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IPY Project Summaries

Atmosphere

32: POLar study using Aircraft, Remote sensing, surface measurements and modelling of Climate, chemistry, Aerosols and Transport (POLARCAT)

Aerosols have a large effect on radiation transmission in the Arctic troposphere, both directly and indirectly via clouds. POLARCAT will study transport to the Arctic of aerosols, as well as of air pollution more generally, from anthropogenic sources and boreal forest fires. It will address the effects of this pollution on atmospheric chemistry and climate. POLARCAT will use a ship, a train, surface stations and a large number of aircraft, as well as satellite data and numerical models. The first campaign, from 26 March – 19 April 2007 will use two aircraft based in Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen. Other campaigns in February 2008 and summer 2008 will follow with aircraft being based at various locations throughout the Arctic and in the boreal region.

UK contact:

Dr Eric Wolff, British Antarctic Survey; Tel: +44 (0)1223 221491; Email: ewwo@bas.ac.uk


180: AC Squared: Antarctic Climate and Atmospheric Circulation

Antarctica is the primary heat sink in the global climate system: it plays an important role in climate change and variability, and Antarctic atmospheric processes affect the rest of the planet via the atmosphere and the sea. Using satellites and the state-of-the-art HIAPER research aircraft, AC Squared will help scientists gain a better understanding of how these processes work — knowledge that is essential if we are to develop models that more accurately predict global climate change.

UK contact:

Dr Tom Lachlan-Cope, British Antarctic Survey; Tel: +44 (0)1223 221484; Email: tlc@bas.ac.uk


267: Comprehensive Meteorological Dataset of Active IPY Antarctic Measurement Phase (COMPASS)

This project — which involves scientists from two dozen countries — will examine how atmospheric processes in the Southern Hemisphere affect current climate, and provide an important baseline for assessing future climate change. COMPASS will obtain the first circumpolar snapshot of the Southern Hemisphere atmospheric environment — covering physical, chemical and ecological properties — a major observational milestone. Only by harnessing the resources of the global polar community can this multinational project achieve the depth of investigation required to improve knowledge of future climate change and its impacts.

UK contact:

Dr Steven Colwell, British Antarctic Survey; Tel: +44 (0)1223 221483; Email: src@bas.ac.uk


Ice

20: AICI—IPY (Air-Ice Chemical Interactions — IPY coordinated studies)

Scientists from Europe, North America and New Zealand will investigate how the presence of snow and ice affects the chemistry of air above the polar ice caps. In the Arctic and Antarctic, sunlight triggers the release of chemicals from surface snow into the lower atmosphere. This process affects air quality and the interpretation of past climate using ice cores.

UK contact:

Dr Eric Wolff, British Antarctic Survey; Tel: +44 (0)1223 221491; Email: ewwo@bas.ac.uk
[Note: Eric Wolff is involved in several other IPY projects involving ice cores and Atmospheric chemistry, in both the Arctic and Antarctic]


38: Ocean — Atmosphere — Sea Ice Snowpack Interactions and connections to climate change (OASIS — IPY)

OASIS will study the chemistry of the air over the Arctic Ocean. The health of mammals, including humans is already at stake, and future changes in climate will undoubtedly cause further changes. OASIS will use a variety of platforms (icebreakers, ice islands, buoys) to obtain year-round information on the behaviour of such key chemicals as ozone, mercury, and carbon dioxide. As the nature and extent of snow and ice cover is changing OASIS will assess the associated impact on, and by, climate change, and the human and ecosystem impacts of these chemicals.

UK contact:

Dr Eric Wolff, British Antarctic Survey; Tel: +44 (0)1223 221491; Email: ewwo@bas.ac.uk


42: Subglacial Antarctic Lake Environments — Unified International Team for Exploration and Discovery (SALE-UNITED)

Beneath Antarctica’s ice sheets, water has slowly accumulated over millennia pooling in catchment basins within the continental bedrock. Antarctic subglacial environments are “natural” macrocosms, some of which trace their origins to more than 35 million years before present, when the continent became encased in ice. Life, especially microbial life, has successfully radiated into most aquatic habitats on Earth. There is little reason to doubt that subglacial environments are exempt from this process. The exploration and study of subglacial environments provides an unparalleled opportunity to advance our understanding of how the expression of life, the environment, climate evolution, and planetary history have combined to produce the world as we know it today.

