13 things about International Polar Year (IPY)!

1. I was buying post stamps and saw that the latest issue is dedicated to The 2007, International Polar Year. On the stamp is portrait of great Serbian scientist Milutin Milankovic. 2. So what is actually IPY? It’s international project to promote scientific researches on one of the most unknown regions on the planet; because North and South Pole have the crucial significance for life on Earth. So scientists from around the world will initiate a new era in polar research by participating in International Polar Year 2007-2008. Working across many disciplines, the scientists will conduct field observations, research and analysis to build upon current knowledge and increase our understanding of the roles that both polar regions play in global processes.
3. Carl Weyprecht (1838-1881), scientist and co-commander of an Austro-Hungarian expedition to the North Pole during the 1870s, is credited with inspiring the first International Polar Year. Weyprecht defined the basic principles of Arctic exploration, calling for nations to establish a network of Arctic research posts and to collaborate in data collection and scientific observation. But Weyprecht died before first IPY occurred in 1882-1883. 4. Fifty years later (1932-1933) a second IPY occurred with approximately 40 countries who participated. They established numerous permanent research stations in the Arctic and prompted advances in meteorology, atmospheric sciences, geomagnetism and the ‘mapping’ of ionospheric phenomena that advanced radio-science and technology. 5. In 1957-1958, 67 nations were involved in the International Geophysical Year, which continued the legacy of international scientific cooperation while commemorating the 75th and 25th anniversaries of the first two International
Polar Years. 6. 2007 is fourth IPY but first one which will have climatic changes as priority theme which is not strange since we are confronting with Global Warming phenomenon which has its effect on the poles.
7. That very sensitive balance of sun, water and ice has enormous influence on life on Earth which is raising concerns and fears since global warming will upset that fine balance. 8. There are proves of huge ice melting on both poles thanks to raising temperature of 2 degrees Celsius on planetary level since 1900. 9. That maybe doesn’t sound that dangerous but raising temperature is causing huge weather and climatic changes; with this tempo of warming ‘till the end of the century see level will be few meters higher.
10. Poles are magnificent, beautiful places where Sun is moving only by horizon; nights are few months long and the landscape is shaped by icy winds. 11. North Pole is one icy plate that floats on Arctic Ocean; constantly changeable region with fantastic creatures above and under the ice. 12. Colder, South Pole lies on the top of massive, frozen Antarctic. Average ice thickness there is more that 2200 meters. That ice is representing 90% of all ice on the Planet and 70% of drinking water. Under that icy mass (believe it or not) is world full of life! There are fishes with natural ‘antifreeze’ in their bloodstream; giant medusas with arms 15meters long.
13. On the bottom of Antarctic’s lakes there is some sort of “gelatin” of microbiologic world and the scientists think that those communities might be very similar with life communities that have had existed on Mars few billion years ago. Therefore those icy, polar worlds could reveal us many secrets about our Planet but also about some distant worlds. That is one reason more to raise our ecological culture and conscious.

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