The South China Morning Post will be publishing a monthly column under the title “The Arctic Rower” that follows the Northwest Passage expedition.

The SCMP is home to the Outdoor & Extreme sports section, the largest dedicated adventure page of any international newspaper. The column will be written by Mark Agnew, NWP crewman and SCMP editor.

The column kicked off this month with a piece about climate change and how the Northwest Passage expedition is only possible because the ice is retreating for longer every year. It is a tough balance to strike – the crew are excited to embark on this epic journey, but each and every one of them is aware the opportunity has arisen because of global warming.

That is why it is so important to understand the role of adventurers in modern times. For hundreds of years, adventurers’ sole purpose was to find and map new land, but now adventurers are bastions of the environment. It is a privilege to be able to see these extreme and remote habitats, and with that comes the responsibility to protect them.

With the honour of casting off to be the first people to row the Northwest Passage, there is an important obligation to bring attention to the melting ice, engage new people who are yet to grasp the importance of protecting the polar regions and encourage everyone from the civilian to the Prime Minister to take it seriously and act now.

You can read the first Arctic Rower here.