Century-old photos discovered in Antarctica hut

December 31st, 2013 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

It wasn’t the continuing public interest in the Akademik Shokalskiy “climate research” ship (aka HMS Ironic) getting stuck in summer Antarctic ice that led me to find out about this relatively recent discovery.

I’ve been following the story a little, like most people. Debra Saunders (San Francisco Chronicle) interviewed me yesterday about the fiasco.

I was instead perusing photography websites when I stumbled upon a recent article about a pile of old photo negatives found in a hut in Antarctica. They were from Captain Scott’s 1911 expedition base, Cape Evans, Antarctica, discovered by Antarctic Heritage Trust (New Zealand) researchers.

What is kind of surprising is the number of photos with lots of open water. I’m not very familiar with the various coastal regions of Antarctica, but the weather in some of the photos looks almost balmy…here’s one example:
Alexander-Stevens-on-Aurora-deck

The other restored photos can be viewed at the Antarctic Heritage Trust website (just keep clicking on their play/pause button to view the photo gallery…it’s a little clumsy).


15 Responses to “Century-old photos discovered in Antarctica hut”

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  1. Brad says:

    Dr. Spencer, you may be interested in a new paper claiming global warming decreases lower cloud cover which in turn will increase global temps 4C by 2100. I saw it posted at the Hockey Schtick blog.

      • RAH says:

        Yep! Everyone knows that on a sunny day when a cloud comes over it gets hot as hell in it’s shadow! [sarc].

        BTW the Happiest of New Years to you Doc Spencer and keep up the fine work.

    • Martin C says:

      Uh . . , Brad, you need to look closer at the Hockey Schtick article. They are simply reporting on an article which I believe was from the Journal ‘Nature’ , but have put some ‘commentary’ in their posting.

      Go back and read the last paragraph; and then the last line in the article, which has links to previous posts, on clouds and water vapor as negative feedbacks which cool the planet.

      What is really hilarious about the paper, is it says the models which show the LOWER end of warming are wrong – GEEZ, that means the ones showing HIGHER are right . .? And in the midst of the ‘pause’ , or ‘current cessation’ of warming over the last 17 years, they really want to go this direction . . ? Just amazing . . .

  2. Joe Madrid says:

    If I didn’t listen to Limbaugh (shock gasp!) I would never have known the main provenance of the ship’s journey was an AGW event.
    Not a word on the MSM of that irony. But imagine if the reverse had happened a freak violent storm/hurricane it would have been covered more than Zimmerman the “white” hispanic.

    Mother Nature seems to have a sense of humor.

    I remember a couple years ago a similar incident where some group was on route to the arctic to witness the stranded polar bears–they were stuck in London’s Heathrow by a blizzard. Unfortunately it was covered by the press.

    But then blizzards and thick ice are also sign of global warming so are droughts floods mud slides and everything else.

    Did anyone see this? http://noliesradio.org/archives/73706
    first time 113 years.

  3. Jim Cripwell says:

    Roy, I don’t think the photographs have the month when they were taken. In many parts of Antarctica, at minimum ice, in March, there is all sorts of open water next to the land.

  4. RAH says:

    Oh BTW it’s a good thing this guy wasn’t there. Latest video diary entry from U.K. Guardian producer Laurence Topham currently stuck in the ice. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2zaXJ2ntJo&feature=youtu.be

    It pretty much speaks for it’s self, but man oh man what a self absorbed %#$# this guy is. He is warm. He is fed. He is in a fascinating place on an adventure. He even has a little privacy it appears and obviously the ability to communicate long distances. He even has a sit down toilet and doesn’t have to expose his neater regions to do his business But Mommy I’m bored wanna go home now, it’s not fun anymore! Are all global warmist propagandists of this type?

  5. This article, “Polynyas are very important for marine life and cooling the oceans”, at Watts Up With That? points to a possible explanation.
    See http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/12/31/polynyas-are-very-important-for-marine-life-and-cooling-the-oceans/

    Happy New Year! Dr. Spencer, and thanks for the good work that you make public.

  6. ChrisM says:

    The three huts on Ross island (Scott 1902, Shackelton 1908 and Scott 1912 we basically put at the edge of the fast ice where the ships could unload. Being at about 78 South and the Ross ice shelf just a bit further south, the conditions in McMurdo Sound ar just so dependent on weather (not climate). A good storm can help the breakout a lot. In some years, the US icebreakers sometimes have to cut 20-30 miles in, while in other years they aren’t needed at all. There are some good Landsat McMurdo photos showing the icebreaker paths. http://dave–kelly.blogspot.co.nz/2011/02/satellite-photo-of-mcmurdo.html
    The whole of that McMurdo Sound north area is often a giant polynya with ice blocking up at about Cape Adare level. It doesn’t help that there are several big ice tongues coming into the area. There is a small one – Erebus Ice Tongue – just south of Cape Evans that can block lower McMurdo. There is an Adelie penguin colony next to Shackelton’s hut and early in the season, the birds walk miles to get to the site.

  7. Ian George says:

    The author of this report that Brad mentions above, Prof Steven Sherwood, is from the same university as the leader of the climate scientists stuck in the Antarctic ice, Chris Turney.
    Covering their …….?

  8. ChrisM says:

    The thing about this whole ship stuck episode is that people don’t learn from history. 100 years ago, Scott’s Northern party had to winter in a snow cave because the ship couldn’t get back in to take them off at the end of summer. The sea ice had come in early from the change in winds and the ice edge was reported to be 10-20 miles out. The sea edge was normally only about 200m from the snow cave site near where they were dropped off with three months food at the start of summer. It regularly must be that close in, as there were historic large Adelie penguin colonies all along that part of the coast.
    Priestley, Campbell and the four others are near forgotten about nowadays, but their story rivals Shackelton’s great walk/ sail. When the Northern party realised they couldn’t be picked up, they dug a snow cave and slaughtered what seals they could find on the beach for both food and warmth / light (from the blubber).Being navy, they also had an officers and mens quarters in the snowcave which was about the size of an average bedroom but with the ceiling only a metre above the floor. At the end of the winter, they mansledged 200 mile south back to Cape Evans and then helped in the search for Scott’s body.
    Everyone nowadays to Antarctica is just playacting they are epic adventurers, and soon show they lack fortitude when things don’t happen like they thought they would.