Friday, May 15, 2009

Global Warming Study Cut Short by Global Warming;_ylt=AheeyfoRKLXaoPhNvSLPo0ms0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTFlYnJhdDVpBHBvcwMxMDUEc2VjA2FjY29yZGlvbl9zY2llbmNlBHNsawNicml0aXNoZXhwbG8-

British explorers cut short trek to North Pole
By CHARMAINE NORONHA, Associated Press Writer Charmaine Noronha, Associated Press Writer – Thu May 14, 4:44 pm ET

TORONTO – British explorers in northern Canada to measure the thickness of floating Arctic sea ice ended their expedition short of reaching the North Pole due to an early summer ice melt, the team said Thursday.

Explorers Pen Hadow, Ann Daniel and photographer Martin Hartley had planned a three-month journey to the North Pole, but ended their arduous trek Wednesday, approximately 304 miles (490 kilometers) from their destination, said Hadow.

The trio stopped after 73 days, during which they measured the thickness of floating sea ice to provide data to scientists studying the impact of global warming in the region.

"This year, the summer melt came a little early," Hadow said during a Webcast conference from Resolute Bay in northern Canada. "We would have rather reached the Pole if we could have, but we've always regarded (getting there) as the cherry on the cake."

Information the team gathers could contribute to a better understanding of global warming, which is believed to be the main culprit in the rapidly melting polar ice cap that is freeing up new sea routes and untapped mineral resources on the ocean bottom.

Hadow said the group's goal was to cover as much distance as possible and gather as much information as possible.

"Along the way we realized (getting to) the Pole was not achievable so we sacrificed it very easily," he said.

The data will be used to help scientists further understand climate change by getting a better picture of when sea ice in the North Pole will melt completely and not refreeze seasonally.

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