THE WIND SLED IN GREENLAND ICE SUMMIT
The Wind Sled , led by explorer Ramón Larramendi , is already in Greenland Ice Summit , at 3,207 meters above sea level and in the heart of the Arctic island .
After 15 days of difficult navigation, with temperatures that have varied up to 43 ° C in one day (less than 28 ° C at night º15ºC day ) , the expeditionary have reached the outskirts of the Antarctic scientific base Summit Camp, founded in 1989 by the National Science Foundation ( NSF ) from the US for climate change research in the Arctic.
The expedition, with six members on board, has already traveled about 750 kilometers and has exceed an altitude of 2,000 meters that he had expected, with a vehicle driven by wind energy thanks to large kites.
From there, they have planned to go down near the east coast of the island, where they will meet with the three team members who replace part of the expeditionary team and who are already on their way: Manuel Olivera, Miguel Herrero and Greenlandic Malik Milfeldt that will replace Karin Moe Bojsen, Nacho Garcia, Vicente Ignacio Leal and Oficialdegui.
The Wind Sled voyage, with 2,000 kilos of load, started last May 21st by the interior ice sea. The great thaw of this year and the high and unexpected temperatures that the crew met with a very heavy and soft snow, have done a very difficult navigation the first days, so they decided to split into two teams of three people ; each one have moved with two of the modules that make up the vehicle and a tent. “We must adapt to the conditions of the surface, that’s something that the sled can do without major complications,” Larramendi said from the ice, his promoter and expedition leader.
Since then, the two teams were separately or together in a single convoy depending on wind conditions, something that this year are being so variable that do not always meet the weather forecast, which is delaying the deadlines that they were expected from the beginning. In fact, Larramendi, who lives part of the year in Greenland and has gone in different expeditions by this route, says that “in the same places where there are now vast lakes of water, 30 years ago this happened at the end of June and now we have found them almost two months earlier. ” “I never had in any of my expeditions such a sudden change in temperatures and winds,” he adds.
Among the objectives of this expedition, in addition to test the possibilities of the wind sled as a tool for the researcher, they are collecting data on climate change in the Arctic . The samples that are collected for the project of Nacho Lopez Moreno, from the Pyrenean Institute of Ecology (CSIC), with perforations of one and a half meters deep in the snow, will be added to those thy will do for the American glaciologist Jason Box, these ones up to 15 meters deep.
They will pick up the necessary equipment at the scientific base Summit Camp. The Scientific Base Summit Camp is a reference site in the world for the study of global warming, the only one inside Greenland that remain open all year.
There have been carried out drilling up to 3,000 meters deep to study the history of the climate on Earth. The three new expeditionary of the Wind Sled are scheduled to go by helicopter from the town of Tasiilaq in eastern Greenland , in a few days to meet the expedition, which still have another 700 kilometers ahead to reach the point they left near Kangerlussuaq, two weeks ago.
The Wind Sled is the only vehicle in the world powered by wind energy that is able to move a load of up to 2,000 kilos of weight with no pollution , in an efficiently and sustainable way from the point of view economical and environmental.
The expedition is sponsored by Tierras Polares and supported by the Spanish Geographic Society. It is expected that they finish their 2,000 km journey at the end of June. The expeditionary, are available at certain times for telephone interviews or by email during the course of the expedition.