About the IPY
The international polar year (IPY) is an intensive two year multidisciplinary program of collaborative international science, research and education focused on the Arctic and Antarctic regions. For more info on the IPY, visit www.ipy.org.
The First IPY was held in 1881-1884. This event was inspired by Austrian explorer Carl Weyprecht. Although Weyprecht died before the first IPY, his advocacy of the benefits of international cooperation to
advance scientific polar exploration stimulated the formation of the first IPY.
The first international expeditions to the Polar Regions were under-
taken during this IPY. 12 countries participated in the first IPY, and
explorers established 14 primary research stations, with 12 of these
located in the Arctic. The focus of these stations was to conduct meteorology and geophysics research.
In 1932-1933, the second IPY was proposed and promoted by the International Meteorological Organization.
40 nations participated, and 40 permanent observations stations were established in the Arctic. Additional highlights
- The investigating of the global implications of the newly discovered "Jet Stream."
- Advancements in meteorology, magnetism, atmospheric science, and in the "mapping" of ionospheric phenomena that advanced radioscience and technology.
- The establishment of the first inland research station in Antarctica, by the U.S. during the second Byrd Antarctic expedition.
The legacy of international research and collaboration grew during the third IPY, from 1957—1958. The focus of this UPY was geophysics. More than 70 scientific organizations, from all over the world, participated in this IPY.
By the conclusion of this IPY:
- 67 nations were participating,
- The first satellites were being launched with anticipation of great strides in research gathering,
- Research stations were established in Antarctica, and
- The trans-Antarctic crossing was completed and the entire Antarctic continent dedicated to science.
IPY 2007-2009 is the biggest and most exciting polar year to date. It features more than 200 projects involving thousands of scientists from over 60 countries. Projects cover a wide range of physical, biological, and social research projects.
This IPY has a special dimension, as it highlights human health issues of northern communities. Never before has an IPY featured human health.
The Arctic Human Health Initiative (AHHI) is a coordinating project that will organize the health-related research projects and advance and expand the joint research agenda of the eight member countries composing the Arctic Council.
Photos courtesy of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
United States Department of Commerce.
© 2006, Arctic Human Health Initiatives
All rights reserved.