October 24, 2016

"A climate scientist who studied glaciers died in Antarctica on Saturday when the snowmobile he was riding went into a 100-foot-deep crevasse..."

"... according to the National Science Foundation, which was funding his research."
The researcher, Gordon Hamilton, died on White Island in the continent’s Ross Archipelago, according to the University of Maine, where he was an associate research professor in the glaciology group at the Climate Change Institute. He was 50....

Dr. Hamilton was camped out with his research team on what is known as the Shear Zone, an area about 3 miles by 125 miles where two ice shelves meet. While parts of the Shear Zone can be up to 650 feet thick, the area is “intensely crevassed,” according to the National Science Foundation.

At the time of the accident, Dr. Hamilton’s team was working with an operations team to identify crevasses in the area, some of which were found and filled earlier in the week. Both teams included experts familiar with the area and with glacial safety.
Here's a video from 2013, showing Gordon Hamilton explaining his work:



"I can’t think of a better job or another job I would rather be doing."

58 comments:

Freder Frederson said...

Really?! you are going to let your commetariat savage and mock this dedicated scientist?

You know they will.

Shame on you.

Unknown said...

I had the same reaction to this subject matter being posted here by Althouse as Freder did. So did the scientist waste his life chasing something that isn't real? I'm sure this is what the majority of those who comment here will say. Why do the majority of conservatives still disbelieve 95% of the world's climate scientists? These are the same ones who believed/still believe Trump would lead them into the promised land.

Bob Ellison said...

Heh. He said "crevassed".

And Freder Frederson, go Freder yourself.

chickelit said...

Snowmobiles emit deadly CO2. Plus he probably flew down there. It could be karmic payback.

MadisonMan said...

What a horrible thing for his family and colleagues. I'm very sorry to read this (although it popped up elsewhere in my life already)

The amount of training each Antarctic-bound scientist receives before flying down to that inhospitable Continent is extensive, but you cannot plan for everything.

gspencer said...

Okay, here's the predicable line,

"Well, he died doing what he loved to do."

Ann Althouse said...

@Freder You are the first commenter. What you see is in your own mind. Take responsibility. And shame on you for prompting people to look at this accident in a way that disparages the dead man! I did not present it that way or intend it to be used in such a manner. YOU did that.

rhhardin said...

Should have studied gravity.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Unknown said...

Why do the majority of conservatives still disbelieve 95% of the world's climate scientists?

Because the climate-gate emails revealed that the models contained far more fudge-factors and uncertainty than what most people would think was acceptable. They also revealed that what should have been a scientific process of peer review was actually a political process, at least for some of the most outspoken advocates. And because, after all of this was revealed, these people were not driven out of the "scientific" community by the rest of that 95%.

None of that proves that the climate science is wrong. It does prove that there are significant elements in that community cannot be trusted.

Maybe this sort of thing happens in physics and chemistry too. If so, it hasn't been revealed, and it wouldn't matter to most people if it were. Physicists and chemists are not advocating major changes to our lifestyles based on their say-so.

traditionalguy said...

This is a slippery subject. I wonder why they run heavy machines across untested ice shelf areas. Glaciers are a known mine field of deadly crevasses. Did he go fast to run the ice machine over them like jumping a hole.

Rob McLean said...

Dr. Hamilton’s team was working with an operations team to identify crevasses in the area

"Found onnnnnnnnnnne...!!"

PS: Freder made me write this.

damikesc said...

It was a risky job he was doing and, sadly, risky jobs involve death sometimes. I don't doubt he truly believed what he was studying. I just cannot fathom the sheer horror of falling 100 feet to your death. It takes a few seconds to hit, so those few seconds consist of terror nobody can ever really comprehend.

Why do the majority of conservatives still disbelieve 95% of the world's climate scientists?

Why did people deny the health studies funded by tobacco companies?

Because money corrupts.

And the big money is all on the alarmist side.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Dr. Hamilton would still be alive today if people like Freder didn't advocate government funding of his research.

dbp said...

He was a real person, with presumably a family and friends. working in an area he felt was meaningful. Nonetheless, it would take a heart of stone to not be amused by the headline.

