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Change is a cold certainty April 18, 2009

Posted by honestclimate in Discussions.
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Change is a cold certainty

Greg Roberts April 18, 2009
Article from: The Australian

RUSSIAN sea captain Dimitri Zinchenko has been steering ships through the pack ice of Antarctica for three decades and is waiting to see evidence of the global warming about which he has heard so much.

Zinchenko’s vessel, the Spirit of Enderby, was commissioned in January last year to retrace the steps of the great Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton, marking the century of his Nimrod expedition of 1907-09.

Spirit of Enderby was blocked by a wall of pack ice at the entrance to the Ross Sea, about 400km short of Shackleton’s base hut at Cape Royds. Zinchenko says it was the first time in 15 years that vessels were unable to penetrate the Ross Sea in January. The experience was consistent with his impression that pack ice is expanding, not contracting, as would be expected in a rapidly warming world. “I see just more and more ice, not less ice.”

Rodney Russ, whose New Zealand company Heritage Expeditions has operated tourist expeditions to Antarctica for 20 years, agrees. He says ships regularly used to able to reachthe US base of McMurdo in summer, but ice has prevented them from doing so for several years.

“Vessels are usually stopped 8km to 14km short of the base. A few years ago, that was often open water,” Russ says.

“We have experienced quite severe ice conditions over the past decade. I have seen nothing in this region to suggest global warming is having an effect.”

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