"IPY has provided a critical boost to polar research during a time in which the global environment is changing faster than ever in human history," WMO said. "Warming in the Antarctic is much more widespread than it was thought prior to IPY, and it now appears that the rate of ice loss from Greenland is increasing."
Much of the 160-plus separate studies began by more than 60 countries during the IPY endeavor will continue. Governments expanded or enhanced existing Arctic and Antarctic facilities to accommodate the research efforts, and a few new facilities were also built.
The Census of Marine Life, a separate 10-year global effort to catalog all known marine species by 2010, is also working closely with other Arctic and Antarctic researchers to learn what animals exist in the polar regions and how global fisheries could be affected by environmental changes.
Reprinted from Greenwire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. www.eenews.net, 202-628-6500