Astronomy from the Polar Plateau
The polar plateaus provide the best sites on the Earth's surface to conduct a wide range of astronomical observations, due to the extremely cold, dry and stable air found there. This project aims to quantify these conditions at Dome A on the Antarctic plateau, and begin the process of turning the site into a front line observatory. An automated observatory,which can gather data over the winter, will be delivered to Dome A through a Chinese-led traverse in early 2008. More information.
Census of Antarctic Marine Life (CAML)
This major IPY project will determine species biodiversity, abundance and distribution around Antarctica – on the sea floor, continental slope, in deep waters, under collapsed ice shelves and in upper sunlit waters. As knowledge of Antarctica’s marine biodiversity is patchy, CAML will establish the state of these communities and provide a baseline against which future change can be measured. Australia will collaborate with France and Japan in marine field work in January 2008, on board the Australian icebreaker, Aurora Australis. More information.
Climate of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean (CASO)
This project will obtain a broad, circumpolar snapshot of the physical environment of the Southern Ocean to enhance understanding of its role in past, present and future climate. The project will also establish a Southern Ocean Observing System to routinely monitor the behaviour of the ocean. The system will involve measurements of temperature, salinity and ocean currents using ships, free floating instruments, satellite trackers attached to marine mammals and seabirds, current meters and tide gauges. Information from the system will be used in models for ocean and climate forecasts. A research voyage on the Australian icebreaker, Aurora Australis, will be undertaken in December 2007. Activities carried out on this multi-disciplinary voyage will include contributions to a number of IPY programs, including SASSI (Synoptic Antarctic Shelf-Slope Interactions Study), GEOTRACES, and ICED (Integrating Climate and Ecosystem Dynamics). More information.
Aliens in Antarctica
This project will assess the extent to which people unintentionally carry propagules (seeds, spores, eggs) of alien (non-native) species into the Antarctic region. All people travelling to the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic islands by ship and aircraft this austral summer, will have their clothing and equipment inspected for propagules. The project will provide an understanding of the threat that alien propagules pose, enabling appropriate mitigation methods to be established to combat this threat. More information.
Taking the Antarctic Arctic Polar Pulse
A key component of this project will be the development of a snapshot database of health events occurring in the Antarctic throughout the IPY. Research includes investigations into the impacts of living in the total darkness of winter, the effects of isolated and confined conditions on the human immune system, metabolism, stress and social behaviour, and the viability of using internet-based telemedicine techniques to diagnose and treat disorders over exceptionally long distances. More information.
Solar variability linkages to atmospheric processes
Does solar variability affect the Earth’s weather and climate? To find out, scientists will measure the global electric circuit – an electric current that flows around the world between the ground and the lower reaches of the ionosphere (about 70 km up) – to determine whether changes in the sun have an effect on the Earth’s weather system. Such changes could alter the global electric circuit and the conditions under which clouds develop, potentially providing a link between solar activity and climate. Instruments will be deployed in western Antarctica this summer to complement the current and ongoing data collection at Vostok on the Antarctic plateau. More information.
Sea Ice Physics and Ecosystem Experiment (SIPEX)
An international team of scientists returned to Australia in October 2007 after a successful six-week voyage investigating whether sea ice in the Southern Ocean is changing in response to climate change.
During the SIPEX voyage, the team used helicopter-borne laser altimeters and helicopter- and sled-borne snow radars to measure sea ice thickness. Scientists also took a range of surface measurements and ice cores. The data will considerably improve our knowledge of sea ice in the region, and provide tools to monitor whether Antarctic sea ice is changing over coming years.
A remotely operated vehicle was also used to study the environment directly under the ice – including the amount of algae on its underside and the animals, such as krill, feeding on it.
Together, the research will provide a comprehensive picture of the links between sea ice physics, sea ice biology and the pelagic (open ocean) food web in the region during early spring. More information.
What is IPY
Monday, 29 October 2007 21:43
Australian IPY activitiesWritten by IPY Australia
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Comment Link Saturday, 02 October 2010 07:34 posted by WallaceSonya26
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