Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Antarctic global warming expeditionists trapped in ice may have to be rescued by helicopter ..... the irony is quite obvious !


http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/01/04/usa-to-the-rescue-us-coast-guard-ice-breaker-asked-to-assist-antarctic-rescue-vessels-trapped-in-ice-due-to-spiritofmawson-fiasco/



USA to the rescue! US Coast Guard Ice breaker asked to assist Antarctic rescue vessels trapped in ice due to #spiritofmawson fiasco

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6.30am AEDT Sunday 05 January 2014
US Coast Guard ice breaker to assist ships beset in ice in Antarctica
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority’s Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC Australia) has requested the US Coast Guard’s Polar Star icebreaker to assist the vessels MV Akademik Shokalskiy and Xue Long which are beset by ice in Commonwealth Bay.
The US Coast Guard has accepted this request and will make Polar Star available to assist.
The Polar Star has been en route to Antarctica since 3 December, 2013 – weeks prior to the MV Akademik Shokalskiy being beset by ice in Commonwealth Bay. The intended mission of the Polar Star is to clear a navigable shipping channel in McMurdo Sound to the National Science Foundation’s Scientific Research Station. Resupply ships use the channel to bring food, fuel and other goods to the station. The Polar Star will go on to undertake its mission once the search and rescue incident is resolved.
RCC Australia identified the Polar Star as a vessel capable of assisting the beset vessels following MV Akademik Shokalskiy being beset by ice overnight on 24 December, 2013. RCC Australia has been in discussion with the US Coast Guard this week to ascertain if the Polar Star was able to assist once it reaches Antarctica.
The request for the Polar Star to assist the beset vessels was made by RCC Australia to the US Coast Guard on 3 January, 2014. The US Coast Guard officially accepted this request and released the Polar Star to RCC Australia for search and rescue tasking at 8.30am on 4 January, 2014.
The Polar Star will leave Sydney today after taking on supplies prior to its voyage to Antarctica.
It is anticipated it will take approximately seven (7) days for the Polar Star to reach Commonwealth Bay, dependent on weather and ice conditions.
At 122 metres, the Polar Star is one of the largest ships in the US Coast Guard fleet. It has a range of 16,000 nautical miles at 18 knots. The Polar Star has a crew of 140 people.
The Polar Star is able to continuously break ice up to 1.8 metres (6ft) while travelling at three (3) knots and can break ice over six (21ft) metres thick.
RCC Australia will be in regular contact with the relevant US Coast Guard RCC at Alameda, California, and the Captain of the Polar Star during its journey to Antarctica.
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Chinese icebreaker stuck after Antarctic rescue?

Published time: January 03, 2014 18:56
This photo provided by Fairfax Media Pool and released by the Australian Antarctic Division on January 2, 2014 shows the Chinese Antarctic vessel Xue Long (C) from the bridge of the Aurora Australis ship off Antarctica, both in the frozen waters to help rescue a nearby Russian research ship (not pictured). (AFP Photo / Jessica Fitzpatrick)
This photo provided by Fairfax Media Pool and released by the Australian Antarctic Division on January 2, 2014 shows the Chinese Antarctic vessel Xue Long (C) from the bridge of the Aurora Australis ship off Antarctica, both in the frozen waters to help rescue a nearby Russian research ship (not pictured). (AFP Photo / Jessica Fitzpatrick)
The Chinese icebreaker Xue Long, which helped rescue 52 passengers from the stranded Russian ship Akademik Shokalskiy, is feared to be stuck in the Antarctic sea ice. An Australian icebreaker is now on standby for a potential second rescue mission.
The Xue Long, or Snow Dragon, had helped ferry stranded passengers from the Akademik Shokalskiy to an Australian icebreaker the Aurora Australis, but is now concerned about its own ability to move through the heavy sea ice, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said.
“The Xue Long has advised RCC (Rescue Coordination Center) Australia that it will attempt to manoeuvre through the ice when tidal conditions are most suitable during the early hours of 4 January 2014. There is no immediate danger to personnel on board the Hue Long,” AMSA said on Friday.
This photo provided by Fairfax Media Pool and released by the Australian Antarctic Division on January 2, 2014 shows the Chinese Antarctic vessel Xue Long (back L-in far distance) from the bridge of the Aurora Australis ship off Antarctica, both in the frozen waters to help rescue a nearby Russian research ship (not pictured). (AFP Photo / Jessica Fitzpatrick)
This photo provided by Fairfax Media Pool and released by the Australian Antarctic Division on January 2, 2014 shows the Chinese Antarctic vessel Xue Long (back L-in far distance) from the bridge of the Aurora Australis ship off Antarctica, both in the frozen waters to help rescue a nearby Russian research ship (not pictured). (AFP Photo / Jessica Fitzpatrick)

