Glacier pioneers to use Net link

March 8, 1996

A group of young mountaineers will send scientific data and pictures to the Internet from their expedition in virgin Greenland terrain this summer.

Expedition leader Richard Pash, a 22-year old fourth year chemistry student at Oxford University, said the team will attempt assaults on ten mountains that have not been climbed before. The six climbers, aged between 19 and 23, will be studying atmospheric pollution and global warming.

The team will ski 100 kilometres inland pulling sledges from the Knud Rasmussen Glacier through the Caledonian Alps, exploring the Pourquoi Pas Glacier and returning to the coast at Kangertitivatsiaq fjord.

Mr Pash said: "No one has ever been where we are going. Although we may cross places where others have trod years before, most of the ground we will walk, climb and camp on is virgin terrain."

The trip is backed by Oxford University and has the support of the mountaineer Chris Bonington and Richard Branson, chairman of Virgin Group.

The team will use the Net to send data gathered from their study of salt concentration and transport in glaciers. They are particularly interested in the effects of air pollution.

Mr Pash explained: "By measuring concentrations of certain ions in the glacier, the level of atmospheric pollution in this area will be studied. These ions which are deposited in the glacier are readily washed out during the melting into the fjords.

"There has been concern about how sudden surges in ion concentration in the fjords have been wiping out fish and other aquatic communities in them."

Cennydd Richards, the team's science leader will use the results of the studies for his third-year dissertation at Oxford.

The 19-year-old geographer will radio data from a laptop PC to an academic supervisor.

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