Catlin Arctic Survey

Pen Hadow the founder and Director of The Catlin Arctic Survey brought together polar explorers and scientists to measure the impacts of climate change on the Arctic environment and beyond.

The main aim of this expedition was to measure the thickness of the sea ice to help determine how long the Arctic Ocean’s sea ice cover will remain a permanent feature of our planet and to share images of this unique environment with the world. As Pen’s role was to conduct all scientific protocols, including manually drilling through the sea ice he asked Ann to navigate a path for the ice team, which also included world renowned photographer Martin Hartley.

Ann was head of ice operations, leading the ice team and navigating, using the sun, her watch and the wind. Ann also cooked for the team, always rising first and retiring last.

Ann repeated this role the following year, for the second Catlin Arctic survey, where Pen was replaced on the ice, with ex Royal Marine Charlie Paton and this new team continued the work of 2009, measuring the thickness of the ice whilst also conducting vital research into ocean acidification and how greenhouse gases could affect the marine life of the Arctic Ocean.

The 3rd and final survey saw a change in the make up of the team which introduced scientist Adrian McCallum and film maker Phil Coates into the team and Ann co led this less experienced team with American Explorer Tyler Fish.

Catlin Arctic survey 2011 once again continued to measure the thickness of the Polar ice with the added mission to undertake vital work to help understand Thermohaline destabilisation and how the arctic ocean is affected by fresh water ice melt from melting ice caps and warming waters.

Throughout the three expeditions the teams travelled over 170 days, covering over 1100km, in sub zero temperatures hauling sledges weighing over 200 lbs and at the end of each arduous day stopped and completed a full science programme. Each day was fraught with difficulties