The alarmists set sail for Antarctica with a plan to show the world how badly alleged man-made “global warming” was wreaking havoc across the region. Instead, their Russian-flagged ship was frozen in place after sea-ice coverage hit record-high levels this year. The dozens of global warmists onboard are still stuck as multiple ice-breaking rescue vessels were unable to reach the frozen ship. Climate realists and the alternative press, meanwhile, were quick to ridicule and poke fun at the stranded and beleaguered alarmists. However, the increasingly discredited establishment media has largely failed to notice or report the irony.
The doomed Antarctic “climate research” expedition that ended up being trapped in ice was led by Chris Turney, a professor of “climate change” at the University of New South Wales in Australia. He claims emissions of essential-to-life carbon dioxide — exhaled by all humans — must be drastically curtailed by government to stop “global warming,” which has been non-existent in recent years. The controversial alarmist, who boasts of setting up a “green” business known as “Carbonscape” to profit from increasingly discredited theories underpinning climate hysteria, was on a self-proclaimed mission to “discover and communicate the environmental changes taking place in the south.”
Presumably, being frozen in summer ice was not what Turney and his fellow alarmists had in mind. However, it should not have been entirely surprising. Despite hysterical fear-mongering by the United Nations and self-styled “climate experts,” sea-ice cover in the Southern Hemisphere hit a new record in September of 2013 for the second year in a row, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. The latest data show Antarctic sea ice is more than two standard deviations above normal, climate researchers reported.
That is bad news for Turney and the 73 self-styled “scientists,” “journalists,” and crew members participating in the global-warming expedition. According to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), their ship, the MV Akademik Shokalskiy, has been trapped in 10-feet thick ice slabs since December 24. Three vessels with ice-breaking capabilities have attempted to reach the alarmists so far. All of them failed. A helicopter rescue attempt on December 30, meanwhile, was reportedly aborted due to strong winds.
In a failed effort to raise funds for the scheme from the public, the climate alarmists promised potential donors that they would investigate and share information about “environmental changes” taking place in Antarctica. “Crucially this pristine southern polar region is uniquely placed to monitor the health of our planet,” Turley and his associates said. The team also vowed to seek out information on the intersection between “global climate” and the region, claiming — somewhat ironically, in retrospect — that changes were “threatening the stability of Antarctic ice.”
“The Southern Ocean plays a crucial role in global climate and the carbon cycle,” the climate alarmists wrote, adding that “90% of the world’s excess heat trapped by the atmosphere is going into the ocean and changing circulation patterns, threatening to turn the region into a source of carbon, exaggerating future warming.” The expedition, the team leaders continued, would “make detailed measurements on the passage south (e.g. temperature, salinity, carbon) to determine just how sensitive the Southern Ocean is to change.”
As if it could not get any more embarrassing, a video about the trip featuring Turney explained that the “Australasian Antarctic Expedition” — named after another expedition a century ago by the same name led by Sir Douglas Mawson — “will re-trace the route of its namesake to discover just how much has changed over the last 100 years.” Of course, when the video was produced, the “climate scientists,” rather than being stuck in ice, almost certainly had much different “changes” in mind. A hundred years ago, even without modern technology, Mawson’s expedition did just fine.
“We're stuck in our own experiment,” the Australasian Antarctic Expedition admitted in a statement quoted in media reports, almost comically insisting that ice in the region really is melting despite all of the objective and anecdotal data literally all around them. “Sea ice is disappearing due to climate change, but here ice is building up.” In reality, sea ice in the Arctic is up 50 percent above last year, and in Antarctica, this year saw a new record — the largest sea-ice covering since records began.
As has become typical in everything “climate,” the establishment press has largely refused to tell the truth about the purpose of the expedition — either ignoring the facts altogether, or claiming it was merely a “research” trip. A few have casually mentioned the “climate” connection in passing near the bottom of articles. The avoidance of reality is especially ironic considering that there are taxpayer-funded “journalists” from the alarmist BBC and the Australian ABC, as well as from the almost comically hysterical U.K. Guardian, onboard the ship hoping to capture “evidence” of “global warming.”
“Somewhere far, far to the south where it is summer, a group of global warming scientists are trapped in the Antarctic ice,” noted Newsbusters, a project of the non-profit Media Research Project, which regularly lambastes the media for its poorly concealed biases. “If you missed the irony of that situation, it is because much of the mainstream media has glossed over that rather inconvenient bit of hilarity.” Numerous other commentators have also pointed out the irony, but the establishment press continues to parrot its agenda with little regard for facts — or even humor, apparently.
As the alternative media and independent climate analysts began exposing the truth, critics promptly ridiculed the doomed expedition. Using the Twitter hash tag #ClitanicDisaster, commentators suggested the fiasco was yet another example of attempted global-warming propaganda backfiring in spectacular fashion. “There has been a strong and statistically significant upward trend in climate-change-related public-relations disasters,” wrote University of Sussex economics Professor Richard Tol, who also serves as a professor on the economics of climate change at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam.
Others ridiculing the alarmists’ PR mega-disaster Tweeted an altered picture of the ship stuck in ice with its name changed to “An Inconvenient Truth,” a mocking reference to Al Gore’s discredited documentary warning of global-warming doom. “This episode has taken on a heightened comedic fiasco-like quality,” noted meteorologist Anthony Watts, president of IntelliWeather and editor of the prominent climate site “Watts Up With That?” (WUWT). “Now, with such a fantastic failure in full world view, questions are going to start being asked.”
Ironically, essentially the same embarrassing fate awaited other global-warming faithful earlier this year in the Arctic. Basing their trips on absurd “predictions” of an ice-free Arctic summer by 2013 — made by Al Gore, pseudo-environmentalist outfits, the BBC, and assorted “climate scientists” — several ships tried to sail through the Northwest Passage. Instead, they got stuck in the ice and had to be rescued, as the market-oriented environmental organization CFACT noted in a piece headlined “Gullible Green sailors trapped in the Arctic.”
“Global warming campaigners have been stymied by the lack of any temperature increase in the major temperature data sets since the nineties,” CFACT said in another article about the more recent sea-ice embarrassment in the south. “They’ve tried to compensate by feeding the media a steady stream of ‘extreme weather’ stories and with shrill claims about polar ice. However, historical and scientific data show today’s weather to be normal.”
In the real world, despite hysterical warnings of climate doom from taxpayer- and Big Oil-funded “experts,” even premier alarmist institutions and the UN have admitted that the data show “global warming” actually stopped some 17 years ago. Alarmists, somewhat humorously, perhaps, try to explain away the inconvenient facts by citing what critics refer to as “The Theory of The Ocean Ate My Global Warming.” Few independent scientists have bought into the controversial theory, which the Obama administration pressured the UN to include in its latest “global-warming” report. The “science” behind UN global-warming theories, meanwhile, has imploded.
In fact, many experts are now even forecasting global cooling.
Photo of MV Akademik Shokalskiy: AP Images
Alex Newman, a foreign correspondent for The New American, is normally based in Europe. He can be reached at