Catlin Arctic Survey: Explorers Cross 85ºN

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For the Catlin Arctic Survey Teams it has been another busy and challenging week in the Arctic. While the Explorers Team makes slow, but steady progress northward, the Ice Base Team is continuing its valuable and important research on the impact of carbon dioxide absorption on our oceans.

It was a week of important milestones none the less, as the Explorers Team, which consists of Ann Daniels, Martin Hartley, and Charlie Paton, managed to cross the 85º mark in their journey to the North Pole. The trio battled extremely cold temperatures however, with wind chills often reaching -60ºC, and high winds, thin ice, and negative drift made for a frustrating combination at times. Despite those nasty conditions however, the team has managed to continue their own scientific work, taking core ice samples and other weather readings. To hear the team discuss their daily routine click here.

As if dealing with the weather wasn’t hazardous enough, the Explorers also came across a fresh set of polar bear tracks a few days back. The tracks were a reminder that they are not alone in this frozen wilderness and that the big bears actually rule the day. Trailing behind the bear was a fresh set of arctic fox prints as well, although those prints gave them less cause for pause of course.

Meanwhile, back at the Ice Base, the scientists and researchers there eagerly awaited their first resupply, but inclement weather prevented that from happening as it should. High winds in Resolute Bay prevented a plane carrying their goods from taking off for several days. As of this writing, they are still waiting for the weather to clear, allowing a delivery drop of food and gear, but also four new staff members, who will swap places with four who are currently at the base and awaiting extraction. While they do wait however, their work continues. Click here to check out some videos of the Ice Base Team explaining their work.

While conditions in the Arctic haven’t been great for either team, they are all committed to being there and completing their important tasks. The research that is being conducted is very important to helping us understand how global climate change is effecting the ice caps and the oceans as a whole, and the entire team is not only aware of that, but are happy to be where they are, despite the brutal temperatures and winds.

Kraig Becker

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