Monday, December 30, 2013

Global warming struck the Greely (Arctic) Expedition in 1881: "amazingly easy" trip where they "should have encountered heavy pack ice"; "extraordinarily warm" summer

Complete Program Transcript . The Greely Expedition . WGBH American Experience | PBS
Philip Cronenwett, Historian: The trip up was amazingly easy. Given the time of year they should have encountered heavy pack ice which would have impeded their trip and it didn't. They were able to move up there rather quickly.

Narrator: The real surprise was the ease with which they ran the narrow stretch of water between Cape Sabine on the coast of Ellesmere Island, and Littleton Island on the Greenland side. The few whalers that ventured this far north often found the passage choked with ice that drifted south in the summer.
Lady Franklin Bay Expedition - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Unbeknownst to Greely, the summer had been extraordinarily warm, which led to an underestimation of the difficulties which their relief expeditions would face in reaching Lady Franklin Bay in subsequent years.

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