The Pax Arctica Expedition is an internationally sponsored awareness building expedition across the Arctic Archipelago undertaken by a dynamic team of adventurers with the aim of reporting the effect of climate change on this fragile environment. The Pax Arctica and previous Sagax expeditions are organized in partnership with Green Cross International with the goal of fostering a global value shift towards sustainable development.
The team of adventurers, scientific experts and youth ambassadors that comprise the Luc Hardy-led expedition have come across diverse experiences and were able to witness interesting phenomena since the start of the expedition on June 4th. By July 14th, the expedition took a three-day rafting trip down the Soper River, reaching the Inuit outpost town of Kimmirut. At this point, both the young and old members of the team were immersed in the daily lifestyle of local Inuit inhabitants where they learnt about the relationship of Inuit culture and the delicate ecosystem of the Arctic.
Leaving Kimmirut and heading north, a flight brought the expedition to Resolute. Stepping off the plane, Luc Hardy and his team witnessed a startling heat that consisted of record temperatures for Resolute, beating the record set last year on the same day. The temperature was a jarring reminder of what led the expedition to the Arctic in the first place – to document the impact of climate change on the Arctic.
On July 15th, the next stage of the adventure was a visit to the site of the Franklin Expedition on Beechey Island, the infamous explorer who perished with this crew in the attempt to discover the Northwest Passage. Today, the Northwest Passage is widely accessible thanks to the rise of world surface temperatures. On September 14, 2007, the European Space Agency stated that, based on satellite images, ice loss had opened up the passage “for the first time since records began in 1978”.
The next stage of the Pax Arctica expedition was a visit to Ward Hunt Island on July 27th. Walking on the massive ice shelf, the discovery of ice cracks was made. Due to rising temperatures, scientists have reported that the original ice shelf has been reduced into a number of smaller shelves, the largest of which was still the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf on the northwest fringe of the island.
The Pax Arctica expedition continues to travel north up the Arctic Archipelago continuing to document interesting developments of the local environment. In fact, the Pax Arctica Expediton Blog contains regular updates of the expedition including photos and interesting inside stories of the adventurers. Overall, the expedition promises a breathtaking trip as the impact on the Arctic is explored in further detail.