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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 October 2007, 07:21 GMT 08:21 UK
Polar pair to test ice cap depth
Ann Daniels and Pen Hadow
Ann Daniels and Pen Hadow will be swimming part of the journey
Two Devon explorers have teamed up for a groundbreaking scientific expedition to the Arctic.

Pen Hadow, who lives on Dartmoor and Ann Daniels from Whimple in east Devon will be gathering detailed data on the thickness of the ice cap.

The aim of the Vanco Arctic Survey is to establish how long a year-round ice cap at the North Pole will continue.

During the 120-day, 2000km (1,200 mile) trek they will take 10m-depth readings, some in areas little explored.

Polar expeditions: 14
Lives: Hexworthy with two children and wife Mary
In 2003 became the first man to walk solo and unsupported the 478 miles from northern Canada to the North Pole
Their radar readings should differentiate between snow cover and the thickness of the ice itself, unlike satellite and submarine data which can artificially increase the depth of the ice by including snow.

Conditions are expected to be tough, with temperatures dropping as far as -50C for the three-strong team of Mr Hadow, Ms Daniels and photographer Martin Hartley.

In parts of the expedition, which is due to start in February next year, the explorers will have to swim in dry suits.

Polar expeditions: 4
Lives: Whimple with four children and partner, Tom
In 2002, Ms Daniels was part of the first all-female team to walk to both geographic poles
Mr Hadow, 44, said: "We'll do whatever it takes.

"It's a straight line from Point Barrow in Alaska to the North Pole.

"It's a route that's been selected by scientists to give a really good variety of estimated thicknesses.

"So it's a really good test of the models of climate change and how long the ice cap will be with us."

This year saw record melting of the Arctic ice cap to 39% below the average minimum, causing experts to predict the Arctic ocean would be ice free in summer within 25 years.

Explorers' quest for key ice data
16 Oct 07 |  Science/Nature
Explorer plans new adventure
03 Feb 04 |  Devon
Records set in Pole expedition
29 Jan 04 |  Somerset

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