Who are we?
In April 2022, as part of an all women team led by Polar explorer and world record holder Ann Daniels, we will embark on the European Polar expedition 22. The North Pole is warming up faster than anywhere on earth and the world is already feeling the effects. Moreover, scientists predict that by 2030, the central part of the Arctic could be ice-free during the summer months, a terrifying thought.
To assist with vital research, the team will be collecting snow depth measurements for the European Space Agency that will be extremely valuable, especially in areas where there is no satellite coverage (CS-2 reaches till 88 deg N).
Ann has many years of experience with scientific Arctic expeditions and the collaboration with ESA and Arctic scientists has motivated the team to endure the harsh conditions that every Arctic expedition demands with possible temperatures of 35 degrees below zero.
The expedition will depart from Longyearbyen, Svalbard in Norway and will start on the Arctic Ocean Sea Ice. The distance between each degree of latitude is 60 nautical miles (just over 69 statute miles). From latitude 89 degrees, the team will start their expedition and for 10 days, depending on weather conditions, will travel the last degree, to the very top of the world, the North Geographic Pole: incorporating skiing and pulling all their own equipment on drifting ice, on the frozen Arctic Ocean. This is a feat that only a very few have ever undertaken, and as with all great rewards there will be many obstacles including the constant threat of frost bite and polar bear attacks.
CryoSat: ESA's ice mission
Launched on April 8, 2010, the aim of the CryoSat mission is to measure global changes in polar sea ice thickness down to a few centimetres each year in the oceans and on the ice sheets that cover Greenland and Antarctica.
Snow acts as a blanket on the ice causing it to melt even faster and can create errors. Essential groundwork involving the collection of snow and ice data, enables the satellite to accurately measure ice-thickness maps, between the satellite and ground measurements.
This data allows scientists to interpret the variations more accurately in ice thickness so that the best possible information is derived and helps them understand the correlation between the melting Arctic ice and climate change.
CRISTAL: ESA’s snow and ice mission
Following on from previous missions, the planned 2027 launch of the Copernicus Polar Ice and Snow Topography Altimeter, CRISTAL, mission will continue to contribute to a better understanding of climate processes by measuring and monitoring sea-ice thickness, overlying snow depth and ice-sheet elevations. The huge investment to add this to the programme indicates just how important this data is.
A day on the ice: Groundwork
A global mission of this magnitude requires a huge logistical undertaking, is very challenging to implement and requires enlisting very specific skilled personnel, making the European Polar Expedition 22 so important.
The first day will involve acclimatising to the extreme cold and becoming accustomed to skiing on a moving body of ocean with a 30 kilo sledge containing expedition equipment. The challenge will be finding a suitable route through the pressure ridges, areas of small ice rubbles and around leads of open water. Morning tasks will be to check the GPS for any overnight drift, negotiating miles of unpredictable icescapes, huge ridges, ice boulders and crossing thin ice or open water.
Throughout the day we will be taking regular transections of snow depth measurements using an avalanche probe to assist scientists in their research on snow and ice. We will do 3 transects a day of 10 measurements each transect. The measurements are spaced 10 meters apart, so each of the 3 transects will be 100 metres long. These vital datasets collected will allow scientists to accurately interpret the variations in ice thickness observed by the satellites.
University of Colorado - Earth System Science Data
As earth's polar regions are warming at an accelerated rate, surface change is particularly evident over the Greenland Ice Sheet and Antarctic ice sheets.
The Surface Mass Balance and Snow on Sea Ice Working Group (SUMup) dataset is a compilation of measurements from over 2.5 million community observations of snow and firn density on ice sheets, snow accumulation on ice sheets, borehole temperatures, and snow depth on sea ice.
Our shared datasets will contribute to the work being carried out at the university and help to monitor change and improve estimates of surface mass balance.
As advocates of female empowerment and our climate change emergency, we want to bring both a voice and inspiration to these narratives and impact societal change. Motivational, leadership and teamwork talks and engaging with students through school programs will bring messages of climate change into the office or classroom and inspire women and girls to determine their own choices, and their right to influence social change for themselves and others and help educate and inspire future generations.
How can you support our expedition?
Our efforts will not reach their maximum effectiveness unless we have backing of the community and support from companies and individuals such as yourselves. Expeditions such as ours are prohibitively expensive making contributions paramount to our success as we are self-financing / volunteering for this amazing opportunity.
Some of the items your support will provide..
- Expedition boots
- Skis and poles
- Arctic survival tent
- Arctic expedition jacket and salopettes
- Handheld satellite communicator
- Rucksack and cooking equipment
- Expedition sleeping bag and liners
Please support us by making a donation or purchasing one of our 'once in a lifetime' rewards.
If you would like to donate a product or service to this page as a reward like some of our other lovely Crowdfunder supporters, please get in touch. Every pound makes a difference and helps promote you too!
We are also reaching out to organisations for partnership opportunities that are as passionate about climate change as we are, if this fits with your company, then please do get in touch. In appreciation of your generosity, we have a number of sponsorship packages on offer.
If you work in media and think your readers or listeners would love to hear about our expedition, we'd love to hear from you too :)
Thank you from the very bottom of our hearts for all your support
Please note: Each team member is pursuing their individual fundraising however, any company sponsorship received will go towards the group fund.