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Icebreaker headed for North Pole turned back by thicker ice than expected

July 17, 2019

By Paul Homewood


h/t Joe Public



It was not supposed to be like this!

From Ice Age Now:


15 July 2019 – The Norwegian icebreaker “Kronprins Haakon” (Crown Prince Haakon), on a mission to the North Pole for the Institute of Marine Research, was forced to turn back north of Svalbard after meeting considerably thicker and more massive ice masses than expected, which the vessel was not capable of breaking through.

We had expected more melting and that the ice was more disintegrating, says Captain Johnny Peder Hansen at “Crown Prince Haakon”.

Thick one-year ice combined with large batches of multi-year ice joined together into powerful helmets, and several of these are impenetrable to us, said Captain Johnny Peder Hansen.

The ice is up to three meters (almost 10 feet) thick in the middle of July, and not even the researchers’ long special-purpose chainsaws were able to penetrate the ice.

Polar bears were seen on Bjørnøya this past winter in the middle of the Barents Sea, which shows that the ice edge was very far south, writes Klassekampen.

“In the middle of July we see few signs of thawing and that spring has come. We had expected more melting and that the ice was more disintegrating, ”says Captain Hansen, who for several decades has worked on various vessels in the Arctic.

Secondary source

The original source is Klassekampen (“The class struggle”), a well known and respected newspaper for the radical left in Norway.

Background info about the mission organized by the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research:



We can see that three metre thick ice north of Svalbard very clearly on the DMI charts, and it extends all the way to the North Pole, and all the way down to the Greenland coast and Canadian Archipelago:





This contrasts strongly with the position on the same date in 2008, when most of the Arctic basin was full of thin ice, and the sliver of thick ice was about to be swept out through the Fram Strait:





Currently high pressure over Svalbard is pushing the thick ice back towards the middle of the Arctic basin.

  1. Chris permalink
    July 17, 2019 7:18 pm

    Hear of this time and time and – last year a fish survey in Barents could not take place due to early ice


    • July 17, 2019 10:58 pm

      That’s the *rapidly melting* Arctic for you 😆

  2. Jonny permalink
    July 17, 2019 7:19 pm

    Maybe Greta’s school strikes are working!

  3. Athelstan. permalink
    July 17, 2019 7:43 pm

    I forget his name, he does the ‘weather programme’ the weather bod, at the beeb were going mental about ‘Alert’ town in Northern Canada recently reporting a temp of + 21ºC.

  4. HotScot permalink
    July 17, 2019 8:12 pm

    Will we see it on the BBC?

    • BLACK PEARL permalink
      July 17, 2019 8:21 pm

      No ! …. the truth is always the first casualty

    • The Man at the Back permalink
      July 17, 2019 8:26 pm

      Rhetorical of course Scotty.

      Have we heard all about the July cold records in Europe?!

  5. The Man at the Back permalink
    July 17, 2019 8:23 pm

    “We had expected more melting and that the ice was more disintegrating, says Captain Johnny Peder Hansen at “Crown Prince Haakon”. – that’s what that nice Prof Wadhams told us.

    “The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance – it is the illusion of knowledge.”

    Daniel J. Boorstin

    “Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.”


    • Curious George permalink
      July 17, 2019 10:58 pm

      Maybe Norwegians are using Danish meteorological data.

    • dave permalink
      July 18, 2019 11:52 am

      “…expected…that the ice was more disintegrating…”

      The last stage of ice-melting is a cellular, almost rotting, texture. This is vulnerable to disruption by windshears, and early bad weather explains the occasional dramatic – but meaningless – reduction in ice-cover in late summer. Even when the ice has apparently disappeared, there can still be microscopic spicules throughout the water, and these are nuclei for rapid regrowth of obvious ice in early winter.

      In rivers, in the cold season, the first ice often comes back in an unexpected position, namely stuck to the BOTTOM, as the spicules in the super-cooled water are forced together by turbulence to form “fast ice.” Not a lot of people understand this, nowadays, although it was well known to thoughtful scientists in the middle of the 19th Century. They had to work out the ice-danger to structures such as the bridges at Montreal over the St Lawrence.

  6. John F. Hultquist permalink
    July 17, 2019 9:28 pm


    There is always next year.

  7. Graeme No.3 permalink
    July 17, 2019 10:08 pm

    There were reports of polar bears reaching Scotland during the Little Ice Age. Did they swim there?

  8. July 17, 2019 10:21 pm

    Wasn’t the Arctic supposed to be ice-free by now? I am sure that this ice breaker just did not employ the right ice-breaking techniques. They should have fixed Al Gore to the bow of the ship and the ice would have disappeared magically. Why haven’t they thought of this themselves? Do we have to tell them everything?

  9. swan101 permalink
    July 17, 2019 10:34 pm

    Reblogged this on ECO-ENERGY DATABASE.

  10. July 18, 2019 12:59 am

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  11. dwalton1967 permalink
    July 18, 2019 8:28 am

    I often wonder about the impact of all of the ice-breakers going through the Arctic ice, loosening the pack and allowing it to escape. Has anyone ever looked at ice-breaker tracks, the number of vessels and ice break up? I’ve not seen a paper, but it might be out there.

  12. July 18, 2019 9:30 am

    Reblogged this on Climate- Science.

  13. David Garner permalink
    July 18, 2019 9:36 am

    Tony Heller predicted exactly this scenario a year or two back. Multi-year ice was remaining in-situ rather then melting, ensuring that it would layer up with new ice to create impossible conditions.

    He even got the region correct too, calling it as ice packs were building up east of Greenland.

    The only thing he needed to fall in his favour was winds and currents not blowing ice out into the north Atlantic. It clearly hasn’t, and here we are.

    OK, there’s a lot of covering all bases in climate science but Heller specifically set out his reasons….and here he is being proved correct yet again.

    So he was right and for the right reasons. Try making those predictions for alarmism and there’s huge failures everywhere you look.

    Another slam-dunk for Heller and scepticism.

  14. July 18, 2019 11:41 am

    So these clowns set off without “knowing” the extent of the ice? Have they heard of satellite data? Do they know how to look at a picture from said satellite? We also have recent experience from previous clowns. Do they have a cell phone? Call someone.

    Good grief!!

  15. Rowland P permalink
    July 18, 2019 3:31 pm

    Worth revisiting the article showing submarines at the North Pole in the late 50’s/early 60’s –

  16. Peter Thurston permalink
    July 20, 2019 10:33 am


    Sent from my iPhone P Thurston. PLT Advisors Ltd


  17. edwardrodolph1891 permalink
    July 20, 2019 4:40 pm

    It’s the new ‘globally warmed’ ice, its thicker because it’s warmer obviously. Scientists demand another £100 BILLION to investigate this, and PROVE it’s the warmer climate that’s caused it.

    • dave permalink
      July 21, 2019 8:56 am

      Did something happen in the year 1891, which we should all know about?

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