A team of British explorers became the first to row to the North Pole yesterday.

After a 28-day struggle through the Arctic, the five-man team of adventurers arrived at their destination at the magnetic North Pole.

Making this journey by boat has only been possible due to climate change – a few years ago, explorers would have to walk to reach the north North Pole.

The team, who left Resolution Bay in Canada on 29 July, faced biting temperatures as low as -15C brought about by strong winds, along with wind-driven ice floes that threatened to smash their reinforced rowing boat.

Ironically the last two miles of the journey had to be completed by bringing the boat onto an ice floe, which was floating over the pole as they approached.

The adventurer leading the expedition, Jock Wishart, who is in his late 50s, said the team was exhilarated to have reached their destination despite the elements.

But he said that pulling the boat over ice and rubble near the end of the expedition was a “hard reminder that we are mere mortal.”

The team had several run-ins with polar bears, and struggled to make it through fog.

Wishart said: “Trying to navigate through moving ice in fog isn't much fun. There have been a few hairy moments. The worst was about two weeks ago when we tried to cross the Wellington Strait.

"We were a little bit too cocky and were out in poor visibility. We found ourselves trapped with the ice closing in around us and had to go back. We were lucky. The ice could have knocked us into matchwood."

He added: "We are all exhilarated and relieved that weather conditions were in our favour. It is an enormous achievement, and a privilege for our team to have been part of what is one of the world's last great firsts."

The men slept in shifts between rowing and ate 7,000 calorie per day dry rations to keep going.

This is the first time polar explorers have used a rowing boat since 1916.