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. Real Climate Science also provides a graph showing that current Arctic temperatures — despite alarmist claims of the Arctic being hotter than ever — is actually below normal.
The Polar Ocean Challenge team is not the first global warming expedition to be faced with icy troubles. In 2013, an Antarctic research vessel named Akademik Shokalskiy became trapped in the ice, the problem was so severe that they actually had to rescue the 52 crew members. In 2015 a Canadian ice breaking ship, the CCGS Amundsen, was forced to reroute and help a number of supply ships that had become trapped by ice.
The icy blockade comes just over a month after an Oxford climate scientist, Peter Wadhams, said the Arctic would be ‘completely ice-free’ by September of this year. While it obviously isn’t September yet, he did reference the fact that there would be very little ice to contend with this summer.
“Even if the ice doesn’t completely disappear, it is very likely that this will be a record low year,” Wadhams told The Independent in June.
Wahdams says he expects less than one million square kilometers by summers end, but the current amount of Arctic sea ice is 10.6 million square kilometers, according to data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). The NSIDC puts the rate of ice loss for June at just about 60,ooo square kilometers a day. If that number were to hold, it would take approximately 160 days for the Arctic to dip down to the predicted one million square kilometers.