A POLAR expedition led by Coventry explorer Mark Wood is rapidly becoming far more treacherous as his team edge ever closer to the North Pole.
Just five days after setting off, the Race Against Time’s North Pole 16 expedition team has reported “horrendous” and “pretty scary” terrain on its 120 mile trek across the Arctic Ocean.
Not only has the three man team encountered huge ice shelves that are moving, cracking and detaching, but also polar bear prints and ice obstacles the size of large cars.
Despite this, the team still remains hopeful that the £350,000 expedition – sponsored by fruit import and export company Jupiter Marketing – will reach the North Pole in ten days time.
The team has a deadline of Thursday (May 5) before calling it a day as the ice begins to rapidly melt.
Aimed at revealing the true impact of climate change, the expedition has already captured images and video footage for when they return to show the world first-hand evidence of the impact of climate change.
Mark Tweddle, owner of Jupiter Marketing, is in regular contact with Mark and his team to keep updated on their progress.
He said: “The conditions of the ice have changed quite considerably from the first couple of days and it has now become far more treacherous for the team.
“The has gone so far that they’ve described the terrain as horrendous, relentless and pretty scary.
“Not only have they encountered expanses of water so big between the ice that they’ve been forced to detour of course, they’ve also discovered massive polar prints near their tent.”
Team leader Mark described the last few days as “treacherous” – and teammate Paul Vicary added that the team had encountered some “scary stuff”.
Dr Stephan Harrison, the Government’s climate change advisor, said: “We know that Arctic sea ice has experienced its lowest maximum winter extent in satellite record – further proof that the region is undergoing drastic and rapid change.
“This comes as meteorologists have shown, globally, March 2016 was the warmest March for 100 years according to NASA – and the second warmest monthly anomaly on record.
“This is partly because of the effects of El Nino which moves a lot of heat from our oceans into the atmosphere, but it’s also a clear signal of the reality of climate change driven very largely by human greenhouse gas emissions.
“Mark and his colleagues are all seeing the effects of this.”
He added: “Mark’s team has only a short window of opportunity to get to the Pole and back before conditions become impossible.”
To keep updated on North Pole 16 expedition follow @Jupiter_Mark1 on Twitter.