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article imageBritish explorers set out on North Pole trek

By Jane Fazackarley     Mar 1, 2009 in Science
A team of explorers from Britain have begun a tough expedition to see for themselves at what rate the Arctic sea ice is melting.
The famous explorer Pen Hadow will go along with two other people. They are due to arrive in the Arctic on Saturday night when they will land on the ice and they will be around 670 miles North of Canada. Their expedition will cover 1000km and the team will measure the density of the ice during their trek.
The trek is due for completion sometime during May. This is due to be one of the most careful studies of the Arctic for this time of year. It is hoped this will help scientists get a better idea of how fast the ice is shrinking. The sledge that will be used during the study contains a radar unit which can access how thin the ice has become.
The reason for the melting of the ice caps is largely thought to be because of global warming and this is now threatening the habitat for polar bears and other animals. Some have warned that the Arctic might disappear within five years.
Ann Daniels and Martin Hartley will be the other two members of the team. Martin Hartley will be in charge of photography and Ann Daniels, who has four children, will be the navigator for the exploration.
Pen Hadow said
"I think this time does feel different. We're only doing this because there is such an urgent need for more ground-truthing data about the permanent floating sea-ice.
If, as scientists tell us, the ice is thinning quickly, then it should set alarm bells ringing around the world"
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