Anthropogenic Global Warming has claimed yet another victim; Stuff reports:
The worst big freeze in almost 20 years has left parts of the Shotover River frozen solid, metres across, keeping jetboat operators off the water for almost record periods.The river has been choked with ice, making it too dangerous for boats to operate because of the risk of large chunks of ice getting sucked into the jet units, causing power and steering to fail.Ngai Tahu Tourism southern region jetboating manager Clark Scott said until 2pm yesterday Shotover Jet was getting close to its 1994 record of 11 consecutive days not operating because of ice. The big red boats finally got back on the water for two hours after a frustrating eight-day hiatus.Last week was traditionally one of Queenstown's two busiest winter weeks, the first week of the school holiday. The company normally carries hundreds of passengers a day during that week, so the ice represented some big losses, but Scott would not say how much.However, the company was inundated yesterday afternoon with eager passengers the minute news got out that trips were operating again.Ice was 60mm to 100mm thick in places, and staff could walk well more than a metre out on to the river.Further upstream in the frozen Skippers Canyon, Skippers Canyon Jet managing director Ben Hohneck said it had lost more than $50,000 during the past eight days when its boats would normally carry 50 people a day.But there had been plenty of visitors lining up for the company's four-wheel-drive sightseeing trips to view the stunning icicle spectacles in the canyon.In some places the river had frozen about 30cm deep and 10m across. It was the longest period they had been off the water since 1992, when ice blocked their trips for two weeks, Hohneck said.
As can be seen in the photograph above, it is indeed a winter wonderland down in the Southern Lakes area at the moment. Given that the prophets of doom a few years ago predicted rising snow lines and the eventual demise of the ski industry in New Zealand as a consequence of AGW, we'd have top question the validity of those prophesies.
Yes; there is no doubt that the climate is changing. But that is nothing new; the climate changes constantly, as it has done for thousands of years. Call us a sceptic, but we are yet to be convinced that man's inhumanity to man is the sole or even the primary cause of these changes.
And Shotover Jet's misfortune has an upside for others; TVNZ reported last night that for just the fifth time in 17 years, curlers have been able to congregate at Idaburn Dam near Oturehua for a Bonspiel where there most definitely wasn't any Global Warming evident!