Alain is questioning himself
Published on 25.05.2007 - The Arctic Arc
Since the beginning of the expedition, Alain Hubert hasn't come to understand "his" Arctic sea ice. On one hand, the weather has gone completely wild and, on the other, the ice is unrecognizable.
"I don't know where we are anymore and I just can't understand anything. I have never seen anything like this before in the Arctic. Since the departure, that is about 84 days ago now, we have only seen 4 full days of clear weather. Yesterday, for example, the blue sky was around from the morning until about mid-day. Then, the sky got very cloudy and the day ended in a complete white-out. Tonight, we cannot see three metres from our tent. What is happening with the weather?"
The state of the ice is as puzzling as the weather for the pair. On the Siberian side of the Arctic, that is between Cape Arktichewski and the North Pole, what especially captured their attention was the young age of the ice and its extreme sensitivity to breaking up. They also wondered about the splitting up of the ice so close to the North Pole. Such changes have never happened before. On the same subject, we all remember what happened at the tourist resort in Barneo when a huge lead formed in just a couple of moments, carrying a Russian bulldozer 4000 metres under.
On the Canadian side of the sea ice (on which they are now progressing) however, they have come to some older ice again. But, it no longer has the same structure nor the same physionomy anymore. We have asked Alain Hubert to further explain these changes next time we speak by satellite telephone. He will tell us why he has had to change his itinerary and abandon the idea of reaching the Greenland ice cap through the Victoria fjord. The interview should take place sometime this weekend.
The Arctic is a Victim of Climate Change
Whatever these interrogations are, one thing is certain: the Arctic, even more than the Antarctic, is a victim of climate change and global warming. It has already been said on many accounts and just about everywhere, that these two particular regions of our planet constitute open air laboratories. It is not by coincidence that these two regions have become a privileged place for explorers who wish to raise public opinion concerning climate changes through a personal feat.
By the way, one can also observe that, nowadays, most polar expeditions include into their adventure objectives both an important environmental and an educational chapter.
In order to take an even more active part in public awareness, we shall publish, before the end of the expedition under each update along with a brief analysis of its content, a website address which is particularly well documented and which tackles principally the issues of Arctic ice melt and of global warming.
Today we visit the website of the Anchorage Daily News newspaper which has dedicated an article on the rapidity with which the Arctic sea ice is melting. The article is entitled 'Sea ice melting faster' and was written by one of their journalists, George Bryson.
G. Bryson starts off boldly with "Imagine three-fourths of the land mass of Alaska disappearing in a decade. That's roughly the amount of sea ice that has vanished from the Arctic ice cap in recent years â and now it's melting faster."