News blog

The Frozen Horizon

arctic old ice.jpgCross posted from Nature Climate Feedback.

March 1 marks the official end of the 2-year-long International Polar Year so the news team at Nature is taking the opportunity to look back at the US $1.2 billion research program, which involved over 60 nations. A leader urges nations to build upon the achievements of the IPY and to carry out some of its unfinished business. In a feature story, Quirin Schiermeier assesses the overall polar year and looks forward toward some of the challenges ahead. A second feature by me surveys research in the Arctic that integrated indigenous peoples and their traditional knowledge. And a gallery feature by our art department spectacularly illustrates some of the projects at both poles, while evoking the sense of a remote research outpost. The photos and news in that gallery bring back memories of previous visits I’ve made to stations in Greenland and Antarctica.

The IPY leaders have produced their own 16-page report, available here, summarizing some of the key research findings, many of which Nature has already reported. Finally, don’t miss a special gallery of IPY-related photos that the World Meteorological Organization has on its site.

Rich Monastersky

Image: detail from “Die Erste Deutsche Nordpolar-Expedition Im Jahre 1868” by K. Koldewey. 1871 / Treasures of the NOAA Library Collection.

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