January 16, 2009
It is with great pleasure that I introduce the Catlin Arctic Survey to Blogactiv.
The Catlin Arctic Survey is a pioneering scientific expedition to determine the lifespan of the North Pole ice cap. The Arctic Survey combines a pioneering feat of human endurance with scientific discovery on a geographic scale most would think impossible in the 21st century, the first accurate mapping of one of Earth’s largest geophysical surface features: the North Pole ice cap.
Such a surface Survey has never before been attempted, and the need for the information has never been greater. Current estimates for the North Pole ice cap’s total disappearance vary from 100 years down to just 5. Pen Hadow, Ann Daniels and Martin Hartley are set to leave on for the expedition mid February, with the plan to take the results to the UN Climate Change Conference, Copenhagen. The WWF plans to use their findings to help produce a binding agreement in the UN’s new Climate Change Protocol.
The Ice Team members have all reached the North Pole before, so this project is not about getting to the Pole, but rather about securing relevant scientific data. The choice of route has been dictated by the need to obtain the maximum amount of data possible along a scientifically relevant transect. The North Geographic Pole was the natural end point. The team will be travelling on foot, hauling sledges from 80°N 140°W, across 1,200-km of disintegrating and shifting sea ice, for around 100 days, in temperatures from 0ºC down to -50°C.
We are anticipating some written content, regular photographs and short video updates from the team. The following photographs were taken by team member Martin Hartley on previous expeditions.Stuart Langridge