We needed this bridge to keep the swim path clear of ice, but it wasn’t there, so we had to improvise.
Is there any positive impact of global warming on the Nar Strait?
Archer: We work with Polar Bear InternationalAnd, they say, because of the continuous glacial outflow from the Arctic, the fiery strait may be one of the last polar bears’ habitats on Earth. Is this a good thing? of course not. Because, instead of the entire Arctic, their habitat will be limited to only this one region.
Conversely, local hunters rely on areas of broken ice to hunt polar bears, walruses, and elephant seals, so the absence of an ice bridge is beneficial to them. On the other hand, it is horrible for the scientist, because it is basically removing ice from the Arctic.
Other than accomplishing an adventure, what’s the biggest benefit of an expedition?
Archer: This crazy story two men jump on a plane, go swimming in the arctic, and in the process learn a lot about global warming. You can’t ignore it, so I’m listening. I find it fascinating and tragic, so if that helps get a little bit of that message across, great. Whether people choose to listen or not, I think we’ll see.
What’s next for you?
Fornal: Our goal is to return in May or June 2023 when the ice bridge is expected to form, then I will have an open path between Beam Island and Greenland with no ice in the way. I am so excited to go back and swim again in this amazing body of water.
Read about Justin Fornal’s other swimming adventures over here.