From the Catlin web site today –
Hypothermia Posted by Gaby Dean
Monday, 06 Apr 2009 15:58
In disadvantaged inner cities it’s known in medical circles as Urban Hypothermia. GPs adopted the term after seeing an increase, during winter, of elderly patients who have switched off their heating, fearful of the cost, and become ill as a result because of the cold.
Chronic, as opposed to acute, hypothermia is the official term.
The Catlin Arctic Survey Team have now been working in temperatures of below -40 degrees centigrade for more than 30 days. When the three (Pen Hadow, Ann Daniels and Martin Hartley) leave messages on the TVM – a machine that records the messages they phone into London HQ – their voices often sound slurred and they occasionally muddle their words.
Extreme cold affects the senses and everyday skills we usually take for granted, like speaking. According to CAS medical adviser Doc Martin, the team are constantly battling chronic hypothermia, which was to be expected. (Pen Hadow has described it as an ‘occupational hazard’).
“Chronic hypothermia affects people who are under-nourished, physically and mentally tired and not sleeping well”, says Doc. “You can see the connection between vulnerable elderly people and the physical and mental condition that Pen, Ann and Martin are in”.
Perhaps they are preparing to come home? They are 15 km further from the pole today (722.28 km) than they were yesterday (707.83 km) and according to satellite data, temperatures have been running below normal for the last two and a half months.
And from the NSIDC web site today – It was a warm winter in the Arctic. No doubt the Catlin crew will be relieved to hear that.