State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School


Switchyard Project: Rescue Operation

4 skiers rescued

May 4, 2011: Today we have realized again how dangerous life can be in the high arctic. We assisted in a little rescue operation of four people who tried to ski from the North Pole to Greenland. They got stuck on the ice and ran out of food. Since our team was out on the ice for sampling close to their location, we stopped sampling and picked them up.

Sea ice on the Arctic Ocean moves around: Huge sections of ice can drift a few miles a day, up to 15 miles a day or even more depending on the wind conditions. Apparently the unfortunate skiers had to fight against the drift that moved the ice away from Greenland, and 15 miles a day is a long distance to travel, especially in areas where the ice is cracked and open water is present. Everybody is safe and healthy.

Number of sampled stations overall:


UW: 13

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Ronny Friedrich
Ronny Friedrich
13 years ago