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Sat, 15 May 2021
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Magic Hat

Turney Backpedals! Now Says Getting Stuck In Sea Ice "NOT Due To Climate Change"!

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© RocketNews
Professor Chris Turney
It appears that now even Professor Chris Turney admits blaming his expedition mishap on global warming was an astronomical stretch after all.

Yesterday I reported here, quoting flagship Swiss Daily (NZZ), that his communication director Alvin Stone blamed global warming for the vessel getting trapped in ice. The whole world laughed.

I couldn't believe it myself so I wrote an e-mail to Stone asking if they really believed this.

Stone answered circa 9 hours later:
Dear Pierre,

That is not quite the quote that I gave.

This is my understanding from talking to Chris and other glaciologists.
  • The 120km long ice berg B09B that is grounded in Commonwealth Bay broke away from the continent three years ago, very likely as a result of climate change.
  • B09B collided with the Mertz Glacier, smashing a large ice tongue that released the ice into that area.
  • It was a mix of this ice that was blown across the path of the Shokalskiy, which led to it being trapped and explains why much of the ice surrounding the ship is old ice.
Chris discusses the situation in a blog entry, here.

I believe you are probably aware of a number of papers this year that show land ice on Antarctica is in decline and that only seasonal sea ice has been expanding, likely due to the increase in westerly winds and potentially because of the decrease in salinity.

Thanks for your interest.

Ice Cube

The coldest winter in America in 20 years: Al Gore's stupidest global warming quotes

Snowed in truck
© unknown
America could actually use some global warming right about now. It is being projected that low temperatures across the Midwest could be 30 to 50 degrees below average on Monday morning. On Sunday, fans that attempted to tailgate before the playoff game between the 49ers and the Packers at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin were discovering that their beers were actually turning to ice before they could drink them. That is cold. But things are going to get really chilly when nightfall arrives. In fact, it is being projected that much of the nation will experience wind chill temperatures of more than 40 degrees below zero, and wind chill temperatures of more than 50 degrees below zero are expected in parts of North Dakota and Minnesota.

The weather is expected to be so cold that the governor of Minnesota has actually decided to close public schools statewide on Monday. The last time that happened was back in 1997. The reason why the governor of Minnesota did this is because when temperatures get this low they can literally be life threatening. When wind chill temperatures get down to about 50 below zero, if your skin is exposed you can literally develop frostbite in about five minutes. This is being called the coldest day in America in 20 years, and these cold temperatures have many Americans wondering what ever happened to all of that "global warming" that Al Gore and other "climate scientists" have been warning us about for so many years.

If the planet really is getting significantly warmer, our winters should not be like this. Back in the year 2000, one prominent "climate scientist" boldly declared that future generations of children "just aren't going to know what snow is."

Oh really?

Books

Rescue efforts for trapped Antarctic voyage disrupt serious science

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© Andrew Peacock/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
An image from one of the passengers of the Akademik Shokalskiy shows the Russian research ship icebound off Antarctica.
Early this morning, I received an e-mail message from one of many polar scientists whose important and costly field research in Antarctica has been seriously disrupted by the diversion of icebreakers to try to evacuate the journalists, tourists, crew and scientists on an unessential "expedition" aboard a chartered Russian ship.

You can read the note - from Joe McConnell, an American ice-sheet researcher I met in 2004 in Greenland - after a summary of the situation.

Of course the evacuation of the trapped ship, which will require helicopters given the impassible nature of the thick sea ice in the area, is vital. But when you consider the cost and risk attending the operation, and the impact on other science, this raises questions about the advisability of this voyage in the first place.

If you follow the discussion around #SpiritOfMawson - the Twitter hashtag for the project - you'll also note how this misadventure has energized climate change contrarians, offering a distraction from serious research on the impact of climate change on Antarctica.

The Spirit of Mawson expedition - a mashup of adventure travel, media event and science - was billed this way by organizers:
The Australasian Antarctic Expedition will truly meld science and adventure, repeating century old measurements to discover and communicate the changes taking place in this remote and pristine environment.
On the website, the planners included a long justification of the trip on the basis of the science that would be undertaken. The prime goal was a fresh assessment of ice, ocean and ecological conditions on the stretch of Antarctic coast south of Australia and New Zealand a century after an arduous expedition led by Sir Douglas Mawson did the same. In 2012, Smithsonian ran a great piece on that effort, "The Most Terrible Polar Exploration Ever: Douglas Mawson's Antarctic Journey."

Igloo

'Life-threatening' cold bites US Midwest, heads east

South Bronx
© Reuters/Mike Segar
A woman and her son make their way up a snow covered sidewalk in the South Bronx section of New York City, January 3, 2014.

As the Midwestern United States shivered through the region's lowest temperatures in two decades and forecasters warned that life-threatening cold was heading eastward, officials in Chicago and other districts said schools would be closed on Monday.

Icy conditions snarled travel across the Midwest and thousands of flights were canceled or delayed, days after the Northeast was hammered by the first winter storm of the season.

"The coldest temperatures in almost two decades will spread into the northern and central U.S. today behind an arctic cold front," the National Weather Service said on Sunday. "Combined with gusty winds, these temperatures will result in life-threatening wind chill values as low as 60 degrees below zero (Fahrenheit/minus 51 degrees Celsius)."

In weather that cold, frostbite can set in on uncovered skin in a matter of minutes, experts warned. Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton ordered all public schools in the state closed on Monday to protect children from dangerously cold weather. Chicago public schools followed suit - reversing an earlier decision - saying in a statement on its website that it would be dangerous for children to commute to school amid sub-zero temperatures and high winds.

The NWS said the widespread chill was a result of a relatively infrequent alignment of weather conditions, allowing the Arctic polar vortex to be displaced unusually far south.

