Page last updated at 11:35 GMT, Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Polar survey team start journey

Pen Hadow: Pic Martin Hartley
Pen Hadow has experienced conditions at the North Pole

Two polar explorers from Devon are flying to Canada on Wednesday for the first stage of a scientific survey on climate change.

Ann Daniels from Whimple and Pen Hadow from Dartmoor will be studying the Arctic sea ice to help scientists understand more about climate change.

On 27 February they will start measuring the thickness of the ice around the North Pole.

They hope that will help scientists to calculate if the ice cap is melting.

Mr Hadow, 46, became the first explorer to trek solo and unsupported from Canada to the North Pole.

Ms Daniels, 44, was a member of the first all-women teams to trek to both the North and South Poles.

The third member of the survey team is specialist polar photographer Martin Hartley, 40.

The project aims to help fill the current gap in existing measurement studies by satellites and submarines - which cannot differentiate between ice and snow layers.

The three-month Catlin Arctic Survey expedition will also take samples of the water, snow, ice and air.

Results will be transmitted to scientists via satellite.

Once the survey has been completed, the findings will be made available for the United Nations Climate Change Conference of Parties in Copenhagen, Denmark, next year.

The project's patron is the Prince of Wales. It is supported by the United Nations Environment Programme and World Wildlife Fund International.

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