- Feb 8, 2007
- Land of Swine and Maple Syrup
That trip would suck. I could see trips like this happening more often than annually once the new ice breakers are in service.
Canadian Rangers, scientists team up on High Arctic excursion
Last Updated: Tuesday, April 8, 2008 | 11:30 AM ET Comments0Recommend8
Polar ice scientists are doing their research alongside Canadian Rangers in the High Arctic in a joint two-week excursion around Ellesmere Island.
The three scientists — Derek Mueller of Trent University, Luke Copland of the University of Ottawa and Andrew Hamilton of Laval University — are travelling on snowmobiles with 24 Rangers conducting Operation Nunalivut, the Canadian Forces' annual sovereignty patrol in the far North.
Last week, the two teams were on ice shelves around Ellesmere Island. Their trip is expected to wrap up this weekend.Ranger scout Samson Ejanqiaq looks for an easier route through rough sea ice between CFS Alert and the Eureka Weather Station during Operation Nunalivut on March 28.
(Bob Weber/Canadian Press)
Mueller said their work, which is part of ongoing International Polar Year research, may help shed light on why large chunks of Arctic ice have been breaking off in recent years. Only a century earlier, the High Arctic was covered in ice, he added.
"We're seeing further changes now because it's getting warmer more recently in the last 10 to 15 years, 20 years or so," Mueller told CBC News on Monday.
"We're getting more and more warming, and we're seeing now the loss of all of that ice."
The researchers plan to install a tracking satellite beacon on a large ice shelf that broke away from the coastline, then split in two, in 2005.
As well, Mueller said they want to look for micro-organisms that grow in still water on top of the permanent ice.
The Canadian Rangers, who are aboriginal reservists from communities in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories, are meanwhile patrolling the northern coast of Ellesmere Island in three groups, Major Luc Chang told CBC News.
Chang said the Rangers are assisting the scientists in their work, without any major problems to date.
"They find the best approach, the safe approach to guide the rest of the scientists," Chang said, adding that the Rangers' contributions to the operation have been invaluable.
"They know the land and it's incredible, their knowledge," he said.
Mueller said the Canadian Rangers have been extremely helpful to them.