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Ship involved in Antarctic rescue faces trouble

  • In this image provided by Australasian Antarctic Expedition, passengers trapped for more than a week on the icebound Russian research ship MV Akademik Shokalskiyin are rescued by a Chinese helicopter Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014.  The helicopter rescued all 52 passengers from the research ship that has been trapped in Antarctic ice, 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Australia, since Christmas Eve after weather conditions finally cleared enough for the operation Thursday. (AP Photo/Australasian Antarctic Expedition, Jessica Fitzpatrick) EDITORIAL USE ONLY, ONE TIME USE, NO ARCHIVES; NO SALES

    In this image provided by Australasian Antarctic Expedition, passengers trapped for more than a week on the icebound Russian research ship MV Akademik Shokalskiyin are rescued by a Chinese helicopter Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014. The helicopter rescued all 52 passengers from the research ship that has been trapped in Antarctic ice, 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Australia, since Christmas Eve after weather conditions finally cleared enough for the operation Thursday. (AP Photo/Australasian Antarctic Expedition, Jessica Fitzpatrick) EDITORIAL USE ONLY, ONE TIME USE, NO ARCHIVES; NO SALES

  • In this image provided by Australasian Antarctic Expedition, A Chinese helicopter arrives to rescue some of the 52 passengers trapped for more than a week on the icebound Russian research ship MV Akademik Shokalskiyin , Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014.  The helicopter rescued all 52 passengers from the research ship that has been trapped in Antarctic ice, 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Australia, since Christmas Eve after weather conditions finally cleared enough for the operation Thursday. (AP Photo/Australasian Antarctic Expedition, Jessica Fitzpatrick) EDITORIAL USE ONLY, ONE TIME USE ONLY, NO ARCHIVES; NO SALES

    In this image provided by Australasian Antarctic Expedition, A Chinese helicopter arrives to rescue some of the 52 passengers trapped for more than a week on the icebound Russian research ship MV Akademik Shokalskiyin , Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014. The helicopter rescued all 52 passengers from the research ship that has been trapped in Antarctic ice, 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Australia, since Christmas Eve after weather conditions finally cleared enough for the operation Thursday. (AP Photo/Australasian Antarctic Expedition, Jessica Fitzpatrick) EDITORIAL USE ONLY, ONE TIME USE ONLY, NO ARCHIVES; NO SALES

  • In this image provided by Australasian Antarctic Expedition, passengers trapped for more than a week on the icebound Russian research ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy are rescued by a Chinese helicopter, Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014. The helicopter rescued all 52 passengers from the research ship that has been trapped in Antarctic ice, 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Australia, since Christmas Eve after weather conditions finally cleared enough for the operation Thursday. (AP Photo/Australasian Antarctic Expedition, Jessica Fitzpatrick) EDITORIAL USE ONLY, ONE TIME USE ONLY, NO ARCHIVES; NO SALES

    In this image provided by Australasian Antarctic Expedition, passengers trapped for more than a week on the icebound Russian research ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy are rescued by a Chinese helicopter, Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014. The helicopter rescued all 52 passengers from the research ship that has been trapped in Antarctic ice, 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Australia, since Christmas Eve after weather conditions finally cleared enough for the operation Thursday. (AP Photo/Australasian Antarctic Expedition, Jessica Fitzpatrick) EDITORIAL USE ONLY, ONE TIME USE ONLY, NO ARCHIVES; NO SALES

  • In this photo provided China's official Xinhnua News Agency, passengers from the trapped Russian vessel MV Akademik Shokalskiy, seen at right, prepare to board the Chinese helicopter Xueying 12 in the Antarctic Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014. A helicopter rescued all 52 passengers from the research ship that has been trapped in Antarctic ice, 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Australia, since Christmas Eve after weather conditions finally cleared enough for the operation Thursday. (AP Photo/Xinhua, Zhang Jiansong) NO SALES

    In this photo provided China's official Xinhnua News Agency, passengers from the trapped Russian vessel MV Akademik Shokalskiy, seen at right, prepare to board the Chinese helicopter Xueying 12 in the Antarctic Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014. A helicopter rescued all 52 passengers from the research ship that has been trapped in Antarctic ice, 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Australia, since Christmas Eve after weather conditions finally cleared enough for the operation Thursday. (AP Photo/Xinhua, Zhang Jiansong) NO SALES

