The TOPtoTOP Global Climate Expedition and Greenland Caves Project have teamed up for an adventure-based climate-research expedition to EAst GREenland.
Welcome to EAGRE 18
In the summer of 2018, the Greenland Caves Project and Top to Top Global Climate Expedition will sail to the Wegener Halvø peninsula of EAst GREenland. Their aim is to explore the region for its caves, map and document their findings, collect geological samples for climate-change research, and undertake outreach activities with Inuit communities. By sailing, EAGRE 18 is able to reduce its carbon footprint and undertake an old-style exploratory adventure.
Why is this important?
The Arctic region is changing rapidly, the consequences of which will be felt worldwide. Importantly, we need to know how it will continue to change in the future and one way to achieve this is to learn from periods of past climate change. Greenland has many excellent climate records that have been drilled from the ice sheet, but unfortunately, records from the coast and records that cover past warm periods are extremely sparse.
Our mission and goals
Our mission is to address this knowledge gap by constructing records of climate and environmental change from sediments in caves on the Wegener Halvø peninsula.
Our goals are ambitious: (1) Search the peninsula for caves, and explore, map, document and photograph them where they are found. (2) Collect sediment samples from the caves. (3) Construct records of climate and environmental change. (4) Interpret the records for climate information. (5) Engage the public throughout the project on issues of climate change, science, exploration and adventure. (6) Engage Inuit communities in outdoor activities.
How will we achieve this?
In the summer of 2018, we will sail from Iceland to Greenland in Pachamama, a journey that will take up to two weeks depending on weather and sea ice conditions. Two weeks will be spent searching the peninsula for caves. We already know where some may exist, but others are yet to be discovered. The caves, which have never been documented as being entered before, will be explored for the first time, mapped, photographed, and sampled for climate research. Following the research-based part of the expedition, we will engage with Inuit communities along the east coast to teach them about our science and research. Samples will be analysed at the Austrian Core Facility of the University of Innsbruck by bachelor and master students over the following year.
The partnership between Greenland Caves and Top to Top will allow the EAGRE 18 expedition to sail to the Wegener Halvø peninsula and reduce its carbon footprint by removing the use of helicopters and charter flights.
Greenland Caves Project
Dr. Gina Moseley (University of Innsbruck), Robbie Shone (National Geographic photographer), and Chris Blakeley (rope-access expert, Petzl) have been exploring caves all over the world for nearly 20 years. In 2015, they expanded their cave exploration to Northeast Greenland where they embarked on the first cave-based climate research expedition in the High Arctic. The project was highly successful and generated a lot of publicity on various National Geographic outlets, BBC radio, and other worldwide media. For further information about our previous project, please see our 2015 pages or our short film.
Top to Top Global Climate Expedition
Swiss climatologist and mountain guide Dario Schwoerer, his wife Sabine, and their family of six children, have spent the last 18 years sailing around the globe conducting field-based research activities, educating local inhabitants, and sharing examples of innovative solutions to protect, preserve and conserve our planet. During this time they have sailed 106,500 nautical miles, cleaned up 55 tons of garbage, and given presentations to over 120,000 school children. The whole family will be joining the expedition, and Greenland Caves is very much looking forward to spending time with these great people.
Dissemination & Sponsorship
We will provide the widest possible access to the work of the project for both the general public and the scientific community. Support will be acknowledged in all cases. The various social media feeds for Robbie Shone, Greenland Caves and Top to Top currently total in excess of 278,000 followers. This following will be utilised and expanded during the course of this project. Additionally, Robbie Shone will be able to provide high-quality photographs of sponsored equipment in use. As with other projects, we will be making short films of our adventures and using this as a tool to engage the public on matters of climate change and science.
As with all major projects and adventures, none of this would be possible without the very generous support of many people and organisations. Once again, Clive Johnson of Polarsphere and CASP will be supporting our logistics. We have also received financial support from the University of Innsbruck, Mount Everest Foundation, British Cave Research Association, Transglobe Expedition Trust, Captain Scott Society, and Ghar Parau Foundation. Thanks to all of you for making this possible.