London (Reuter) — Two British explorers are stranded 604 kilometres from the North Pole by an arctic “heat wave” that is melting the polar ice around them, a spokesman for the expedition said Wednesday.

With temperatures just below freezing point, the icecap of the Canadian arctic has begin cracking up around explorers Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Charles Burton, halting their progress, the spokesman said.

The pair crossed the Antarctic two years ago and hope to become the first men to circle the globe by way of the two poles.

Source: Reuter (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Star-Phoenix)