UK contact:

Cynan Ellis-Evans, British Antarctic Survey; Tel: +44 (0)1223 221555; Email: jcel@bas.ac.uk


105: The State and Fate of the Cryosphere

Understanding the state and variability of the cryosphere is essential to understanding physical and biogeochemical interactions between the oceanic, atmospheric, terrestrial, social, cultural, and economic systems. This project will provide a framework for assessing the state of cryosphere. It will establish links with IPY projects involved in monitoring, assessing, and understanding the global cryosphere, and with projects involved in socioeconomic and cultural issues.

UK contact:

Dr John Turner, British Antarctic Survey; Tel: +44 (0)1223 221485; Email: jtu@bas.ac.uk


107: IPY in the Antarctic Peninsula — Ice and Climate (APICS)

The APICS project is an effort to understand all aspects of the ice and climate system in one of the most rapidly-changing regions on Earth — the Antarctic Peninsula’s Larsen B ice shelf. In 2002, a huge section of this ice shelf collapsed, after decades of record-warm summers. Following this collapse, glaciers in the region accelerated abruptly. Coastal ecology and nearby ocean currents changed drastically due to the loss, and a preliminary survey of the newly-exposed ocean floor showed previously unknown sub-ice life forms still present after the break-up. The APICS project is intended to use the dynamic Larsen B ice shelf region as a natural laboratory for what to expect from climate warming in Antarctica. It is a collaborative effort among 11 major U.S. research institutions, and four other countries (Spain, Belgium, Argentina, and England) to coordinate research across several disciplines, using the US research vessel Nathaniel B. Palmer as a platform. The work will include an ice core at the crest of the ice ridge above the Larsen B, remote robotic systems for glacier measurements, extensive flights to visit unique rock outcrops that may reveal the history of the region, and a remotely piloted vehicle for exploring the new life forms and ocean sediment changes. The first field season is currently planned for February/March of 2008.

UK contact:

Dr Rob Larter, British Antarctic Survey; Tel: +44 (0)1223 221573; Email: rdla@bas.ac.uk


118: The Greenland Ice Sheet — Stability, History and Evolution

The Greenland Ice Sheet is an outstanding archive of information about what the Earth’s climate was like in the past, and the water locked in its ice will have a major impact on sea level rise due to climate change. Because of this, understanding how Greenland will react to global warming is crucially important. By gathering seismic data, ice cores and using radar, laser ranging and echo sounders, this project will shed new light on the Greenland Ice Sheet and improve scientists’ ability to model how it will react to climate change.

UK contact:

Dr Eric Wolff, British Antarctic Survey; Tel: +44 (0)1223 221491; Email: ewwo@bas.ac.uk


313: Program of Antarctic Nova Disciplines Aspects (PANDA)

The transect from Prydz Bay-Amery Ice Shelf-Lambert Glacier Basin-Dome A is an interconnected ocean, ice-shelf and ice sheet system, which plays a very important role in east Antarctica mass balance, sea level and climate change. Dome A is a little known region of the Antarctic and, as is the highest plateau of the Antarctic ice sheet, is an ideal place for observing the earth’s environmental background and making new scientific findings in a range of disciplines. About thirty observation systems for glaciology, oceanography, geology/geophysics, sun-earth physics, atmospheric science and astronomy will be installed and implemented along the section by the international cooperative expeditions being led by China during IPY2007–2009 and beyond.

UK contact:

Dr Mervyn Freeman, British Antarctic Survey; Tel: +44 (0)1223 221543; Email: mpf@bas.ac.uk


Land

54: Antarctic Climate Evolution (ACE)

ACE aims to facilitate research in the broad area of Antarctic climate evolution. The programme will link geophysical surveys and geological studies on and around the Antarctic continent with ice-sheet and climate modelling studies. These studies are designed to investigate climate and ice sheet behaviour in both the recent and distant geologic past, including times when global temperature was several degrees warmer than today.

UK contact:

Dr Rob Larter, British Antarctic Survey; Tel: +44 (0)1223 221573; Email: rdla@bas.ac.uk


59: Terrestrial ecosystems in Arctic and Antarctic: effects of UV light, liquefying ice, and ascending temperatures (TARANTELLA)

Temperature and moisture availability play an important role in the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems in the polar regions. Because the changes in ecosystem structure and functioning are slow in the natural situation, an experimental approach has been developed using Open-Top Chambers, which increase the temperature and moisture availability. It is the aim of the TARANTELLA project to determine similarities and differences in the response to climate change between the Arctic and the Antarctic ecosystems.

