Monday, April 28, 2008

Purpose of the Greenland Traverse

This is the second post for the day so make sure to check out the one below.

Several people have asked us what the purpose of performing a ground arctic traverse is, so I'll devote a short post to addressing the question. Currently the Summit station in Greenland and the South Pole station in Antarctica are supported entirely by C-130 Hercules flights. The carbon footprint of supplying these bases by air is close to 1000 times greater than by towing the supplies overland on sleds behind a snowcat. Besides being inordinately expensive in fuel costs, the flights produce enough emissions that scientists have to work around the flights schedules to collect atmospheric data.

The folks objecting to the Antarctic traverse mission unfortunately missed the point entirely, misinterpreting the traverse as unnecessary expansion. The traverse team follows minimal impact guidelines, packs out 100% of the garbage on route. The traverse is simply establishing a route across the ice that is known to be safe.


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