Thursday, May 23, 2013

Gone with the floe

The Russians have a program for placing observing stations on stable ice floes, but the number of stable ones is tending to zero and preparations are being made for evacuation much earlier in the melt season than anticipated.  This is a direct consequence of the thinning of the ice

“A collapse of the station’s ice floe poses a threat to its continued work, the lives of the crew, the environment close to the Canadian Economic Zone and to equipment and supplies”, a note from the minister reads. . .

With ice levels in the Arctic reaching record lows, finding a suitable floe for the station proved to be a difficult task last autumn. The icebreaker carrying the station’s crew had to sail all around the North Pole before finding an ice floe solid enough to hold the station. None of the three floes that had been pre-evaluated from land as possible objects were considered safe enough.

Also the previous shift of Russian scientists experienced problems with the ice situation in the Arctic. In late April the members of North Pole-39 had to move the whole research station to another ice floe because the first one was breaking up.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I seem to remember the prophetic Alistair MacLean wrote a book about this in the early 1960s: Ice Station Zero I think it was called. Something like that anyways.

John Sturgess then had the brilliant idea of casting around for a Rock in the late 1960s film version of the book. Perhaps the Russians... No, perhaps not.

Anyway, what's the problem? No ice (floes)? Well, use one of these boaty type thingies instead for more than just transport of the necessary equipment and personnel to the non-existent floes! Or one of those subby-thingy boats, which brings me back to Ice Station Zero I think it was called. Something like that anyways.


Cymraeg llygoden

Anonymous said...

Ice Station Zebra.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:13 AM, the pun(s) seem to have sailed right past you in the Arctic twilight zone. Do-dee-do-do. do-dee-do-do, do-dee-do-do, ...

Cymraeg llygoden

Anonymous said...

Ah sorry, I got (most of?) the other puns, just didn't/don't get the "Zero" one. No matter.

Anonymous said...

Apparently, the mad, lonely and incredibly rich Howard Hughes watched endless re-runs of Ice Station Zero as he lay dying, unwashed and unshaven (for years)in a penthouse somewhere.

There is a parable there for the Koch brothers, maybe for the rest of us, too.

Toby

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...

More and more the conversation amongst the scientifically literate is taking on a grim overtone.

I'd be interested to see if anyone's monitoring the "We're fucked" index for the biosphere, and especially how it's tracking over the last few years.

It's so obvious a bowlful of petunias could see what's hurtling toward us. Unfortunately there's a whale's-worth of stupid along for the ride, and there's going to be a proportionate amount of mess at the end of the journey.

So much for the 'sapiens' epithet...


Bernard J.