• STV
  • MySTV

Explorer breaks north pole sailing record due to lack of ice

An explorer has become the first to sail anti-clockwise around the north pole in a single season.

The north pole has proved passable for the first time due to a lack of ice.
The north pole has proved passable for the first time due to a lack of ice.

A British explorer has become the first to sail anti-clockwise around the north pole in a single summer season - because of the retreat of arctic ice.

David Hempleman Adams sailed his boat through the north east passage above Russia and into the north west passage above Canada - something never possible before, even in summer.

The founder of Wicked Weather Watch - a UK based charity raising awareness of climate change among young people - has been coming to the area for 30 years.

David Hempleman Adams has been exploring the arctic for 30 years.
David Hempleman Adams has been exploring the arctic for 30 years.

But thanks to climate change, this year the ice is at its second lowest ever extent.

Filming his expedition exclusively for ITV News, David said: "The first British team to do the north east and north west passage anti-clockwise in one season, which is slightly worrying because the whole thing was to make people aware of the climate and what's happening up in the high arctic.

"But I never realised how extreme the conditions have been in the sense of no ice whatsoever."

This picture shows the amount of ice in September 1981 (left) compared to September 2016 (right).
This picture shows the amount of ice in September 1981 (left) compared to September 2016 (right). NSIDC
The expedition involved a team of six crew.
The expedition involved a team of six crew.
Benji Edwards, 14, was of the crew on board.
Benji Edwards, 14, was of the crew on board.

Among the crew of six on board was 14-year-old Benji Edwards, who is determined to spread the message about the effects of climate change to a younger audience.

"It is really nice to have achieved what we set out to," he said. "There has however been alarmingly little ice in the north west passage."

The crew said the lack of ice was alarming.
The crew said the lack of ice was alarming.
Scientists predict that the arctic region could have its first ice-free summer by 2040.
Scientists predict that the arctic region could have its first ice-free summer by 2040.

Scientists measuring the retreat of ice are also alarmed by the dramatic speed of shrinkage and thinning.

Professor Julienne Stroeve, from the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre, said: "The pace of decline right now in the arctic sea ice is happening much faster than a lot of the models have forcasted would happen.

"It's not totally unexpected given what we know now about how thin the ice has become, so you're more likely to have less ice."

Scientists predict that the arctic region could have its first ice-free summer by 2040.

Thirty years ago the ice covered a much bigger area in summer.
Thirty years ago the ice covered a much bigger area in summer.
An area of ice the size of Texas has disappeared.
An area of ice the size of Texas has disappeared.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. At least 6 characters please. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
At least 6 characters please
ShowHide
This field is required. At least 6 characters please.
You have to be 16 or over to join
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
Type your full postcode and select your address This field is required. It doesn't look like you've entered a valid postcode. Can't find your address? Confirm the details you've given us are correct by clicking here

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, including our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. Any issues contact us.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.