UK contact:

Dr Pete Convey, British Antarctic Survey; Tel: +44 (0)1223 221588; Email: pcon@bas.ac.uk


77: Plate tectonics and polar ocean gateways (PLATES & GATES)

There is much debate about how significantly changes in ocean currents might affect the Earth’s climate, particularly with regard to how future changes in North Atlantic circulation might affect northern Europe and eastern North America. On timescales of millions of years, movements of the Earth’s tectonic plates have caused opening and closing of ocean gateways, forcing major reorganisations of ocean currents. The PLATES & GATES project aims to determine the history of changes to the many ocean gateways in the polar regions and to study their effects on past climate through integrating geological records and climate models.

UK contact:

Dr Rob Larter, British Antarctic Survey; Tel: +44 (0)1223 221573; Email: rdla@bas.ac.uk


109: Geodynamics of the West Antarctic Rift System (WARS)

The West Antarctic Ice Sheet is currently undergoing rapid change, in particular over the Amundsen Sea Emabayment (ASE) region, and this may lead to accelerated future sea-level rise. Previous aerogeophysical investigations over the Siple Coast reveal that the geology of the West Antarctic Rift System may strongly modulate the dynamics of fast-flowing glaciers that drain the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. But what are the interplays between the virtually unknown sub-ice geology and the apparently thinning and retreating ASE glaciers, such as Pine Island Glacier and Thwaites Glacier? We will utilise new airborne geophysical data collected by UK, US and German teams over the ASE region to provide a unique window on the lithospheric cradle for the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and to study the geodynamics of the largest glaciated rift system on Earth.

UK contact:

Dr Fausto Ferraccioli, British Antarctic Survey; Tel: +44 (0)1223 221577; Email: ffe@bas.ac.uk


117: International Partnerships in Ice Core Science (IPICS-IPY)

Ice cores offer a unique record of how climate and atmospheric composition have varied in the past and have contributed substantially to scientists understanding of climate change. They provide convincing evidence of large, abrupt climate changes, demonstrate links between greenhouse gases and climate, and show how humans have altered the atmosphere. However, there is a great deal more to learn and IPY provides an opportunity to launch an initiative involving all major ice coring nations. IPICS-IPY will develop international plans for new projects on timescales from 2000 to over a million years. A focus in IPY will be on starting a core to bedrock in Greenland that aims to show us how the climate and ice sheet responded during the last warm interglacial period on Earth.

UK contact:

Dr Eric Wolff, British Antarctic Survey; Tel: +44 (0)1223 221491; Email: ewwo@bas.ac.uk


170: Aliens in Antarctica

As human travel continues to increase, the impact of the non-native (alien) species that they often accidentally carry with them on ecosystems across the globe is becoming one of the major environmental challenges of the 21st Century. The impact of these alien species ranges from minor transient introductions to substantial loss of biodiversity and ecosystem changes. The Antarctic is not immune from the risk of invasive species, although to date impacts have been restricted to the milder sub-Antarctic islands. But as parts of the continent warm, it will become easier for non-native species to gain a foothold. It is also now easier for humans (and their unintended living cargo) to travel to and around the Antarctic than it ever has been, and many more people are doing so. Focusing on the annual migration of scientists and tourists to the Antarctic in 2007, this project will take samples from clothing and equipment to provide a unique snapshot of the number of spores, seeds, invertebrates and eggs transported to the continent: the first time that an assessment of the extent of transfer of alien species into an entire biome has ever been made.

UK contacts:

Dr Peter Convey; Tel: +44 (0)1223 221588; Email: pcon@bas.ac.uk
Dr Kevin Hughes, British Antarctic Survey; Tel: +44 (0)1223 221616; Email: kehu@bas.ac.uk


185: Polar Earth Observing Network (POLENET)

Today, as in the past, the polar regions are frontier areas for science. The extreme environment and technological challenges faced by polar scientists mean large gaps exist in our knowledge of these areas and hence in our understanding of the planet as a whole. POLENET is a hugely ambitious project involving some 24 nations. During IPY, it aims to set up an observing network on land and sea in the polar regions — including Antarctica, Siberia, Alaska, the Southern Ocean and the Arctic Ocean. Using a range of technologies from satellites to deep-sea observatories on the polar sea floor, this project will collect seismic, oceanographic and chemical data and leave as its legacy a hugely expanded observing network for the next generation of polar scientists.

