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3 January 2017

Famed British Adventurer Sir David Hempleman-Adams Calls for Action on Arctic Ice Loss

Following the completion of his most recent Arctic adventure, Sir David Hempleman-Adams has spoken out about the trip which he says has confirmed his “worst fears” concerning the rapid loss of sea ice in the Arctic region.

Sir David Hempleman-Adams     - Img source: BBC
60-year-old Sir David knows a thing or two about the changes occurring at the poles, having taken part in more than 30 Arctic expeditions throughout his awe-inspiring lifetime. He is most widely known as the first person in history to complete the Adventurers’ Grand Slam, which consists of reaching the Geographic and Magnetic North and South Poles, as well as reaching the summit of the highest peaks on each of the 7 continents.

Although clearly used to a challenge, Sir David never expected his most recent voyage to be quite so easy. Setting out from Bristol back in June of 2016, Sir David prepared to circumnavigate the Arctic polar region by boat in a trip that traditionally takes around three years. He completed the voyage in just four months and one day. This is not due to Sir David somehow spontaneously developing some form of superhuman abilities, but rather simply the fact that the route has become significantly shorter and less treacherous as global temperatures continue to rise.

The Polar Ocean Challenge, conducted aboard the 48ft yacht Northabout, took a route through Siberia, Alaska and Greenland in an attempt to circumnavigate the Arctic in a single season. Expecting to be slowed significantly by the presence of packed ice on the 13,500 nautical mile trip, Sir David and his fellow adventurers were shocked when, after encountering very little ice in the Laptev Sea, they set off down the infamous Northwest Passage. For 1,800 miles they found almost no ice at all, highlighting the startling effect that climate change is having on the region, and its Southern counterpart.

Declaring that the Arctic region was at a ‘tipping point’ comparable to the plight of the Brazilian rainforests, Sir David had some strong words on the matter:

"I think we're all a bunch of ostriches, and what we're doing is handing it to the next generation to sort out,” Sir David stated.

"It's an absolutely depressing thought. I know it's a well-used adage, but the Arctic is the canary in the mine. What we're finding now is the ramifications of all this global warming, and it will definitely have an impact on us down in the south."


Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor in an attempt to expand his horizons.