An expedition to study the effects of global warming was put on hold Wednesday. The reason? Too much ice.
The CCGS Amundsen, a Medium Arctic icebreaker and Arctic research vessel operated by the Canadian Coast Guard, was to travel throughout Hudson Bay, a body of water in northeastern Canada, but was rerouted to help ships who were stuck in the icy water.
A Coast Guard officer said the conditions were the “worst he’s seen in 20 years,” reports CBC news.
“Obviously it has a large impact on us,” says Martin Fortier, executive director of ArcticNet, which coordinates research on the vessel. “It’s a frustrating situation.”
ArcticNet is a network of scientists who study “the impacts of climate change and modernization in the coastal Canadian Arctic.”
The vessel is one of only two icebreakers in the Arctic, leaving the ship obligated to reroute their travel plans to help break ice for resupply ships.
Johnny Leclair, an assistant commissioner for the Coast Guard, said there should be two more icebreakers headed to the Arctic in the next week, which would free up their ship to continue on their originally planned trip.
Fortier is hopeful the season will still be productive.
“The people planning the large expeditions have a plan B,” Fortier said. “We have already curtailed or either moved to a later date some of the stations and some of the areas we were suppose to sample.”
The ship even has a blog post that it has been updating. Here is an excerpt:
“Meanwhile, we’ve run into ice and out of darkness. During our night of action, the sun didn’t set, so only the face of my watch was there to tell me that it was 3 AM as we were tying down incubators. At five thirty in the morning, as the sun rose — or, rather, got a bit brighter in the sky — filling the world with a deep pink, and the waves turned glassy and viscous and bright, our fingers finally fell numb and our setup was finally done, just in time for a quick nap before breakfast. Tonight, likely, well see the stuck ships.”