An Arctic expedition from the University of Silesia in southeast Poland visited the remote Polish Polar Station Hornsnund in August this year. The Arctic base is located on the Svalbard islands – a chain of sparsely populated islands deep within the polar circle. The expedition journeyed by boat across this remote part of the world to study the effects of climate change on the Arctic region. The expedition’s discoveries stunned researchers and raised questions about the effects of global warming on the planet.
Dominik Cyran, one of the explorers, spoke to Gazeta.pl about the shocking revelations made in the Arctic.
According to the researcher, water temperatures in the region are showing alarming readings despite the bitter cold on the surface.
After covering hundreds of miles by boat and dropping probes into the icy water, the researchers found temperatures were many degrees higher than expected.
Mr Cyran said: “We dropped probes that measured the temperature and pressure of glacier waters. What we learned, even surprised our professors.
Arctic shock: Polar explorers were stunned by discoveries made in Arctic waters (Image: DOMINIK CYRAN)
Arctic shock: Polish researchers are studying the effects of climate change in the Artcic (Image: DOMINIK CYRAN)
“It turned out the water’s temperature stood at seven degrees celsius. The norm is a value of about four degrees.”
What we learned, even surprised our professors
Dominik Cyran, University of Silesia
The expedition will not publish its findings for another year but the initial discoveries are worrying.
Mr Cyran said the explores will monitor the region for a full year to study the processes through which glaciers form.
Part of the process involves taking year-long time-lapses by specialised cameras left around the region.
According to US space agency NASA, ice coverage in the Arctic is rapidly declining as a result of human activities and greenhouse warming.
The space agency said the ice is now declining at a rate of 12.8 percent per decade, compared to the 1981 and 2010 average.
NASA attributes the effect to the emissions of greenhouse gases like CO2 and climate change.
Mr Cyran captured some of the Arctic’s beauty in a video he shared online.
He said: “Being there, I felt a beauty and a rawness. There are no trails in those mountains.
Arctic shock: The researchers found water temperatures were higher than expected (Image: DOMINIK CYRAN)
Arctic shock: The researchers will monitor the region for a year (Image: DOMINIK CYRAN)
“We felt like pioneers – the first people in the Arctic. Foxes ran all around us. We saw reindeer.
“When we traversed across the tundra, seagulls flew around us. Those animals do not know humans.”
He added: “Making the film, I wanted to show there are places on Earth where nature is still inc control over man. We don’t have any control over them.
“For example, when a storm breaks out over the ocean, the airport at Longyearbyen on Svalbard has big trouble with air traffic.
“Thick fog and heavy rain cause great delays.”
Quick facts about the Arctic:
1. The name Arctic derives from the Greek word Arktos, which means bear.
2. Scientists estimate the Greenland ice caps hold about 10 percent of the world’s freshwater reserves but it is melting.
3. The Arctic’s average temperatures might be incredibly chilling, but around four million people live in this icy part of the world.
4. The Arctic region is officially described as the northernmost parts of the globe above the Arctic circle.
5. Parts of the Arctic belong to Greenland, the US, Russian, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Iceland and Canada.