Arctic witness

On September 9, Charles Hedrich (the Arctic rower who was on his way to cross the Northwest Passage solo in a rowboat) made the decision to abort his attempt and to stop at Tuktoyaktuk where he will spend the winter. He rowed 1,700 km, not yet half way his goal. He plans to continue for the second part in the summer of 2014.

It was something that was expected after his message on September 6 and his focusing on past failed attempts to cross the Northwest Passage back in the 1845 and the 1900s.

Although I deeply respect his achievement of rowing solo for 1,700 km, I find the unavoidable mention of climate change strangely funny. This text at the end of the post caught my attention (translated from French):

The Arctic, a particular area, is often seen as a direct witness of changes to our planet. A field testimony to share and distribute via the association “Respectons La Terre” inviting to know and observe the earth through sportive adventurers who live their passions around the world.

The first sentence seems a bit comical after being stopped by ice only expected a month later and after several statements that “climate change is absent this year”. Or did something happen to that sensitivity or to climate change? Yeah, I know that one year doesn’t prove anything. But it indicates how little is known about the Arctic: this wasn’t expected. Not so long ago scientists and the media projected an ice free Arctic in the summer of 2013. As they also projected it for 2000, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2030, 2050,… take your pick. It would be interesting to see what happens next. Will the melting kick in again? Or will there be a slow increase of ice? There are certainly interesting times ahead.

I have to agree that these references to climate change are very, very mild compared to what for example the Mainstream Last First team is spewing to the public. Their theme is totally immersed in the “climate change is transforming the Arctic” and even when they experienced it differently they frantically kept on beating this drum. More on that in following post.


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