  • In this image provided by Australasian Antarctic Expedition, passengers trapped for more than a week on the icebound Russian research ship MV Akademik Shokalskiyin are rescued by a Chinese helicopter Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014.  The helicopter rescued all 52 passengers from the research ship that has been trapped in Antarctic ice, 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Australia, since Christmas Eve after weather conditions finally cleared enough for the operation Thursday. (AP Photo/Australasian Antarctic Expedition, Jessica Fitzpatrick) EDITORIAL USE ONLY, ONE TIME USE, NO ARCHIVES; NO SALES
  • In this image provided by Australasian Antarctic Expedition, A Chinese helicopter arrives to rescue some of the 52 passengers trapped for more than a week on the icebound Russian research ship MV Akademik Shokalskiyin , Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014.  The helicopter rescued all 52 passengers from the research ship that has been trapped in Antarctic ice, 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Australia, since Christmas Eve after weather conditions finally cleared enough for the operation Thursday. (AP Photo/Australasian Antarctic Expedition, Jessica Fitzpatrick) EDITORIAL USE ONLY, ONE TIME USE ONLY, NO ARCHIVES; NO SALES
  • In this image provided by Australasian Antarctic Expedition, passengers trapped for more than a week on the icebound Russian research ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy are rescued by a Chinese helicopter, Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014. The helicopter rescued all 52 passengers from the research ship that has been trapped in Antarctic ice, 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Australia, since Christmas Eve after weather conditions finally cleared enough for the operation Thursday. (AP Photo/Australasian Antarctic Expedition, Jessica Fitzpatrick) EDITORIAL USE ONLY, ONE TIME USE ONLY, NO ARCHIVES; NO SALES
  • In this photo provided China's official Xinhnua News Agency, passengers from the trapped Russian vessel MV Akademik Shokalskiy, seen at right, prepare to board the Chinese helicopter Xueying 12 in the Antarctic Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014. A helicopter rescued all 52 passengers from the research ship that has been trapped in Antarctic ice, 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Australia, since Christmas Eve after weather conditions finally cleared enough for the operation Thursday. (AP Photo/Xinhua, Zhang Jiansong) NO SALES

An Australian icebreaker carrying 52 passengers who were retrieved from an icebound ship in the Antarctic was told to halt its journey home yesterday after concerns that a Chinese vessel involved in the dramatic rescue may also become stuck in the heavy sea ice.

The icebreaker Aurora Australis had been slowly cracking through thick ice toward open water after a Chinese helicopter on Thursday plucked the passengers from their stranded Russian research ship and carried them to the Aurora.

But yesterday afternoon, the crew of a Chinese icebreaker that had provided the helicopter said they were worried about their own ship’s ability to move through the ice. The Aurora – which was carrying the passengers to the Australian island state of Tasmania – was told to stay in the area in case the Chinese icebreaker Snow Dragon needs help, according to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority’s Rescue Coordination Centre, which oversaw the rescue.

The Snow Dragon, which is at the edge of the ice pack surrounding the Russian vessel, will attempt to push through the ice to open water early today, when tidal conditions are most favorable. The Aurora is waiting around 7 miles north of the Snow Dragon, said Lisa Martin, spokeswoman for the marine authority.

Authorities have not said what the next step would be if the Snow Dragon became stuck, but it is possible that the Aurora will utilize its icebreaking capabilities to assist the Chinese vessel.

The maritime authority said the decision to place the Aurora on standby was a precaution and noted there was no danger to anyone on board the Snow Dragon. But it was yet another wrinkle in the highly complex rescue operation of those on board the Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy, which got stuck in the ice on Christmas Eve.

A spot of clear weather on Thursday finally allowed the multinational rescue operation after blinding snow, strong winds and thick sea ice forced rescuers to turn back time and again.

The twin-rotor helicopter, which is based on the Snow Dragon, took seven hours to carry the scientists and tourists in groups of 12 from the Russian ship to the Aurora. Earlier, the passengers had linked arms and stomped out a landing site in the snow next to the Russian ship for the helicopter.

