Dragon breaks free …

China Daily reports

The stranded Chinese icebreaker, Xuelong, or Snow Dragon, broke through the Antarctic’s heavy ice floes at about 6 pm on Tuesday and was headed for open water, according to Xinhua News Agency.

After being stranded in heavy ice for five days, the ship had broken free by Tuesday evening and was making its way through lighter ice, China Central Television reported on Tuesday.

The vessel, which had been conducting China’s 30th Antarctic expedition before going to the aid of the Russian ship Akademik Shokalskiy, will now continue with its scheduled activities.

The Akademik S remains fast …


Clitanic – the movie …

The ship of fools is now just the ship, but the Akademik Shokalskiy is still stuck in the ice.

One of its rescuers, the Xue Long is also stuck but happy that it can hold out until it breaks free.

The Aurora Australis is free and has continued on its way towards Casey Station.

The US ice breaker, Polar Star is heading to Commonwealth bay and may assist both the Akademic S and the Xue Long in due course.

The French vessel Astrolabe was also requisitioned for a week to assist in the rescue mission and can now resume its task of resupplying Dumont d’Urville.

Yves Frenot, director of the French Polar Institute had this to say …

This kind of commemorative expedition has no interest from a scientific point of view,

Because of the rescue operations, French scientists had had to scrap a two-week oceanographic campaign this month using the Astrolabe.

The Chinese have had to cancel all their scientific programme, and my counterpart in Australia is spitting tacks with anger, because their entire summer has been wiped out.

(Antarctica has about 80 scientific bases, of which around 40 are permanently staffed and others manned on a seasonal or temporary basis.

Only three bases are inland; the others are on the coast.)

‘If we want these bases to operate all year round, it is essential to resupply with food and fuel during the brief window of opportunity.

Diverting supply ships to rescue tasks ‘imperilled’ this link.

Clitanic, the closing days …

Sigh of relief, the Aurora Australis is in clear water.

Not, however, clear to go on its way, the Xue Long is not certain of its ability to escape the pack so she must stand by to render assistance.

Meanwhile it is rumoured that 98% of main stream media reports don’t mention the mission or as Jo Nova puts it …

In the magical world of media spin, a boat full of mostly Australian climate scientists has turned into a Russian passenger ship stuck in ice. … where media crew on-board take hours to get the news out and everyone pretends this mission was not about promoting climate fear via the BBC World Service. The media contingent is so large on this mission there is not only a BBC journalist, and two Guardian reporters, but it also includes two Fairfax reporters on board the Aurora Australis as well.Never before in modern satellite media communications has it taken so many journalists to say so little, so slowly and so vaguely.

Clitanic abandoned …

Good news for the passengers, the fossil fuelled helicopter rescue has been safely completed. The crew of the Akademik Shokalskiy remain to look after her but the others are all now ensconced on the Aurora Australis.

This includes, of course, Professor Turney’s children who are vital members of the scientific party, their task being to communicate the awful news of clear and present climate change to school children throughout the world.

The main stream media are doing their utmost to present this fiasco in the least embarrassing light. News.com bring us this …

While scientists expect and observe more extreme weather with man-made global warming, some say it’s not quite fair to blame the Antarctic blizzard that trapped the ship on climate change.

University of Colorado ice scientist Waleed Abdalati, NASA’s former chief scientist, cautioned, like many scientists do, that while researchers can spot a trend in extreme weather, they can’t immediately associate an individual event -like a blizzard – with changing climate.

When scientists do attribute an individual extreme weather event to climate change, it is usually more than a year later after numerous computer model simulations and then published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Also, Antarctica, which is more governed by localised wind circulation and other characteristics, “is kind of its own beast,” Dr Abdalati said.

You can imagine how quickly that line would have been forgotten had the expedition not been thwarted by inescapable evidence of extreme cold.

All that remains now is for the Aurora Australis to reach clear water. The view out the back shows that they aren’t exactly ripping along …


You can check their progress at http://www.antarctica.gov.au/webcams/aurora

Latest from the Clitanic …

Rescue of the “tourists” and the “scientists” is underway. Our ABC reports that the first batch have been airlifted directly to the Aurora Australis, and they managed to bring us that news without once mentioning global warming or the fact that the leader is Professor of Climate Change.

There are real scientific programs in progress in Antarctica. Supplies and personel have been diverted with the Aurora Australis and the other ice breakers sent to assist the Akademik Shokalskiy. Programs that have been long in the planning may well be impossible to complete. For what? An activists junket, a consciousness raising exercise.

And rumour has it that one of the rescue ships, the Xue Long, is now beset.

The main stream media were in there raising our consciousness with great enthusiasm ahead of the debacle. Let’s hear about it now …