Sponsored Project

Enduring Ice

Stephen Smith

Setting out 500 miles from the North Pole — three red kayaks, tiny specks in an austere landscape — the Enduring Ice expedition is bearing witness to a rapid transformation. In less than 40 years, Arctic sea ice volume has declined by 72 percent. Most polar scientists now predict the Arctic Ocean to soon be ice free in summertime. As the white icy cover gives way to dark open waters, the sun’s energy is no longer reflected back out to space. Nearly all is absorbed by the rapidly warming ocean.

Enduring Ice is the story of an extraordinary journey and a mission to spotlight the essential role of Arctic sea ice in balancing our planet’s climate. Sea ice is the ubiquitous feature of the Arctic region, yet few people know what sea ice is, and even fewer understand the essential role the frozen Arctic Ocean plays in keeping the Earth cool. How can it be that in this day and age, the Arctic is still so unknown? Like the Mars rover relaying its first images back to earth, the Enduring Ice expedition opens a window to the otherworldly and fantastical Arctic.

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