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Friday, April 10, 2009

Shifting the goalposts for success and profit

The Catlin Ice Survey expedition in the Arctic started off with this reason for its existence:
Catlin Arctic Survey leader Pen Hadow and his two colleagues – Ann Daniels and photographer Martin Hartley – are scheduled to begin their scientific adventure on 27 February, after being flown 500 miles northwards from Resolute, the northern-most town in Canada. Their goal: to reach the Geographic North Pole by late May or early June. Along the way they will take approximately 12 million measurements of the thickness of the Arctic ice using a specially designed compact radar kit.
So there were two goals: to reach the North Pole and take 12 million measurements of the ice.

But now this:
The Ice Team members have all reached the North Pole before, so this project is not about getting to the Pole, but rather about securing relevant scientific data.
Well okay, let's not worry about the first goal - so how are they going securing the 12 million measurements of the ice?
But when the expedition, the Catlin Arctic Survey, set off in late February, it encountered an unexpected wind chill as low as minus 70 degrees Celsius, and the technology failed.
Incidentally, after 40 days, and despite much good weather of late, the team has averaged 6 kilometres per day and are not yet one-third of the distance required. This despite the fact that they are roughly taking the same route as the guys from Top Gear who covered the journey in a week.

Meanwhile, details about their problems taking measurements are expected at their website any day now.

UPDATE: Watts Up With That is looking at the data that is already freely available.


Boy on a bike said...

Have you seen the stuff about how their biometric readings are all made up? Maybe they are using the same excel spreadsheet method to collect their 12 million ice thickness measurements?

blogstrop said...

All the AGW alarmists can go take a walk in the snow as far as I'm concerned.

Anonymous said...

Why even bother with measuring the ice thickness BoB?
How do you prove it one way or an other? The ice moves, fractures, melts even!


Egg said...

12 million crania thickness measurements, perhaps?

Steve Brown said...

Top Gear drove to the Magnetic North Pole, in Canada.

Not even Clarkson would drive a 4WD over this much ice, this far from land.

Margo's Maid said...

Steve B is correct. While both used Resolute, Canada as a base, the CAS crew were flown in to a position to travel further north. However the distances of the proposed journeys are about the same.