Ocean acidification team reach North Pole

A team of Arctic explorers have arrived at the North Pole at the end of a gruelling 60 day scientific survey across the floating sea ice of the Arctic Ocean.

The Catlin Arctic team leader Ann Daniels and her colleagues Martin Hartley and Charlie Paton completed their survey work at the pole by taking their last samples by manually drilled through the floating sea ice.

The team has been collecting water and marine life samples from beneath the floating sea ice as part of the expedition’s leading edge science programme which is assessing the impact of CO2 absorption on the ocean and its marine life – a process known as ocean acidification.

“We decided to call it our Hole at the Pole” said Ann Daniels: “Getting the science work done has always been our top priority, but it is absolutely fantastic to reach the Pole as well. We’re ecstatic.”

The three explorers have travelled over 483 miles (777 kilometres) since March 14 but to reach the pole have had to increase the amount of trekking time each day.

They made it with only hours to spare before a Twin Otter plane was scheduled to land on the ice to collect them.

The Catlin Arctic Survey 2010 is a unique collaboration between marine biologists, oceanographers and polar explorers to get vital science field work done which has not proved possible until now.

Luke Walsh

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