This page contains a poll about their fate...Pen Hadow and two companions want to get to the North Pole and supply the Copenhagen conference with the required "doomsday data" to ban carbon, the main hallmark element of life, on Earth.
Gadgets break down
However, as BBC informed on Thursday, the scientific gadgets, including radar device Sprite and salinity/thermometer SeaCat, keep on malfunctioning. The technology failed largely due to "unexpected" (by them) minus 70 °C wind chill. At least, they can regularly drill the ice. :-)
On the fifth day of the expedition, one cable simply snapped. Four days later, it was clear that this made all the cables break. So out of the first 18 days, Sprite only collected data from 7 hours. :-) They were trying to fix the radar and/or give them a new one.
Update: As expected, Sprite continued to malfunction after the repairs and it was abandoned on day 44. Hadow conceded that Mother Nature always has the final say.
Biometric data are fake
It was also realized that the body temperature data on their website are completely fake. Click the first link of the previous sentence and be sure that Hadow's core temperature will be 33.25 °C at the beginning, rising by pre-determined steps to 33.75 °C or so. All the other temperatures on their page are pre-programmed, too - a method that is rather characteristic for the "global warming research".
(The page was later updated: it says that the pre-programmed biometry data were recorded on March 8th. I would doubt this more modest statement, too.)
Sadly, the page with the current conditions (click the "body temperature" link above) tells us that today in the morning, Ann Daniels spent several hours by "sitting at" and pre-heating a dead battery from the previous day instead of the correct, fresh one. ;-) On the positive side, she could finally throw away her sledging jacket for some time, one of the 15 or so pieces of clothes she wears.
Picture by Anthony Watts. Shift/click to zoom in in another window.
Will they get there at all?
There also exist serious doubts whether the expedition can get to the North Pole at all. See Steve Goddard's text. After 40 days, they have only made 240 kilometers. April 30th is the last day to recover the people safely from the North Pole region so they have roughly 20 days for the remaining 685.61 kilometers (as of today: yes, this figure actually increased by 2 km from Friday). As the summer is approaching, the areas with missing ice should start to spread.
But I personally don't expect Hadow to care about the safety of the airplanes much: he has already been evacuated from the North Pole in late May of 2003. Airplanes sometimes sink near the North Pole in May - and sometimes all the people are saved.
Thirty-five kilometers per day wouldn't be that hard for OK athletes. But these people may be exhausted, mostly due to their terrible planning. I wish them good luck - but not necessarily miraculously great luck! ;-)
Here's a poll. The only reason I didn't use JS-Kit polls for quite some time was that I forgot that I had to reset admin access after some time and it didn't work without it.
Bonus: walrus has some trouble
Because a few days ago, the Arctic team saw the carbon footprints of the local landlord, a male polar bear whose private territory they have violated, they may want to watch the video above to improve their mood. ;-)
Here is how a polar bear chooses inside a team of walruses. And another video shows how a seal needs some air. Bad luck.