William said...

Think if it as a metaphor, At a certain point, the slippery slope of global warming becomes so steep that it's more a crevasse than slope. He discovered the abyss of global warming. His was the first death, but it will not be the last. That's how we'll develop the movie of his tragic death for the screen.

Bob Ellison said...

"The accident is under investigation, officials said."

What investigation? You gonna send the FBI out there, the CIA, the IPCC? What about the other thirteen intelligence agencies Hillary talked about?

What a bunch of shit. Officials said nothing. The man died, and they're talking about penguins poking their beaks over his snowmobile.

AReasonableMan said...

Ann Althouse said...
@Freder You are the first commenter. What you see is in your own mind. Take responsibility. And shame on you for prompting people to look at this accident in a way that disparages the dead man! I did not present it that way or intend it to be used in such a manner. YOU did that.


I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!

rhhardin said...

Sandra Bullock was slated to fall into a crevasse in The Proposal, but she was already slated to fall into a hole in All About Steve, and it was felt that inter-movie textual pressure would make it a little weird, so she fell into the ocean instead.

Freder Frederson said...

What you see is in your own mind. Take responsibility. And shame on you for prompting people to look at this accident in a way that disparages the dead man! I did not present it that way or intend it to be used in such a manner. YOU did that.

What I see is what I see in every thread you have about climate change. The majority of your commenters on such threads peddle the most extreme denial and accuse the scientific community of being part of some vast conspiracy to destroy the U.S. and capitalism. Scientists are either dishonest socialists or useful idiots.

Apparently I know your fans better than you do.

PB said...

Left unsaid is that one of the primary reasons glaciers calve or break off into icebergs is because the weight of the accumulated snow and ice becomes too great. It's not because it's melting, mostly.

Rae said...

First, I feel badly for this man's family. But...

At the time of the accident, Dr. Hamilton’s team was working with an operations team to identify crevasses in the area, some of which were found and filled earlier in the week.

Is this a typo, or are they actually filling in crevasses in Antarctica? Why in God's name would you do that?

rhhardin said...

What I see is what I see in every thread you have about climate change.

It's not a climate change thing. It's an invitation to feel sad about some celebrity death thing.

10,000 (round numbers) Americans die every day, all special to somebody, but none special to everybody.

Making the stranger's case one you care about is entertaining yourself with sadz. A MSM trick to get viewers, usually.

Freder Frederson said...

And shame on you for prompting people to look at this accident in a way that disparages the dead man!

Actually I was hoping to shame at least some of your more rational commenters to tone down the snark.

And you stand above it. Because of course you have never not denied or claimed that climate change is or is not happening.

Bob Ellison said...

Actually I was hoping to shame at least you to learn that science is science and emotion is emotion, and you should stand aside, Freder.

Curious George said...

We're going to need some more crevasse guys I guess.

JAORE said...

" The majority of your commenters on such threads peddle the most extreme denial and accuse the scientific community of being part of some vast conspiracy to destroy the U.S. and capitalism. Scientists are either dishonest socialists or useful idiots."

Nah,it's simpler than that. Scientists live and die by funding. I have worked with air quality (not climate) as well as other government funded scientists. They all know how to use the right buzz words to increase the chance of funding. One guy proposed a study to determine "if" a bad thing would happen. Rejected. Exact same study resubmitted to "demonstrate that" the bad thing would happen. Accepted. He laughed.

Add in the scientist as celebrity and ALL the kids want to be with the cool kids. Hence the chorus of "me too, me too".

I became a skeptic, as opposed to denier, when I first heard the phrase, "The science is settled". WTF. Settled? Based on a series of models with a huge number of inter-related variables, many poorly understood, over a long term with feed-back loops never before experienced. Settled science? No, no it is not.

Nor do they follow the scientific methods as I learned it. The claims presented, data provided,methodology explained and invitations made to others to see if the claims hold water. Do you think that's what occurred here?

Then I began to notice the details of the scientists. What data points were used? Selected ice cores, selected tree rings, selected temperature stations and more. Hmmmmm, the term cherry pick comes to mind. But, let's see the data and we can.... what? You say you have manipulated the data and sources so much you can not recreate it..... and it's none of my business?

