Other Polar News and Announcements
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13 May 2013
The Belarusian satellite has been involved in research in Antarctica. Belarusian polar explorers were taking measurements when the satellite was passing over Antarctica.
According to the head of the Belarusian Antarctic expedition, Aleksei Gaidashov, the capabilities of the Belarusian satellite are of great interest for researching Antarctica. The resolution of the satellite will allow the use of images of Antarctica in the future to determine reserves in coastal waters and will help in determining the geological structures of the icy continent.
During the fifth Belarusian Antarctic expedition, scientists took part in calibrating the optical instruments that the Belarusian satellite uses. "The surface of Antarctica is an ideal testing ground for calibrating this kind of equipment," said the head of the expedition.
Mikhail Korol, a member of the expedition and research officer of the B.I. Stepanov Physics Institute of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, said that they calibrated the optical instruments of the satellite using the devices they had brought. Some of them were placed directly near the living premises and some were placed in specific areas of snow, images of which were taken by the satellite.
For more information on the Belarusian Antarctic expedition, please see the official Belarusian website. For more information on the use of the satellite, please see the Belarusian Telegraph Agency website.
29 April 2013
The earliest satellite maps of Arctic and Antarctic sea-ice have been assembled by scientists. They were made using data from NASA's Nimbus-1 spacecraft, which was launched in 1964 to test new technologies for imaging weather systems from orbit.
The satellite's old pictures have now been re-analysed to determine the extent of the marine ice at the poles in the September of that year. Regular mapping from space did not begin until 1978. One key finding is that marine floes around the White Continent in the 1960s were probably just as extensive as they are today.
The new snapshot, published in The Cryosphere journal, therefore helps put current ice conditions into a longer-term context, say researchers at the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC).
It is also just a fascinating story of how old scientific data can be given a new lease of life.
For more information, please see the item on the BBC News - Science and Environment website or read the full article in The Cryosphere.
24 April 2013
The Arctic ocean is rapidly accumulating carbon dioxide, leading to increased ocean acidification. This will influence a fragile Arctic ecosystem already weakened by higher temperatures and melting sea ice. The AMAP (Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme) International Conference on Arctic Ocean Acidification will present findings from the Arctic Ocean Acidification assessment in Bergen, Norway from 6th to 8th May 2013.
10 April 2013
The Postgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies (PCAS), run by the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, is a fifteen-week, in-depth, multi-disciplinary programme of study that critically examines contemporary scientific, environmental, social and political debates focused on Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. Jointly developed by the University of Canterbury and Antarctica New Zealand, this unique summer programme includes a ten-day field trip to Antarctica, taking students to experience life in the Antarctic at first hand where they undertake a mix of analytical and interpretive field projects and environmental monitoring projects in the vicinity of Scott Base.
By providing a unique Antarctic experience, this programme is valuable for future Antarctic researchers, employees and managers within National Antarctic programmes, employees within government agencies involved in Antarctic policy or environmental management, school teachers and university lecturers and Antarctic enthusiasts. It can be used as part of a Masters Degree.
Scholarships are available for participants from National Antarctic Programmes. Applications for this year close on 1 August 2013.
30 January 2013
|The journal Advances in Polar Science (APS) is planning a special issue focusing on the latest Asian Forum for Polar Sciences (AFoPS) Meeting, held in Delhi, India in August 2012. They are now calling for papers for this special issue, to be published by the end of 2013.||
The special issue will provide a forum summarizing recent advances from Asian polar expeditions and research during 2012 and before. The non-Asian Arctic or Antarctic achievements from cooperation programmes with Asian countries are also welcome. Research themes may include Geological Sciences, Life Sciences and Physical Sciences.
Publishing in APS is free of charge, thanks to generous funding from the Polar Research Institute of China. The submission deadline is 30 May 2013. Before submission, authors should carefully review the journal's Author Guidelines. APS accepts four types of manuscript:
- Reviews - summarize representative results and achievements in a particular topic or area, comment on the current situation, and advise on research directions. Author opinions and related discussions are invited.
- Articles - report important original results in all areas of polar science.
- Letters - briefly present novel and innovative findings related to polar science.
- Trends - report important scientific news, information, and academic affairs, as well as major international programmes or conferences in all areas of polar science.
Manuscripts can be submitted online via the manuscript submission website.
For more information on Advances in Polar Science, please see the journal's website.
7 January 2013
A new website for the proposed International Polar Initiative (IPI) is now available. This website will form a focal point for information on the IPI concept.
