10 Kilometres from the End…

Published on 14.06.2007 - The Arctic Arc

Land in sight!

Land in sight!

© International Polar Foundation

Today will probably be a big day for the expedition The Arctic Arc. Last night, they only had 10 km left before reaching Greenland.

Emotion, as we can imagine, dominated the conversation last night. Even though, this close to the end, they still need to be careful in this type of adventure, the slightest moment of inattention can be fatal, we now know that the two men have managed to reach Cape Arktichewski on the north coast of Greenland. This constitutes a major first on which we will come back in upcoming days.

"It has been a memorable day..."

And they know it too: "It has been a memorable day", explained Alain by satellite telephone last night. "Firstly, because we are sure now that we can make it, and then also because the landscapes through which we progressed, especially this morning, will probably stay forever engraved in our memories. I told you yesterday that we were progressing just as though we were in a history book, with lots of drawings engraved inside. Well, today, this is even more true. The ice corridors and labyrinths were really impressive, sometimes reaching up to eight or even ten metres high. It was just like a futuristic movie setting! It was completely unreal yesterday, and even more so today. What wonders these places are! I am particularly happy because we are giving back, it seems to me, a meaning to the word exploration. The places through which we are progressing and through which we have been these past few days, have never been walked through by man. The scenery of the mountains growing through the sea ice, no one has ever seen it. We are the first... The spirit of our expedition is therefore well respected."

Practically speaking, Alain and Dixie should reach the Greenland ground by the end of this afternoon – if everything works out well. We still haven't received any precise information concerning the team's pick up. What we do now is that the support team has left and that, normally, the plane that will go and get them should take off from Resolute Bay on Tuesday June 19.

Thursday, we will publish (besides a beautiful picture gallery featuring the latest photos they sent) a press release explaining why the expedition has stopped here. Although, initially, they were supposed to ski until the southernmost part of Greenland. Saturday, we will then discuss the inexorable sea ice melt. We have interviewed Thierry Fichefet, a climatology professor at the Catholic University of Leuven (UCL) and a specialist of sea ice mathematical modelling. He has given us information that brings us shivers down our spine...

The Website of the day

The daily article ("Global warming to melt Arctic sea ice away by 2040") was written by Stan Beer and published on December 13, 2006, by the Australian media iTWire. The author explains according to which scientific article researchers believe that, by 2040, the arctic sea ice will have melted entirely.

On the ESA website, an article published on June 12 speaks of the Arctic Arc expedition.
Please see also our Teaching dossiers on Educapoles.

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