ARCTIC SEA ICE —Barneo 2016 begun–

After some nervous discussions about not having a North Pole Base base this year, the Russians have apparently begun work on it.

Irina Orlova: Ice floe found for Barneo 2016 expedition

 

Ms Orlova, on March 18, two helicopters flew to find an ice floe on which the Barneo camp can be built. Did they find it?

I’ve just spoken with the head of the helicopter crew Yevgeny Bakalov who said they are going to drop equipment on a new floe. I don’t yet know its precise location but it’s about 70 km from the pole.

What kind of an ice floe can accommodate the camp?

A camp primarily needs a runway — 1,200 meters long and no less than 40 meters wide. It is pitched near the runway. So, an ice floe should be at least two kilometers long. Last year we found a very good ice floe, about five to three kilometers.

How do you deliver equipment for building a camp?

When a befitting ice floe is found, an IL-76 flies from Murmansk and delivers two tractors to it. They even out the runway where an AN-74 will deliver equipment. This is a technical flight and it carries an employee who approves the runway. Then the expedition center’s team begins building a camp. Some materials for the camp are just dropped while others are carried by next flights.

More to be found here:

http://arctic.ru/analitic/20160325/323506.html

No word yet about the planting of the North Pole Camera.

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4 thoughts on “ARCTIC SEA ICE —Barneo 2016 begun–

  1. Well, very interesting!

    Their link makes it sound like the “base” is all about frivolity, tourism, and maybe a little science. There is even a mention that the sea ice is declining! But, I have my suspicions…

    The Russians already have the world’s largest icebreaker, and are building another. The jet cargo plane mentioned (An-74) was developed specifically for landing on ice and snow.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/50_Let_Pobedy

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonov_An-74

    The Russians have long been TRUE skeptics of AGW. I think they are going for the oil and gas deposits, but trying to downplay it. They wouldn’t build the world’s largest icebreakers if they believed all the sea ice is going away. And they wouldn’t be building a runway on “melting” ice!!

    • The ice-base is temporary, and shuts down early in May when things get slushy. The ice tends to head down to Fram Strait and fall apart. Therefore what they are talking about is creating a sort of giant raft, perhaps like an aircraft carrier, that could withstand getting crunched by ice on all sides, and also be self-propelled, so they wouldn’t drift out of the Arctic Sea.

      It really does sound like Russia serious about exploiting the arctic. If Canada and the USA had any ambition they could start a “space race” in terms of arctic technology, but I see no signs of it yet.

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