Other Polar News and Announcements
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29 November 2013
Congratulations to Karina Schollän, who has been appointed as IPA Executive Director. She started working for the IPA Secretariat on November 15, 2013.
Karina was selected from a large number of candidates and convinced the selection committee with her enthusiasm for the position and the rigour with which she identified the challenges ahead. She studied Geography at the University of Bonn, obtaining a Masters focusing on dendrochronology in 2009. She is about to complete her PhD at the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences. She had several extended stays abroad during her studies, which helped her to develop skills in English and French. She also developed administrative expertise through work in the private sector as well as through the organisation of international conferences.
19 November 2013
The Norwegian Polar Institute has recently published a new topographic wall map presenting the Antarctic region at scale 1:10.000.000.
For more information about the map, please see the news item on the Norwegian Polar Institute website.
31 October 2013
The Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) invites you to participate in the Antarctic glaciology webinar, highlighting recent glaciological studies in Antarctica, on 5 November 2013 at 16:00 GMT. To reserve a spot in the webinar, please follow the link to Webinar Registration.
This webinar is a follow-up of the first International Workshop on Antarctic Ice Rises held in Tromsø in late August this year, with support from SCAR, Climate and Cryosphere Project (CliC), APECS, British Antarctic Survey and the Norwegian Polar Institute's Center for Ice, Climate and Ecosystems. Presentation video, slides, posters and Frostbytes are available on the workshop web-site.
For more information on the Antarctic glaciology webinar, see the APECS website.
16 September 2013
Dr. Gerlis Fugmann will be starting as the new APECS Director on 1 October 2013. As the sole full-time employee of APECS, Gerlis will be in charge of guiding the development and administration of the organization, along with overseeing and managing all APECS activities, finances and events, recruiting volunteers and members, and interacting with APECS members, mentors, advisors and supporters. Last year, SCAR and IASC renewed their Memorandum of Understanding to support APECS in their work.
For further details on Gerlis's appointment, please see the news item on the APECS website.
5 September 2013
The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets both possess hydrological systems that allow water accumulating from the melting of surface ice to be transported to the base of the ice sheet. If that water, when it reaches the ice-bedrock interface, is distributed over large areas, it will lubricate rapid ice sheet flow toward the sea. In the journal Science, Bamber et al. report the existence of a large, 750-km-long subglacial canyon in northern Greenland, which may act as a channel for the transport of basal meltwater to the margin of the ice sheet and thus influence overall ice sheet dynamics.
For more information, please read the full article in Science.
7 August 2013
The Norwegian Polar Institute has released a new GIS package for Antarctica called 'Quantarctica'. Working on free GIS software Quantum GIS, it is freely available for non-commercial use.
- a ready-to-go package, including a range of continent-wide datasets.
- free to change for your own purpose (you can add your project data to Quantarctica and develop your own GIS project file).
- a stand-alone system so you can bring it to remote areas without internet access.
- able to plot GPS-provided positions on satellite images and other data.
- improved based on our experiences both in the office and field in the past two years.
The base package is about 7 GB and available from the Quantarctica website; downloading the base package typically takes 2-3 hours.
The developers are eager to take Quantarctica further as a community effort, so please download and contribute.
- Do you want to share your field data, remote sensing data, and model outputs? We can assist with importing your data into Quantarctica.
- Do you want us to include a dataset already available somewhere? We welcome suggestions. We are currently most interested in datasets from oceanography, atmospheric sciences, geology and biology.
We hope that Quantarctica will be widely used for education, research, and operations in Antarctica. If you have questions or suggestions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
A comparison of Arctic and Antarctic seasonal cycles
5 August 2013
Polar oceans are chemically sensitive to anthropogenic acidification due to their relatively low alkalinity and correspondingly weak carbonate buffering capacity. In a paper to Nature, Shadwick et al. compare unique CO2 system observations covering complete annual cycles at an Arctic (Amundsen Gulf) and Antarctic site (Prydz Bay). The Arctic site experiences greater seasonal warming (10 vs 3°C), and freshening (3 vs 2), has lower alkalinity (2220 vs 2320 μmol/kg), and lower summer pH (8.15 vs 8.5), than the Antarctic site. Despite a larger uptake of inorganic carbon by summer photosynthesis, the Arctic carbon system exhibits smaller seasonal changes than the more alkaline Antarctic system. In addition, the excess surface nutrients in the Antarctic may allow mitigation of acidification, via CO2 removal by enhanced summer production driven by iron inputs from glacial and sea-ice melting. These differences suggest that the Arctic system is more vulnerable to anthropogenic change due to lower alkalinity, enhanced warming, and nutrient limitation.
For more information, please see the original article in Nature - Scientific Reports.
5 June 2013
The International Arctic Science Committee invites nominations for the 2014 IASC Medal.
IASC Medals are awarded in recognition of exceptional and sustained contributions to the understanding of the Arctic. A maximum of one award is made each year, assuming that there is a nominee of appropriate quality. The award of medals is normally by the President of IASC during the Arctic Science Summit Week (or exceptionally at another major international meeting) following the ratification of the award.
Nominations for the IASC Medal 2014 can be submitted to the IASC Secretariat until 31 December 2013. The Medal Awards Committee, composed of Carlo Barbante (Chair), Karin Lochte and Thorsteinn Gunnarsson, will consider the nominations received and the medal will be awarded at the Arctic Science Summit Week 2014 in Helsinki, Finland (April 2014). A medal nomination form is available on the IASC website. For more information, please contact the IASC Secretariat (email@example.com).
24 May 2013
The British Council is to launch 'Ice Lab', the first major international touring exhibition on buildings designed to allow human beings live, work, and relax safely in the coldest place on earth. It is no coincidence that many of the buildings in this first exhibition on architecture in Antarctica, shaped like caterpillars or icebergs, on stilts or stubby legs, will look like science-fiction illustrations – the storms, blizzards, extremes of temperature, darkness and howling winds they have been designed to withstand are so extreme that conditions have been likened to those on Mars.
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.