Need Ice?

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In this age of (apparently) shrinking polar ice caps, I pondered what’s been happening up north this winter–way north, in the Arctic night. The first site that Google produced for the phrase “arctic sea ice” was this: Arctic Sea Ice News and Analysis. The news: the extent of Arctic sea ice is greater than it was in the minimum season (two years ago); the extent of Arctic sea ice is significantly below the average recorded for the years 1979-2000. But check out the sight for yourself.

And a bonus for Arctic ice fans: The Catlin Arctic Survey (patron: HRH The Prince of Wales): Three Brits on the ice plus a logistics team tracking and resupplying them. The team is to trek from a spot north of Canada’s Arctic coast to the North Pole, about 1,000 kilometers; its mission is to measure the thickness of the ice along the way; that could be important evidence about ice deterioration under the pressure of global warming.

The adventurers set out on March 1, and in their 15 days on the ice they’ve traveled all of 28 kilometers. That’s about 17 miles, if you’re keeping score in the United States, or a little more than a mile a day. Luckily, the weather is fine: currently -41 degrees C. (-42 F.) and sunny. The BBC’s running a nicely done diary site, complete with audio reports from the trekkers.

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