Status: Indexed


the definite utterance of those who were engaged in the race. Especi-
ally is this clear in the titles of their books, as "Nansen's "Farthest
North", Peary's "Nearest the Pole".

Both the participants in the game of Arctic exploration and the
spectators who watched it through newspapers and books knew about the
Gulf Stream and the warm North Atlantic drift. They knew that these
and other influences make Reykjavik, Iceland, a little as warmer on the
average in January than as Milan, Italy, and Christmas Eve on the north coast
of Norway, 800 miles north of Scotland, warmer on the average than at
Minneapolis which is farther south than the middle of France. They
knew, but did not realize, that these and similar causes prevented the
possibility that the North Pole could be anywhere near the center of
whatever icy area there might be in the Arctic. They had the data for
calculating (if it had occurred to them to do so) that the North Pole is
about 400 miles from the center of the floating ice that troubles Arctic

In recent years many have come to realize that the struggle to
attain the North Pole was based on a misapprehension, since the Pole is
nowhere near the center of the inaccessible area (which center is called
the Pole of Inaccessibility and lies near 84° N. Lat. and 160° W. Long., about 400 miles away from the North Pole
in the direction towards Alaska). But that is by no means the most
important misconception we are rid of. We have come to realize that on
the lowlands in the Arctic, both in North America and Asia, mid-summer
temperatures are sometimes as high as at the south tip of in Florida (plus 85 degress F. to
plus 95 degrees F. in the shade and even hotter). We know that the
snow-fall in the Arctic averages less than in Scotland and that all the
snow of winter disappears in summer from every Arctic land except those
that are mountainous--and most of the Arctic lands are low. We know
there are many hundred species of flowering plants in the region formerly

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