As a precautionary measure the Aurora Australis has been put on standby and will stay in open water for the time being. The Australian ship had planned to sail towards Casey, the Australian Antarctic base, to complete a resupply before taking the rescued passengers back to Australia.
A helicopter from the now stranded Snow Dragon had flown the 52 scientists and tourists from the Russian ship to the Australian ship late on Thursday.
The team on Akademik Shakalskiy had been attempting to retrace the steps of Douglas Mawson who led the Australian Antarctic expedition between 1911 and 1913 and had also planned to examine the effects of climate change on the Antarctic environment.
The ship became stuck in the ice on Christmas Eve, 100 nautical miles from the French Antarctic station Dumont d’Urville. The rescue, which Greg Mortimer, one of three expedition leaders on Akademik Shokalskiy, called a “roller coaster” operation had been repeatedly delayed due to bad weather and when it eventually got underway took 5 hours to complete.
Mortimer said he was “immensely relieved for the people under my care” but that he was “very sad” to leave the Russian crew behind.
AMSA confirmed that 22 crew members would remain on the Akademik Shokalskiy and that there were enough supplies for several weeks.
This photo released by the Australian Antarctic Division on January 2, 2014 shows a rescue worker (L) directing passengers who spent Christmas and New Year trapped on the icebound Russian research vessel Akademik Shokalskiy in Antarctica after they disembarked from a rescue helicopter from the Chinese ship Xue Long (R), after they were airlifted from the ice in a dramatic rescue mission. (AFP Photo / Jessica Fitzpatrick)
This photo released by the Australian Antarctic Division on January 2, 2014 shows a rescue worker (L) directing passengers who spent Christmas and New Year trapped on the icebound Russian research vessel Akademik Shokalskiy in Antarctica after they disembarked from a rescue helicopter from the Chinese ship Xue Long (R), after they were airlifted from the ice in a dramatic rescue mission. (AFP Photo / Jessica Fitzpatrick)

The acting director of the Australian Antarctic Division Jason Mundy confirmed that the rescue was carried out without a hitch and the passengers were comfortable on their new ship.
“The passengers seem very glad to be with us and they are settling into their new accommodation. There are sufficient berths on the ship for the extra passengers and we can look after them well for the final part of their journey,” said Mundy.
The general manger of AMSA, John Young, said that the ice conditions had made for a complicated rescue.
“[The rescue] was not the most remote carried out by AMSA but we wouldn’t want it to be much more remote than this on a regular basis,” he said.
Young said that he didn’t know how much longer the Shakalskiy would be trapped in the ice but reports in the Russian media quoting a source from the Russian Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute said it was unlikely to be able to break free until the 7-8 January at the earliest.
“Weather patterns affect the density of the ice and it may be that it opens up unexpectedly. It may be that she’s there for many weeks. That remains to be seen,” said Young.








http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2014/01/ship-of-climate-fools-the-rescue.php



SHIP OF CLIMATE FOOLS: THE RESCUE

Steve touched on the ship of climate scientists headed to Antarctica in part to document the effects of climate change (f/k/a global warming). They are on a Russian ship now trapped in ice. The ship is called Spirit of Mawson in honor of explorer Douglas Mawson, whose 1913 expedition experienced its own challenges. Andrew Bolt explains that “a century ago, [Mawson] spent two years on Antarctica during which he lost two colleagues on a trek. Mawson himself survived only by eating his huskies and trudging back on feet that had lost the skin of the soles.” (Don’t miss Bolt’s post, and Peter Ingemi has more here.)

The Spirit of Mawson has been trapped in ice for nine days. A Chinese icebreaker was dispatched to rescue the trapped men. A good CNN story reported that the Chinese icebreaker was also stuck in an Antarctic ice floe.
The Chinese crew was hoping a French icebreaker 14 nautical miles away would arrive and offer relief, according to Zhu Li, chief officer of the Chinese ship. According to Zhu himself, however, the French vessel was likely to be slowed by the polar cap’s extreme frigidity. Is it possible this global warming thing isn’t all it’s cracked up to be?

