HMS Investigator Found
Canadian archeologists have found the HMS Investigator which was abandoned more than 150 years ago in the search for the doomed expedition of Sir John Franklin. Canada’s head of underwater archeology said the shipwreck was found in shallow water in Mercy Bay along the northern coast of Banks Island in Canada's western Arctic. "The ship is standing upright in very good condition. It's standing in about 11 meters of water," he said. "This is definitely of the utmost importance. This is the ship that sailed the last leg of the Northwest Passage." Archaeologists have also uncovered artifacts on land left behind by the stranded sailors, who unloaded everything before abandoning the Investigator. The graves of three sailors thought to have died of scurvy have been marked off and will be left undisturbed, said Bernier. HMS Investigator was one of many American and British ships sent out to search for the HMS Erebus and the Terror, vessels commanded by Franklin in his ill-fated search for the Northwest Passage in 1845. The ship was captained by Robert McClure.
First Unsupported Antarctic Crossing
Cecilie Skog from Alesund, Norway (35) and Ryan Waters from Atlanta, USA (36) have completed a 1800 km unsupported crossing of the Antarctic continent on skis, from the Berkner Island to the Ross Barrier (Ross Shelf) in 70 days, They covered this distance only on skis using their own power to pull all supplies on sleds. Other explorers used sails and other means to help to move their gear. This accomplishment makes Cecilie Skog also the first woman in the world who has reached both the North and South Pole, climbed Mount Everest and the so-called "Seven Summits". Her late husband, Rolf Bae perished when the two climbed K2 in August 2008 shortly after reaching the summit. That day, 10 other climbers perished on K2.
Explorer Sinks in Antarctic Waters
The MS Explorer, a small Canadian cruise ship carrying tourists from 14 nations, including Canada, struck a chunk of ice before dawn Friday 11/22. Twenty hours later, it sank in Antarctic waters.
Biological Change After Collapse of Polar Ice Shelves
Once roofed by ice for millennia, a 10,000 square km portion of the Antarctic seabed represents a true frontier, one of Earth’s most pristine marine ecosystems, made suddenly accessible to exploration by the collapse of the Larsen A and B ice shelves, 12 and five years ago respectively. Now it has yielded secrets to some 52 marine explorers who accomplished the seabed’s first comprehensive biological survey during a 10-week expedition aboard the German research vessel Polarstern. Since 1974, a total of 13,500 square km of ice shelves have disintegrated in the Antarctic Peninsula, a phenomenon linked to regional temperature increases in the past 50 years. In the relatively shallow waters of the Larsen zone, scientists were intrigued to find abundant deep sea lilies (members of a group called crinoids) and their relatives, sea cucumbers and sea urchins. Apparent newcomers found colonizing the Larsen zone include fast-growing, gelatinous sea squirts. The scientists found dense patches of sea squirts and say they were likely able to colonize the Larsen B area only after ice shelf broke in 2002. Source: Press Release by Alfred Wegener Institute
Satellite images acquired between August 23 and 25 have shown that the arctic ice cover has melted so much that a ship could have sailed unhindered from northern Europe to the North Pole itself a few weeks ago. The images were acquired by instruments aboard Envisat and EOS Aqua, two satellites operated by the European Space Agency."This situation is unlike anything observed in previous record low-ice seasons," Mark Drinkwater of ESA's Oceans/Ice Unit said. "It is highly imaginable that a ship could have passed from Spitzbergen or northern Siberia through what is normally pack ice to reach the North Pole without difficulty. ... If this anomaly continues, the Northeast Passage, or ‘Northern Sea Route' between Europe and Asia will be open over longer intervals, and it is conceivable we might see attempts at sailing around the world directly across the summer Arctic Ocean within 10 to 20 years." More ...
Picture: The image on top is an Envisat ASAR mosaic of Arctic ice acquired on 23 August 2006. The right image is an EOS Aqua AMSR-E ice concentration acquired on 24 August 2006. There is a significant extent of leads--fractures and openings in the sea-ice cover--just below the pole in both the ASAR image, seen as splashes of dark grey and black, and the AMSR-E image (with British Isles shown for scale), seen by the high concentration of yellow, orange and green colors, signifying low ice concentrations. Credit: Polar View, Leif Toudal Pedersen
closes Arctic Station North Pole 34
ITAR-TASS reports that the North Pole 34 Russian research station has been evacuated by the nuclear-powered icebreaker Yamal on Sunday 5/28 at 8.30 p.m. Moscow time. The evacuation took three days and 180 tonnes of cargo, including scientific equipment, research files, 20 prefabs, diesel power plants, tractors, fuel and personal belongings of scientists have been removed. More ...
Photo: Station North Pole 32
Russians Reach North Pole on dog-drwan sleigh
Russian travelers Georgy Karpenko and Artur Chubarkin have reached the North Pole on a dog-drawn sleigh according to Itar-Tass on Sunday. The explorers are waiting for a helicopter, which will deliver them to the mainland. They are the first to safely reach the North Pole unaided on a dog-drawn sleigh from the Severnaya Zemlya archipelago across drifting ice, which is a distance of 1,000 kilometers. The previous expeditions were using foods and equipment supplied by air. More...
Reaches North Pole
Paul Landry’s Top of the World team reached the North Pole on April 27 at 4:30 local time after 57 days on the ice. Although only a halfway point for Landry’s team who intend on a complete crossing, the team celebrated under clear skies before pushing on for the remaining 800 km to Canada. More...
and Conrad Dickinson the first to snowshoe to the North Pole
April 26th, at 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday night, Canadian adventurer Richard Weber and British explorer Conrad Dickinson became the first to snowshoe to the North Pole: no skis, no dry suits for crossing open water. It took them 52 days and 12 hours. "The Old Guys have done it!" they reported in their final e-mail home. "Our bodies are very tired but we are both very satisfied and pleased with our efforts. We have also enjoyed each other's company." With their adventure complete, a Russian helicopter dropped down to airlift the successful explorers to Borneo, a temporary camp set up on drifting ice at approximately 89 degrees. From there they were to be flown to Spitzbergen, Norway. More...
First Indian to Ski to the North Pole
Ajit Bajaj, 40, became the first Indian to ski to the North Pole. He finished his nine-day expedition from the Russian side of the Arctic with four skiers from the United States and one from Britain. More ...