Ann Daniels


Our corrosive oceans

One day, Ann Daniels saw an advert for ordinary women to go on a polar expedition. She had all the qualifications — she was an ordinary woman — and that led her to break records and get involved in scientific research that has exposed worrying trends in our oceans.

Ann Daniels is the first woman in history, along with expedition teammate Caroline Hamilton, to reach the North and South Poles as part of all women teams.

Ann has learnt to survive in the most hostile environments on earth. In the year 2000, she and four other woman skied 700 miles across Antarctica to become the first British women’s team to sledge haul to the South Pole. In 2002 Ann then put together an expedition to ski from Ward Hunt Island to the North Pole to become the first women’s team to ski to both poles. They suffered frostbite, wet gangrene, carbon monoxide poisoning and, after skiing over 500 hazard-filled miles, finally reached the pole to make the world record.

In 2009 Ann became head of ice operations for the ground-breaking Catlin Arctic Survey. This project completed a unique environmental study of the rapidly disappearing frozen Arctic Ocean. Ann was responsible for leading the team on the ice and finding a safe route, making difficult decisions in the most extreme environment on Earth for 74 consecutive days.

Our oceans make up 99% of the world’s living space and it is now known that the chemistry of these oceans are changing and becoming more acidic. In 2010 Ann was asked back to lead a second Catlin Arctic Survey supporting scientists working to understand this change and the potential threat it poses to the environment. Spending 63 days on the ice the team of three were able to capture valuable data in regions inaccessible to most scientists.

In 2011, Ann returned to the Arctic for the final Catlin Arctic Survey. This survey looked at the thermahaline (temperature and salinity) properties of the Arctic Ocean and explored the possible effect this could have both on oceans worldwide and on the weather patterns that these oceans help to regulate.

Biography published 2014

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