Helicopter pilot Jia Shuliang told China’s official Xinhua News Agency that he had no way of knowing whether the ice could withstand the helicopter’s weight.

The rescue came in the never-ending daylight of summer after days of failed attempts to reach the vessel.

“I think everyone is relieved and excited to be going on to the Australian icebreaker and then home,” expedition leader Chris Turney told the Associated Press.

Sydney resident Joanne Sim, a paying passenger, wept as she boarded the Australian icebreaker. She said the passengers had spent their time watching movies and playing games.

“It really has been an emotional rollercoaster,” she told a reporter from The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper who is aboard the ship.

The 22 crew members of the Akademik Shokalskiy stayed with the icebound vessel, which is not in any danger and has enough supplies on board to last for weeks. They will wait until the ice surrounding the ship breaks up, which could take several weeks, ASMA Emergency Response Division manager John Young said.

“Only now am I sort of feeling a bit emotional about leaving the Shokalskiy,” Alok Jha, a journalist from The Guardian who is traveling with the Akademik Shokalskiy, said in a video shot before he boarded the helicopter. “The poor old thing is stuck still.”

The cost of the rescue would be carried by the owners of the ships and their insurers, in accordance with international conventions on sea rescues, Young said.

Any official inquiry into how the ship got stuck would have to be conducted by Russia, he said.

The Akademik Shokalskiy, which left New Zealand on Nov. 28, got stuck 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 scientific team on board the Russian vessel had been recreating Australian explorer Douglas Mawson’s 1911 to 1913 voyage to Antarctica.

———

Associated Press writers Kristen Gelineau in Sydney, Adam Schreck in Dubai, and Gillian Wong and researcher Zhao Liang in Beijing contributed to this report.

Legacy Comments17

A simple FACT regarding the Antarctica that absolutely disputes the usual "carpe diem" posted by the left....... "Antarctic ice shelf melt 'lowest EVER recorded, global warming is NOT eroding it" ......." in 2009 the British Antarctic Survey sent its Autosub robot probe under the shelf. The Autosub survey revealed that a previously unknown marine ridge lay below the shelf, over which the icepack had for millennia been forced to grind its way en route to the ocean. However in relatively recent times the ice had finally so ground down the ridge that the sea could flow in between shelf and ridge. Read the rest of this Dr. Hotze article here: http://drhotze.com/2014/01/antarctic-ice-shelf-melt-lowest-ever-recorded/#S5QHtm7ws4Dq1d9X.99

Here we go again. Your quote comes not from the science, but third-hand from a journalist who makes claims that the scientists do not make. In fact, the journalist seriously misrepresents the findings of the study, making claims in the headline "global warming is not eroding" the Pine island glacier and "Human CO2 just not not a big deal…." that are in not made by the study. In other words, he's making things up. It isn't science, it isn't good journalism, and it isn't truthful. Here is the abstract from the study; readers can judge for themselves whether the breathless headline cut-n-pasted by the poster has any connection to the actual study: "Pine Island Glacier has thinned and accelerated over recent decades, significantly contributing to global sea-level rise. Increased oceanic melting of its ice shelf is thought to have triggered those changes. Observations and numerical modeling reveal large fluctuations in the ocean heat available in the adjacent bay and enhanced sensitivity of ice shelf melting to water temperatures at intermediate depth, as a seabed ridge blocks the deepest and warmest waters from reaching the thickest ice. Oceanic melting decreased by 50% between January 2010 and 2012, with ocean conditions in 2012 partly attributable to atmospheric forcing associated with a strong La Niña event. Both atmospheric variability and local ice shelf and seabed geometry play fundamental roles in determining the response of the Antarctic Ice Sheet to climate." http://www.sciencemag.org/content/early/2014/01/02/science.1244341.abstract?sid=b38e30ea-23a1-49f1-92fa-a807b49036a1 From the BAS press release announcing their findings: "The fluctuations in temperature recorded by the team may be explained by particular climatic conditions. In January 2012 the dramatic cooling of the ocean around the glacier is believed to be due to an increase in easterly winds caused by a strong La Ninã event in the tropical Pacific Ocean. Normally the winds flow from the west." The observations suggest there is a complex interplay between geological, oceanographic and climatic processes. The study stresses the importance of both local geology and climate variability in ocean melting in this region. http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/press/press_releases/press_release.php?id=2452

