March for Science North Pole Edition

by March for Science

Today thousands of science supporters, all over the world, March for Science. They even march at the North Pole! This piece, which was first published on 2Degrees, is from Bernice Notenboom who is currently performing her research at the North Pole.


2 Degrees

2 Degrees

Science is to celebrate the brilliant minds everywhere in the world who are studying to understand the complexities of our planet. Those people that can help move us forward into solving the climate crisis that we ourselves created.
Climate change is challenging—we humans haven’t experienced it before—and it is a moving target. So we need to get all our minds together now to mitigate the consequences of climate change—the biggest threat to our planet.

Traditionally scientists have not been comfortable expressing their opinions about climate change. Most rather stick to facts and models than be pushed into statements. But recently, climate scientists have been polarized into radicals and climate deniers who believe and don’t believe.

Science Is Not About Believing

Science is not about believing. Science is about methods, models, statistical relevance, track records and lots of sampling. Science is about objectivity, and passionate scientists or those who warn the world are considered alarmists. But science, evidence, facts, and reason form the very foundation of a strong democracy—and we must advocate for them.

Marching for Science in -40°C

During the last three weeks I have supported scientists by marching to the North Pole, an extreme expedition of 224 km facing -40°C temperatures while still collecting data on the ice to support NASA/ESA and arctic scientists. Our mission was a simple one: collecting snow measurements along a transact flown over by NASA on April 6th. This invaluable data is so desperately needed to understand ice thickness in relationship with snow. Without this kind of data, it would be hard to validate the snow radar in the Icebridge airplane and to understand the overall ice thickness. All of which have implications on the maximum extent and predictions of the health of the arctic and the world’s climate.

Left to right: Bernice Notenboom, Martin Hartley, and Ann Daniels

Left to right: Bernice Notenboom, Martin Hartley, and Ann Daniels

The importance of science in the Arctic is evident—we need not to discuss its value and its merit, we need to support it and fund it. The Arctic is the poster child of climate change—it is here where the changes are happening the fastest.

So we flew our banner of March for Science two days ago at the North Pole and we are joining tomorrow at UNIS here in Longyearbyen for the March of Science in Svalbard.


About the Author

Bernice Notenboom is a climate journalist, film maker and polar explorer. In 2007 she was the first Dutch woman to reach the south pole. she actively promotes and protects the arctic environment with science, journalism and corporate involvement. Her latest expedition is the 2Degrees expedition in April 2017 to the North Pole.