Journal Nature can no longer be bothered to check facts anymore. Bad enough that they rarely subject global warming climate papers to real, rigorous peer-review, and so now even the most obvious rubbish gets by.
In a Nature comment, Professor Turney seems to be responding in part to harsh articles published by Cambridge University News and the The Mail on Sunday. Both these media outlets cited veteran polar explorer Robert Headland, who said “an ice-strengthened ship was totally unsuitable for the area where Turney conducted his expedition“.
Headland also accused Turney of carrying out the expedition “on the cheap” and that he had “needlessly taken many risks“.
In Turney’s Nature reaction to all the criticism, This was no pleasure cruise, Turney writes the following (my emphasis):
For the past six weeks on board the Russian icebreaker MV Akademik Shokalskiy, my colleague Chris Fogwill and I have led a team of scientists, science communicators and volunteers on a voyage from the New Zealand subantarctic islands to the East Antarctic Ice Sheet.”
Turney claims that the ship is an icebreaker when clearly it is not. That’s a falsehood, if not an outright lie. The fact is that the Akademik Shokalskiy is simply reinforced for travel in icy areas and has only the lowly UL rating, meaning it is suitable for “independent navigation in the Arctic in summer and autumn in light ice conditions and in the non-arctic freezing seas all the year round“, see www.globalsecurity.org.
In the Nature comment Turney also writes:
That is the reality of polar science. It is difficult. Almost every season, ships get caught in sea ice, teams lose communications and planes are sometimes tragically lost.”
All the more reason for taking a real icebreaker – which he didn’t. Gee, the whole time I thought it was an icebreaker!
Turney is proving to be a basket-case
The Turney story is becoming ever more comical. What we have here is a humiliated scientist who wants everyone to believe the Antarctic is melting away, yet claims he went down there in what he thinks is an ice breaker to break through ice; says he knew that conditions there were treacherous, yet took his family and tourists along anyway; says that conditions there are unpredictable, but claims that the sea ice and wind unpredictability caught him by surprise; says the expedition was no pleasure cruise, yet had a fully-stocked bar and we saw pictures of partying almost daily.
Even funnier is that Turney is now trying to fool himself and others into believing that he has done the whole world a huge favor in that he created a “remarkable rekindling of public interest in science and exploration” and that he will wow the world with “the quality of the research“.
After this fiasco (even Andy Revkin of the New York Times calls it just that) it’s clear that Turney is someone who is incapable of acknowledging errors. Worse, and even scarier, he and Nature seem to be telling us that he deserves a medal for what he has done.