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April 09, 2009
The Gore Effect: Catlin Arctic Expedition Hampered by Cold
Richard Henry Lee

The Catlin Expedition, which is trekking to the North Pole to highlight effects of global warming on Arctic sea ice, has had equipment malfunctions due to extremely cold weather.

According to the BBC:
But when the expedition, the Catlin Arctic Survey, set off in late February, it encountered an unexpected wind chill as low as minus 70 degrees Celsius, and the technology failed.
The Whatís Up With That (WUWT) website, run by Antony Watts, found phony biometric data at the expedition's website and began to question the claims that this data was being fed live. The very next day the BBC carried a story that several pieces of their equipment had malfunctioned much earlier as well due to the cold.

One of the key pieces of equipment that failed is a radar device to measure ice thickness. The expedition seeks to show that arctic sea ice is getting thinner due to global warming. They are also making ice measurements by drilling through the ice.

The expedition has been walking to the North Pole although the going has been rough. They have encountered shifting ice driven by arctic winds that is driving them backwards at times. Their progress is so slow they are unlikely to make it to the pole. The expedition members have also been battling frostbite and chronic hypothermia. They are supplied at intervals by aircraft.

The WUWT has a companion story which shows that sea ice has been thickening after several years of thinning. The WUWT contributor, Steve Goddard, used military buoy data obtained from the internet in the comfort of his warm living room to show there is "significant ice thickening in the past six months to a year".

What is not surprising is that the Catlin group withheld information about the equipment malfunction story. The Global Warming lobby does not like to highlight information that does not fit the story line.