What is IPY
Thawing permafrost could release large amounts of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere causing even more global warming !This initiative was launched because there is considerable concern and increased awareness both within the international scientific community and the general public about the effects that global warming could have on frozen grounds in Arctic regions (Main Photo). A significant proportion of this permafrost would start to thaw out over the coming decades, with a potential release of large amounts of greenhouse gases (both carbon dioxide and the much more potent methane) to the atmosphere from previously frozen soil organic matter that will start to decompose. This is a so-called positive feedback within the Earth System, as climate warming results in permafrost thawing that causes a further increase of greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere resulting in even more warming. We are not dealing only with a gradual process related to progressive thawing of the ground with depth over time. Also more dramatic events like ground subsidence due to melting of buried ice bodies (Photo 2) and lateral erosion along the edges of thaw lakes (Photo 3) would accelerate the release of greenhouse gases.
Polar View brings together multiple satellite observations and a network of expert providers to deliver a range of polar monitoring services. Via an international consortium, funded by the European Space Agency, Polar View is delivering accurate, near real time information about sea ice conditions in the Arctic and Antarctic. Additionally it provides snow and glacier information, plus data about river and lake ice break up for hydrology and flood risk mitigation.
As part of IPY, Polar View has extended the sea ice services to being together all operational sea ice information into the IPY Ice Logistics Portal. This provides a convenient point of access to operational sea ice information produced by the world's ice services and Polar View. Access to products is provided via a series of pre-defined regions for both the Arctic and the Antarctic.
The Students on Ice - International Polar Year Youth Expeditions series has been endorsed by the IPY Joint Committee as a prominent and valued component of the IPY program. These special IPY-themed voyages to the Arctic and Antarctic offer once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to over 500 youth to explore the Polar regions!
These unique educational expeditions are designed for international high school and university youth. Participants will travel together with teams of polar scientists, experts and educators. The ice-strengthened ship-based expeditions will be unparalleled platforms for Polar and Environmental Education and outreach for the International Polar Year.