"The weather pattern across North America right now is set up to be very favorable for the southward transport of Arctic air," said Bob Oravec, a National Weather Service meteorologist.

"It's not going to be long-lived," he added. "By the end of the week the temperatures definitely start to moderate across the whole of the country."

Comet 2

Oceans to Ice: Marine diatoms found in Greenland ice core suggests pummeled planet in 530′s AD

Earlier abstract

Link to current abstract

Dallas Abbott 2013 PP on 530′s Event and Marine Diatoms in GISP2 Ice Core by George Howard


Snowflake

Latest storm likely to make the 2010s the snowiest decade in the East Coast in the NOAA record

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© Lagforce Productions
Snow in Boston
Via Meteorologist Joe D'Aleo

http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog/latest_storm_likely_to_make_2010s_snowiest_decade_in_noaa_nesis_data_base/

Latest storm likely to make the 2010s the snowiest decade in the east in the NOAA record
By Joseph D'Aleo, CCM (Certified Consulting Meteorologist)

It was quite a storm. I have never seen Logan Airport report heavy snow with an air temperature of 1F (not wind chill) before. The ended up with 15.1 inches. Boxford had 23.8 inches.

Even as more cold and snow invades the central, near the east coast, the post storm blues have set in with the inevitability of an inside runner following rapidly on its heels. But snow loving friends, we have lived through quite a decade and the millennium so far has been a boon to snow lovers despite the continuing claims that snows are becoming rare and hurting winter sports as erroneously reported last week in Boston Magazine.

We here are using NOAA's own NESIS scale - which we used to call the Kocin/Uccellini storms.

Boat

Fresh Antarctic drama as Xue Long is trapped but Aurora Australis leaves

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© Jessica Fitzpatrick/AFP/Getty Images
The Chinese Antarctic vessel Xue Long seen from the bridge of the Aurora Australis earlier in the week.
The Chinese icebreaker that helped rescue passengers from the Russian ship Akademik Shokalskiy is itself pinned by the ice

The Chinese ship that freed dozens of people from a Russian vessel stricken in the Antarctic has itself become trapped by ice.

The Xue Long on Friday night informed the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (Amsa) that the ship had become beset by thick ice, but said the ship and crew were not in danger and had food supplies to last several weeks.

The Chinese ship's helicopter was used in a seven-hour operation to transfer 52 people from the ice-stricken Akademik Shokalskiy to the Australian ship Aurora Australis on Thursday.

Comment: What a complete farce!


Ice Cube

Antarctic ice shelf melt 'lowest EVER recorded, global warming is NOT eroding it'

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© NASA/Kent Shiffer
Pine Island Glacier Ice Shelf
Human CO2 just not a big deal at Pine Island Glacier

Scientists at the British Antarctic Survey say that the melting of the Pine Island Glacier ice shelf in Antarctica has suddenly slowed right down in the last few years, confirming earlier research which suggested that the shelf's melt does not result from human-driven global warming.

The Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica and its associated sea ice shelf is closely watched: this is because unlike most of the sea ice around the austral continent, its melt rate has seemed to be accelerating quickly since scientists first began seriously studying it in the 1990s.

Many researchers had suggested that this was due to human-driven global warming, which appeared to be taking place rapidly at that time (though it has since gone on hold for 15 years or so, a circumstance which science is still assimilating).

However back in 2009 the British Antarctic Survey sent its Autosub robot probe under the shelf (famously powered by some 5,000 ordinary alkaline D-cell batteries on each trip beneath the ice, getting through no less than four tonnes of them during the research). The Autosub survey revealed that a previously unknown marine ridge lay below the shelf, over which the icepack had for millennia been forced to grind its way en route to the ocean. However in relatively recent times the ice had finally so ground down the ridge that the sea could flow in between shelf and ridge, freeing the ice to move much faster and warming it too.

Snowflake Cold

Experts warn of frostbite, dead batteries in cold

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There's cold. And then there's subzero, frostbite cold.

Record-breaking frigid temperatures will blanket the Midwest beginning Sunday, part of a "polar vortex," that one meteorologist says will send piles of North Pole air down into the U.S.

These below-zero temperatures can be dangerous, and officials in several states are warning residents to take precautions. Here's a look at some of the problems that arise when temperatures plummet and how to stay safe if you venture outdoors.

FROSTBITE

At temperatures of 15 to 30 below, exposed skin can get frostbitten in minutes and hypothermia can quickly set in.

"People need to protect themselves against the intense cold," said Dr. Brian Mahoney, medical director of emergency services at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. "They have to wear a hat, they have to have face protection."

Mahoney said mittens are better than gloves, layers of dry clothing are best, and anyone who gets wet needs to get inside.

"You can't be wearing high-heel shoes with your toes in nylons," he added. "That's a great way to get frostbite."

Ice Cube

U.S. breaker to help Russian, Chinese ships stuck in Antarctic ice

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© REUTERS/U.S. Coast Guard
Polar Star, the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker, is seen in a handout photo taken in Antarctica April 4, 1999.
The United States is sending a heavy icebreaker to help free a Russian ship and a Chinese icebreaker gripped by Antarctic ice, the Coast Guard said on Saturday.

The Polar Star is responding to a request for assistance from Australian authorities as well as from the Russian and Chinese governments, it said in a statement.

"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."

A Chinese icebreaker that helped rescue 52 passengers from a Russian ship stranded in Antarctic ice found itself stuck in heavy ice on Friday.

The Snow Dragon ferried the passengers from the stranded Russian ship to an Australian icebreaker late on Thursday. It now had concerns about its own ability to move through heavy ice, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said.

The Russian-owned research ship left New Zealand on November 28 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of an Antarctic journey led by Australian explorer Douglas Mawson.