Robert Swan on an expedition (2041 Foundation)
Robert Swan, the first person to walk to both the North and South poles, tells i about the dramatic changes he has seen to the polar icescape in the past three decades
Thirty years ago the explorer Robert Swan walked 700 kilometres (435 miles) across Arctic sea ice in a 56-day springtime trek to the North Pole. Today, that ice is mostly water, according to Mr Swan, the first person to walk to both the North and South Poles and perhaps the world’s greatest “climate witness”.
“I go to the Arctic and the Antarctic practically every year, and I’ve see huge changes with my own eyes. I’ve been a climate witness for 30 odd years at both poles. It’s like a canary in the mine – and it’s screaming and shouting at us ,” he told I.
“Thirty years ago we walked 700 kilometres to the North Pole across ice. And yes, we had a bit of a struggle getting there, at times. But you cannot walk to the North Pole anymore because there is no ice to walk on,” he said.
“I was up there in May two years ago on a ship and I was looking over the side of the ship with my son, Barney. And I said ‘look, that’s where we were walking 30 years ago, in […]