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Akademic shambles

The travails of the green climatologists on board the Akademik Shokalskiy have been providing us all with a lots of fun over the last few days. I've been a bit busy painting the office, so haven't been posting, but there's an excellent roundup over at WUWT.

With the latest rescue attempt having been postponed, prospects for the ship to escape the ice are not looking too good at present, although fortunately an air evacuation is available as a backup option. We will have to wait and see how things go. But in the meantime one can appreciate the sheer majesty of the propaganda failure that Prof Turney and his colleagues have achieved.

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Reader Comments (172)

As posted on unthreaded, it's well covered by Jo Nova and the BBC has the latest news.

Dec 30, 2013 at 8:51 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

'although fortunately an air evacuation is available as a backup option. We will have to wait and see how things go.'

Their god may have forsaken them, but the taxpayer provideth!

Dec 30, 2013 at 9:02 AM | Unregistered Commenterbullocky

The latest seems to be that a second attempt to free the Antarctic 74 (by Australian icebreaker Aurora Australis) has had to turn back. Now blizzards and high winds are making it difficult for helicopters...

Dec 30, 2013 at 9:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Cull

Here's a link to Jo Nova's post.

Dec 30, 2013 at 9:10 AM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier

Someone has written 'Green' on the stern deck of the Aurora Australis followed by a snow-angel (See web cam over at WUWT or the twit pic here

Investigations continue as to who the culprit/card is.

Dec 30, 2013 at 9:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterSwiss Bob

Re the air rescue option. It's a whiteout at the moment so no flying, they also have some hull damage that is 'currently' above the water line, the weather is getting worse.

Dec 30, 2013 at 9:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterSwiss Bob

It is not a propaganda failure. Everybody who reads the Guardian or watches the BBC knows that the heat from global warming is disappearing into the deep oceans. That leaves less heat at the surface and consequently the sea off the coast of Antarctica has frozen over, trapping the Akademik Shokalskiy in ice.

It all goes to prove that we are not doing nearly enough to combat global warming, doesn't it?

Dec 30, 2013 at 9:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

As always ABC and the BBC are giving us half truths. At least they cannot say that the increasing ice was forecast by the modellers.

Dec 30, 2013 at 9:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Stroud

Roy: There's something not quite right there, but I'm sure the "climate scientists" are working on it. As the heat disappears into the deep oceans and the ice expands, the albedo will increase and the positive feedback will mean the ice expands further as more of the heat trapped by carbon dioxide goes into the ocean. Eventually the deep ocean will become very warm but the earth will be completely covered in ice and the heat will be trapped for ever in the deep ocean. Still, it won't happen in our lifetime, so whilst the "climate scientists" are feverishly working on when the tipping point will be reached, I'll throw a few more logs on the fire.

Dec 30, 2013 at 9:58 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

"fortunately an air evacuation is available as a backup option"

The use of helcopters for rescue will only take place if the weather permits! The visibility and wind is not too good presently.

Dec 30, 2013 at 9:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterCharmingQuark

Rather than being portrayed as a serious scientific expedition with a documentary team, it is coming across as a cock up with funds that don't need accounting for. Will be interesting to see the BBC output covering the level of science taking place, I'll bet the irony is not even perceived by the crew present.

Dec 30, 2013 at 10:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

Swiss Bob

'Currently' above the water line.

Very good. Now I need a damp cloth for my screen.

Dec 30, 2013 at 10:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Reed

fortunately an air evacuation is available as a backup option

Does that merit a #greensgobyair hashtag?

Dec 30, 2013 at 10:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

With three rescue ships (Snow Dragon, Xue Long and Aurora Australis) and possible helicopter rescue in the future, I wonder what the total carbon footprint of this expedition will be?

Dec 30, 2013 at 10:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

The Schadenfreude is quite delicious isn't it?

Interesting that the BBC posted today's news article about the failed THIRD rescue attempt under 'Asia' rather than its usual 'Alamism' category.

