Record-setting Arctic Ocean trip completed

Nov 01, 2005

Two icebreaking ships have become the first surface vessels to traverse the Canada Basin, the ice-covered sea between Alaska and the North Pole.

The scientists aboard the ships were engaged in oceanography, marine geology and geophysics observations in the unexplored region to better understand the Arctic's role in climate change

The Swedish vessel Oden and the U.S. Coast Guard's Healy completed the historic trek in September.

Although the same area had been crossed by submarines, the central Arctic Ocean is Earth's least explored ocean area by surface ships due to floating sea ice that, in some areas, is more than 10 feet thick.

Jim Swift of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography said the Canada Basin crossing was made possible because of a reduction in the Arctic Ocean's ice cover.

"Some indications have shown the ice volume in the Arctic Ocean has reduced nearly 40 percent since the time submarine transects began more than 40 years ago," said Swift. "There is some scientific debate about the actual percentage, but there is no doubt of the thinning in many areas of the region."

Other expedition scientists were from Sweden, Finland, Canada, Germany, Norway and Denmark.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: When a bright light fades

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Denmark claims North Pole via Greenland ridge link

Dec 15, 2014

Scientific data shows Greenland's continental shelf is connected to a ridge beneath the Arctic Ocean, giving Danes a claim to the North Pole and any potential energy resources beneath it, Denmark's foreign ...

Recommended for you

When a bright light fades

7 minutes ago

Astronomer Charles Telesco is primarily interested in the creation of planets and stars. So, when the University of Florida's giant telescope was pointed at a star undergoing a magnificent and explosive death, ...

Four Galileo satellites at ESA test centre

42 minutes ago

ESA engineers unwrapped a welcome Christmas present: the latest Galileo satellite. The navigation satellite will undergo a full checkout in Europe's largest satellite test facility to prove its readiness ...

Image: Horsehead nebula viewed in infrared

47 minutes ago

Sometimes a horse of a different color hardly seems to be a horse at all, as, for example, in this newly released image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The famous Horsehead nebula makes a ghostly appearance ...

The Milky Way's new neighbour

54 minutes ago

The Milky Way, the galaxy we live in, is part of a cluster of more than 50 galaxies that make up the 'Local Group', a collection that includes the famous Andromeda galaxy and many other far smaller objects. ...

Image: Hubble sweeps a messy star factory

1 hour ago

This sprinkle of cosmic glitter is a blue compact dwarf galaxy known as Markarian 209. Galaxies of this type are blue-hued, compact in size, gas-rich, and low in heavy elements. They are often used by astronomers ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

croghan27
not rated yet Jul 08, 2009
Now, if they would admit they are traipsing across Canadian territory all would be happy, happy.

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.