UK contact:

Dr Richard Hindmarsh, British Antarctic Survey; Tel: +44 (0)1223 221495; Email: rcah@bas.ac.uk


214: Retrospective and Prospective Vegetation Change in the Polar Regions: Back to the Future

The polar environments are rapidly changing and leaving a lasting impact on the freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems within them. However the region is so vast and diverse that the knowledge of what drives these changes is limited. This project will assess how terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems and environments have changed in the past and record their current status and biodiversity. IPY provides a timely opportunity for passing on knowledge to new generations of researchers and forming a new and authoritative baseline of environmental characteristics with which to examine future changes. Among the sites to be studied are some first examined during the ICSU-sponsored International Biological Programme, which will allow some assessment of changes over recent decades.

UK contact:

Dr Peter Convey, British Antarctic Survey; Tel: +44 (0)1223 221588; Email: pcon@bas.ac.uk


Oceans

8: SASSI (Synoptic Antarctic Shelf-Slope Interactions Study)

Involving a team of scientists from 11 countries, this project will measure the temperature, saltiness and flow speed of the water from continental shelf and slope, including under ice environments. This is something scientists know very little about, but the data are crucial for developing better global climate models. The few recent measurements we have suggest that the water close to Antarctica is getting fresher (less salty). But where is this extra fresh water coming from? Only by measuring — especially during winter — the properties of the water and how fast it is flowing will we be able to understand the processes that are going on, and make sure that these are put into our climate models correctly. There has never been a concerted effort to make measurements on the Antarctic continental shelf and slope during the winter. IPY is enabling everyone to work together to make this happen, by leaving instruments on the sea bed and in the water for a year, even when the ice is covering the sea surface above them. Each nation is going to deploy instruments so that a circumpolar coverage can be obtained for the first time. As well gathering data during IPY, some of SASSI’s instruments will be left in place after IPY, providing an important legacy for future research.

Lead contact

Professor Karen J. Heywood; School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia; Tel: +44 (0)1603 592555; Email: k.heywood@uea.ac.uk


23: Bipolar Atlantic Thermohaline Circulation

This international team of oceanographers will embark on expeditions to the Polar Oceans with ice going vessels to measure ocean temperature, salinity and currents, ice formation and distribution. They will employ remote sensing as well as bottom anchored instrument moorings to feed global numerical models. The project will try to estimate the impact of dense water formation in the polar regions on the global ocean circulation and climate.

UK contact:

Dr Keith Nicholls, British Antarctic Survey; Tel: +44 (0)1223 221490; Email: kwni@bas.ac.uk


34: Impact of climate-induced glacial melting on marine and terrestric coastal antarctic communities on a gradient along the Western Antarctic Peninsula (ClicOPEN)

The Antarctic Peninsula is one of the Earth’s three most rapidly warming regions: most of the glaciers there are in retreat and large ice shelves have broken up. This project investigates the impact of these changes on the plants and animals that live on the land, the shore and coastal sea around the Antarctic Peninsula. Organisms are facing a barrage of complex effects including warming, decreased ice and snow cover, increased iceberg grounding, sedimentation and freshening. A wide range of apparatus and techniques will be used from remote operated vehicles (ROV) and simple underwater light meters to satellite imagery and counting microscopic life. ClicOPEN scientists from 15 countries will study changes in the environments and organisms around a number of retreating glaciers of the Western Antarctic Peninsula. Most of Antarctica’s very rich biodiversity lives nowhere else in the world and we know little about how it will responding to such exceptional and unprecedented warming.

UK contact:

Dr David Barnes, British Antarctic Survey; Tel: +44 (0)1223 221613; Email: dkab@bas.ac.uk


53: Census of Antarctic Marine Life (CAML)

CAML will investigate the distribution and abundance of Antarctic marine biodiversity, how it will be affected by climate change and how climate change will affect the ecosystem and the planet. Its key focus is a major ship-based research programme in the austral summer of 2007–2008. Scientists from 30 countries and 50 institutions will collate data providing a robust benchmark against which future change can be measured.