They did exactly the same with the Glaciergate 2035 admission if I'm not mistaken. Funny that..

Dec 30, 2013 at 10:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterFarleyR

I note the Gruniada readers believe the extra sea ice is a result of melting ice from the land.

Dec 30, 2013 at 10:25 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

1. Rumour has it that BBC funds (i.e. UK public money) were used in the finance of this entirely grandstanding expedition. Why? Who decided? Who can we complain to? A job for our gallant unlocker of the BBC secrets? - Omnologos

2. I thought nothing could be funnier this year than the hapless North West passage rowers (remember them?). I was wrong.

3. We need a name for this almighty cockup. Icegate? Antarcticgate? Whaticeohff*ckgate? Penguingate?

Dec 30, 2013 at 10:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

Alan Reed,

Have you seen the Guardian journos have created a media hub on deck:

All I could think of was 'deck-chair arranging' and when the band would start to play.

Dec 30, 2013 at 10:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterSwiss Bob

Will be interesting to see how much the BBC has to pay for all this. FOI request in a few months anyone?

Dec 30, 2013 at 10:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Schofield

Re media hub:

So far out of touch with reality (or proper observations of the local sea conditions) that they don't even realise that we're laughing at them

And once the awe that 'climate scientists' were once held in turns to ridicule, it can never be recaptured. Downhill all the way!

Dec 30, 2013 at 10:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

The Auroro Australis is looking pretty close to land and has moved 22 mins east - even nearer land in the last few hours

Dec 30, 2013 at 10:50 AM | Unregistered Commenterglyn

Having yesterday watched again the Top Gear drive to the north pole, it is obvious that Jeremy Clarkson should ride to the rescue at the head of a fleet of gas-guzzling 4x4s.

Dec 30, 2013 at 11:03 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

I have always wondered, after the war, where Saddam's Information(Propaganda) Minister was?

"They're not even [within] 100 miles [of Baghdad]. They are not in any place. They hold no place in Iraq. This is an illusion ... they are trying to sell to the others an illusion."

Dec 30, 2013 at 11:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterJon


Dec 30, 2013 at 11:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterJon

Phillip Bratby
One would hope that they would refuse to be rescued by anyone in a 4x4 but I doubt their moral sensibilities stretch quite that far.

Terry S
Carbon footprint? Tsk. So 1990s.

Dec 30, 2013 at 11:10 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Swiss Bob

Would you give a us longer link, please. I can't find it on the short one and I don't want to miss it...

Oh my ribs.

Dec 30, 2013 at 11:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Reed

We're having a laugh in Aus:

And at the Greenpeace vegetarian:

Dec 30, 2013 at 11:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterDocBud

"Given the recent reorganisation of the ice around the Mertz glacier, glaciologists aboard the Shokalskiy think the ship might have become inadvertently caught in the formation of a new area of fast ice, which could stay in place for several years."

Can't wait for the BBC series.

Dec 30, 2013 at 11:28 AM | Registered Commentermatthu


It's on my Twitter account:

Dec 30, 2013 at 11:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterSwiss Bob

A frozen summer spent in the Antarctic. Provisioned via by the taxpayers of the UK enabled by the green advocates pervading the BBC is certainly not funny but expecting only loose sea ice - the capricious Austral weather had other ideas and if they had done a smidgen of research, this should not have come as too much of a surprise seeing as the sea ice in Antarctica has been reaching record [albeit only on last 34 years] expanses in the last few years.

But they went anyway and proving that there has been little planning, not much thought and still less application given to real world observation - that's just what they do - eco-warriors: rely on religion rather than science.

Thus, the ship got stuck in the ice - that sweet and delicious irony.

Heavens, side splitting and exquisite is the pain of laughter.

Dec 30, 2013 at 11:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

I can't help thinking Josh will have a field day with this one (once he's over the Christmas break).

Dec 30, 2013 at 11:32 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

A thing of karma-esque beauty, this.

