Climate scientist and leader of the expedition Chris Turney said in an interview he expected melting ice to play a part in the expedition. Called for help at 5am Christmas morning after becoming submerged in ice Australia’s back-up ship, Aurora Australis could not break through In an embarrassing effort to document evidence of ‘global warming’, scientists have been stuck aboard a ship trapped in antarctic ice since Christmas Day, with repeated sea rescue attempts being abandoned as icebreaking ships failed to reach them. Now that effort has been ditched, with experts admitting the ice is just too thick. Instead the crew have built an icy helipad, with plans afoot to rescue the 74-strong team by helicopter. The expedition was being lead by Chris Turney, a climate scientist, who was hoping to reach the base camp of Douglas Mawson, one of the most famous Antarctic explorers, and repeat observations done by him in 1912 to see what impact climate change had made. It is thought that the group, which includes scientific researchers and a journalist, will now be able to escape by air after two sea rescues failed. Australian icebreaker Aurora Australis was unable to reach them because it was not strong enough to break through. A top-of-the-range Chinese icebreaker, the Snow Dragon (‘Xue Long’), was deployed earlier in the week, and hoped to reach the ship by saturday. However just after midnight on Friday it too got stuck just six nautical miles from the ship. Source
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