Sunday, March 04, 2007

International Polar Year under way.

International polar year has just been officialy launched.



Nature has a large selection of articles about polar science and the year.

"With contributions from 50,000 scientists in 63 nations, the International Polar Year, launched today, will be the most far-reaching investigation into the biology and geophysics of the Arctic and Antarctic ever mounted."


And of those 50'000 scientists, few will be working on research unrelated to climate change. Perhaps the involvement of 63 nations, far more than in previous years, can be attributed to the increased profile of climate change and the fact that sea levels have effects globally.

"The change of phase from snow and ice to water is the biggest tipping point in the Earth's system so, although the International Polar Year covers a huge range of science, for me the big issue is climate change and the impact that
it's having here," said Chris Rapley, director of the British Antarctic Survey, one of the organizations behind the International Polar Year. "I'm looking forward to major progress on key issues, such as 'how are the ice sheets
responding?', and indeed the trillion-dollar question from the point of view of sea-level rise: 'How much, how quickly?'."

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