For two weeks, Larry Lunt, a member of NRDC's Global Leadership Council, and Alain Hubert, a Belgian explorer and founder of the International Polar Foundation, trekked some 200 miles from the town of Qaanaaq across Greenland's Humbolt Glacier, the Northern Hemisphere's largest and fastest moving river of ice.
TRACK THE EXPEDITION ON THE MAP...
Qaanaaq, Greenland, marks the very edge of human civilization. It is mankind's northernmost outpost, a town of barely more than 600 that has carried on the traditions of the Inuit and their forebears for many thousands of years. The Inuit who remain rely on stable sea ice to access the whales and seals they hunt for survival. The ice is thinner now. It melts faster than ever before. In recent years, the rest of the world has begun to take note as the people, places, and creatures that define the Arctic have fallen victim to the ills of a warming, industrialized world.
FOLLOW THE VOYAGE: Larry Lunt's Expedition Log
- Pre-launch: "Why Go North?" Larry prepares for departure.
- Day 1: "A Lesson in Luggage Lost" Larry's gear doesn't make it.
- Day 2: "A Village Relocated" How Qaanaaq moved 100 miles north.
- Day 3: "The Dying Hunters" Qaanaaq loses a way of life.
- Day 4: "Polar Bears Pass Through Town" The village has wild visitors.
- Day 5: "A Lovely Day on the Ice" ...but where's the winter snow?
- Day 6: "The Infernal Climb" The team makes an exhausting ascent.
- Day 7: "Panic in the Tent" The katabatic winds shake things up.
- Day 8: "We Reach the Summit" Better weather leads to progress.
- Day 9: "Excited for Instant Soup" What are these guys eating?
- Day 10: "The Winds Return" ...and break the team's tent.
- Day 11: "Call from the Prince" Royalty gives Alain a ring.
- Day 12: "Clearing the Ice" Back to solid ground.
- Day 13: "Wildlife" ...where humans have never tread.
- Day 14: "Second Homes for Seals" ...and the terminus of Humboldt Glacier.
- Days 15 & 16: "The End of an Adventure" A goodbye to the last Inuit hunters.
EXPERT OPINION: Arctic science and policy from Natural Resources Defense Council
- Tales from the Arctic and Obama’s Polar Bear Decision, by Frances Beinecke, President of NRDC [12 May 2009]
- Managing a Melting Arctic, by Lisa Speer, Director of NRDC's International Oceans Program [29 April 2009]
- Bush Administration Considers the Possibility of Future Climate Regulation—As an Excuse for Not Protecting Wildlife: Endangered Species Project director Andrew Wetzler on the ribbon seal and arctic marine mammals under the Endangered Species Act. [6 January 2009]
SCIENCEPOLES: News and science from our partners at the International Polar Foundation
- The Greenland Ice Sheet Project and the International Trans Antarctic Expedition: An interview with Professor Paul Mayewski, one of the world's leading glaciologists and climatologists and Director of the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine. [20 March 2009]
- Greenland's Glaciers Losing Ice Faster than Last Year's Record Rate of Loss [18 December 2008]
- Satellite Data Reveals Extreme Summer Snowmelt and Record Number of Melting Days in Northern Greenland [9 October 2008]
- Outlet Glaciers' Thinning Linked to Ocean Warming Preceded by Atmospheric Changes [30 September 2008]
- Greenland Ice Melt Could Raise Global Sea Levels Even Higher [4 September 2008]
- Greenland Glaciers Continue to Break Up [25 August 2008]