Regular readers may recall that back on June 15th, I pointed out the absurdity of this “Row to the Pole” publicity stunt sponsored by the whisky company “Old Pulteney” which had plans to row to the North Magnetic Pole (based on the 1996 location) and along the way take some temperature, water, and ice samples along the way in the guise of a science expedition.
Only problem was, the North Magnetic Pole is far into the Arctic sea now, and ice locked. The destination they chose for “Row to the Pole” hasn’t been the location of the North Magnetic Pole for 15 years, as I illustrated below, they’ll fall about 738 km/458 miles short of the North Magnetic Pole due to a drift of about 41km/year:
Undeterred by this complication, the group of rowers has set off anyway, and made some good progress according to their Facebook page, covering 40 kilometers on the first day. They even offer a satellite tracking page to watch the progress.
Too bad though they have not checked the latest satellite images from NASA’s AQUA Modis RAPIDFIRE page. I did, and it looks like the expedition is going to hit a wall of ice soon.
Here’s the area I chose to look at today from this NASA image link=>
I rotated/cropped, plotted the approximate proposed path, and annotated the image from NASA to help readers see what the Row to the Pole people are soon going to run into in a couple of days:
Note the patch of white in the red box that the planned rowing path transects. Are those clouds or ice? The magnified view area gives the answer below.
Yup, unless those guys in the rowboat have an icebreaker leading the way, or there’s an “instamelt” de-icing ahead of them, they likely aren’t going anywhere near the old North Magnetic Pole circa 1996, much less the actual one.
Looks like “Scotch on the Rocks” for them.
However, like any good publicity stunt, they’ll probably figure out some way to make a success out of it, perhaps declaring that “important though incomplete science has been done”.