Arctic sea acid levels monitored

Arctic explorers have began studying the potential impact of ocean acidification after bad weather slowed the start of the project.

Today (March 15) Polar explorer Pen Hadow, director of the Catlin Arctic Survey, explained the scientists are heading for a purpose-built ‘ice base’ located only 750 miles from the North Geographic Pole.

The researchers will study the potential impact of increased ocean acidification in some of the coldest water on the planet.

Some scientists believe that, based on current projections, the pH of the world’s oceans could reach levels by 2050 not seen on Earth for 20 million years.

If this occurs, there could be serious consequences for marine life in the Arcticand elsewhere.

Speaking about the delay to the start of the scheme Mr Hadow said: “It’s understandably frustrating for them’.

You can try your best to control every variable in a project of this magnitude, but the one thing we can’t control is the weather, mores the pity!”

Meanwhile, the scientists have spent the past few days acclimatising to the cold conditions by forgoing the comfort of the South Camp Inn at which they’re staying, in favour of a night under canvass.

Expedition Photographer, Martin Hartley, explains: “If you’ve never been to the Arctic, you can never really appreciate just how cold it can be sleeping in an unheated tent, with potential winds of up to 40kph whistling by, in temperatures as low as -30oC.

“Your freezer at home is only-18º or so, it’s therefore vital our scientists learn to not only cope with the discomfort, but also prevent any more serious conditions such as frostbite and hypothermia.”

Luke Walsh

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