3 December 2012
Mass loss from the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica account for a large fraction of global sea-level rise. Part of this loss is because of the effects of warmer air temperatures, and another because of the rising ocean temperatures to which they are being exposed.
Joughin et al. review how ocean-ice interactions are impacting ice sheets and discuss the possible ways that exposure of floating ice shelves and grounded ice margins are subject to the influences of warming ocean currents. Estimates of the mass balance of the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica have differed greatly - in some cases, not even agreeing about whether there is a net loss or a net gain - making it more difficult to project accurately future sea-level change.
Shepherd et al. combined data sets produced by satellite altimetry, interferometry, and gravimetry to construct a more robust ice-sheet mass balance for the period between 1992 and 2011. All major regions of the two ice sheets appear to be losing mass, except for East Antarctica. All told, mass loss from the polar ice sheets is contributing about 0.6 millimeters per year (roughly 20% of the total) to the current rate of global sea-level rise.
For more information, read the article in Nature News and see the full papers in Science:
- Joughin at al. "Ice-Sheet Response to Oceanic Forcing"
- Shepherd et al. "A Reconciled Estimate of Ice-Sheet Mass Balance"
22 October 2012
Scottish climbing instructor and documentary-maker Kirk Watson filmed South of Sanity while working for the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Rated '18' by the British Board of Film Classification, the movie follows 14 staff at an Antarctic station as they are stalked by a killer. Shot entirely in the Antarctic, the horror movie's cast and crew were made up of fellow BAS contractors and staff.
In winter, when the continent is locked in darkness and freezing conditions, staff learn skills such as woodwork and black and white photography to help while away their free time. Mr Watson decided to hone his film-making by shooting a low budget fictional feature with help from other British staff, which included marine biologists, geologists and mechanics.
The film will get its premiere in Aviemore on 31 October. For more information, see the full article on the BBC News - Highlands and Islands website.
22 October 2012
Future Earth is a new 10-year international research initiative that will develop the knowledge for responding effectively to the risks and opportunities of global environmental change and for supporting transformation towards global sustainability in the coming decades. Future Earth will mobilize thousands of scientists while strengthening partnerships with policy-makers and other stakeholders to provide sustainability options and solutions in the wake of Rio+20. It will build on the success of existing global environmental change programmes (Diversitas, IGBP, IHDP, WCRP and ESSP), to help develop a stronger and broader community.
17 October 2012
In September, the Korea Polar Research Institute (KOPRI) announced the call for proposals for the 2012 International Polar Academy Program (K-PISCOP), funded by KOPRI. The idea of the scheme is to sponsor joint projects where researchers at KOPRI are linked to researchers from other countries, establishing international cooperation and enabling all parties to utilise KOPRI's state-of-the-art infrastructure. Funding of US $130,00 per year for two years is available for each of the chosen projects. The application deadline is 31 October 2012. For full details, including how to apply, please visit the K-PISCOP website.
10 October 2012
To address the emerging challenges identified within the IPY, a new and novel framework for long-term cooperation between the stakeholders with mandate and interest in the Polar Regions, entitled "International Polar Initiative" (IPI), has been proposed. An International Steering Group is currently developing the concept for this long-term initiative. Based on the input from various international organizations and communities, the Steering Group is aiming at designing a common implementation plan for the development of observing systems, research, services, related education and outreach, and practical applications of scientific knowledge in the Polar Regions.
See the latest version of the draft concept.
14 August 2012
In July 2012, during planned functional performance testing of the mutibeam mapping echosounders on the Schmidt Ocean Institute's flagship R/V Falkor, the team aboard — including researchers from the University of New Hampshire, Ifremer, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution — discovered the S.S. Terra Nova, a whaler, sealer and polar exploration ship that sank off the southern coast of Greenland in September, 1943, after being damaged by ice.
For the full story, please visit the Schmidt Ocean Institute website.
8 August 2012
Advances in Polar Science (APS) is an international, peer-reviewed journal jointly sponsored by the Polar Research Institute of China and the Chinese Arctic and Antarctic Administration. It is a comprehensive academic journal dedicated to the presentation of multi-disciplinary achievements in Arctic and Antarctic expeditions and research.
APS is a quarterly journal published in March, June, September and December by Science Press and circulated internationally. Founded in 1990 and formerly known as Chinese Journal of Polar Science (English Edition), the journal was renamed Advances in Polar Science from Volume 22 (2011) onwards. The journal contains several sections: Reviews, Articles, Letters, Trends.
