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Published on Jul 26, 2007
British adventurer says it's a tragedy that global warming enabled him to swim at the Geographic North Pole
Wednesday July 25th, 2007
As an environmental campaigner, Lewis Gordon Pugh, a 37-year old British lawyer and endurance swimmer, wanted to highlight the impact of climate change in the high Arctic. On July 15, he jumped into freezing waters at the Geographic North Pole and swam one kilometre in 18 minutes and 50 seconds. The temperature of 28.7 F(-1.8C) reportedly is the coldest water that a human has managed to swim in and survive. Pugh has earned the name "Polar Bear" because of his ability to raise his body temperature.
Pugh swam in what is essentially an ice crack, a patch of open sea at the top of the world. Open water is becoming more common during the summer months. Many scientists believe that by 2040, the Arctic could be entirely ice-free during summer. According to the World Wildlife Fund, Arctic air temperatures may rise as much as 12 degrees C in the next 100 years. Pugh's swim was captured by a documentary crew.