Chinese helicopter rescues passenger of Antarctic ship
© AP/Zhang Jiansong
A Chinese helicopter rescues passengers from the ship Shokalsky on the 2nd of January.
Le Monde here has an article which in large part re-iterates what NYT journalist Andrew Revkin wrote 3 days ago. The selfish, adolescent follies of the Turney expedition are seriously disrupting the supply of serious scientific operations in the Antarctic. A number of scientists worldwide have not found Turney's charade amusing at all.

The piece is titled: "Scientists angered by cruise trapped in Antarctica".

After describing how the botched expedition and the ensuing helicopter rescue, Le Monde writes how the relief operations are now "endangering several major research programs being conducted on different scientific bases of the sixth continent." There's only a 3-month window available for supply ships to make vital deliveries. Time is of the essence when it comes to logistics in Antarctica.

On the Turney expedition, Le Monde quotes Yves Frenot, the French Director of the Polar Institute Paul Emile Victor (IPEV):
It is a tourist pseudo-scientific expedition. It's a little 'cruise fun'.
Glaciologist Jérôme Chappellaz of the Laboratoire de Glaciologie et de Géophysique de l'Environnement, who is still at the Casey Antarctic base, said:
The expedition was presented as being scientific, but there are tourists on board who paid to go on a trip."
Because of the distress call coming from the Turney's chartered expedition vessel Akademik Shokalskiy, Le Monde writes:
Vital supplies comprising hundreds of tons of food, fuel and equipment could not be fully discharged from the Aurora Australis, which was requisitioned in emergency.
The supply disruption is not the only thing that irked scientists on other Antarctic bases in need of vitally important supplies, but they later had to watch booze-cruise, spring break like going-ons onboard the ice-bound Akademik Shokalskiy. Le Monde quotes Mr. Chappellaz:
At Casey, when the colleagues learned the Australis had been requisitioned, there was a little panic. What was most shocking was the manner in which the members on the Shokalskiy expedition communicated: on screens we saw them partying, singing, etc. - without at any time seeming to ask what they were putting in peril.
Le Monde also quotes glaciologist Joe McConnell (Australian Antarctic Division) in the New York Times, who stated the rescue operations will also likely cause considerable disruptions for French and Chinese programs because their vessels had also been diverted.

Le Monde writes that the cost of the Chinese and Australian ice breakers are close to $80,000 per day - each! And that doesn't include the crew! Right now the Chinese Xue Long is trapped in ice and no one can say how long before it will get out.

M. Chappellaz vents:
It is not normal that this expedition, which uses science as a pretext for adventure-tourism, is jeopardizing multi-annual research programs.
Finally Le Monde raises concerns that the pictures of a stranded "climate science vessel" trapped in deep ice may be leaving a long lasting false message on the subject of global warming in the minds of the worldwide public.

Finally, perhaps these two reports from the New York Times and Le Monde provide hope in that in the future they will start to distinguish between the sophomoric alarmist climate scientists who want to change the world in a rush, and those that are truly serious about doing real science.