On Assignment Inside The Arctic Circle: A CBS Special Report
Canadian icebreaker Des Groseilliers stuck in an ice pack deep inside the Arctic Circle.
BARROW, Alaska Thursday, May 28,1998 - 09:20 AM ET
(CBS)CBS News Correspondent Jerry Bowen, Producer Quent Neufeld, and a CBS News camera crew recently spent three days on an icebreaker frozen into the Arctic Ocean 300 miles north of Barrow, Alaska. They filed this report exclusively for CBS.com.
The Canadian icebreaker Des Groseilliers was deliberately stuck in the ice pack last fall for a $20 million, year-long study of the Arctic climate and its effect on the rest of the globe. It's the National Science Foundation's largest, most complex Arctic research project, called Project SHEBA [Surface Heat Budget of the Arctic Ocean]. The vessel, bristling with hi-tech equipment, is staffed at any time by 30 or more scientists from several nations.
The Arctic simply isn't as cold as it used to be. Researchers were immediately surprised to find the sea ice only about six feet thick
a third less than expected. But is it due to global warming? Computer models conflict. One shows the Arctic ice pack
the size of the United States
melting. The other is far less severe. But scientists hope Project SHEBA will provide the answer and improve global climate forecasts.