Planet Gore

Global Warming Strikes Antarctic Science Team

Guess how. CNN:

The first of three ice-breaking rescue ships is expected to reach an expedition vessel trapped in frozen seas off Antarctica by Friday, the voyage’s leader told CNN via Skype.

“We just want to assure family and friends, everyone is fine, the vessel is safe, and we’re looking forward to getting home and having a decent cup of coffee soon,” said Chris Turney, expedition leader and professor of climate change at University of New South Wales in Australia.

He said crew members, researchers and tourists aboard were doing “amazingly well.”

“Morale is remarkably high,” he added Thursday in the Skype interview, whose video displayed a whited-out scenery.

The MV Akademik Shokalskiy, with 74 people aboard, became locked in sea ice Monday night and spent the next 12 hours with all aboard hoping that high winds would subside.

They didn’t.

So, the ship spent Christmas at a frozen standstill 100 nautical miles east of the French base Dumont D’Urville, about 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Tasmania.

“We had a great Christmas,” Turney said, though everyone was frustrated about not being able to venture out into the open ocean.

“This is an area of enormous change. We’re in an area of a big driver of global climate,” Turney said. “We wanted to come here to see how much change has taken place.

“Ironically, this is actually giving us extra time to do research,” he said about being stuck in the frozen waters.

The rest here.

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