Hockey stick? Hide the decline. Ignore that in the oldest evidence CO is a LAGGING indicator.

Then the short term predictions: Hurricanes like Catrina to be the norm several times a year, all snow gone in London by 2012 and on and on.

At some point it occurs to me that those that call this a religion rather than science have a point.

Larry J said...

Back in 2002, I visited Alaska's Glacier Bay National Park. It was wonderful seeing the glaciers calving. Very impressive. Here's a little tidbit from the park's website, ran no doubt by those ardent climate change deniers at the National Park Service. Emphasis added.

"Glacier Bay was first surveyed in 1794 by a team from the H.M.S. Discovery, captained by George Vancouver. At that time, the survey showed a mere indentation in the shoreline. The massive glacier was more than 4,000 feet thick in places, up to 20 miles wide, and extended more than 100 miles to the St. Elias mountain range. By 1879, however, naturalist John Muir discovered that the ice had retreated more than 30 miles forming an actual bay. By 1916, the Grand Pacific Glacier – the main glacier credited with carving the bay – had melted back 60 miles to the head of what is now Tarr Inlet."

So, corresponding to the end of the Little Ice Age around 1850, the glacier was retreating long before the advent of SUVs and other CO2 spewing contraptions. The climate changed (as it's always doing) with little to no sign of human causation. Imagine that.

As for the man who died in Antarctica, my condolences to his family.

Jack Wayne said...

What amused me is that his job is to identify crevasses in a heavily crevassed area AND THEN FILL THEM! Reminded me of the joke of being paid to dig holes and then refill them for a government paycheck.

pdug said...

"Most existing glaciological research – and hence discourse and discussions about cryospheric change – stems from information produced by men, about men, with manly characteristics, and within masculinist discourses"

pdug said...

Men need feminism to save their lives from using their manly characteristics to discourse masculinely about glaciers.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Glaciers are extraordinarily dangerous--terrible visibility, shifting landscape, nearly-undetectable death traps all around. Doing hands-on research in that environment takes serious guts and I'm sure workplace accidents & deaths must be much more common there than elsewhere. Other than moving very slowly I'm not sure how you'd prevent something like this if you're riding a snowmachine in an area with unknown topography (under the ice/snow layer you can barely see anyway). I hope people doing that job get the equivalent of hazard pay.

Poor guy; it was probably quick, at least.

Unknown said...

Why do I disbelieve the Climate Change hysteria? For some very good reasons.

1) the earth is warming naturally. Even if we all went back to the caves and huddled in the dark, the earth would still heat up. Humanity is not adding that much more, if any.

2) The models, the science, and everything is a complete mess. None of the models have turned out to approach reality. Heck, they don't even know if clouds cool or warm things. Their results and science is completely based off of unknowns: a speculated "feedback" loop that probably doesn't exist. In fact, I know it doesn't. Why? Because if they were right that changing 0.0001 parts of the atmosphere leads to runaway heating, then it would have happened already via natural catastrophe. It's much more likely that feedback loops are there to dampen and moderate changes.

3) The scientists are not acting like scientists. They act like politicians. Any true scientist would welcome publicity, examination, and replication of their results. Climate change scientists welcome publicity, but run screaming in horror at the very idea someone should check their work that's not part of "The club." Further, people who aren't climate scientists but are experts at other things have flatly declared that when they examine Climate work in their areas--such as computer coding, statistics, etc: it's all a crock.

4) Real world results do not match the hysteria. Can't help but notice that the ice caps are still there, the polar bears are invading because there's so many of them, the glaciers haven't melted, New York isn't under water, etc. Sure, every time someone brings up the failed spectacular predictions, the leftists say "But that was ignorant media; the real scientists have only ever claimed a small rise in temperatures, like 1.4 degrees in the next 100 years!" In which case, why are we worried? Those same "real scientists" never come out and say "Don't trust Al Gore, he's full of it!" They are happy for the hysteria.... so they get tarred with the "failed prophet of doom" tag. If you are going to claim the Earth will end unless X happens... .well, the earth had better end or you get no credit for being right.

