A world-famous adventurer has said the Arctic is at a “tipping point” and warned rapidly vanishing ice could lead to floods and famine.
Sir David Hempleman-Adams, 60, said politicians should “grasp the nettle” on climate change after a disheartening Arctic trip where his “worst fears” were realised.
Sir David, who was knighted in the New Year, said: “I know it’s a well-used adage, but the Arctic is the canary in the mine.
“What we’re finding now is the ramifications of all this global warming, and it will definitely have an impact on us down in the South.”
The journey around the Arctic via the Northeast and Northwest Passages usually takes three years, but his team managed it in just four months and a day.
Alarmingly, scientists reported sea temperatures in November were some 4C (39.2F) warmer than average and, in the past quarter century, around one-third of the world’s ice has vanished.
The Bellot Strait, a stretch of water normally clogged with icebergs, was filled with nothing but water in drone footage shot by the expedition team.
Sir David added: “A politician will not grasp the nettle until you have scientific evidence to say ‘Climate change will do this, and when it does that you will get five million unemployed, you will get London under water, what are you going to do about it?’
“Until you’ve got concrete facts related to science where they can actually see the balance sheets, politicians aren’t going to do anything.”