Skip to main content
Under the Pole

Under the Pole

Support for the scientific expedition on climate change

The Air Liquide Foundation supported the “Deepsea Under The Pole” scientific expedition focusing on global warming.

3 years of preparation needed

In March 2010, after three years of preparation, the eight team members (and their husky dog!) led by Ghislain Bardout were dropped off in the North Pole, at the end of the arctic night. Over 45 days, they trekked by ski and made 51 dives under the polar ice cap in order to collect new data that has never been compiled before.


years of preparation


team members (and their husky dog!)




dives under the polar ice


testimonies of Ghislain Bardout, leader of the expédition and Dr Christian Haas, research program coordinator

Better know the ice pack’s volume

According to the researchers of the American Center for Atmospheric Research, the ice that covers the Arctic Ocean could completely disappear during the summer by 2040.

The thickness of the ice pack, unlike its surface, has been little studied. Starting in March 2010, the mission of “Under the Pole” will be to carry out readings of the thickness of the ice over a distance of 800 km of ice pack, going from the North Pole to the extreme north of Canada. This expedition, composed of eight explorers, will collect new data by combining dives under the ice pack and measurements of its surface. These field measurements, carried out once or twice a day using a depth gauge, will enable the existing evaluations of the ice pack’s volume to be refined and optimized.

This four-month research program supported by the Air Liquide Foundation is in line with the European Arctic climate observation and modeling program

The “Under the Pole” expedition will also include a research program on the physiology of the diver under extreme conditions. The study will evaluate, in particular, the diver’s submersion techniques in seawater with pure oxygen respiration to treat possible decompression sickness accidents.


  • Project initiator: Under the Pole
  • Location: North Pole
  • Year of support: 2009
  • R&D Manager: Fouad Ammouri, Researcher and Group Expert, Process control, Monitoring and Modelling, Air Liquide Research Center in Paris

Discover other projects supported by the Air Liquide Foundation