A two-pronged research effort into the effects of carbon dioxide on the Arctic Ocean
Distance trekked: 270 miles (440 km)
Days on the ice: 60 days
Dates: 14 March – 12 May
Explorers: Ann Daniels, Charlie Paton and Martin Hartley
Ice Base location: Western coast off Ellef Ringnes Island, Nunavut, Canada
Ice Base coordinates: 78°45’N 103°30′W
The concept of explorers working with scientists is at the heart of the Catlin Arctic Surveys. In 2010, an Ice Base of scientific and operations staff joined the three-person explorer team: a two-pronged research effort into the effects of carbon dioxide on the Arctic Ocean.
When carbon dioxide dissolves in sea-water it forms a weak acid. The rate at which atmospheric carbon dioxide is increasing is overwhelming the oceans ability to accommodate these changes, leading to ocean acidification. And because cold water absorbs CO2 more effectively than warm water, the Arctic Ocean is a beacon for how these changes could affect the world’s oceans.
Ann, Charlie and Martin braved harsh Arctic winter to spring conditions to collect vital water samples and measure sea ice thickness. After a day of hauling 120kg in temperatures as low as -38°C (-36°F), they manually drilled through ice up to five metres thick and kept water samples from freezing.
Their epic trek culminated in a ‘Hole at the Pole’ – a hole drilled through to ice at the North Pole for final water samples. For more information about research completed back at the Ice Base, see ocean acidification. For more information visit the Catlin Arctic Survey 2010 website.
- Operation IceBridge
March 28, 2012
- Arctic Oscillation
February 14, 2012
- Freshwater Dome
January 27, 2012
- Scott’s Terra Nova
January 17, 2012
- Ice Age Research
January 10, 2012
Packing the Expedition Freight
Some Pre-Expedition Thoughts from the Explorer Team