If we accept the principle of giving credit where it's due then how about honouring the expedition leader with a moniker that may stick with him throughout his career? Turneygate.

Dec 30, 2013 at 11:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterCheshirered

Ironic news and a great laugh.

Meanwhile a Greenpeace activist arrested by the Russians for trying to stop Arctic drilling has been released. In an interview with the BBC he claimed that all Greenpeace wanted was to discuss the problems. NO they don't they want to dictate how we all live.
The Russians should have kept him in clink.

Dec 30, 2013 at 11:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Marshall

Swiss Bob. Good find that photo of the "journos" on the stern.

It also looks like one of them does have a slight determination to save the planet from nasty carbon. The tripod in the left of shot looks like it is made from carbon fibre. Might be a Manfrotto.


Dec 30, 2013 at 11:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterPM Walsh

glyn Dec 30, 2013 at 10:50 AM

Thanks for the link, maybe they are trying to sneak up on them?

Note both vessels reporting water temp at -1.5c, not really cold enough for sea ice to form but sure not conducive to melting.

The saga continues

Dec 30, 2013 at 11:55 AM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

I know this is an ungenerous comment, but I can't resist : Does anyone know if the conditions on board are sufficiently serious that these lunatics have begun soiling themselves from fear?

Dec 30, 2013 at 12:02 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn in cheshire

My heart goes out to the vegetarians on board.

Dec 30, 2013 at 12:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Reed

It is interesting to note that comment threads here and at WUWT usually attract a small number of alarmist believers to give a contrary view. To my knowledge, not one of these folk have shown up on the threads about this story.

Dec 30, 2013 at 12:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterStonyground

There are some amusing comments on this Guardian story. For example "siff" suggests that our intrepid explorers should:

Abandon ship, walk to Elephant Island carrying a small boat. Cross to South Georgia. Walk across South Georgia in 48 hours. Easy.
But two key problems have been identified:
Can you get a decent latte on Elephant Island?
What about iPhone/iPad/MacBook charging points?

Dec 30, 2013 at 12:11 PM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier

One trusts the Beeb manager(s) carried out a fully-documented, mandated, Risk Assessment before allowing their employee to be put in a position of danger?

Dec 30, 2013 at 12:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

GCMs have rightly not included Gore Effect Forcings since they seemed to require him to be present, and could therefore be dismissed as local weather events of little interest on the global scale. But in recent years, selfless publicity seekers in both the Arctic and the Antarctic have raised the possibility that a sufficient concentration of true believers moving sufficiently slowly can have at least a regional effect. Given the ongoing efforts to spread the faith, perhaps the modellers might overcome their understandable distaste for negative feedbacks, and start adding the GE to their list of forcing factors?

Dec 30, 2013 at 12:19 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

Beggars belief...again!! 12/13/2013 or 13/12/2013

Antarctic ice coverage proved to be too much for “Australia’s Antarctic Flagship.”

After three freezing weeks stuck in pack ice off the Antarctic coast, an Australian icebreaker ship was finally able to return home in early December.

The supply ship Aurora Australis departed from the Davis Research Center on the Antarctic Coast on November 12th......

Dec 30, 2013 at 12:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterEx-expat Colin

FarleyR said:

The Schadenfreude is quite delicious isn't it?

Interesting that the BBC posted today's news article about the failed THIRD rescue attempt under 'Asia' rather than its usual 'Alamism' category.

Since when has Antarctica been part of Asia? Does the BBC think that Antarctica was originally discovered by Marco Polo riding on a bactrian camel?

Dec 30, 2013 at 12:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

I know its stating the bleedin' obvious - but just suppose Mawson had been stuck in sea ice, and this band of losers had got through due to lack of sea ice.
I know - this was what was supposed to happen - and then out would have come the 'Climate Change' big guns....
Isn't it a bugger when facts don't fit the theory..?

The next scenario of course, will be the 'welcome home ice heroes' at Heathrow, much like the Greenp*ss criminals...

