Global Warming Stuck At Sea
Nature has served up a lesson to publicity seeking, self important scientists during the past month. It seems that a clutch of global warming true believers chartered a ship to go visit Antarctica, in an effort to show that the southernmost continent is being ravaged by human caused climate change. This shipboard comedy of errors backfired on the warmists when their ship got stuck fast in the ice, kilometers from a bay they hoped to find ice free. Moreover, at least one other ship sent to rescue the hapless climatological tourists got stuck as well. All of this in the middle of the Antarctic summer. Will they never learn that making unfounded claims in an attempt to “prove” anthropogenic global warming inevitably fails? It would all be laughable if this floating farce wasn't going to cost the taxpayers of Australia, the US and other countries several million dollars to rescue the fools.
The Russian-owned research ship Akademik Shokalskiy left New Zealand on November 28th to commemorate the 100th anniversary of an Antarctic journey led by Australian explorer Douglas Mawson. This less successful voyage was organized by Aussie global warming agitator Chris Turney, Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow and Professor of Climate Change at the University of University of New South Wales. The expedition’s goal was to reach Commonwealth Bay and the historic base established by scientist and explorer Douglas Mawson a century ago. Instead of snapping pictures of themselves on the shore of an ice-less bay—great propaganda for those claiming the ice at both poles is rapidly melting—their ship became trapped on Christmas Eve, 100 nautical miles east of French Antarctic station Dumont d'Urville and about 1,500 nautical miles south of Tasmania.
Not to be deterred from their Earth saving environmental quest, the icebound passengers amused themselves with movies, classes in knot tying, and yoga. Reportedly, they rang in the New Year with dinner, drinks and a song composed in situ celebrating their misadventure (you can't make this stuff up).
After the knot lessons we'll all sing Kumbayah.
Both China and Australia dispatched icebreakers in an attempt to free the captive vessel, but the ice proved too thick. In the end, the Chinese ship, the Xue Long, or Snow Dragon, used a helicopter to ferry 52 of the hapless environmental tourists to the Australian ship Aurora Australis.
Following the aerial rescue, the Chinese vessel itself got stuck in the ice, according to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority. For some idea of what they were dealing with, the ice was reportedly more than three meters (10 ft.) thick. So, with two vessels stuck in the summer ice, a cry for help went out, summoning a more capable icebreaker..
The call was answered by the newly refurbished Polar Star, operated by the American Coast Guard. Capable of traveling at speeds of 18 knots (21 mph), the Polar Star can continuously break through 6 feet of ice while traveling 3 knots. With its reinforced hull and special bow, the Polar Star can bust through as much as 21 feet of ice at a time. A statement from the US Coast Guard stated that the ship is responding to a request for assistance from Australian authorities as well as from the Russian and Chinese governments.
The American taxpayer to the rescue.
“The U.S. Coast Guard stands ready to respond to Australia's request,” Coast Guard Pacific Area Commander Vice Admiral Paul Zukunft said. “Our highest priority is safety of life at sea, which is why we are assisting in breaking a navigational path for both of these vessels.”
Perhaps recognizing what a PR catastrophe the voyage had become, Chris Turney quickly attempted some Nature news website. Offering up a weak apalogia, his article “This was no Antarctic pleasure cruise,” claimed that getting stuck could happen to any expedition and that they accomplished a lot of important science stuff. “That is the reality of polar science,” he opined: “It is difficult. Almost every season, ships get caught in sea ice, teams lose communications and planes are sometimes tragically lost.”
In reality, they were hoping to find the Bay free of ice as it was when photographed by an expedition more than 100 years ago. The important thing to note here is that the bay has been ice-less in years prior to the onset of anthropogenic global warming and this year, when human CO2 has supposedly laid waste to the sea ice, the opposite is true. Indeed, as the chart below shows, Antarctic sea ice is running far above recent average levels.
A good year for Antarctic sea ice.
What does this prove? Not a damned thing. Though it is hard to believe that we are not suffering from global cooling during one of the coldest winters to hit the Norther Hemisphere in decades, short-term weather does not make a good predictor of long-term climate change. This is just as true when warmist blatherskites prattle on about ecological doom when we have a hot summer. The 16 year pause in global temperature rise however, that should have the warmists checking their wonky calculations and making excuses, just as they are.
Be safe, enjoy the interglacial and stay skeptical.