Environment

A Sale man’s postcard from the North Pole shows worrying signs of climate change

By Barbara Metcalfe at

When Chris Harrop left his Sale home in early April to go to the North Pole he was filled with a variety of emotions.

He had been told he was terminally ill and he wanted to get 90 degrees North before he was too ill to travel.

But he wanted to see for himself the impact climate change is having on the frozen land at the top of the earth.

And, as his video which he posted this weekend shows, there are some very worrying signs that the earth is warming up.

At one point in the video Chris shows the Russian Antonov plane which took him and fellow tenacious travellers from the Norwegian town of Svalbard in the Arctic Ocean to the camp at the North Pole, where he stayed.

The plane can only land if there is a minimum depth of 1.80 metres of ice.  When he filmed that day the ice was exactly 1.80 metres thick – anything less and the camp would  be cut off!

Chris  suffers from incurable blood cancer, but against all the odds, he has fought back to carry out the fund-raising expedition and to raise awareness of leukaemia.

Chris makes it to the North Pole

Chris says its all down to Joanne’s intuition that he’s alive today

He said to Sale Today before his journey: ”Its an obsession of mine  I guess, I have always been fascinated by the North Pole. And to think it is possible to spend a night there under canvas – well words fail me-  to describe the feeling,” said Chris.

His cancer was spotted two years ago when Chris went for a health check up.  He was originally  planning an overland trek by skis to the North Pole, but that had to be cancelled on doctors orders.

He remembered the day when he was told  the news that he had got cancer.  “You can imagine my shock. It was devastating news, especially when the doctor told me that it was incurable.

“It was my wife – Joanne – who suggested the health check up – I guess she sensed something was wrong.  But without her intervention I would not be here today.”

Chris has been raising funds for Leukaemia CARE and to make people aware of the disease.

You can see more about Chris’s story at justgiving.com/fundraising/Chris-Harrop.