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Dupre has seen the climate changing

Lonnie Dupre climbed Mt. McKinley in January 2005. Here, he is on the West Buttress Ridge. (Photo by Lonnie Dupre)1 / 5
While in Greenland, Dupre woke up one night to see these Arctic wolves approaching his sled dogs. (Photo by Lonnie Dupre)2 / 5
Cheryl Larson touches bells that were offered during a silent auction fundraiser at the Duluth League of Women Voters annual meeting. (Photo by Naomi Yaeger)3 / 5
Arctic explorer Lonnie Dupre and his mother, Kate Cartier, consult at the Duluth League of Women Voters annual meeting. (Photo by Naomi Yaeger)4 / 5
Zandra Zwiebel, president of the Duluth League of Women Voters, introduces Lonnie Dupre. (Photo by Naomi Yaeger)5 / 5

Arctic explorer Lonnie Dupre has seen changes in the Arctic that he attributes to global warming.

Dupre was the guest speaker at the Duluth League of Women Voters (LWV) annual meeting last week. About 100 people attended the dinner.

Though Dupre lives in Grand Marais, he has a Duluth connection through his mother, local resident Kate Cartier. She was at the LWV meeting and ran the slide projector as Dupre spoke.

Dupre showed photos of his expeditions as he spoke about the changes he has seen. He is the founder of One World Endeavors, which leads expeditions in the coldest regions of the earth and advocates against pollution as well as addresses climate change.

In January Dupre did a solo climb of the highest mountain in North America, Denali, aka Mount McKinley in Alaska. January is the darkest and coldest time on Denali and Dupre was the first to reach the summit during that month.

In 2009 he circumnavigated Greenland to commemorate Arctic explorer Robert E. Perry's 1909 trip and also to research ice thickness. Dupre said that in Perry's time, the ice was 15 feet thick. "It's not that way anymore," he said. "Now we have ice that is almost nonexistent to ice that is only 8 or 9 feet thick." Dupre predicts that in the next eight years there will no longer be ice in the Arctic Ocean.

"That's devastating to our planet because both the North and South pole act as thermostats," he said. Ice reflects the warmth of the sun's rays away from the earth, but when large patches of dark blue ocean are exposed, all the energy is absorbed, he said.

Mary Streufert, president-elect of LWV-Duluth, said Dupre's photos and presentation were fascinating. "Some of the changes he saw firsthand are disturbing," she said.

Next month, Duluth LWV is hosting the Minnesota LWV convention June 12-14 at the Radisson. Hundreds from all over the state are expected to attend. Speakers include Elisabeth MacNamara, president of LWV-U.S. and MayKao Hang, president and CEO of the Wilder Foundation, a nonprofit research institute based in St. Paul that studies social issues and encourages community initiatives.

The banquet speaker "should be powerful," said LWV President Zandy Zwiebel. "(She) will be speaking on diversity issues and exclusion." The banquet and breakfast are open to the public. To RSVP for these events, visit www.lwvduluth.org.

Naomi Yaeger

Naomi Yaeger is a freelance writer and the former editor of the Budgeteer. See her blog at www.DuluthDailyPhoto.com.

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