The Larsen Iceshelf Expedition

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From 05.12.2007 to 25.01.2008 - Status: success

International Polar Foundation

International Polar Foundation

© International Polar Foundation

The adventurer, writer and film producer Jon Bowermaster is setting out to uncover what happened in March 2002 when a huge section of the Larsen Ice Shelf, the size of Luxembourg, gradually broke away from the eastern coast of the Antarctic Peninsula.

Between January and March 2002, the international scientific community watched with fascination as one of the great polar ice events of the past twenty-five years unfolded before their eyes. What happened was that a huge chunk of the polar ice-cap gradually became detached from the Antarctic Peninsula. At the time, the size of this massive section of ice was estimated to be about the size of Luxembourg! Because scientists believe that the breaking up of the ice shelves that are fixed to the Antarctic coastline is one of the more obvious signs of global warming, the event sent out a warning around the entire world.

Over the past twenty years, Jon Bowermaster has specialised in studying the health of our oceans and seas. He has received no fewer than 6 grants from the National Geographic for his expeditions by kayak. His aim now is to see what remains of the Larsen Ice Shelf from a little closer up.

For this particular adventure, he has enlisted the support of a number of specialists:

  • The kayaker Graham Charles, who has spent more time than anyone else aboard a kayak in Antarctic waters,
  • Rodrigo Jordan, the Chilean who founded Vertical S.A. a company that uses mountains as the classroom for a range of different groups,
  • Sean Farrell, a judge, who has taken part in numerous kayaking expeditions with Bowermaster and whose achievements include retracing Jack London's Alaska/Yukon journey,
  • Pete McBride, writer and photographer, who has travelled the world as a freelance journalist, covering topics such as drug trafficking in the Horn of Africa and the rapid movement of the Khumbu Icefall at the foot of Everest,
  • John Armstrong, a documentary producer who has received many awards for his work over the past twenty years,
  • Alex Nicks, video-maker and white water kayaking champion, who has also been on Bowermaster's last five expeditions,
  • Fiona Stewart, Australian graphic designer, who will handle the expedition's communication aboard a yacht,
  • Will Steger, writer, photographer, lecturer and great explorer, who makes the entire world aware of the importance of preserving the Arctic spaces and ice. Will has won numerous awards for his travels and exploring,
  • Paul Andrew Mayewski, explorer and researcher, director of the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine, who has organised or taken part in over 45 polar expeditions,
  • Skip Novak, renowned skipper, whose credits include four Whitbread Round the World Races and a number of transatlantic crossings. He has spent over fifteen seasons in the waters of the Antarctic aboard his boat Pelagic, launched in 1987.

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