Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Catlin Arctic Survey: They Did It!! Explorers At 90ºN!
We've been following the Catlin Arctic Survey Team for 60 days now, and after some very long, and hard days out on the ice, the word has just come through that the Explorers Team has, at long last, reached the North Pole!
As you probably already know by now, the team consists of Ann Daniels, Charlie Paton and Martin Hartley, three veteran polar explorers. The trio has been making their way north for two months now, and along the way, they have been taking samples of the water in the Arctic Ocean to track the acidification of the water, and the effects of high levels of carbon dioxide on the ocean. Today, they took their final sample through a "Hole at the Pole", bringing an end to their journey.
Setting out on March 14th, Daniels, Paton, and Hartley covered 483 miles on their trek to the Pole. They also had to pick up their pace, and increase their daily distance, in an effort to reach that point before the end of the arctic season, which is usually marked by the break-up of the ice as the warmer months set in. The team also battled extreme cold, whiteout conditions, large open leads, and lots and lots of negative drift along the way. To say that they are ecstatic about reaching their goal is probably an understatement. They are now the last team out on the ice, and will be retrieved sometime in the next few days.
Once they do return home, their water samples will serve as the baseline for some important new research on the effects of global climate change on the polar ice caps and the water underneath. Future expeditions are likely to take similar samples, but they will all be compared to the ones this team has gathered. It is a testament to their determination and stamina that they were able to reach the North Pole while still collecting all of their samples as well.
Congratulations to Ann, Charlie, and Martin on a job well done. Get some rest team, you've earned it.