International Polar Year
IPY 2007-2008
Updated on 19/1/05



During the IPY the regular scientific facilities of the world must be supplemented by additional observations suitably distributed in space and time as needed for the solution of the selected problems.

  • Highest priority should be given to problems requiring concurrent synoptic observations at many points involving co-operative observations by many nations
  • The extraordinary efforts that could be generated during the IPY in these relatively inaccessible regions of the Earth mean that the observations there should preferably cover all major geophysical phenomena, in order to augment our basic knowledge of the Earth and solar and other influences acting upon it
  • IPY should also include epochal observations of slowly varying terrestrial phenomena to establish basic information for subsequent comparison at later epochs"

The characteristics of the core activities of the IPY have been defined as follows:

  • High scientific quality, addressing an important question or issue
  • Capable of resulting in major progress
  • Addresses one or both polar regions
  • Contributes to international collaboration / coordination
  • Logistically and technically feasible and achievable within IPY timeframe
  • Avoids duplication or disruption of established initiatives and plans
  • Provides open and timely access to data
  • Maximises effective utilisation of available logistical assets
  • Roles and tasks for young scientists, technical and logistics experts explicitly addressed
  • Outreach activities explicitly addressed

Additional desirable characteristics are :

  • Build on existing activities - adding value
  • Intrinsically interdisciplinary or with potential for interdisciplinary linkage and synthesis within the IPY programme overall
  • Provides international access to field sites to support additional science and monitoring activities
  • Addresses training / capacity building including opportunities for individuals to convert to polar science and monitoring
  • Provides opportunities for regional scholarship within broader international activities
  • Readily communicable to public

Strengthening international science for the benefit of society