To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, you’d have to have a heart of ice not to laugh at the plight of theSpirit of Mawson. The passengers are after all to be spared the indignity of rescue by the French. The Chinese are coming through:
A Chinese helicopter has reached a Russian ship stranded in Antarctica for nine days and is beginning to pick up 52 passengers who spent Christmas and the New Year trapped in ice, the expedition leader said on Thursday.
The helicopter from the Chinese icebreaker Snow Dragon will take all the passengers from the ice-bound Akademik Shokalskiy and transfer them to an Australian Antarctic supply ship, the Aurora Australis.
Chris Turney, the leader of the private expedition, said conditions had improved enough to mount the rescue after days of blizzards, fog and shifting sea ice.
The expedition involves men of deep faith. They believe in global warming down to their frostbitten fingertips. Is there any chance their ordeal has shaken their faith? Judging by such irate believers as the New York Times’s unamused Andrew Revkin, the answer (of course) is negatory, though we await the moving avowals of unshaken belief with which the rescued men can now inspire us.








Icebound Antarctic ship awaits helicopter rescue

Updated 7:57 am, Tuesday, December 31, 2013
  • In this image provided by Australasian Antarctic Expedition/Footloose Fotography the Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy is trapped in thick Antarctic ice 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Australia, Friday, Dec. 27, 2013. The research ship, with 74 scientists, tourists and crew on board, has been on a research expedition to Antarctica, when it got stuck Tuesday after a blizzard's whipping winds pushed the sea ice around the ship, freezing it in place.  EDITORIAL USE ONLY Photo: Andrew Peacock, AP / Australasian Antarctic Expedition/Footloose Fotography
    In this image provided by Australasian Antarctic Expedition/Footloose Fotography the Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy is trapped in thick Antarctic ice 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Australia, Friday, Dec. 27, 2013. The research ship, with 74 scientists, tourists and crew on board, has been on a research expedition to Antarctica, when it got stuck Tuesday after a blizzard's whipping winds pushed the sea ice around the ship, freezing it in place. EDITORIAL USE ONLY Photo: Andrew Peacock, AP


SYDNEY (AP) — Passengers on board a research ship that has been trapped in Antarctic ice for a week are expected to be rescued by helicopter, after three icebreakers failed to reach the paralyzed vessel, officials said Tuesday.
The 74 scientists, tourists and crew on the Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy, which has been stuck since Christmas Eve, had been hoping the Australian icebreaker Aurora Australis would be able to crack through the thick ice and allow them to continue on their way. The Aurora came within 20 kilometers (12 miles) of the ship on Monday, but fierce winds and snow forced it to retreat to open water.
On Tuesday, the weather remained bleak, and the crew on the Aurora said their vessel would also be at risk of getting stuck if it made another rescue attempt, according to theAustralian Maritime Safety Authority, which is coordinating the rescue.
A helicopter on board a Chinese icebreaker, the Snow Dragon, will be used to collect the passengers. The Snow Dragon, which is waiting with the Aurora at the edge of the ice pack, was also unable to crack through the ice, as was France's L'Astrolabe.
But the helicopter must wait for a break in the weather before it can attempt a rescue, and conditions aren't expected to improve before Wednesday, the maritime authority said. The passengers will be flown back to the Snow Dragon in groups of 12, and then transferred by barge to the Aurora.
All 52 passengers will be evacuated, but the crew on the Akademik Shokalskiy will stay behind with the ship and wait for the ice to break up naturally, expedition spokesmanAlvin Stone said.
A simple shift in the wind could free the ship. Winds from the east have been pounding the ship and pushing the ice around the vessel. A westerly wind would help break up the ice, Stone said. The trouble is, no one knows when the wind will change.
The Akademik Shokalskiy, which left New Zealand on Nov. 28, got stuck on Christmas Eve after a blizzard pushed the sea ice around the ship, freezing it in place about 2,700 kilometers (1,700 miles) south of Hobart, Tasmania. The ship isn't in danger of sinking, and there are weeks' worth of supplies on board, but the vessel cannot move.
The scientific team on board had been recreating Australian explorer Douglas Mawson's century-old voyage to Antarctica and expedition leader Chris Turney had hoped to continue the trip if an icebreaker managed to free the ship. The looming helicopter rescue means the expedition will have to be cut short, Stone said.
Still, those on board appeared to be taking it all in stride.
"Surprisingly, all the passengers seem to be considering it the adventure of a lifetime," Stone said.