UK contact:

Professor Paul Rodhouse, British Antarctic Survey; Tel: +44 (0)1223 221612; Email: pgkr@bas.ac.uk


66: Antarctic benthic deep-sea biodiversity: colonisation history and recent community patterns — system coupling (ANDEEP-SYSTCO)

Vast areas of the Southern Ocean surrounding the Antarctic continental shelf are deep sea. Our knowledge on the faunal diversity on its seafloor is scarce and we known almost nothing about the interactions and functioning of the marine and atmospheric systems. This 12-nation project will operate from RS Polarstern and use innovative technology including novel plankton and bottom samplers, landers, cameras and satellites to gather data on the marine pelagic and benthic fauna, sediment characteristics and physical oceanography from previously unexplored depths of the Southern Ocean. The discovery of many new species is expected. Together with information on atmospheric parameters like aerosols, ozone, and CO 2, the project will shed new light on the processes linking these biological geological, oceanographic and atmospheric parts of the biosphere. ANDEEP-SYSTCO will help to understand the role of the Southern Ocean in global energy budgets, climate change, and the maintenance of the diversity of marine life on the planet.

UK contact:

Dr Katrin Linse, British Antarctic Survey; Tel: +44 (0)1223 221631; Email: kl@bas.ac.uk


71: Polar Aquatic Microbial Ecology (PAME)

Microorganisms — including algae, bacteria, fungi and viruses — are numerically by far the most important group of organisms in polar aquatic ecosystems. As well as being the main drivers of biogeochemical cycles and the major producers and consumers of greenhouse gases, they are also sensitive barometers of environmental change. Yet very little is known about their role in ecosystems or their response to change. Working in both the Arctic and Antarctic with a broad range of techniques, including state-of-the-art molecular methods , this project will assess the diversity and make up of this microbial world. It will significantly advance understanding of the diversity and activity of these organisms and their role in climate and global environmental change.

UK contact:

Dr David A Pearce, British Antarctic Survey; Tel: +44 (0)1223 221561; Email: dpearce@bas.ac.uk


83: SCAR-MarBIN: Linking, Integrating and Disseminating Marine Biodiversity Information

SCAR-MarBIN supports the Antarctic science community by giving free and open access to an unprecedented mass of data relevant to understand Southern Ocean biodiversity. SCAR-MarBIN will leave a valuable legacy for future generations, in the form of an information tool that will provide a baseline reference for establishing a State of Antarctic Environment, and predicting the future for marine communities around Antarctica, which are currently facing global change.

UK contact:

Dr Andrew Clarke, British Antarctic Survey; Tel: +44 (0)1223 221591; Email: accl@bas.ac.uk

[Note: This is the information component of CAML — the Census of Antarctic Marine Life]


92: Integrated Analyses of Circumpolar Climate Interactions and Ecosystem Dynamics in the Southern Ocean (ICED-IPY)

Scientists studying the vast Southern Ocean rarely get the chance to build a bigger picture of their often-specialised research in the Antarctic environment. ICED-IPY is a unique collection of polar scientists from different backgrounds willing to pool their collective talent and look beyond their usual focus to answer one of the biggest questions facing Antarctic science: how polar marine ecosystems operate on a circumpolar scale.

UK contact:

Professor Eugene Murphy, British Antarctic Survey; Tel: +44 (0)1223 221614; Email: ejmu@bas.ac.uk


130: Bipolar Climate Machinery (BIPOMAC)

There is now clear evidence that the effects of recent and past climate changes have varied in magnitude across of the world. Some changes over periods of thousands of years seem to have affected the Arctic and Antarctic regions alternately, and this has been called the “bipolar see-saw” effect. The BIPOMAC project will collect and examine climate records in sedimentary sequences spanning the past five million years from both polar regions. These records will provide a basis for analysing the complex interactions of environmental processes that have caused the observed patterns of climate variation. Improved understanding of such processes and their interactions will increase our ability to forecast future climate and sea level change.

UK contact:

Dr Rob Larter, British Antarctic Survey; Tel: +44 (0)1223 221573; Email: rdla@bas.ac.uk


131: Integrated Circumpolar Studies of Antarctic Marine Ecosystems to the Conservation of Living Resources (AMES)

The extraordinarily rich and productive Southern Ocean has been commercially exploited for more than 200 years. As the region is increasingly affected by climate change, understanding the impact of these changes on marine ecosystems is vital if we are ensure that these waters are exploited sustainably. Drawing together fisheries scientists, oceanographers and acoustic engineers from 14 nations, this study will provide a detailed and integrated view of large marine ecosystems — the environment, food supply and main predators. It will deepen our understanding of the impact of human activity on Antarctic ecosystems, and help develop precise and effective management strategies.

