Cold Chills Global Warming Expedition
March 14, 2007
An expedition designed to show how global warming is heating the Arctic had to be called off after one of the explorers got frostbite, thanks to incredibly frigid temperatures that got as low as 100 degrees below zero.
Explorers Ann Bancroft and Liv Arnesen planned to make a 530-mile journey on foot across the Arctic Ocean, but they had to call off the trek after Arnesen suffered frostbite in three of her toes, and extreme cold temperatures drained the batteries in some of their electronic equipment.
According to The Associated Press, they had planned to call in regular updates to school groups by satellite phone and had planned online posts with photographic evidence showing the alleged effects of global warming on the Arctic regions. On their Web site www.bancroftarneson.com they claim that “Arctic climate is now warming rapidly” and added that “much larger changes are projected.”
The cold truth, however, got in the way – the climate in the allegedly warming Arctic area turned out to be bitterly cold according to spokeswoman Ann Atwood, who helped organize the expedition. She told the AP that the two measured the temperature inside their tent at 58 degrees below zero one night, while outside temperatures were exceeding an astounding 100 below zero at times.
“My first reaction when they called to say there were calling it off was that they just sounded really, really cold,” Atwood said. She added that Bancroft and Arnesen were applying hot water bottles to Arnesen’s foot every night, but had to wake up periodically because the bottles froze.
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Atwood admitted there was some irony that a trip to call attention to global warming had to be called off in part by extreme cold temperatures.
“They were experiencing temperatures that weren’t expected with global warming,” Atwood said. “But one of the things we see with global warming is unpredictability.”