Up north, in the frozen environs of the Arctic, the Catlin Arctic Survey team continues to plug away at their mission, despite incredibly bad weather and sub-zero temperatures. While the Ice Base Team conducts their research and takes readings of the environmental conditions there, the Explorers Team is heading south towards Greenland, checking the health of the ice on the Arctic Ocean as they go.
One of the members of the squad, Explorer Team leader Ann Daniels, has just passed a significant milestone. Yesterday marked Ann's 365th day on the frozen Arctic Ocean. She has been a member of the Catlin Survey team for each of the past three years, spending weeks out on the ice, assisting in the imporant research that the organization has conducted each Arctic season. But prior to that, she had already made a successful journey to the North Pole (and South Pole for that matter!) and she still longs to complete a solo expedition to the top of the world. Spending a full year of her life on the Arctic Ocean is quite an impressive feat however, and one that deserves a tip of the hat. Clearly, Ms. Daniels has a thing for cold places.
A few weeks back the Explorers were dropped off at a point not far from the North Pole and they have been traveling south ever since. Their mission this year is to take measurements of the ice and see what impact global climate change is having on the region, and how those changes are effecting weather in North America and Europe. So far, the team has traveled about 120 miles over 25 days in the Arctic, with -42ºC/-43ºF as their coldest temperature to date. This post that lists their stats say that they've also burned a combined 800,000 calories and shot about 28 hours of footage for a documentary on their journey.
The team is now approaching the half-way point of their expedition, and still has a long way to go before they reach Greenland. They'll also probably face more open leads of water as they travel south, but so far everyone is feeling good and progress has been strong. At least while they're traveling south, the drift is usually working in their favor!
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