Global warming researchers remain stuck in the ice, but it looks like help may be on the way shortly.
The expedition sent to Antarctica aboard the Russian research vessel Akademik Shokalskiy to gauge the effects of climate change has not moved since Christmas Eve. A helicopter from a nearby Chinese ship is preparing to rescue the climate change researchers by airlifting them once the weather conditions improve.
The helicopter can transport 12 people at a time and take the ship’s 52 passengers back to an Australian barge. The 22 crew members of the Akademik Shokalskiy will stay aboard. This will be the third rescue attempt in the last week.
Everyone aboard remains in high spirits and is keeping himself busy. “The group on this ship is incredibly collegiate,” said Alok Jha, a science correspondent for The Guardian newspaper. He told Anderson Cooper 360, “There are a lot of skills and things people are sharing with each other.” Meanwhile, an Australian professor and climate change specialist commented that the researchers are busy doing yoga and learning Spanish. Jha added that the passengers were keeping their spirits up, which included their “alcoholic spirits.”
It was unclear if any of the climate change researchers were reading former Vice President Al Gore’s book An Inconvenient Truth, which posits global warming has reached a tipping point. In 2009, Gore predicted an end to polar ice in five years. Ironically, 2014 hits that mark exactly.