20 days on the Arctic ice pack
Published on 07.07.2012 - Expédition Pôle Nord 2012
Having been dropped on 4 April at the North Pole, the two frenchmen came back on land on 24 April. According to the protagonists, the scientific programm has been unfolded as planned.
From the Press Dossier : "... Temperature, pressure, conductivity, nitrates, oxygen, salinity, fluorescence and radioactivity are some of the measured parameters. They will be used by some research programs of the CNRS, the Commission Research and Independent Information on Radioactivity (CRIIRAD), Ifremer and Océanopolis."
Catherine Larose, a researcher at the CNRS laboratory Ampère in Lyon, is expecting a lot by the analysis of the microorganisms brought back by the two explorers. "Currently, our knowledge of the biodiversity of the snow is limited to a few studies made at Mount Everest and in Svalbard in Norway. There are no data on the North Pole", she said. "The first step is to identify different microorganisms to compare them with those of other arctic environments. After, we should study their functional characteristics. I hope to get the first results by the end of the year. "
This could lead to a better understanding of how the ice pack behaves. Example : does the latter behave like a snow cover ? Can the chemistry of microorganisms and their potential interactions with the atmosphere tell us more about the famous global warming? "... The Arctic environment will change significantly in the next few years, due to melting ice and rising sea transport in this area. Microbiology snow could provide guidance on the consequences of these changes, ", hopes Catherine Larose.
The all team is thus quite pleased with this year first results. Let's not forget all the same that last year when the team was preparing this year voyage in Greeland, they had to shoot two polars bears who had become too dangerous for the french pair.