Travelling back in time

Published on 03.06.2008 - Greenland Northward Expedition 2008

The two Finns stopped by the Greenland Summit Camp research station, which is carrying out deep drilling operations into the icecap.

Aside the many feelings that this type of adventure is likely to arouse, the visit of the two Finns to the Danish Greenland Summit Camp research station will doubtless be one of the highlights of their journey. They arrived on day 36 of their trek.

But it wasn't the comfort of the base hot meals, showers, cold beer and a warm welcome that struck them most. In his expedition journal, Pete Vuorenmaa noted that after three weeks without washing, you do of course jump at the chance of having a good shower. But a shower is just a shower and, after those first few magic moments, you soon forget all about it. The real fascination came from being able to listen to the stories told by the scientists working at the base, most of whom are leaving for the Antarctic after the summer.

In particular, the two men noted that the deepest drilling carried out at the Greenland Summer Camp has reached a depth of 3 500 metres, travelling back a staggering 250 000 years in time. "They have taken fresh readings," states the report dated 27th May, "and the results of the new drilling shows that the level of CO2 in the atmosphere remained steady at 270 for tens of thousands of years, whereas by 1970, the level had reached 320 and is currently just under 400! Looking at those sorts of figures," note the Finns, "it is hard to believe that human beings have not had an effect on the climate..."

The two men stayed at the base for two days, after which they continued their journey. They still have 1100 km to go.

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