To sit and watch ice melt can be quite a challenge for a bunch of eager, restless Norwegians, but as days pass by we end up filling our time with this and that needing our attention. Tug Tandberg Polar always has something to offer of work.
In between there is always time for exploration in the near surroundings, in between listening to Terjes endless tales from a long life helping and fixing fishermens boats in Lofoten. He has a relevant story to tell in any situation. Just a pity that my heart rests in the sailing tradition of the north rather than in the boat engine history. But its always fun listening to Terje stories.
Stig and I went to find a lake and we did find lakes plenty. The nature here is endless. It opens up and exposes its big void. Once in it you feel it all the way through your body. And the memory stays there. And you feel this urge, this wish to return. And we caught fish. Nice size and great taste.
HEADING ON NORTH
Tomorrow we will top up our tanks and slowly head on further north along the west coast of Greenland and then sail across Baffin Bay towards Lancaster Sound which represents the beginning of the famous Northwest Passage. Here we will soon meet the ice, more or less dense, hopefully opening up gradually so we can work our way towards Cambridge Bay. The effective sailing time at 5 knots, which is our normal speed, is aprox 10 days from here.
This summer seem to develop into somewhat late relative to the melting speed in this area, when comparing with the last 5 years. When looking into a 10 years average it is still early. The summer melting of the Arctic ice cap has increased steadily over the last 20 years and this increase seem to have and accelerating effect as the dark surface of open water absorb much more heat so the melting effect at some point really will take off. And then what?
A MELTING ARCTIC CAP AND THE CONSEQUENCES
Its a general understanding that humans character is not willing to really act for a major change before we feel a true need. That we really feel threatened directly if not acting.
It seems now that we will experience the polar cap to melt completely within the next few decades, and as a consequence of that the flow of the Golf Current will be influenced by this to a large degree. This will cause a drastic change to life and climate in Norway and make severe influences in many fields.
Where is the debate among scientists and politician arond this issue today? The global heating is mainly caused by us humans. This is no longer questioned. Norwegian Government is presently opening up for more oil extraction in the high north, to a large degree made possible as a consequence of the increased ice melting effect and thereby easier access to the extreme north. The same goes for Russia and Canada, all bordering to the High North. Shall we receive this increased melting as an invitation to further oil and gas exploration or shall we take it for what it really is. A call of Nature.
This talk about clean, less polluting oil is contradictionary. Burning oil accelerates global heating. The oil pumped up from Norwegian soil will always be on top of what will be produced elsewhere.
If any country in the world, ever in history, can have the financial ability and political opportunity to say, enough is enough, it should be Norway of 2014.
The oil has given us material wealth, but there is more to life than that. Quality of life cannot be measured by the balance of a national bank account. Norway has a historic chance to act and show moderation. Its our unique privilege to have this opportunity. It is the poor world who will suffer the most from global warming. It is our challenge to show a sign of moderation in this world of ever growing individual greed.
Future generations will need food to eat. Fish caught in the wild, like cod, is super healthy food. Norway has possibly the most valuable fish stock of the world outside our coast. Still there. Our cod is dependent on a steady pace of the Golf Stream.
Lets do our best to keep the Golf Current alive and flowing. Let this become a major issue.
Outside the Lofoten Islands you can watch the Moskenes current, the world famous Maelstrom. When standing on the shore at Hell you can feel the vibrations in the ground from the current and outside you can watch the sea passing by, and in one glance you can see, as the only place in world the phenomena of ONE SVERDRUP, which is the movement of 1 million kubic metre of water every second. Harald Ulrik Sverdrup was the scientist on board Maud for 7 long years.
Harald knew and spoke clear and openly about the vulnarbility of the mecanisms of the nature, and the polar areas in particular, and he was a speacialist on the subject of heat radiation from the polar icecap. He spoke about this 100 years ago. Maybe its time to wake up and finally act to protect the future of the Ice cap around the North Pole.
The North Polar Ice Cap is an obvious candidate to the world heritage list, and the Golf Current as well.
MAUD RETURNS HOME AND THE FUTURE
We do believe that bringing back the polar ship Maud, and to make the history she carry within more available to the general public, can help increase the focus on the high north in an environmental perspective. Not least the scientific side of the Maud Expedition and their major effort on developing a greater understanding of the major mecanisms ensuring the balance of the polar ice cap, and its obvious vulnerability to human impacts with regards both to the people living in these areas as well as the natural environment itself.
The latest ice-report just ticked in here this morning of 31st of July, and the ice is still quite dense in certain areas so our patience is still very much welcomed.
PS. I should underline that the notes made here relative to Norwegian oil politics are my personal opinions expressed in this blog.
After some hard work on a Saturday morning, rice porridge and a good nap, roman style.
Green green grass of Greenland
New part made for the cooling system of the big engine.
A Norwegian – Greenlandish team effort to keep MRH going.
Polar heroes, Lofoten style, boknafesk.
Tandberg Polar transformation
Small knife not – big fish yes
Becoming part of the landscape
Some like it fast. Nansen/Wisting connection
Dinner at the Sømandshjem. A rare moment of uniformation.
Professor Harald Ulrik Sverdrup in the laboratory onboard Maud.
His ocean studies and working standards became landmarks in world science at his time.
norw. national library