Apologies for the lack of postings recently – busy times. There will be a few guest postings coming up soon to supplement anything I manage to write.
Since I was following the Polar Circumnavigation of Børge Ousland and crew in Northern Passage, it is good to note they are home, safely, almost exactly four months after setting out to ‘do the double’, sailing both the Northeastern and Northwestern Passages in the same season. Following on their blog, they arrived back in Norwegian waters on 14th October, and sailed into Oslo and to a party at the Fram Museum on 23rd October.
It has been a fantastic feat and they deserve much congratulation. And yes, it was the current ice conditions in the Arctic that made possible this voyage which would have been inconceivable until recent years. As the article in the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten puts it they are “witnesses to climate change”.
“Part of the reason we went was to show a specific example of what happens in the Arctic with climate change and how much ice is retreating” said Ousland.
“Two things happen. There is no life at all when there is ice. And the second is that when the ice is gone so it absorbs the dark ocean surface heat. It is a self-reinforcing effect that makes the climate of the earth increases in a perhaps even greater pace than before.”
Or not. Much of what I have read as a result of my increased interest in the Arctic from following this voyage points to cycles which suggest that current warming is neither unprecedented or catastrophic. As is often said, we live in interesting times.