Global Irony

by Deroy Murdock
Warming theory gets trapped in Antarctic ice.

Chinese choppers on Thursday evacuated 52 passengers who had been marooned near the South Pole since Christmas Eve aboard the Russian science vessel MS Akademik Shokalsky. It will take far more than helicopters, however, to salvage the theory of so-called “global warming.” It remains trapped in Antarctic ice.

“We’re stuck in our own experiment,” said Chris Turney, a professor of climate change at Australia’s University of New South Wales. The voyage’s leader was no mere guide, and his fellow travelers were not just tourists. While news accounts portrayed these people as star-crossed adventurers, the frustrated Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE) was supposed to “discover and communicate the environmental changes taking place in the south,” Turney explained.

“There is an increasing body of evidence, including by the AAE members, that have identified parts of the East Antarctic which are highly susceptible to melting and collapse from ocean warming,” AAE’s website stated. “We are going south to . . . determine the extent to which human activity and pollution has [sic] directly impacted on this remote region of Antarctica.”

AAE’s co-leader, Chris Fogwill, calls himself a “palaeo-climatologist working to answer the big questions surrounding climate change, melting ice sheets, and sea level rise.”

The Melbourne Herald Sun’s Andrew Bolt reported that 26 thrill-seeking tourists paid $8,000 to ride along. Another 20 climate scientists (besides Turney and Fogwill) were aboard, along with four journalists.

These folks likely hoped to confirm the thinking of geniuses such as Al Gore. “A troubling process is underway because of global warming,” the former vice president wrote January 31, 2012, while touring the South Pole. “The ice on land is melting at a faster rate and large ice sheets are moving toward the ocean more rapidly. As a result, sea levels are rising worldwide.” He added: “Here in Antarctica, it’s easy to feel isolated from the rest of the world. But as I look at this exquisite continent buried deep under the ice, it’s troubling to think about what will happen as this ice melts ever more rapidly.”

As ClimateDepot.com editor Marc Morano recalls, Princeton scientists theorized back in 1969 that a 600-foot-thick chunk of the Antarctic, as large as Asia, could break away. This ice shelf would reflect enough sunshine to trigger a new ice age.

Unfortunately for Team AAE, reports of Antarctica’s warming were greatly exaggerated.

NASA: Antarctic sea ice reaches new maximum extent.

NASA announced that last September 22, Antarctic sea ice stretched to 7.51 million square miles — “a new record,” for the second consecutive year. NASA added: “Ice covered more of the Southern Ocean than at any time in the satellite record,” which began in 1979. Ice extended 22 miles beyond the average. As the Washington Post’s Jason Samenow noted, these concrete observations contradict United Nations computer models that “simulate declining — not increasing — Antarctic sea ice.”

Remember, the AAE drama unspooled during Antarctica’s summer. As the mid-Atlantic and New England endure today’s frosty nor’easter and frigid temperatures, the South Pole usually enjoys constant sunshine and relative warmth at this time of year.

Nevertheless, the Akademik Shokalsky was paralyzed in ten feet of ice. The Chinese icebreaker Snow Dragon steamed to the rescue. It, in turn, became bogged in ice, and retreated. The Australian icebreaker Aurora Australis tried to help. It, too, yielded to ice and withdrew. While stranded, the AAE participants said, they practiced “knot tying, languages, yoga,” and other hobbies.

After a 35-mile-per-hour blizzard finally cleared, China’s helicopters conquered the brutal conditions and whisked the luckless passengers to safety.

They were not the first to fail while chasing the chimera of so-called “global warming.”

Great Britain’s Sir Ranulph Fiennes abandoned a cross-Antarctic trek last February after suffering severe frostbite in minus-22-degree Fahrenheit temperatures. Dubbed “The Coldest Journey,” Fiennes’s expedition, according to writer Brad Nehring, was to “draw attention to global warming — namely, the effect that climate change has wrought upon the polar ice cap.”

In the North Pole region, the Catlin Arctic Survey was “the first Polar expedition to monitor the effects of climate change on sea ice.” Alas, in May 2009, the scientists surrendered and were extracted after the mercury hit minus 40 degrees.

For its part, Team AAE leaves behind the gospel of so-called “global warming.” It now is frozen solid.

The penguins must be laughing.

— Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University.