Arctic-IPY

Programme overview

International Polar Year (IPY 2007-2008) was an international effort to research the Polar Regions. This concentrated burst of polar science and exploration helped to shed new light on the impact that the Polar Regions will have on our climate and the consequences for humanity.

This was the biggest internationally coordinated research effort for 50 years. Around 50,000 scientists, students and support staff from over 60 nations were involved in more than 200 Arctic and Antarctic projects.

Background & objectives

The International Polar Year themes were:

  1. To determine the present environmental status of the polar regions by quantifying their spatial and temporal variability.
  2. To quantify, and understand, past and present environmental and human change in the Polar Regions in order to improve predictions.
  3. To advance our understanding of polar - global interactions by studying teleconnections on all scales.
  4. To investigate the unknowns at the frontiers of science in the Polar Regions.
  5. To use the unique vantage point of the polar regions to develop and enhance observatories studying the Earth's inner core, the Earth's magnetic field, geospace, the Sun and beyond.
  6. To investigate the cultural, historical, and social processes that shape the resilience and sustainability of circumpolar human societies, and to identify their unique contributions to global cultural diversity and citizenship.

NERC's Arctic-IPY funding was focused and directed to IPY programmes in which the UK community could make a significant contribution and which would enhance the delivery of NERC strategic priorities. Consortium proposals which foster the development of strong links between UK Arctic scientists were sought and strong international links were essential.

Report & key findings

First evidence of warming-related methane releases from the Arctic Sea (PDF, 73KB)