One of the anti-science, anti- climate posters on here, recently mentioned that there have been no major storms or hurricanes to hit US the year( tornados, don't count I guess). Meaning global warming is a hoax I suppose. The rest of the world has suffered from many storms and extremes of weather. Right now Ireland is being hit by a second major storm, causing widespread flooding and millions in damage. The worst in 15 years and Australia is going through a major heat wave after years of drought. But of course these don't count toward climate change because no major storms hit the US this year. The truth about the ice in Antarctica has already been explained, but the anti science crowd is very stubborn, a sign of a closed mind.

nope..as usual...you either read it wrong, or inserted what you wanted it to mean. What was said is hurricane and tornado activity is at an all time low. Drought in Australia? Go back and look at the history of droughts in Australia. And if the truth is known about Antarctic ice...why did they go to study it?

Dear Tillie , you have been provided with irrefutable evidence that your OPINION about tornadoes is wrong. In addition, many of us have provided you with evidence that your OPINION about world wide extreme weather is some how out of the norm is also incorrect. Please cite the sources that back up your claim.

As an alternative to posting the usual fact-free opinions and snark, some of the regulars here might consider breaking out of their Fauxbox to investigate the science behind what's happening in the Antarctic. It would be a novel experience. In every democracy, a well-informed electorate is critical to good decision-making. The level of disinformation on this topic is intentionally designed to obscure the facts and postpone or prevent honest discussion. While posting inaccurate, and often outright false cut-n-paste nonsense over and over may be one's right under the 1st Amendment, it's also trolling. Getting accurate, truthful information on critical issues that confront us is essential. These links all can take the curious to the actual science. http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/climate_desk/2014/01/climate_change_deniers_cite_snowstorm_debunking_donald_trump_et_al.html http://www.theguardian.com/weather/2014/jan/02/heatwave-temperatures-climb-towards-50c http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/world/2014/01/02/ctw-antarctica-global-warming-richard-alley-intv.cnn.html http://www.skepticalscience.com/antarctica-gaining-ice-intermediate.htm

"...a well-informed electorate is critical to good decision-making."..Give us your take on how the AP is doing

You object to a straightforward factual account of the expedition? You can read the sensationalized stories using this expedition as an excuse to "prove" that global warming isn't happening elsewhere. But let's be clear-- that's not news, it's opinion, and slanted opinion at that.

A little intellectual honesty here, a study is a study. Just because a scientest, meteorologist or climate expert comes up with one opinion standing against held opinion by a majority does not mean that they are disingenuous or an extremist or lying. You won't even consider any other information or studies, you immediately look for reasons why it is not true. It reminds me of the same tactics used by religious fundamentalists. Now, your comment: "While posting inaccurate, and often outright false cut-n-paste nonsense over and over may be one's right under the 1st Amendment, it's also trolling" is typical, my guess is that you would prefer to limit free speech. "Trolling" as defined today is a manufactured tool of progressives to silence debate, it means nothing.

It's not just "a study". It's multiple studies following multiple lines of evidence. That's how science works. The deniers fond take isolated facts out of context--cherry-picking--and hawk them all over the internet. 97 % of climate scientists accept that there is link between fossil fuel use and global warming--based on the accumulation of scientific facts. That figure is a fact, supported by multiple studies, but one that spun over and over by the deniers. Deniers don't consider the evidence; they perform all sorts of mental gymnastics to avoid dealing with the facts. We've had numerous thread here that demonstrate this: the ad hominem, straw men, and name-calling speak volumes. No one is denying your right to speak--just challenging your right to claim your own facts.

Bruce; you should be embarrassed to introduce the 97% figure as it has been internationally Debunked - like all the rest of your posts. ....... QUOTE: "97% The survey he mentions actually showed less than a third of a sample of almost 12,000 published papers even implicitly endorsing the notion that humans are contributing to global warming. Only 0.3 percent of the abstracts – just 41 out of 11,944 – said humans had caused more than half of “current” warming: no surprise there, given that there has not been any current warming. And none of the abstracts said warming would be catastrophic."

