Yet another Arctic expedition to raise awareness of “global warming” has been frustrated by unexpectedly large quantities of ice.
This time the climate chumps were a party of scientists, students and filmmakers from the University of Rhode Island’s Inner Space Center (ISC) sponsored – your tax dollar at work – by the U.S. National Science Foundation.
Their mission: “Research to aid understanding of/document climate change effects” in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago aboard a Russian ship Akademik Ioffe.
But now the ship has been damaged after becoming grounded in the ice and its passengers have had to be rescued.
Anthony Watts has been documenting their sorry progress.
First the early optimism of what sounds very much like another politically correct brainwashing exercise for impressionable students:
A two-hour, ultra-high 4K definition television documentary by the onboard film company David Clark, Inc. will air in 2019.
“It is important for people everywhere on Earth to understand how this region affects all citizens. The region’s meltwater, water circulation, and flux of greenhouse gases between the ocean and the atmosphere are impacting wide-scale environmental and climatic changes, including how these changes affect people and wildlife diversity,” says NPP principal investigator and project director Gail Scowcroft.
“The project’s natural and social scientists will engage a group of university students in hands-on research, as the team addresses important research questions. In addition, diverse audiences will be reached through real-time interactions from sea, a two-hour documentary, and related events. The NPP will provide a visually stunning and historically poignant platform from which diverse audiences will experience this innovative expedition.”
Mmm! Can’t wait to be joining the “diverse” audiences who get to watch the movie.
But then it all starts to go wrong.
First this Facebook page entry from the tour company.
On the morning of August 24th, the Akademik Ioffe — the vessel carrying the participants of the National Science Foundation funded Northwest Passage Project being conducted by the University of Rhode Island — became grounded in the western Gulf of Boothia in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. The ship has since been re-floated, and following a full and successful systems check the vessel has repositioned to anchor. We are happy to report that all passengers, including all Northwest Passage Project participants, are safe and are being well cared for. We will provide updates as we resolve the situation.
Then this from the Canadian Coast Guard service
Good morning, Due to heavier than normal ice concentrations in the Canadian arctic waters north of 70 degrees, the Canadian Coast Guard, recommends that pleasure craft do not navigate in the Beaufort Sea, Barrow, Peel Sound, Franklin Strait and Prince Regent. CCG icebreakers cannot safely escort pleasure craft. Operators of pleasure craft considering a northwest passage should also consider the risk of having to winter in a safe haven in the Arctic, or in the case of an emergency, be evacuated from beset vessels. Safety of mariners is our primary concern. REGARDS, NORDREG CANADA 181256UTC\LR
Then the evacuation plan:
25 Aug 2018 – KUGAARUK, Nunavut – Cpl. Serge Yelle of the RCMP detachment says he expects between 80 and 90 of the passengers will fly from the remote Arctic coastline community back to Yellowknife.
The Transportation Safety Board is considering whether it will send investigators to the site.
A board spokesman says the ship has suffered some damage.
On its website, the tour operator – One Ocean Expeditions – describes the 117-metre Akademik Ioffe as a “modern, comfortable, safe and ice-strengthened” vessel that can host 96 passengers and 65 staff and crew.
Finally the ignominious retreat.
Cpl. Serge Yelle of the Kugaruuk detachment says he expects between 80 and 90 of the passengers will fly from the remote Arctic coastline community back to Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories.
All of the passengers were safely transferred from the grounded ship to a sister cruise ship and are expected back in Kugaruuk later today.
Had the expedition leaders troubled to look at the charts they might have noticed that sea ice thickness is slightly above average for this time of year.
But this of course is the joy of all these Ship of Fools expeditions.