06/18/2013 03:59 EDT | Updated 08/18/2013 05:12 EDT

4 Vancouver men aim to row the Northwest Passage

Four Vancouver adventurers say they hope to spark discussion about climate change by attempting to become the first people to row the Northwest Passage this summer.

On July 1, the four men will begin their journey in a specially designed 25-foot boat, starting from Inuvik and ending in Pond Inlet, Nunavut on the east coast of Baffin Island in the early fall.

The modern-day explorers say the Northwest Passage has become semi-navigable due to the deterioration of arctic ice from climate change.

Crew member Kevin Vallely told Rick Cluff on The Early Edition he hopes the journey will help show the world how climate change is affecting the arctic.

Climate science

During their trip, the team will also gather scientific data for Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Vancouver Aquarium and others to provide "early warnings" of how the Arctic is changing.

They'll lower a device called a CTD (Conductivity, Temperature, Depth) sampler, to measure how salty and cold the water is at different depths.

"For how important the Arctic is, and how much it's changing, it's amazing how little we know about it," said Eric Solomon, Director of Arctic Programs at the Vancouver Aquarium.

Basic information like temperature and salinity matters, said Solomon, because it affects the entire food web, from microscopic phytoplankton up to seals and whales.

The rowers' data will be combined with other readings collected by military reservists in four of Canada's most northern Inuit communities.

With files from the CBC's Lisa Johnson. You can follow her on twitter @lisasj

You can join Rick Cluff on The Early Edition every weekday from 5:30 a.m to 8:37 a.m on CBC Radio One, 88.1FM/690AM.