UK contact:

Dr Jon Watkins, British Antarctic Survey; Tel: +44 (0)1223 221605; Email: jlwa@bas.ac.uk


137: Evolution and Biodiversity in the Antarctic: The Response of Life to Change

The SCAR-programme EBA (2004–13) will address the impacts of climate change on species biodiversity, evolutionary adaptations and depletion of marine fisheries on community dynamics in the Southern Ocean. A better understanding of the effect of such changes will be obtained by investigating the acclimatory responses to high latitudes. This will help develop a baseline understanding of sensitive ecosystems.

UK contact:

Professor Andy Clarke, British Antarctic Survey; Tel: +44 (0)1223 221591; Email: accl@bas.ac.uk


153: MEOP (Marine Mammal Exploration of the Oceans Pole to Pole)

Collecting oceanographic data from ice-filled polar waters is costly and logistically challenging. Rather than relying solely on human scientists, this project uses beluga whales and four seal species as ocean explorers to collect information about the conductivity (salinity), temperature and depth (CTD) of Arctic and Antarctic waters. By fitting state-of-the-art CTD tags on dozens of these deep-diving marine mammals, scientists will be able to gather a rich new data set that will extend our knowledge of the world’s oceans as well as the top predators that live in them. MEOP will provide a unique source of fundamental physical and biological data from the polar oceans. Its unique approach will compliment efforts in many other IPY projects and will leave a legacy of useful biological and ocean data along with new approaches to understanding the interaction between marine predators and their ecosystem.

UK contact:

Professor Mike Fedak, Sea Mammal Research Unit; Tel: +44 (0)1334 463218; Email: maf3@st-and.ac.uk


251: Circumpolar Monitoring of the Biology of Key-Species in Relation to Environmental Changes

Even though climate change is dramatically affecting the biosphere, our understanding of its effects on biological communities is poor. The Southern Ocean is an ideal natural laboratory to the impact of regional and global climate change because of the sensitive interactions between temperature, ice extent and species. Measuring variations in penguin populations can tell us a great deal about climate change, but could tell us even more if we understood the mechanisms the underlie the dynamics of penguin colonies. Taking advantage the major advances that have been made in microelectronics recently, this project will fit penguins with hugely powerful yet tiny state-of-the-art transponders and data recorders. The project will provide the first complete global and unified picture of penguin population dynamics, uncovering the processes that drive their numbers and the effects climate change is having on them.

UK contact:

Dr Phillip Trathan, British Antarctic Survey; Tel: +44 (0)1223 221602; Email: pnt@bas.ac.uk


People

341: Taking the Antarctic Arctic Polar Pulse

Doing science in the polar regions depends on humans performing under the most extreme environmental conditions. By collecting data for a new epidemiological database of health events in Antarctica, this 18-nation project will improve our understanding of how individuals and groups interact in confined environments, and how human physiology adapts to such extreme conditions. The results should help improve the health of polar scientists, help deliver better healthcare in other remote areas of the world, and help space scientists understand the likely effects of isolation on astronauts during long-duration missions.

UK contact:

Dr Iain Grant, British Antarctic Survey Medical Unit; Email: iain.grant@phnt.swest.nhs.uk


BAS involvement

Space

56: Solar Variability Linkages to Atmospheric Processes

Solar variability influences the atmosphere, particularly the global electric circuit and ozone. Scientists from Russia, America, United Kingdom and Australia are investigating whether solar variability affects the Earth’s weather and climate, principally via the atmospheric circuit and ozone. The scientists will measure the current in the Earth’s atmosphere — lightning strikes are an indication of this current — and how this is affected by changes in the Sun. Instruments to measure the atmospheric circuit are being deployed on the Antarctic Plateau and the Greenland Ice Plateau.

UK contact:

Dr Martin Jarvis, British Antarctic Survey; Tel: +44 (0)1223 221548; Email: mjja@bas.ac.uk


63: ICESTAR & International Heliophysical Year (IHY) - Interhemispheric Conjugacy in Geospace Phenomena and their Heliospheric Drivers (ICESTAR/IHY)

High energy particles from space generate the Aurora and illustrate why the polar regions are unique places for space research. Throughout IPY scientists from 22 countries, using instruments on balloons, ships, spacecraft and the ground will investigate how plasma and magnetic fields from the Sun affect near-Earth space and our atmosphere, improving our understanding of the impact of space weather on satellites, ground-based technology, terrestrial weather and climate.

