Take part in CNN’s search for extreme science
In early March, four scientists arrived in Resolute, Canada, for rigorous polar ice training, including what do in case of a polar bear encounter and how to sleep safely in a tent in frigid temperatures.
March 21st, 2011
08:48 AM ET

Take part in CNN’s search for extreme science

CNN is going to the Arctic Circle – and we want you to be part of the journey.

Our special correspondent, environmental activist Philippe Cousteau, grandson of acclaimed explorer Jacques Cousteau, will be accompanied by CNN producer Matt Vigil and cameraman Darren Bull. They’ll battle the sub-zero elements and the threat of polar bears on a two-week mission to report on the work of the Catlin Arctic Survey.

The Arctic Circle that rings the North Pole is known as ground zero for climate change.

We’ll explore the work done by scientists who are collecting data and samples to find out how melting ice is impacting ocean currents, marine life and the climate and weather conditions around the world.

We want your questions for the CNN team and the scientists. You might want to know what it’s like working in such extreme conditions, what challenges the CNN team faces, or more about the science they’re carrying out.

Comment here and we’ll pass on your questions. They might become part of our coverage!


Filed under: Climate change • Environment • North Pole
soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. Thomas Truett

    How often do you get supplies for food and fuel delivered to you? If your house was on a power grid in the Arctic how much would the heating bill cost per month during the coldest month?

    March 21, 2011 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Patricia Greer

      Extreme science to me is suicide bombers.

      March 23, 2011 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Philippe Cousteau

      Thomas,
      Ice Base gets re-supply about every time people change over and that is roughly every two weeks. There are actually houses in the Arctic like in Resolute. Their heating bill can be up to 1200 dollars a month but we don't have conventional heating on the base so there is not really a comparison to be made, we use basic stoves to keep things heated and tents are not heated.

      March 24, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Cesar r

    Do you get paid extra for being in sub-zero temperatures.

    March 21, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Philippe Cousteau

      Cesar,
      There is no extra pay for this type of trip. We do it for the love of adventure.

      March 24, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  3. RUFFNUTT

    where are there clubs? what happens if a baby seal attacks?

    March 21, 2011 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  4. Jazz7

    Forget about the Seal , what about the BEAR, OOO my

    March 21, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Ashley

    What types of training was required for all the members going on this adventure?

    March 21, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  6. banasy

    You couldn't *pay* me enough to do what they're doing...I can barely stand the Chicago winters!

    Are they finally going to answer the question of the cause of global warming, whether it is a natural evolution of our planet, or, if in fact like many believe, due to humans?

    March 21, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Red Dragon

      It's us... they've known that for a while now.

      March 24, 2011 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Philippe Cousteau

      Banasy,
      Our plan is to follow the science and 90% of it points to a changing climate and that humans most certainly are having a significant impact through our extreme emissions of carbon and other pollutants. I don't think that this trip will settle the argument but we hope to add to the world's knowledge so that we can all make informed decisions based on science and not wishful thinking or denial.

      March 24, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Debbie

    What experiments are you doing to collect data?

    March 21, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  8. david

    How long will this mission last and is this mission any important to already dying planet?

    March 21, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  9. RUFFNUTT

    it's so cold up there that it unBEARable..

    March 21, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  10. PJB

    Will ice thickness be measured so that comparison to the satellite measurements and model forecasts can be made with actual values? Where will this data be stored and in what reviews will it be published?

    March 21, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • sbast18

      No worries PJB. We intentionally selected the Arctic Circle because temperatuers are extremely low, and because we remain uncertain of a long-term data storage solution. However, this sub-zero climate will ensure that all data remain frozen and unspoiled during the long, arduous months ahead.

      March 23, 2011 at 8:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Philippe Cousteau

      Exactly, one of the most important pieces of science being conducted is testing the ice thickness and comparing it to the satellite data. The data is stored in various ways, sometimes the experiments are conducted on site and sometimes they are sent to Great Britain to be analyzed. It is too early to know all the various papers it will be published in.

      March 24, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  11. francesca

    If i had a couple of hot water bottles stuffed in my pants & my shirt(s) that wouldn't cool off i'd love to go along,can't bare the cold,live in Germany,cold enough here ALL the time.How do they survive the cold let alone sleep out there?But it must be spectaculour,hope they have frsh meat(would be frozen though)for Bears,they might be hungry & want to eat them,hope they don't shoot them.How do they get warded off in case of attack or pending one?What do they eat(the people i mean)?Do they fish through the ice like Escimos?Have a great trip & get back with all fingers & noses!

    March 21, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  12. #1 Am.erican

    Do you study frozen vs melted? Are the threats of Polar Bear attacks real? How much of what you study helps determine the causes/effects of global warming. I applaude your efforts because I believe global warming is real. Its nice to know there are scientists out there who care too. But how do you bear that unbearable cold?

    March 21, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Philippe Cousteau

      There are several groups of scientists working to understand the dynamics of this fragile ecosystem. They are heroes and while the cold is severe the key is to be prepared and be proactive. As soon as you feel cold you have to do something about it. Frostbite, as our guide said, is a self-inflicted injury. There is very effective equipment that exists and being outfitted correctly is critical.

      March 24, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Cesar r

    Has any of the crew ever experienced an IRS audit?

    March 21, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  14. royce

    It sounds like the arctic is a place filled with lots of scientist and helpers now. What has our impact on the arctic been since scientist began setting up camps for collecting data? What has been the outcome of years of research and why should scientist continue to spend funds to further research in the arctic? Why should Carol who works at the diner in California care that scientist are making these discoverys in the arctic and how does it effect her and people like her?

    March 21, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  15. stefan

    Can I come with you?

    March 21, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
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