I cannot WAIT to see how @wattsupwiththat reacts to this querulous NYT #SpiritOfMawson post.

(Via Instapundit) I expect that it will be memorable.

Rescue Efforts for Trapped Antarctic Voyage Disrupt Serious Science

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.


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.

I especially enjoyed the grudging concession by the NYT author that the people who are running this expedition are “seasoned field scientists;” but I was curious to see how said author was going to explain how “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” was actually a frivolous waste of everybody’s time.  Alas, he never did explain… mostly because the aforementioned fresh assessment indicated that the new conditions were Wow, there’s a lot of ice around here.  Which is, ah, problematical.

Well, not problematical for me; but the hidden story here is that the Spirit of Mawson expedition relied on various climate models that eventually got them trapped in the middle of a thick sheet of global warming. This may or may not be ironic, depending on how you define the term… but it is remarkably embarrassing, which is why the NYT is so aggravated about the whole thing.  To the point where they’re retroactively trying to throw the expedition under the icebreaker.  As if it’s the Spirit of Mawson’s fault that the ice is still there…

Moe Lane

PS: Note that WUWT is covering the saga in general.  Entertainingly, the site may even agree more with the NYT than with me about the basic frivolity of this expedition.


  • Crawford says:

    Anyone who puts the results of models ahead of actual measurements gets what they deserve. They are not doing science, they are pushing theory.

  • BigGator5 says:

    Ace said it best: The best theories are the ones that by their own logic can never be disproved.

    • acat says:

      if your goal is keeping the funding trough full, that’s true.
      if your goal is actually a better understanding of the science of this reality we live in, not so much.

  • Darin_H says:

    One point: “the hidden story here is that the Spirit of Mawson expedition relied on various climate models that eventually got them trapped in the middle of a thick sheet of global warming” *in summer*.
    Us Northern Hemispherers forget that part (I did until some friends and I were laughing over some alcoholic drinks last night about their misfortune).

  • Catseyes says:

    The gods of Ice and Snow are a very unforgiving lot. I like how the fundraising for the expedition is also stuck. It looks like no one is willing to kick money in for a bunch of warmists to travel south and get stuck in the ice in summer.

  • Pomme143 says:

    Their various climate models frostbit them in the buttocks. Also, I’d like to see Disney use this footage to advertise Frozen.

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