The jokes pretty much write themselves since there doesn’t seem to be any imminent danger to life and limb. The ship named Polar Ocean Challenge is in the process of demonstrating the real world effects of global warming by navigating the northeast and northwest passages above Canada, Europe and Asia. It’s a big project to undertake, particularly when you consider the lengthy history of human exploration which once sought that mythical northwest passage from Europe to India. (Sadly, quite a few people died in the attempt.)
But now that global warming has cleared the path, the dream can finally be realized. Except for one small problem… the sea ice is still there and it stopped them in their tracks. (Daily Caller)
A group of adventurers, sailors, pilots and climate scientists that recently started a journey around the North Pole in an effort to show the lack of ice, has been blocked from further travels by ice.
The Polar Ocean Challenge is taking a two month journey that will see them go from Bristol, Alaska, to Norway, then to Russia through the North East passage, back to Alaska through the North West passage, to Greenland and then ultimately back to Bristol. Their objective, as laid out by their website, was to demonstrate “that the Arctic sea ice coverage shrinks back so far now in the summer months that sea that was permanently locked up now can allow passage through.”
There has been one small hiccup thus-far though: they are currently stuck in Murmansk, Russia because there is too much ice blocking the North East passage the team said didn’t exist in summer months, according to Real Climate Science.
Curiously enough, this isn’t the first time this has happened. The Polar Ocean Challenge was trying it in the Arctic because this is when it’s summer in the northern hemisphere. But back in January of 2014, 52 people had to be rescued from a ship stuck in the Antarctic ice on the other end of the globe. You have to scroll all the way to the bottom of that CNN article to discover that Chris Turney, the expedition leader, is also a climate scientist. On his personal website, however, the professor apparently went into more detail. CNN simply summed it up by saying, “Turney’s expedition to gauge the effects of climate change on the region began on November 27. ”
That’s not to say that there isn’t less ice now than there was in the 15th and 16th centuries when we were originally poking around. There’s definitely less, at least during some years. Then again, there were also times when there wasn’t a bit of ice on the entire planet. (Likely a result of that secret fracking program the dinosaurs were running which we just haven’t unearthed yet.) We’ve also had at least one and possibly three periods which scientists refer to as “snowball Earth” when the entire planet froze over and life hung on by a thread in the cracks between the ice.
So be of good cheer, sailors. If you wait around long enough you’ll be able to make that trip sooner or later.