scientist, Explorer and Writer”. Why not “Hero”?

“Idiot” and “Charlatan” also come to mind. 

The Spirit of Mawson: 2013-2014 marks the centenary of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition led by the great scientist and explorer Sir Douglas Mawson. In a celebration of this remarkable endeavour, the new Australasian Antarctic Expedition (or AAE for short) will follow the route of its namesake, melding science and adventure, to discover and communicate the changes that have taken place in this remote environment over the last hundred years.

Led by Professor Chris Turney and Dr Chris Fogwill, from the University of New South Wales, Sydney, the 2013-2014 expedition will attempt to revisit the site of the original AAE huts at Cape Denison, Antarctica, the enigmatically named ‘Home of the Blizzard’.

But the Spirit of Mawson is not much in evidence here as Turney and his holiday makers plan to scuttle off the trapped ship leaving all the crew behind.

SMHOn Tuesday morning, Chris Turney, who is leading the expedition, said the 52 passengers on board the Akademik Shokalskiy would be flown out by helicopter after it stopped raining. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority said all 22 crew members are expected to remain on board.

Authorities decided to resort to the helicopter evacuation after the Aurora Australis rescue ice-breaker was forced to retreat in the face of freezing 30 knot winds and snow showers 10 nautical miles from the Shokalskiy. Thick ice had earlier prevented the Chinese ice-breaker Xue Long and a French ice-breaker from reaching the stranded crew.

“Aurora can’t make it through. Looks like we’re going to be helicoptered out. Just need a clear weather window. Raining!,” Professor Turney posted just before noon (AEDT) on Tuesday.

Australian icebreaker abandons first attempt to reach the global warming pilgrims

December 30, 2013

This was a pilgrimage to the gods of global warming and led by a high priest of the Order of the Melting Poles. But they forgot to placate Uller and seem to have angered the ice-gods.

Ull, sometimes called Uller, ….  was the god of ice and snow, as well as hunters and archery. His following seems to have been overshadowed only by Thor and Odin, as all he had to offer his followers was blizzards and cold. Still, the Norse lived in a subarctic climate, so they tried to placate him instead of follow him. 

The Australian icebreaker Aurora Australis has abandoned its first attempt to reach the tourists on the Akademik Shokalskiy. The 2m+ ice was too thick and threatened to close in behind them and they had to turn back towards open water. The Chinese icebreaker Xue Long was also retreating to open water.

A French icebreaker abandoned its rescue mission on Saturday when it became clear that the ship wouldn’t get any closer than the Chinese boat had. The two remaining icebreakers with one helicopter between them have now to devise a strategy to rescue these irresponsible tourists/pilgrims/idiots led by Chris Turney. The cost according to the SMH is likey to be in the “multi-millions” and according to the Law of the Sea ought to be charged to the operators of this “pleasure” cruise.


But Turney needs to bear his share. As do the BBC, the Guardian and other media tourists. There is a case to be made for a certain amount of pillorying – maybe by reintroducing the stocks just for Chris Turney. The cover-story of this being a privately funded “scientific expedition” is a travesty. Douglas Mawson must be spinning in his grave at these tourists invoking his name and comparing their luxury cruise with his battles for survival.

From the SMH:

  • The Aurora Australis has abandoned its first attempt to cut through the ice surrounding the stranded Akademik Shokalskiy in Antarctica after moving just two nautical miles. 
  • About 6am, the Aurora’s captain, Murray Doyle, began to manoeuvre the icebreaker through thick wedges of consolidated sea ice. But by 9am [midday Sydney time], the master made the call to turn the ship around and move back into open water. “The ice became too thick for us to penetrate. Some of the floes are up to two metres of ice with a metre of snow on top and very compact. There was just nowhere for us to go.” 
  • Captain Doyle also feared that the 55-kilometre south-easterly wind running up the ship’s stern would blow ice in and around the back of the vessel. “It was pushing those same types of floes in behind us,” he said. “If we got into that compact stuff it would have sealed us in, we would have lost our manoeuvreability and we wouldn’t have been much use to anybody. 
  • A low-hanging fog also hampered rescue efforts. “We had no visibility so we couldn’t really see if there was a way through.” 
  • Captain Doyle had informed the Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Canberra of the situation. 
  • The passengers on the stranded Shokalskiy would likely be evacuated to the Aurora or Chinese icebreaker the Xue Long, which was also in the area. 
  • “It’s now up to us three ships [the Shokalskiy, the Aurora and the Xue Long] to agree on a [rescue] strategy,” Captain Doyle said. While the Xue Long had a helicopter onboard, it was too heavy for the Aurora’s helideck. “We also can’t use the helicopter at the moment because there is no visibility,” he said. “The helicopter wouldn’t be able to differentiate the horizon from the ice.” 
  • The captain planned to wait until the weather cleared before deciding whether to cut another path through the ice. The icebreak was designed to cut through ice floes of about 1.35 metres, not the thick ice built up in Watt Bay, some of which has grown over several years. “It wasn’t all multi-year ice, there was some first-year ice, which can be thick, especially if it’s old first-year ice,” he said. 
  • The Xue Long, which has been waiting near the Mertz Glacier since Boxing Day, was also making its way back to open water. “They’re trying to make it back into open water so they’re not trapped as well,” Captain Doyle said.

That this is no scientific expedition becomes obvious  from the Guardian report that Janet Rice, the Green party senator-elect for Victoria, Australia, who has been on board the ship since it left New Zealand, said: “I understand why people might be concerned, but the feeling today on board the ship is like a summer holiday when the weather is bad, when you’re stuck inside reading books and playing Scrabble. We’ve been assured that we’re in no danger and it’s just a matter of waiting.”

I wonder if the Green party is covering her costs?

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