All papers are accepted from scientists of any nation, subject to peer review by at least two expert referees, with authors informed of decisions within four weeks of submission. Once accepted, a paper will normally be published in the next issue of the journal. Online submission of manuscripts is via the submission website.APS is fully committed to the Open Access Initiative and will provide free access to all articles as soon as they are released. You can freely download them via the APS webstite. Publishing in APS is free of charge thanks to generous funding from the Polar Research Institute of China.
14 May 2012
The International Polar Year 2007-2008 (IPY) was an intense, coordinated field campaign of observations, research, and analysis. It was the largest, most comprehensive campaign ever mounted to explore Earth's polar domains. Legacies and Lessons of the International Polar Year 2007-2008 summarizes how IPY engaged the public to communicate the relevance of polar research to the entire planet, strengthened connections with the Indigenous people of the Arctic, and established new observational networks.
A free electronic version (in pdf format) is available from The National Academies Press.
30 April 2012
APECS is proud to announce the appointment of its new Director, Alexey Pavlov who will take on the role at the beginning of June. As the sole full-time employee of APECS, Alexey will be in charge of guiding the development and administration of the organisation, along with overseeing and managing all APECS activities, finances and events, recruitment of volunteers and members, and interacting with APECS mentors, advisors, and supporters.
15 March 2012
The Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) conducts two programmes (a short- and long-term programme) under the 'Invitation Fellowship' heading. Funded by a subsidy from the Japanese government, these fellowship programmes are to promote international cooperation and mutual understanding through scientific research. The programmes allow researchers employed at designated Japanese research institutions and laboratories to invite fellow researchers from other countries to Japan to participate in cooperative activities. Awards will cover the cost of a round-trip air ticket, plus travel and living expenses while in Japan. For more information and details on how to apply, visit the JSPS website.
28 February 2012
The International Council for Science welcomes Dr. Steven Wilson as Executive Director. Dr Wilson will provide important leadership as ICSU seeks to implement its newly approved second Strategic Plan 2012–2017.
Dr Wilson has worked for the UK Natural Environment Research Council since 1998 where he has held a number of senior posts, most recently as interim Chief Executive. He will take up his duties at ICSU on 1 April 2012.
For more information, please see the news item on the ICSU website.
28 February 2012
Dr Inga May is to be the new Secretary of the International Permafrost Association (IPA). Dr May has a PhD from the University of Munich, during which she used interferometric tools to map frost heave and thaw settlement in northern Québec in partnership with the Université Laval and INRS.
Dr May is fluent in English, German and French and has been involved in many international activities pertaining to the International Polar Year over the past four years. She will be working with Dr Hugues Lantuit over the next few months in order to ensure a smooth transition.
28 February 2012
The progressive shrinking of Arctic sea ice is bringing colder, snowier winters to the UK and other areas of Europe, North America and China, a study shows. As global temperatures have risen, the area of Arctic Ocean covered by ice in summer and autumn has been falling.
Writing in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), a US/China-based team show this affects the jet stream and brings cold, snowy weather. Whether conditions will get colder still as ice melts further is unclear.
9 February 2012
The Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) is seeking a new director to lead the organization to new heights. In its 5+ years, APECS has evolved into the pre-eminent international and interdisciplinary organization for polar early career researchers, now comprising over 3000 members from 75 countries including students, postdoctoral researchers, early faculty members, educators and others with interests in Polar Regions and the cryosphere. In collaboration with international organizations, leading polar researchers, educators, and funding agencies, APECS aims to enhance career development opportunities, stimulate research collaborations, and develop effective future leaders in polar research, education and outreach to provide a continuum of knowledge for generations to come.
The APECS Directorate is based at the University of Tromsø, Norway in a vibrant environment with other secretariats and lots of polar researchers. The initial appointment will be for 9 months, with the option to renew for 3 years based on successful performance. As the full-time employee of APECS, the Director is tasked with guiding the development and administration of the organisation, along with overseeing and managing all APECS activities, finances and events. For more information on APECS, please visit the organisation's website and read their past reports and publications.
For a detailed description of the position and how to apply, visit the APECS website. The deadline for applications is 27 February.
16 January 2012
The Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO) has announced the launch of this year's Antarctic Science International Bursary, an award of up to £5000, made annually to support the development of the careers of promising young scientists working in any field of Antarctic science. The purpose of the award is to broaden the scope of an existing research project through funding extra field or laboratory work, purchasing/contributing towards the cost of a key piece of equipment or funding international collaboration. The closing date for applications is 31 March 2012.
For more information, please see the BELSPO website.