The iceman cometh

You have to admit there has been a fair bit of hilarity out there about the Mawson expedition getting stuck in the ice. This is one of the better efforts.


See also our own local heroes: A word or two about truth – which melds the story with a rant about Islamist terrorism – and Something’s cracking, and it’s not the ice around the warmists’ ship

After that it could be a really good idea to look at what this was all about.

It’s not hard.

There is a page on the scientific case for the expedition.

We are going south to:

  1. gain new insights into the circulation of the Southern Ocean and its impact on the global carbon cycle
  2. explore changes in ocean circulation caused by the growth of extensive fast ice and its impact on life in Commonwealth Bay
  3. use the subantarctic islands as thermometers of climatic change by using trees, peats and lakes to explore the past
  4. investigate the impact of changing climate on the ecology of the subantarctic islands
  5. discover the environmental influence on seabird populations across the Southern Ocean and in Commonwealth Bay
  6. understand changes in seal populations and their feeding patterns in the Southern Ocean and Commonwealth Bay
  7. produce the first underwater surveys of life in the subantarctic islands and Commonwealth Bay
  8. determine the extent to which human activity and pollution has directly impacted on this remote region of Antarctica
  9. provide baseline data to improve the next generation of atmospheric, oceanic and ice sheet models to improve predictions for the future

All our science work has been approved by the New Zealand Department of Conservation, the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service and the Australian Antarctic Division. We are incredibly grateful for all their help and support.

In The Guardian Chris Turney, leader of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, says his critics are wrong: the team was prepared, the risks were known, and much was achieved. Read what he has to say. It does not seem unreasonable to me. Also see Spirit of Mawson – Historical Roots of the Trapped Antarctic Expedition by Peter Sinclair. And here is a map for you:


Well, the passengers  are all now rescued and the latest news is Russian research vessel Akademik Shokalskiy freed as ice thaws in Antarctica. So that’s that, though the cost issue is an interesting one.

Visit for general background the British Antarctic Survey’s page on Climate Change.

And the source of the funny pic at the top? Well, I linked it. Here’s who…

And here is a little list to browse through.