They have done it !

Published on 22.10.2010 - The Northern Passage 2010

Børge Ousland and his shipmates finally made it back to Norway on 20 October. As homecoming celebrations are to be held at the Fram Museum/Oslo on this Saturday (23 October), we'll know more about the last days of this adventure plus a recap next week.

In the mean time, the expedition website has posted quite interesting lines out of an interview made by Olav Grinde with the man called 'the iceman' of this expedition, Nick Hughes. He is Head of The Norwegian Ice Service, he leads a staff that prepares weekly ice charts and proivides in-depth information for various clients. Here are mose excerpts from this interview :

The Northern Passage in the Oslo Fjord

The Northern Passage in the Oslo Fjord

© Børge Ousland

Nick Hughes : “For the Northern Passage 2010 Expedition, I have been interpreting ice conditions based on satellite images. This involves converting available raw satellite data into maps that can be understood by the crew of the “Northern Passage”. In places where the ice was challenging, I have suggested navigational waypoints for the crew to follow through the ice, avoiding its greatest concentration.”

“Most of the time we used images with a medium resolution of 50–100 metres, which is ideal for seeing where there is ice over a wide area. When we wanted to follow the ice in more detail over a smaller area, for example the narrow Bellot Strait in the Northwest Passage, we could increase the resolution to up to 4 metres. In addition the Ice Service was able to provide coverage from the European Space Agency’s Envisat satellite, through our involvement in the MyOcean project, as well as publicly available images from NASA satellites.”

He explains that ice conditions this year have been very favourable for navigation of the Northern Sea Route (Northeast Passage) and the Northwest Passage. “In view of summer conditions in the Arctic over the past decade, I have not been surprised. Where the expedition did encounter ice, it was in the areas where we expected it,” says Nick.

For further details about waht this specialist thinks about the mand-made climate change, the drastic reduction of sea ice, the role of the satellites and the dramatic decline of sea ice thickness since 1990, please visit Borge's website.

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