Environmental News Archive

An almost weekly update of environmental news, particularly marine updates, with occasional splatters of transportation, indigenous, ideas of sustainability and sustainable development from around the world.


50,000 Scientists Come Together For Polar Study

2 Mar 2007 (TODAY)

LONDON - More than 50,000 scientists from 63 nations turned their
attention to the world's poles yesterday to measure the effects of climate
change, using icebreakers, satellites and submarines to study everything
from the effect of solar radiation on the polar atmosphere to the exotic
marine life swimming beneath the Antarctic ice.

The International Polar Year unifies 228 research projects under a single
umbrella, with the aim of monitoring the health of the Earth's polar
regions and gauging the impact of global warming. The largest
international research programme in 50 years, the project officially began
yesterday and will end in March 2009.

"Global warming is the most challenging problem that our civilisation has
faced," Britain's chief scientific adviser, Sir David King, said in a
video played before the event's launch. He called the melting of polar ice
"the canary in the coal mine for global warming".

The polar year is being sponsored by the United Nation's World
Meteorological Organization and the International Council for Science.
About US$1.5 billion ($2.3 billion) has been earmarked for the year's

The world has had polar years before, in 1882-83, 1932-33 and 1957-58. The
"year" will last until 2009 -- it often takes two seasons to reach remote
polar regions, set up equipment, leave to avoid the winter and then return
to collect the gear. - AP

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