--Continued

Unknown said...


5) The curious little fact that according to all the "scientists" the only remedy and way to stop their foretold disasters is to follow the communist manifesto. Odd, isn't it, how the only possibly solution is to adopt the entire far left political platform and give up all your freedoms and money to the same experts who are telling us it's a disaster.

Especially since when you compare America to the Soviet Union in terms of what overwhelming government power does for the environment: it ain't pretty for the leftists.

See, Fredor: People aren't stupid. We recognize shell games and con men. And people who's predictions are always wrong telling me that I need to give them complete power over my life and send all my money to them: well, they'd better be really convincing and have irrefutable proof. Climate change fanatics and you leftists don't have that proof. All your predictions fail. Why, exactly, should we trust you?

5) Hubris. You guys are claiming that you have the power to fix the earth and change it's weather and climate, as long as we give you complete power and control. Bull. King Canute tried demanding the Oceans recede (like Obama!), and he couldn't change it. Nor can you leftists. What happens when we give you trillions and complete dictatorial control and the temperature still rises? You giving us a refund, with interest? Of course not. Just like anything else, you'll need more money, more power, and since radical environmentalists are in love with genocide, ultimately you'll order millions if not billions killed to "save the earth from their polluting breath!" That's the other thing: you are being very, very insulting when you claim that humans poison the earth as we breathe. Poison? Really?

6) And finally: you guys fail the basic "Elijah" test. Elijah, in the Bible, demanded that the people of the Kingdom of Israel repent and turn away from their wickedness. You know, the people were doing basic Democrat things like lying, stealing, orgies, worshipping the flesh, and in particular Baal. Of course, Elijah predicted lots of bad things. How were the people to know he was right?

He showed them that yes, he DID have the power to cause droughts, to cause it to rain, and most spectacularly, he called down fire from heaven in front of lots and lots of witnesses. The people repented.

You leftists have predicted lots of bad things and you want us to believe you. Where's your control over drought, over rain? Where's your fire from heaven and not from a B-2 bomber or missile? Why should we believe that YOU leftists are our savior from the great anger of Gaia (since that is what you are promising to do is save us from Angry Mother Earth)?

--Vance

The Drill SGT said...

to identify crevasses in the area, some of which were found and filled earlier in the week

What I fail to understand is the logic of attempting to "fill in" crevasses? With a dozen D-8's? or explosives? You have a geologically unstable terrain, which is hard to mark, constantly shifting, and perhaps not much reason to be driving on it. Why locate and fill the holes in. street repair?

Ipso Fatso said...

"Scientists (Freder) are either dishonest socialists or useful idiots."

This describes you perfectly, Freder. You were a moron at the old Volokh Conspiracy and you are one here. Some things never change.

mockturtle said...

I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!

Now, now, ARM! You know Althouse never baits or trolls us. Ever! ;-)

mockturtle said...

Yeah, it's hard work but somebody has got to do it. Heaven only knows where we'd be if we didn't have guys running around glaciers in ATVs 'studying climate change'. I have known quite a few mountain climbers and lost several friends to the mountains, too, but at least none of them ever claimed to be doing it 'for science'.

damikesc said...

What I see is what I see in every thread you have about climate change. The majority of your commenters on such threads peddle the most extreme denial and accuse the scientific community of being part of some vast conspiracy to destroy the U.S. and capitalism

No. Just of being bought. Which they pretty clearly are.

What I fail to understand is the logic of attempting to "fill in" crevasses? With a dozen D-8's? or explosives? You have a geologically unstable terrain, which is hard to mark, constantly shifting, and perhaps not much reason to be driving on it. Why locate and fill the holes in. street repair?

What I don't understand is why they wish to interfere with nature in such a way? Crevasses occur for a reason.

traditionalguy said...

The idea of a surge in sea level rise sure is frightening. Somebody has to go out and search for the evidence to prove it's real. He gave his life trying to find it.

But Antarctica has been cooling and record setting icing over for 15 years. But as he pointed out. He had a good job. And very few people in Maine can find good jobs.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

At the time of the accident, Dr. Hamilton’s team was working with an operations team to identify crevasses in the area, some of which were found and filled earlier in the week.