Antarctic ice-trapped vessel awaits rescue

Tourists and scientists on board stranded Russian research ship flatten show and ice and sing traditional New Year song.

Last updated: 31 Dec 2013 19:40
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The MV Akademik Shokalskiy has been trapped in thick Antarctic ice since Christmas Eve. [AFP]
Passengers on board a research ship that has been trapped in Antarctic ice for a week are preparing to be rescued by helicopter.
This comes after three ice-breakers failed to reach the paralysed vessel, officials said on Tuesday.
Video posted on YouTube by Intrepid Science, which has a group of scientists on board the stranded ship, showed passengers flattening the snow and ice near the ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy.
They sang the traditional New Year song Auld Lang Syne as they set to work preparing a potential landing pad.
The 74 scientists, tourists and crew on the MV Akademik Shokalskiy had been hoping the Australian ice-breaker Aurora Australis would be able to crack through the thick ice and allow them to continue on their way.
The Aurora came within 12 miles of the ship on Monday, but fierce winds and snow forced it to retreat to open water.
On Tuesday, the weather remained bleak, and the crew on the Aurora said their vessel would also be at risk of getting stuck if it made another rescue attempt, according to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, which is coordinating the rescue.
"We've just learned the Aurora [Australian Antarctic Division ship Aurora Australis] can't reach us," Chris Turney, expedition leader, says in the YouTube clip.
"We're preparing the helipad by getting the team to stomp down in this snow and ice so the Chinese helicopter from Snow Dragon can reach us - when the weather improves," he said.
A helicopter on board a Chinese ice-breaker, the Snow Dragon, will be used to collect the passengers.
The Snow Dragon, which is waiting with the Aurora at the edge of the ice pack, was also unable to crack through the ice, as was France's L'Astrolabe.
But the helicopter must wait for a break in the weather before it can attempt a rescue, and conditions are not expected to improve before Wednesday, the maritime authority said.
The passengers will be flown back to the Snow Dragon in groups of 12, and then transferred by barge to the Aurora.
All 52 passengers will be evacuated, but the crew on the Akademik Shokalskiy will stay behind with the ship and wait for the ice to break up naturally, Alvin Stone, expedition spokesman, said.




Antarctic global warming expeditionists trapped in ice may have to be rescued by helicopter; Updated

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By Doug Powers  •  December 29, 2013 03:51 PM
**Written by Doug Powers
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“Irony can be so ironic sometimes…”
Australian climate change professor Chris Turney, passengers and media hoping to get pictures penguins windsurfing where ice should be set out on an expedition to demonstrate the effects of global warming on Antarctica. The ship and all on board have now been trapped in ice for almost a week and counting:
After nearly a week trapped by deep Antarctic ice, the 74 passengers aboard an expedition vessel could soon be freed.
An Australian icebreaker ship Aurora Australis is 28 nautical miles away from the Russian-flagged Akademik Shokalskiy and is waiting for snow showers to pass, according to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.
The Aurora Australis needs better visibility before trying to break through the ice and reach the stranded vessel.
This attempt follows the Chinese icebreaker Xue Long, or Snow Dragon, which was just six nautical miles away from the trapped vessel when it couldn’t get any closer due to unusually thick ice.
[...]
The plan is to see whether the Aurora Australis can break through the ice further than the Chinese ship could. If not passengers will have to get ready for an evacuation by helicopter.
The place where the ship is trapped in unusually thick ice is in an area where Mawson was able to move by ship 100 years ago.
So, what’s the carbon output of all these rescue ship and helicopters? I’m guessing they’re not solar powered.
Turney runs a company called Carbonscape that aims to “fix carbon from the atmosphere and make a host of green bi-products, helping reduce greenhouse gas levels.” Well, he’s given himself a new carbon harnessing project to work on:
Check out this statement: Even as they sit trapped in sea ice, the expedition continues to point out that climate change is causing a disappearance of sea ice.
Update:
Anthony Watts has video of Mawson landing in 1912 in ice free Commonwealth Bay — the same area the current “global warming” expedition sits helplessly trapped in ice. Lots of other interesting stuff at the link as well.