WideWorld Magazine has posted an interesting interview with polar explorer Pen Hadow in which he talks about a number of great topics, including the continued importance of exploration in the 21st century, his approach to organizing and conducting an expedition, and his thoughts on the impact of global climate change on the polar ice caps.
Pen has visited both the North and South Pole, and back in 2003, he became the first person to make the solo, unsupported journey to 90ºN via the Canadian side of the Pole. He was also a member of the ice team on the 2009 Catlin Arctic Survey and served as the project director for the 2010 survey as well.
Needless to say, he’s logged plenty of time in very cold places, and talks about how those places are now changing, with the ice caps shrinking dramatically thanks to an increase in the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which is in turn absorbed by the oceans. As a result of this increase, and due to a general warming of the planet, the ice is disappearing from both poles, but especially the North. Pen says that in another 20-30 years, the North Polar Icecap will cease to be a year round fixture at the top of the world, and will be replaced by open water for a good part of the year.
The interview is a good one for a number of reasons, and offers some great insights into travel in the polar regions, both now and in the future. As the headline says, we may all be going to the North Pole by kayak in the years to come.
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