Reflections on the Surface

January 18, 2008

Threnody for the North West Passage

North Alaska

Intrepid sailor Thoreson is becoming the first American to navigate the North West Passage. He and his crew of six are astounded by the evidence of climate change in the Arctic.

“Not only was there less ice but a record amount of less ice,” said Thoreson, whose last attempt with Swanson failed in 1994 when ice stopped them. “In fact, we didn’t encounter any ice.”

The following is courtesy of the DesMoines Register:

Locals told Thoreson about weather phenomena they had never seen before. He heard of hunters unsure if ice packs would break apart. They saw remote Alaskan villages emptied by approaching violent seas.
“The trip solidified my feelings about what is going on in the Arctic,” said Thoreson, who winters in Sante Fe, N.M.
“What I’m working on now is to relay to the public what I have learned in my travels.”
His (photography) exhibit, “20 Years/20 Stories” concludes with a call to action. Thoreson wants people in every community to explore steps to slow global warming.Someday, he plans to captain his own boat and continue his adventures. But today, he said, he is a canary just back from the coal mine.

Congratulations to Mr Thoreson and the crew for this amazing achievement. Lets hope his photography raises awareness of the changes that are happening to the Arctic.
Be reminded of one scientific prediction: that there will be no more Summer Arctic sea ice by 2013.


1 Comment »

  1. Thank you for the post on our NW Passage voyage this summer. Summer of 2007 smashed all records in the Arctic for loss of sea ice. It will be fascinating to watch this summer to see if there is some recovery. I will be back in the Passage in the summer of 2009 on a research vessel highlighting more changes. Keep up the good work on getting the message out about the issue of our time, climate change. Thanks, David

    Comment by David Thoreson — February 18, 2008 @ 5:37 pm | Reply

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