UK contact:

Dr Mervyn Freeman, British Antarctic Survey; Tel: +44 (0)1223 221543; Email: mpf@bas.ac.uk


91: Global Inter-agency IPY Polar Snapshot Year (GIIPSY)

Satellite observations are revolutionising our ability to observe the poles and polar processes. No other technology developed since the IGY of 1957 provides the high-resolution, continental-scale, frequent-repeat, and all-weather observations available from space-borne sensors. Because competition for access to satellite resources is intense, GIIPSY will coordinate polar observations with spaceborne and in-situ instruments and make the resulting data set — a snapshot of the polar ice sheets at the start of the 21st century — available to the international science community.

UK contact:

Professor Chris Rapley, British Antarctic Survey; Tel: +44 (0)1223 1414 (Press Office); Email: amdi@bas.ac.uk (Press Office)


372: Polar View: the polar information centre

Polar View brings together — for the first time — multiple satellite observations to provide timely data for polar monitoring. Via an international consortium funded by the European Space Agency, Polar View will deliver accurate, near-real-time information about sea ice conditions in the Arctic and Antarctic, data that other IPY projects working on ships in sea ice will be able to use to improve the efficiency of their operations.

Lead contact:

Mr Andrew Fleming, British Antarctic Survey; Tel: +44 (0)1223 221451; Email: ahf@bas.ac.uk


Education and Outreach

79: ‘From Pole to Pole’ Book Series

A book project is planned to summarise all Environmental research in the polar regions under the umbrella of IPY. All environmental researchers are encouraged to present their results in review form. The “From Pole to Pole” book series, published by Springer, will serve as an encyclopaedia of IPY environmental scientific activities for future generations of scientists involved in polar research.

UK contact:

Professor David Walton, British Antarctic Survey; Tel: +44 (0)1223 221558; Email: dwhw@bas.ac.uk


328: Integrated Communication, Education and Evaluation

Working with education and communication experts around the world, this project will help coordinate and add value to IPY education, outreach and communications (EOC) activities. The project will link formal and informal science education networks and standards, leveraging existing talent and tools in order to help maximize the potential for IPY to serve as a catalyst for science education and awareness

UK contact:

Ms Linda Capper, British Antarctic Survey; Tel: +44 (0) 1223 221448; Email: lmca@bas.ac.uk


451: Ice Station Antarctica Travelling Exhibition

Ice Station Antarctica is an interactive travelling exhibition developed in partnership with the British Antarctic Survey. The exhibition challenges visitors to see if they've got what it takes to live and work in Antarctica. It will strive to engage young people with the science, mysteries and career opportunities in Antarctica. The exhibition launches in May 2007 at the Natural History Museum in London and tours worldwide from May 2008 to May 2013.

UK contact:

Athena Dinar, British Antarctic Survey; Tel: +44 (0)1223 221414; Email: amdi@bas.ac.uk

Further information on all IPY projects is available at www.ipy.org


BAS projects not on IPY database

Antarctic RIME (Regional Interactions Meteorology Experiment)

UK contact:

Dr Tom Lachlan-Cope, British Antarctic Survey; Tel: +44 (0)1223 221484; Email: tlc@bas.ac.uk


Study of the Mesosphere, Stratosphere and Troposphere — Antarctica and its links to South America

UK contact:

Dr Patrick Espy, British Antarctic Survey; Tel: +44 (0)1223 221215; Email: pje@bas.ac.uk


Antarctic Oases — A Multidisciplinary Ecological Study

UK contact:

Dr Phil Anderson, British Antarctic Survey; Tel: +44 (0)1223 221215; Email: psan@bas.ac.uk


Internationally Coordinated Studies on Antarctic Environmental Status, Biodiversity and Ecosystems

UK contact:

Dr Peter Convey, British Antarctic Survey; Tel: +44 (0)1223 221588; Email: pcon@bas.ac.uk


Pliocene Forest Communities of the Canadian High Arctic

UK contact:

Dr Alan Haywood, British Antarctic Survey; Tel: +44 (0)1223 221581; Email: ahay@bas.ac.uk


Antarctic Treaty Summit: The Roles of Science in International Policy

UK contact:

Professor David Walton, British Antarctic Survey; Tel: +44 (0)1223 221558; Email: dwhw@bas.ac.uk