A British explorer has kayaked to within 1,000 km (620 miles) of the North Pole to highlight a rapid shrinking of Arctic ice and put pressure on governments to do more to fight global warming.
Lewis Gordon Pugh, 38, planted flags of 192 nations on a barrier of sea ice where it eventually blocked his route north on Friday after a week-long, 135 km paddle north from the Norwegian Arctic island of Spitzbergen.
“He kayaked in freezing winds, horizontal snow showers, strong sea currents and with the constant threat of polar bears and walrus,” a statement from his team said. In normal years, there would be no open water north of Spitzbergen.
“The disappearance of this sea ice is happening considerably faster than scientific models predicted a year ago,” Pugh said in a statement after the trip. He was accompanied by a team aboard a ship where he slept.