Lewis Gordon Pugh, a 37-year-old British man, is ready to take the plunge into the icy waters of the North Pole, waters that should be frozen, but are not due to global warning.
Pugh is a British adventurer who has swum in waters around the world to bring attention to environmental issues. This time, Pugh will swim to raise awareness of global warming and its effect on the environment.
Before going for a dip in the icy waters, Pugh prepares himself by elevating his body temperature via a conditioned response known as “anticipatory thermogenesis”.
“I am acclimatised to the cold having spent many years in cold places. As soon as I enter cold water my body shunts all my warm blood to my core to protect my vital organs. It then generates incredible heat. However, before I even enter the water, I am able to elevate my core body temperature by as much as 1.4°C (35F). This phenomenon, now known as “anticipatory thermogenises”, has to our knowledge not been noted in any other human being.” explains Pugh, according to his Web site.
Pugh swims according to the regulations of the Channel Swimming Association. Wet suits are not allowed. Pugh will swim in a speedo, cap, and a pair of goggles.
Pugh will swim 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) along the edge of a crack in the ice near the North Pole. This will be the coldest waters — 29 degrees — a human has ever swum. Pugh expects the swim to take about 21 minutes.
Pugh raises his body temperature to 101F before taking to the water. “In the cold, all the blood rushes to your core to protect your heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, and brain. When you leave the water, the blood rushes back to your arms and legs, absorbs that freezing cold, and brings it back to the heart,” Pugh said, according to National Geographic.
Pugh explains that immediately after the swim, he will go straight to the showers for a hot shower to reheat his body. He reports that from his prior experiences, swimming in the Antarctic, that the effect of the hot water streaming over his body after being in the freezing water causes him to become disoriented.
Although Pugh may be best known for his daringly dangerous swims around the world, he studied law at the University of Cape Town and University of Cambridge. He practiced as a Maritime lawyer in London. Pugh is a public speaker and lobbies to protect the environment.
Pugh’s swim of the north pole is scheduled for July 15.
Lewis Gordon Pugh.Explorer/Swimmer/Enviromentalist. URL http://www.lewispugh.com/who.html
What it Takes: Lewis Gordon Pugh. Andrew Berg. URL http://www.lewispugh.com/who.html
Brit to Swim North Pole. Dave’s Daily. Ananova.http://www.davesdaily. URL com/out.php?id=27794&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ananova.com%2Fnews%2Fstory%2Fsm_2352633.html