And this is Summer!

January 5, 2014

Yes, we in the Northern hemisphere are in Winter.  The Southern hemisphere, Antarctica, is in Summer…

“The Chinese icebreaker that came to the rescue of a Russian ship stranded in Antarctica, helping evacuate dozens of passengers, has signalled it may now be trapped in heavy ice. The Xue Long, or Snow Dragon, has not moved for several days as it took part in multiple attempts to rescue passengers on a scientific expedition aboard the Russian vessel Akademik Shokalskiy.”

  The MV Akademik Shokalskiy lies trapped in the ice off Antarctica   (Andrew Peacock/Getty Images)

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said the Xue Long notified it “at 1pm AEDT (0200 GMT) this afternoon it has concerns about their ability to move through heavy ice in the area”.

The Russian ship has been stuck since Christmas Eve in frozen seas, 100 nautical miles east of the French base Dumont d’Urville.

On Thursday, a helicopter from the Xue Long used a makeshift landing pad next to the marooned ship to ferry 52 scientists, tourists and journalists to an Australian government supply vessel, the Aurora Australis.

But instead of making for an Australian base, as originally planned, the ship is now waiting to see if the Xue Long itself needs assistance.

It does.