According to the old saying “A change is as good as a rest”, so rather than plagiarise today’s title from a “skeptical” web site we’ve invented this one all by ourselves. Northabout is a small yacht with big ideas. (S)he wants to circumnavigate the North Pole in one summer season. However certain cryoblogospheric commenters are somewhat skeptical that this can be achieved this year. Take Tony Heller for example:
There has been very little melt going on in the Arctic Ocean the last few days, due to cold cloudy weather.
A group of climate clowns were planning on sailing around the entire Arctic Ocean through the Northeast and Northwest Passages (to prove there isn’t any ice in the Arctic) but are stuck in Murmansk because the Northeast Passage is completely blocked with ice.
The “group of climate clowns” aboard Northabout that Mr. Heller refers to are led by David Hempleman-Adams. According to the Polar Ocean Challenge web site:
David is one of the most experienced and successful adventurers in the world.
In his forty years as an adventurer, David was the first person to reach the highest peaks on all seven continents and journey fully to the North and South Geographical and Magnetic Poles. He has broken forty-seven Federation Aeronautique Internationale ballooning records
According to Tony’s previous blog:
My name is Tony Heller. I am a whistle blower. I am an independent thinker who is considered a heretic by the orthodoxy on both sides of the climate debate.
I have degrees in Geology and Electrical Engineering, and worked on the design team of many of the world’s most complex designs, including some which likely power your PC or Mac. I have worked as a contract software developer on climate and weather models for the US government.
However despite Tony’s long list of qualifications he is evidently currently quite confused, since according to the Polar Ocean Challenge live tracking map David and Northabout are not in actual fact “stuck in Murmansk” at all:
This shouldn’t come as surprise to anyone with an internet connection and a desire to check the facts, since as we speak there is currently remarkably little sea ice cover on the Atlantic side of the Arctic Ocean:
Hence Northabout should find the next leg of his/her voyage across the Barents and Kara Seas pretty plain sailing. However Vilkitsky Strait, the passage from the Kara into the Laptev Sea, is currently looking a trifle tricky:
Do you suppose Tony Heller suffers from precognitive dreams?
According to Environment Canada this morning there’s a 988 hPa central pressure cyclone causing a bit of a blow in the Vilkitsky Strait at the moment:
Meanwhile the crew of Northabout report from the Barents Sea that:
Sea and air temperature getting colder as we venture further north. Saw quite a lot of Dolphins for the first time around the Yacht. Still sea gulls flying behind and skimming the waves.
Had some promising Canadian ice charts yesterday, but that’s a long way off. Today we should get an update with the Russian side. fingers crossed it is still not solid around the cape and Laptev sea. That could slow us down considerably. The wind has been blowing the pack ice against the land, so very difficult to get around the shore, but let’s see what Santa brings.
According to AARI, Santa had brought this by July 19th:
P.S. Maintaining his usual modus operandi, Tony Heller has penned a new article today, containing a satellite image remarkably similar to the one just above. Under the headline “The 2016 Franklin Expedition” he tells his loyal readership:
The Polar Ocean Challenge is headed off into the ice.
They will run into this in three days – hundreds of miles of solid ice. Without an icebreaker, they are going nowhere. I asked them on Twitter if they have an icebreaker. I haven’t received a response, and will be monitoring them by satellite to see if they are cheating.
By some strange coincidence we’re “monitoring them by satellite” too:
In some “Shock News!!!” from another corner of the cryodenialosphere Viscount Monckton of Brenchley claims on the “Watts Up With That” blog that:
As for ice melt, yet another totalitarian propaganda expedition intended to “raise awareness” of climate “catastrophe” by trying to sail around the Arctic in the summer has just come a cropper owing to – er – too much ice. Neither the North-East Passage nor the North-West Passage is open, so the expedition is holed up in – of all ghastly places – Murmansk. That’ll teach Them.
However my corrective comment has yet to see the light of day at WUWT:
Meanwhile Northabout resolutely presses on regardless, and has just passed 74 degrees North:
whilst the sea ice edge in the north-eastern Kara Sea has retreated somewhat over the last three days:
Here’s the July 20-22nd AARI map of the Vilkitsky Strait area:
On the topic of Arctic sea ice melt in general Viscount Monckton opines over on WUWT that:
According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center’s graph, also available at WUWT’s sea-ice page, it’s possible, though not all that likely, that there will be no Arctic icecap for a week or two this summer:
Even if the ice disappears for a week or two so what? The same was quite possibly true in the 1920s and 1930s, which were warmer than today in the northern hemisphere, but there were no satellites to tell us about it.
The Good Lord seems to have a very tenuous grasp on reality, since the NSIDC’s graph shows nothing of the sort. Perhaps he is merely indulging in irony?