Science News

Crew Aboard Canadian Icebreaker: Where’s the Ice?

According to an AFP article dated 29 September 2015, the Canadian Icebreaker The Amundsen is collecting samples of water, zooplankton and sediment from the Arctic Ocean floor, but even as it speeds through the M’Clintock Channel, it has yet to encounter any significant ice.

Usually, by this time of year, the polar ice cap already covers the region by late September, but not in 2015. According to the article, by Clement Sabourin (who is aboard the icebreaker), the mission’s ice expert, Roger Provost is frustrated by the lack of ice in an area which usually is impassable, even for the mighty Amundsen.

"Anyone who questions whether global warming is real is hiding their head in the sand, they're blind," says Provost, who has spent four decades roaming the fjords, bays, and channels of the Canadian Arctic archipelago.

Sabourin points out that the climatologists aboard the vessel have a real challenge: how to study polar ice when there is none present. What the crew has encountered however are polar bears stranded in water at least 150 kilometers from the nearest ice field. The bears have stalked the vessel, no doubt in search of food. Says Sabourin, “The widely held assumption onboard is that the mother bear had taken her brood to an area she knew to be good for hunting seals, or scavenging the carcasses of narwhal, beluga and bowhead whales and walruses in order to teach them how to hunt. Unfortunately for the bears, the ice was gone.”

The conclusions of those aboard the ship, says Sabourin, are that climate change is already here and no matter what happens politically in the near term, mankind must plan for the changes to come.

Sabourin writes, “They note that the Earth has undergone several wide temperature swings in its long history, adding that the relative climate stability of the past 10,000 to 15,000 years that allowed man to prosper was an anomaly.”

To read the original article, click here.

Latest Issue

Image
The Blue Carbon Story

The Blue Carbon Story

By Kerrylee Rogers and Neil Saintilan

How to Protect the Bering Strait

How to Protect the Bering Strait

By Elena Agarkova Belov and Alexander Moiseev

Our Partners

Frontiers in Marine Science
American Academy of Underwater Sciences
UNESCO

ECO Magazine is a marine science publication committed to bringing scientists and professionals the latest ground-breaking research, industry news, and job opportunities from around the world.

Newsletter Signup

Please type your full name.

Please type your full name.

Invalid email address.

All emails include an unsubscribe link. You may opt-out at any time. Clicking subscribe confirms your acceptance of our privacy policy.