Wednesday, January 01, 2014

KUSI TV San Diego News Report on Antarctic ship still stuck in ice, Tues. 12/31/13, John Coleman discusses wind information sought by crew and US Coast Guard. Australia remains in charge of rescue

KUSI.com - KUSI News - San Diego CA - News, Weather, PPR

:10 or :15 ad/promo precedes news report

Anthony Watts appears near the end of the report discussing data with which he assisted. At the end of the KUSI report is a quote from the US Coast Guard saying Australian authorities are in charge of the rescue but it's ready to help in any way it can. At present, its icebreaker, the US Polar Star, is scheduled to make a port call to acquire needed provisions and is a long way from Antarctica. (Was said to be traveling from Seattle two days ago). If Australia does ask for assistance from the US Coast Guard, it will assess what needs to be done and what if any actions it can take.

12/31/13, "WUWT and WeatherBell help KUSI-TV with a weather forecasting request from ice-trapped ship in Antarctica Akademik Shokalskiy," Anthony Watts, Watts Up with That

Map showing route from VOA via WUWT


Reference for US icebreaker traveling from Seattle:

12/30/13, "Antarctic rescue mission fails to reach trapped ship," UK Guardian, Alok Jha

"Another option for rescue lays with the huge American icebreaker, the Polar Star, which is currently en route to the Ross Sea from Seattle. It had been due to travel via Sydney but it has now been ordered to sail directly to its final destination. If it was called upon to assist in the rescue effort, it could get to the sea ice edge near the Shokalskiy in eight or nine days.

There is no fixed timeline for the next steps, said Turney, while the captains of the Shokalskiy, Aurora Australis and the Xue Long waited for good weather. The forecast for the next few days, however, looks like there will be more of the same: snow, wind and heavy cloud.

AAE glaciologists on board the Shokalskiy, meanwhile, have been examining satellite images of the ice build-up over the past week to try and understand why the Shokalskiy got stuck.

"It's remarkable just how much change there's been," said Turney. "The ice that's packed around us is many years old, some is more than 10 years old."

The multi-year sea ice surrounding the Shokalskiy is much thicker and stronger than the new, first-year sea ice because it has had years of snowfall on top and freezing underneath.

According to the satellite maps, this ice was on the east side of the Mertz glacier until this past week, stuck fast to the land. Possibly because of a storm, or some other weather factor, this "fast ice" broke off and was blown into the area in which the Shokalskiy was sailing. Multi-year ice is a lot more difficult to cut through than single-year ice, which was the sort of material the Shokalskiy came through on its way into Antarctica....

The fast ice was partly in the area because of the huge iceberg, B09B. This broke away from the Antarctic continent in 2010, collided with and snapped off the extended part of the Mertz glacier, and then grounded itself in the entrance to Commonwealth Bay. Since then, the sea ice that would normally have formed and blown out to sea has instead been blocked by B09B and frozen into place. Given the recent reorganisation of the ice around the Mertz glacier, glaciologists aboard the Shokalskiy think the ship might have become inadvertently caught in the formation of a new area of fast ice, which could stay in place for several years.

When it got stuck last week, the Shokalskiy was just over two weeks into its month-long journey, from Bluff in New Zealand to Commonwealth Bay in East Antarctica."...


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