How many climate scientists does it take to fill a crevasse?

Earnest Prole said...

yet another who died doing what he loved knowing full well the risks

Birkel said...

Freder Frederson:

When the science was settled that we had reached Peak Oil, did you call those who disagreed names? I'm going to guess you did.

But enough about the arguments from the 1880s between Rockefeller and Flagler.

mockturtle said...

How many climate scientists does it take to fill a crevasse?

Let's find out!

Achilles said...

"Why do the majority of conservatives still disbelieve 95% of the world's climate scientists? "

1. They do not use the scientific method. They treat the subject more like religion than science and act more like priests than scientists.

2. If your study produces the incorrect results the government stops giving you money and you are not a climate scientist anymore. Magic happens and "95% of all climate scientists" come up with the same answer.

Rusty said...

"At the time of the accident, Dr. Hamilton’s team was working with an operations team to identify crevasses in the area, some of which were found and filled earlier in the week."

At this rate we'll run out of scientist before we find them all.

Is Freder virtue signaling again? Get your mommy to kiss it Freder and maybe change your dress.

Freder Frederson said...

But Antarctica has been cooling and record setting icing over for 15 years.

This statement is bullshit.

Birkel said...

Freder Frederson is wrong. But he does not know it.

mockturtle said...

http://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/antarctic-sea-ice-reaches-new-record-maximum

Original Mike said...

Freder is never wrong. Want proof? Ask him.

Rusty said...

Freder Frederson said...
But Antarctica has been cooling and record setting icing over for 15 years.

This statement is bullshit.

Then prove it.

Fen said...

Wait till Freder hears the latest discovery - the Arctic melt that is his side's centerpiece for their Global Warming Cult? Turns out the heat is due to underwater volcanic activity and not human-induced warming.

He's a Science Denier.

As AGW theory unravels further, its going to be fun to bask in the tears of the jerks who likened us Holocaust Deniers simply for raising questions about their new religion.

I'm sure the rest of you will want to be merciful, that's a mistake. These people are like the Danes - you pay them, they come back next season with even more outrageous demands. You throat punch them instead, and they'll retreat back to Dem Underground forever.

They corrupted the good name of Science to promote socialism. There should be a consequence for that. At the very least, they should be forever shunned.

Fen said...

"Why do the majority of conservatives still disbelieve 95% of the world's climate scientists?"

1. They do not use the scientific method. They treat the subject more like religion than science and act more like priests than scientists.

2. If your study produces the incorrect results the government stops giving you money and you are not a climate scientist anymore. Magic happens and "95% of all climate scientists" come up with the same answer


3. Science is not consensus. "A man who must say he is king is no true king" - Tywin Lannister. Likewise, if you have to use some bullshit poll and argue from authority, it means your "science" is bunk, since it can't survive on its own merits.

Fen said...

Pointman has a good piece on how corrupted Climate Science has become.

"Their first stab was something called post-normal science, which when you strip off the sociology verbiage and oily sophistry, was nothing more than a proposal to abandon the scientific method. Your theory was so important, so crucial, that it simply fell outside the passé science processes of the last few hundred years. It didn’t need things like that tiresome phase of testing your theory’s predictions against reality.

The next line of defence was declaring that it was all settled. It had been so thoroughly proven, incidentally an impossible thing for any scientific theory, that it was no longer an open question. Move along now. The proof had been done by taking a vote and the novel idea of science by consensus rather than scientific method was born.


In the end, you’ve nowhere left to go but denying anyone wishing to replicate your work the data or details of your methodology. It’s all way too far over their head and anyway, they only want to use it against you. Anything but that sort of cooperation, because then the whole sordid game would be up. All would be lost. You fudge, you delay, you tell them the data is lost, it’s protected by commercial IPR agreements, you hide behind FOI legislation and in the end you threaten to sue them if they won’t leave you alone.

That’s a delaying stratagem you can play for a few years but the day finally arrives when someone else demonstrates that the results of applying your grand theory simply don’t match up to the real world data.