Here is a FACT about Bruce's facts: from the highly acclaimed FORBES: "Global Warming Alarmists Caught Doctoring '97-Percent Consensus' Claims" http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamestaylor/2013/05/30/global-warming-alarmists-caught-doctoring-97-percent-consensus-claims/97% ......2) Global Warming theory has failed all tests, so alarmists return to the ‘97% consensus’ hoax Posted on June 5, 2013 by Anthony Watts "The survey he mentions actually showed less than a third of a sample of almost 12,000 published papers even implicitly endorsing the notion that humans are contributing to global warming. Only 0.3 percent of the abstracts – just 41 out of 11,944 – said humans had caused more than half of “current” warming: no surprise there, given that there has not been any current warming. And none of the abstracts said warming would be catastrophic." - now readers know more about Bruce's facts. Post #9of12 on 1/8/14

Adding to my comment below of 1/06/14; speaking of intellectual honesty: First, there are virtually NO studies that take an alternative hypothesis (such as cosmic rays--see Lubos Motl for example) and then offer convincing proof of another explanation that fits all the facts on global warming. That's what theories have to do. The theory of AGW is based on multiple lines of evidence from hundreds of studies over decades--the evidence has accrued and led scientists to their conclusion that enhanced greenhouse gases are the principal cause of the warming--not the sun, not ocean currents like the PDO/ENSO, not cosmic rays. Second: there are 2 issues regarding the 'scientists'. Those few scientists who don't accept that fossil fuel use is driving much of the warming do produce scientific papers based on their hypotheses, which are often accepted for publication. One of the best known of the scientists in the denier camp is Richard Lindzen of MIT (he's also been the WSJ go-to guy for debunking AGW for years). His recent papers, while published in leading journals, have not been well-received. They've been found to have misinterpreted data, or used the wrong data set to have arrive at shaky conclusions. His theory of "atmospheric lensing" as a method of cooling in the tropics has found no support in the data. He is the rare exception of a working scientist who is also an acknowledged denier. Two others are Spencer and Christy of the Univ. of Alabama. But they aren't the sources usually cited by deniers--their scientific papers are more cautious than than their public statements. Most often, the "papers" cited by Sail or others as disproving AGW are news accounts--not scientific papers--that have taken a single fact or statement in a paper out of context, and given it a twist of meaning the researcher did not intend, and that their research does not support. Sometimes the claim is even the complete opposite of the paper's finding. It's basic dishonesty--a distortion of a scientist's work. Sail's post at the top of this thread is a typical example of this.

The whack-a- Mole Bruce Excuse of the day #221. By now it should be apparent to any reader that the filibuster style of hopping from posting lengthy screed after lengthy screed in his daily BRUCE EXCUSE shows he has zero handle on any area of his daily debate. Here is an example why Bruce has to continually change his stance. this month - "The CERES data problems: the three datasets (incoming solar, outgoing longwave, and reflected shortwave) don’t add up to anything near zero. So the keepers of the keys adjusted them to an artificial imbalance of 0.85 W/m2 (warming). One cant blame Bruce because this infantile so-called science revises itself more times than the daily weather. Earths temperature has changed from ~288.0 to ~288.8 degrees Kelvin in the last 150 years and that means the temperature has been amazingly stable and both human health and happiness have definitely improved over this period. Readers should note that when confronted with the irrefutable fact that the earth has not warmed in 17 years 4 months the Alarmist Religion of Bruce does not celebrate the FACT - NO - they scramble to make up more infantile science to condemn it. Post # 8 of 12 - 0n 1/8

Global warming? I don't think so, which is ironic the research team was truing to prove, guess they got the truth big time

Huh..wonder why they were there in the first place??? What were they doing??? What would a reader think if this was the first article he had read on this??? Too many questions...

HEADLINE: "Frozen Out: 98% of Stories Ignore That Ice-bound Ship Was On Global Warming Mission" It is no surprise that this liberal rag is part of the leftist kabal that omitted that fact

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