A group of three British explorers collecting data on ocean acidification for the UK’s Catlin Arctic Survey returned from a 60-day trip to the North Pole, reporting the unexpected and unprecedented finding of enormous areas of precariously thin ice.
Expedition leader Ann Daniels also said that due to the lack of mass, the ice drifted very quickly southward, which caused the team to cover 500 nautical miles rather than the 268 initially planned.
At times the team also had to swim across too-thin ice or open water, sometimes traversing ice sheets that were only 3-4 inches thick.
At one point, the ice floe broke upon which their tent was set up, with everyone fortunately escaping harm.
According to David McGuire of the US Geological Survey and other researchers, the Arctic region is melting twice as fast as the rest of the planet.
Moreover, as the Arctic sea becomes more saturated with carbon dioxide, its ability to function as a natural sink for up to 15% of the Earth’s carbon diminishes.
This could lead to the Arctic becoming a source of greenhouse gases, which would dangerously accelerate global warming.
Our appreciation Dr. Daniels and other Catlin Arctic scientists for your first-hand observations that inform us about the area’s perilous course. Let us all respond by quickly adopting lifestyles that preserve the delicate and vital ecosystems of our planet.
In a June 2009 video message, Supreme Master Ching Hai spoke of the alarming shifts in this important polar region as well as how to halt them.