Catlin Arctic Survey - 2
From 01.03.2010 to 30.05.2010 - Status: ongoing
Under the impetus of Pen Hadow, the new Catlin expedition (see details of the previous Catlin venture) will be focusing this time on the effects that carbon dioxide is having on the Arctic Ocean The aim is to cover around 500 km on the sea-ice.
To recap, last year's Catlin Arctic Survey expedition, led by Pen Hadow, was launched in a blaze of media publicity. But by 13th May, two and a half months after they set out, the three members of the venture had to be rescued when they were still 490 km from their goal of the North Pole (see our dispatches).
Once again, Pen Hadow is the driving force behind the project and he has stated that his desire first and foremost is to focus on science, rather than merely reach the North Pole. Last year, he was involved in evaluating the thickness of the sea-ice by drilling through the ice on a virtually daily basis. This time around, he has decided to draw the public's attention to the other current major problem (apart from global warming and climate change). i.e. the effects of carbon dioxide on the waters of the Arctic Ocean or, taking the wider view, on the problem of the widespread acidification of the world's oceans. Hence it is not Climate Change' that Pen wishes to focus on, but Ocean Change. (for more details, see the PDF here)
The expedition itself is being led by the renowned polar explorer, Ann Daniels, who will be assisted by the photographer Martin Hartley and the polar adventurer, Charlie Paton, who has several years of travelling through the polar regions and exploring behind him.
The three members of the expedition will be dropped off part-way to the North Pole (at approximately 85°N / 77°W) and their trek is expected to extend over a distance 500 kilometres northwards (during which time they will take various measurements and conduct the scientific observations required). Once they reach their destination, one of Ken Borek's Twin Otters will fly in to collect the team. This means that for this particular expedition, reaching the North Pole is not the primary goal.
In addition to all this, another team is scheduled to set up an "Ice Base", where groups of scientists will take it in turns to carry out a wide range of research assignments with the increasing levels of acidity in the Arctic Ocean as the main theme. This camp will be located at 78° 45' N / 103° 30' W.