The Northern Pole of Inaccessibility, otherwise known as the Arctic Pole, remains the last truly significant place yet to be reached by mankind. It is defined as the furthest point from land on the Arctic Ocean (the very centre) and it is 270 miles from the Geographic North Pole. The Northern Pole of Inaccessibility is one of four recognised north poles.
This is the last world first to be claimed in the Polar Regions. It is a journey of over 800 miles across treacherous sea-ice and in one of the most inhospitable environments on Earth. We’ll face frigid temperatures, potentially up to -50c, that will freeze flesh in seconds, polar bears that will hunt us and an ocean that could swallow us up in a few seconds. So all very mundane and ordinary…I think not! It will certainly be more challenging that hiking up Errigal or Muckish and the hills of Donegal 🙂
The #Lastpole will be composed of ordinary people from all walks of life and from all over the world. To enable us to take part in this arduous, ground-breaking and worthwhile expedition it will take perfect team work, preparation (and I suspect the odd tear, colourful language and numerous beers for medicinal purposes of course!) for us to become modern-day polar explorers. If we are successful with our endeavour and reach the Northern Pole of Inaccessibility, we as a team will have achieved not only a world first but we will supply a vital benchmark for the scientific community and the provide a measurement of global climate change.
Citizen Science for the Betterment of Humankind
Along the route team members will be gathering “crucial datasets” for the scientific community including new and vital data about how the sea ice breaks up, making the whole endeavour a major Citizen Science project. We’ve lost 75% of the Arctic sea ice in the last 35 years with more melt days and less freeze days. Frightening statistic!
So by gathering these “crucial datasets” I will be helping to benchmark the condition of the ocean for the NASA funded National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) scientists, led by Walt Meier.
We will also be gathering data on polar bears and undertaking ground-truthing activities for The Met Office, The Scott Polar Institute, The Norwegian Polar Institute and the Russian Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute. While I would like to get a glimpse of a polar bear I’m equally happy if this does not occur. They are certainly not the cuddly animal that we sometimes think they are.
It is our hope that our #Lastpole Citizens’ Science activities will illustrate the reality of climate change to the general public; a primary objective of our expedition. If we do not change our habits and approach to energy creation we, the human race, will cease to exist in the not too distant future. Planet Earth will continue.