Hempleman-Adams Arctic challenge 'demonstrates climate change'

Northabout yacht in Bristol harbour
Image caption The aluminium-hulled yacht Northabout returned to Bristol after a four-month voyage

British explorer David Hempleman-Adams has returned to the UK after circumnavigating the North Pole by boat in a single season.

His yacht Northabout docked in Bristol harbour at midday after its four-month, 13,500-mile (21,726 km) journey.

The seven person crew is the first British team to complete the challenge, which only recently became possible due to retreating sea ice.

Mr Hempleman-Adams, from Wiltshire said the trip highlighted climate change.

''We have demonstrated that the Arctic sea ice coverage shrinks back so far now in the summer months, that sea that was permanently locked up now can allow passage through," he said.

"Permanent irreversible change in the sea ice landscape of the Arctic seems inevitable. A significant change in my lifetime.

"I see this possibility to circumnavigate the Arctic as one I wanted to take despite the risks associated with it, in order to increase the world's attention on the effects of Arctic climate change.''

The Northabout set off from Bristol harbour on 19 June, and its route round the Arctic took the aluminium-hulled vessel through the Northeast and Northwest passages and along the west coast of Greenland.

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