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Italian explorer plans to live on an iceberg for up to a year


August 25, 2014

Alex Bellini aims to live atop an iceberg in northwest Greenland and remain in place as it slowly melts (Image: Alex Bellini)

Alex Bellini aims to live atop an iceberg in northwest Greenland and remain in place as it slowly melts (Image: Alex Bellini)

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Italian explorer Alex Bellini has conceived an extraordinary plan to live alone on a drifting iceberg in northwest Greenland for up to a year, or until it melts away – whichever happens first. He aims to stay alive during this time in a tiny survival pod, and hopes his experience will encourage further discourse on climate change and the environment in general.

At this stage of the project, which is dubbed Adrift 2015, Bellini offers relatively few fine details on how he plans to achieve his aim. The explorer does seem to have a taste for dangerous challenges though, and has previously rowed a small boat solo across the Mediterranean Ocean and Atlantic Ocean. An attempt to row across the Pacific Ocean solo fell just short and ended in rescue.

Bellini aims to live atop the iceberg within his survival capsule from Spring (Northern Hemisphere) 2015 in northwest Greenland, and remain in place even as the iceberg melts and becomes steadily smaller.

He will live off 300 kg (661 lb) of dried food provisions until he is forced to abandon the iceberg, then float within the survival pod until it's washed ashore to safety. Presumably there's a plan in place to rescue Bellini should the survival pod not float ashore in due time.

Treehugger reports that the survival capsule Bellini is planning to use is the same kind used by ocean oil rigs, and that it is kevlar-reinforced.

Bellini will be alone for much of the time, but expects to be visited by journalists, and hopes to raise awareness and provoke discussion on climate change and the environment.

"With my next adventure I don't want to do anything but let people talk about climate and sustainability," says the explorer on his Facebook page. "Not proving the planet is warming, nor the planet is cooling. I have my own ideas you can have yours and the more I do research on this matter the less I see the whole thing clear. I'm not a scientist [but] just someone, as many others, who cares about the planet."

The video below offers a few details on the project.

Source: Alex Bellini

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Adam Williams Adam scours the globe from his home in North Wales in order to bring the best of innovative architecture and sustainable design to the pages of Gizmag. Most of his spare time is spent dabbling in music, tinkering with old Macintosh computers and trying to keep his even older VW bus on the road. All articles by Adam Williams

Ask him to keep a GPS marker which we can track on the internet so we can watch his progress. Thanks

Facebook User

The climate has been changing since the earth has had gas on it to form a climate. The earth as been warmer, even in human recorded history such as the Hellenistic and Medieval, and its been colder such as the Little Ice Age period. The earth as been in a state of warming since the last major ice age when North America had miles thick glaciers sitting on top of it. It is such a recent geological occurrence, the North American plate is still in the process of "springing up" due to the low of weight on top of it.

Rann Xeroxx

of course everyone thinks this guy is a moron. but other than stating the obvious about his goals,

this has BEEN DONE BEFORE. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fletcher's_Ice_Island


Yep. It's a PR stunt to grab attention, nothing more.

It's been done before, AND it proves exactly nothing. Icebergs melt. It's what they've always done, it's what they still do, it's what they will continue to do. Nothing new to see here, move right along...

Anne Ominous

I hope his calulations on food supplies are accurate, he would look stupid if he runs low on food before the iceberg melts enough! Also, will he be chipping away at the ice for a water supply? He would need plenty of fuel for a burner to melt the ice chips. Final thought - if he does use the iceberg for water, I hope he realises that every kg worth of ice he chips off he is that much closer to making the iceberg more unstable as the underneath invisibly but unevenly melts away! Most icebergs usually 'turn turtle' during their lifespan as point of balance changes. There is no way he could work out where to chip to keep it in balance.

The Skud

Aren't the greenies and tree huggers going to be disappointing when nobody pays this any attention. The Truman Show it wont be.

Richard Simister

Here's some discussion for you: the climate will always change, and noting you our our race can do now will noticeably affect that.


It is obvious that there have been natural cycles of warming and cooling, but what many people do not want to consider is the unprecedented amount of human activity that plays into the mix of our present situation.

This effort by Mr. Bellini is part science and part publicity stunt. For a year, he will eat dehydrated food and (hopefully) do some fishing. No mention of energy stores to keep him warm and melt ice on an iceberg that will probably be of more than adequate size. Also, a PV solar collector won't help much in an Arctic winter, so it's all about a small wind turbine and body heat?

Judging from his video, he seems eccentric enough to lead such a lonely existence for a year, but it's debatable if this will come to anything substantial. The news media won't likely be making many reservations for interviews until he gets back to civilization.

He better have a satellite phone with extra batteries. : )


Very dangerous. He'll be dragged, and not softly, into the ocean when his iceberg flips over, as it will. Kevlar reinforced or not, if he gets under the damn berg, his little pod will be squashed. Alternatively, this will happen just as he steps outside for a pee - Murphy's law. In the mean time, heavy seas will have him saving food rations by not eating for days due to queasy stomach...so no worries about running out of food early. Suspect he'll be back within a month.


Another idiotic stunt...some government (the US) will eventually have to spend tens of thousands of dollars to rescue this guy again. All for some nut to sit on a melting ice berg? What has that got to do with AGW?


Why bother sitting on an iceberg for a year to provoke discussion about climate change?

Al Gore said the science is settled, so there's nothing to discuss.

And since he has made a billion dollars with the Gore/Goldman Sachs carbon trading scam, he must know what he is talking about.


If you want to do something about global warming Try to do something useful.

Where is the money for this stunt coming from? It could be better spent on weather stripping or or putting solar on someones house.

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