Icebreaker turned back encountering heavy ice in “ice-free” Arctic

Icebreaking polar research vessel KRONPRINS HAAKON had to turn back, meeting much more heavy ice than expected, on her attempt to reach North Pole. In fact, icebreaker failed even to reach 86 14N latitude, to repeat Nansen’s 1911 record. The ship reached 84 40N latitude on Jul 13, and gave up, unable to move further north in thick ice. “In the middle of July we see few signs of thawing and that spring has come. We had expected more melting and that the ice was more disintegrating, ”says Captain Hansen.
We’ve been told many times, that North Pole area should be ice-free in summer time in nearest future – it should be ice-free by year 2005, then by year 2009, then by, no doubt, year 2019. We’re eagerly waiting for new predictions on ice-free Arctic.

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