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Tue Dec 31, 2013, 04:05 PM

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.

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.


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Reply Rescue Efforts for Trapped Antarctic Voyage Disrupt Serious Science (Original post)
n2doc Dec 2013 OP
darkangel218 Dec 2013 #1

Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Dec 31, 2013, 04:07 PM

1. Im really surprised that the Chinese ice breaker got stuck too


One bad luck after another.

Hopefully the chopper evac will go smoothly and everyone will be safe

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