No, it’s not a Darwin Award, though it probably should have been. If you’ve already forgotten Chris Turney, he was the genius who not only got a ship so thoroughly stuck in ice that it took multiple icebreakers to try and stage a rescue leading to a forced helicopter evacuation.
And all that happened because Chris was trying to prove that the ice was melting. (Hint: it wasn’t.)
Greetings from Casey Station on the East Antarctic coast. I’ve just returned from the deep field site at Aurora Basin where the Australians are drilling a new 400-meter ice core which we will analyze in my lab in Reno.
I’m writing with regards to the rescue effort for that tourist ship stuck in the ice near Commonwealth Bay and the enormous impact of the rescue effort on Antarctic science programs. The Australian ice breaker Aurora Australis was here at Casey in the process of unloading the coming year’s supplies for the station, as well as a number of researchers and their science gear for this summer’s activities, when the emergency response request was issued. The Australians shut down the unloading very quickly and left within a few hours after the request arrived but only about a third of the resupply was completed and a lot of that science gear was still on board. Before they left they at least were able to get the passengers including six Aurora Basin researchers off the ship. Otherwise I’d still be at Aurora Basin and would have had to stay to the end of January since my field replacement was in that group.
The short- and long-term impacts on the Australian science program are pronounced as you can imagine and I understand it is the same for both the Chinese and French programs since their icebreakers were diverted, too. I’ll be sitting down to New Year’s Eve dinner in a few minutes with a number of Australian researchers including the director of the Australian Antarctic Division Tony Fleming – many of these guys can’t complete the research they’ve been planning for years because some or all of their science gear still is on the Aurora.
Unintentional Antarctic resident Chris Turney, leader of the ship of fools, wins a prize:
“Professor Chris Turney has been awarded the 2014 Frederick White Prize for his research on understanding past and present climate change and on improving climate change models.
Professor Turney is an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow in the UNSW Climate Change Research Centre.
The prize, awarded biennially, recognises the achievements of scientists in Australia who are engaged in research of intrinsic scientific merit that has contributed to community interests, rural or industrial progress, or the understanding of natural phenomena.
“I am absolutely delighted and incredibly humbled to receive such a prestigious award,” Professor Turney said.”
He should be considering that his scientific work amounted to discovering that ice doesn’t melt just because Warmunists say it does.