When that happens, all you’ve got left is to attack them for threatening your theory with real world data. That’s the terminal madness, the final naked abandonment of any lingering threadbare pretence of being a scientist."

https://thepointman.wordpress.com/2014/05/22/the-age-of-unenlightenment/

Fen said...

"These are the same ones who believed/still believe Trump would lead them into the promised land."

Huh? You don't undertand your subject material enough to be making such a remark.

Trump is a celebrity blowhard, and idiot. We don't believe he will lead us anywhere. We are voting against Hillary Clinton because she is above the law - she just squashed an FBI investigation, Trump doesn't even begin to have that kind of power and influence. And he certainly wouldn't get away with it.

Hillary Clinton should be in jail, but she is accountable to no one. That is VERY dangerous to the Republic and the Rule of Law. So we have to vote for whoever is in striking range to prevent her from gaining the power of the Executive Branch. Sucks that it has to be Trump, but even Hitler would be a better choice than Hillary - because our system of checks and balances would rein a Hitler in, but not a Hillary. As she has so aptly demonstrated time and time again.

You might Pause (there is that word heh) to consider that your views re the skeptics of Global Warming Theory are just as inaccurate as your views on Trump supporters. Just saying, its blinding you and handicapping your analysis.

Here is a great article on where my people are at. Long read, but very informative.

http://www.claremont.org/crb/basicpage/after-the-republic/

Achilles said...

Freder Frederson said...
But Antarctica has been cooling and record setting icing over for 15 years.

"This statement is bullshit"

That is the left's version of the scientific method right there in a nutshell.

tim in vermont said...

What I see is what I see in every thread you have about climate change. The majority of your commenters on such threads peddle the most extreme denial and accuse the scientific community of being part of some vast conspiracy to destroy the U.S. and capitalism. Scientists are either dishonest socialists or useful idiots. - Freder

The same guy who believed that there was zero self-dealing for the Clintons in the Clinton Foundation.

Why do the majority of conservatives still disbelieve 95% of the world's climate scientists? -Unknown.

Well I know that you hate email leaks, but the Climategate emails could have been written by the skeptics, their contents were certainly guessed beforehand, just as the Podesta hack confirms so many right wing comment threads.

Do you ever puzzle over why right wing threads tend to be confirmed by these hacks, instead of disproved? Naah!

Besides, it's not the climate scientists I disbelieve, it's the reporting of climate science that I distrust, and I think that the window Wikileaks has opened on the liberal activist press more than validates that distrust.

If you read the science yourself, even the reports put out by the IPCC which summarize the science, you will find more than enough fodder for distrust yourself. But that is probably too much work.

damikesc said...

Well I know that you hate email leaks, but the Climategate emails could have been written by the skeptics, their contents were certainly guessed beforehand, just as the Podesta hack confirms so many right wing comment threads.

Do you ever puzzle over why right wing threads tend to be confirmed by these hacks, instead of disproved? Naah!


That is pretty damning. We're supposed to accept the word of people who have been provably wrong, repeatedly, for years...because THIS time, they're probably right.

Fen said...

Freder: "peddle the most extreme denial"

Because testing a theory’s predictions against observable reality is "extreme"...

What bothers me most is not your intellectual dishonesty or stupidity, its that your kind never suffer any consequence for it. You should be too ashamed of yourself to discuss the issue again, or you should be shunned and ridiculed till you retreat from the public square.

But you have zero integrity. So you will trot out another dozens lies.


Freder "accuse the scientific community of being part of some vast conspiracy to destroy the U.S. and capitalism"

Freder (1970): Global Cooling Doomsday! The only solution is MOAR Socialism!
Freder (1990): Global Warming Doomsday! The only solution is MOAR Socialism!
Freder (2000): Climate Change Doomsday! The only solution is MOAR Socialism!

Gee I wonder if we got that idea from you.

And hey, so you were wrong about Y2K crashing civilization, and you were wrong about the Aliens coming to wisk us away, and you were wrong about the Mayan Calender stopping time, and you were wrong about Global Warming Doom... what's up with Planet Nibiru, do you really think its going to collide with Earth? I think you are finally on to something. So when they pass around the kool-aide, drink deep.