Dec 30, 2013 at 12:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterSherlock1

Look you evil denier idiots ! It´s called CLIMATE DISRUPTION now
- Is the current climate the same as our models predict ?
No, our models predict less ice ..SEE climate is being disrupted.

A few weeks back on Radio 4 Adam Rutherford questioned some idiot about increasing ice .. (Alex Cull Transcript)

"AR - The fact that it's expanding, that - that sounds counter-intuitive, when we talk about the polar ice caps melting, as a result of global warming.
- Chris Turney: Yeah, well, it's a fascinating thing, isn't it, really. Ultimately, global warming covers a vast array of different responses by our planet.
"AR immediately challenged - Well come on, could it be something to do with the temperature not increasing ???
..No of course he didn´t AR - "Give me an idea of what wildlife you can see"

..that idiot turns out to be Chris Turney who is the brains behind the the Akademik Shokalskiy trip
I note he was also on the prog 2 weeks earlier link, but it was just hyping up the adventure for 8 minutes "we are replicating his trip : route, research etc. "
Chris Turney @ProfChrisTurney ..1 hour ago
Bad news: Aurora couldn't get through. Tried twice. Low visibility & heavy ice. Returning to open water. Try again tomorrow? #spiritofmawson

- Good coverage from Andrew Bolt
- 24 year hiatus - No Antarctic Warming since 1979 By Paul Homewood

- funny how on the BBC Bob Carter who writes on Climate Change all the time is just a Geologist ..and yet Chris Turney who is also a geologist is billed as Climate Scientist head of Centre Climate Change Research Centre

Dec 30, 2013 at 12:50 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Re: John Marshall,

In an interview with the BBC he claimed that all Greenpeace...

Did the BBC mention that the activist represented the for profit company Greenpeace UK Ltd and not the charity Greenpeace Environmental Trust? I hope they did because most of their viewers would assume he was representing the charity.

Dec 30, 2013 at 12:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

3. We need a name for this almighty cockup. Icegate? Antarcticgate? Whaticeohff*ckgate? Penguingate?

Dec 30, 2013 at 10:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

I like "Ship of Climate Fools".

It sounds as if morale on board is wilting a bit - the Guardian media guy is missing his girlfriend and his back hurts from his uncomfortable bed - oh - and he's banged his leg on the door. He wants to go home now.

Through the howling of the gale and blizzard - you can faintly hear the guffaws from the ghosts of of Scott, Oates, Wilson & Bowers.

Dec 30, 2013 at 12:53 PM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose

Sounds like they actually believed what the climate models told them to expect. Ouch. Whatever side of the debate let’s hope no serious harm comes to anyone.

Dec 30, 2013 at 12:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterJaceF

@Sherlock1 ..SteveSGoddard tweeted yesterday

* In science: data is analyzed, then conclusions are reached
* In climate science: conclusions are reached, then data is ignored or altered

Dec 30, 2013 at 12:59 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

They are now 'explorers', you see, nothing like failed climate doomsday scientists at all:

A statement from the Australasian Antarctic Expedition:
We're stuck in our own experiment. We came to Antarctica to study how one of the biggest icebergs in the world has altered the system by trapping ice. We followed Sir Douglas Mawson's footsteps into Commonwealth Bay, and are now ourselves trapped by ice surrounding our ship.
Sea ice is disappearing due to climate change, but here ice is building up. We have found this has changed the system on many levels. The increase in sea ice has freshened the seawater below, so much so that you can almost drink it. This change will have impacts on the deep ocean circulation.
Underwater, forests of algae are dying as sea-ice blocks the light. Who can say what effects the regional circulation changes may have on the ice sheet of the Antarctic plateau, or whether the low number of seals suggests changes to their population."

As WUWT says, "you can't make this stuff up". But, wait, they DO make this stuff up!

Dec 30, 2013 at 1:05 PM | Unregistered CommentersHx

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