I thought I would have a look at what has been said on the FaceBook log for the Catlin Arctic Survey
. It's not very good (meaning the information seems to be out of date)......this entry was posted from the WUWT site from the 28th March Impaired Judgment? Reading through the recent blog posts of the Catlin expedition, it has become apparent that they have made errors in judgment. Team member Martin Hartley is suffering from frostbite, and hasn’t been able to sleep for nearly a week.
..Im not sure if the FaceBook link has ended, I will update when I have more information. If any of you can drop me a comment on this it would help.
This is the latest update from the Official Site...It just repeats our last posting from the BBC?
Team turns to traditional survey methods as technology battles force of nature
The Catlin Arctic Survey has now released its first set of ice and snow thickness measurements, showing the floating sea ice cover it has travelled over in the early stage is predominantly new ice, with an average thickness of 1.77m. The findings were obtained by manual drilling and are currently being analysed by science partners.
Finding ‘First Year Ice’ in this part of the Ocean was not what the Ice Team had expected at this stage of a route chosen, in conjunction with science advisors, to begin in an area where there would be multi-year ice. It suggests that the older, thicker ice has either moved to a different part of the ocean or has melted. This First Year Ice will only have formed since September 2008 and, being thinner, is less likely to survive the annual summer thaw. It points to an ever-smaller summer ice covering around the North Geographic Pole this year.
The results are from the ongoing drilling programme being carried out by Pen Hadow, Martin Hartley and Ann Daniels after the conditions affected the deployment of high tech equipment. SPRITE, its pioneering Surface Penetrating Radar for Ice Thickness Establishment, and onboard sledge computer kit have, despite rigorous testing ahead of the expedition, both been disabled by the extreme conditions. A fault, not previously detected, has also prevented use of a SeaCat probe which measures the water column beneath the floating sea ice, although a new version will be despatched on the next re-supply flight.
Pen Hadow acknowledged that losing their technical capacity is frustrating, but admits that it is also unsurprising given the hostile conditions. “It’s never wise to imagine that either man or technology has the upper hand in the natural world,” he said today. “It’s truly brutal at times out here on the Arctic Ocean and a constant reminder that Mother Nature always has the final say”
Despite the technological setbacks the team has so far conducted over one thousand one hundred separate measurements to date of the snow thickness, ice thickness, snow temperature and density, along with detailed topographical observations of all rubble fields, pressure ridges, ice pans and stretches of open water along their route. Experts say this will be of high value to the scientific community, independent of any technologically-gathered data.
“There’s no question that the Catlin Arctic Survey’s manual measuring techniques have the capacity to provide the first large scale direct measurements of ice thickness in the High Arctic,” says Seymour Laxon, from the Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling at University College London. “Drilling holes might be the most basic method, but it’s also the most fundamental.”
In spite of its setbacks, the team is committed to continuing its science programme and gathering as much data as possible as they push northwards.
The main focus is now on the manual drilling programme. It currently takes about three hour to complete the data collection at each sampling site and with an increase in activity planned, this will increase, so there will be less time available each day to make headway on the route. It may be that as a result the team ultimately decides not to make the North Geographic Pole its end point. Director of Operations, Simon Harris-Ward, said:
“The overall focus is the science, so reaching the Pole is largely irrelevant to this expedition. What matters most is gathering the maximum amount of data possible over a scientifically interesting route. Of course reaching the Pole would be nice. After all the public perception is generally that all Arctic journeys should end there. But for us, it’s all about the science and gathering at the expense of everything else.”