Flight dispatched with supplies for North Pole team

Mar 18, 2009
L-R: Ann Daniels, navigator, Martin Hartley, expedition photographer, and Pen Hadow, expedition leader, pose in this undated photo in the Arctic. A plane set off Wednesday during a break in bad weather to re-supply three stranded British researchers, who are trapped and fighting to survive in the North Pole, organizers of the aid effort said.

A plane set off Wednesday during a break in bad weather to re-supply three stranded British researchers, who are trapped and fighting to survive in the North Pole, organizers of the aid effort said.

The flight from the remote Inuit hamlet of Resolute on Cornwallis Island in northern , was expected to reach the team by 2030 hours GMT.

The aircraft is scheduled to land on an strip identified by the research team with the help of satellite data.

The exploration team -- Pen Hadow, Martin Hartley and Ann Daniels -- set off on an 85-day hike to the on February 28 to measure the thickness of sea ice when bad weather hampered supply flights.

They were down to half-rations and battling desperate sub-zero .

"It'll be a relief to get our new supplies," Hadow said Wednesday in a statement from the London headquarters of the Catlin Arctic Survey.

"Until (the plane) does arrive, we need to conserve energy and can't really move on."

The expedition now expects to arrive at the North Pole in late May.

During the past 18 days, temperatures dropped below minus 40 degrees Celsius, which also is equivalent to minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and the brutal cold was accompanied by strong winds.

Three earlier flight to drop food supplies to the team had to turn back because of bad weather.

In a statement on Tuesday, Hadow described the team's desperate plight.

"We're hungry, the cold is relentless, our sleeping bags are full of ice and because we're not moving, the colder we get," he said.

The team aims to gather data to complement satellite and submarine observations to measure the sea ice and plot how fast it is disappearing during their 850-kilometer (530-mile) trek.

Global warming is believed to be the main culprit in the rapidly melting north polar ice cap that is freeing up new and untapped mineral resources on the ocean bottom.

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: Better forecasts for sea ice under climate change

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

British team trek to North Pole to measure sea ice

Mar 01, 2009

Three British explorers have set out on a 90-day skiing expedition to the North Pole, measuring sea ice thickness the whole way to find out exactly how fast it is disappearing, according to the Catlin Arctic ...

Arctic sea ice thinning at record rate

Oct 28, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- The thickness of sea ice in large parts of the Arctic declined by as much as 19% last winter compared to the previous five winters, according to data from ESA's Envisat satellite.

Recommended for you

Better forecasts for sea ice under climate change

5 hours ago

University of Adelaide-led research will help pinpoint the impact of waves on sea ice, which is vulnerable to climate change, particularly in the Arctic where it is rapidly retreating.

"Ferrari of space' yields best map of ocean currents

13 hours ago

A satellite dubbed the "Ferrari of space" has yielded the most accurate model of ocean circulation yet, boosting understanding of the seas and a key impact of global warming, scientists said Tuesday.

Researcher studies deformation of tectonic plates

16 hours ago

Sean Bemis put his hands together side by side to demonstrate two plates of the earth's crust with a smooth boundary running between them. But that boundary is not always smooth and those plates do not always ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

mntmn3
1 / 5 (2) Mar 20, 2009
If ESA's Envisat satellite measures ice thickness from space, why are these people bumbling around in the dangerous Arctic?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.