Unique satellite project contributes to International Polar Year

February 21, 2007

As International Polar Year (IPY) kicks off on February 26, 2007, a new European project will make a significant contribution to the IPY objective of better understanding polar regions. Polar View, funded by the European Space Agency, offers a unique satellite-based service designed to help Europeans identify the impacts of environmental/ human pressures and guide appropriate responses.

Using remote sensing technology, data about ice and snow conditions is gathered and analyzed by an experienced network of experts. Detailed information is then delivered, around-the-clock, to a diverse group of over 40 international users. These include government agencies, research institutes, commercial interests and northern residents. Polar View services are currently offered free of charge. Most are available in near-real time and easily accessible via the Internet.

"Having this sort of monitoring system is essential if we are going to be able to make the right decisions about environment, security and climate in the future," said Mark Doherty of the European Space Agency.

Earth observation technologies have long been used to monitor the earth's weather conditions. But this is the first time services have been offered comprehensively by a network of the world's leading cryospheric remote-sensing experts. Polar View service providers are located in nine countries with a management team in each significant polar region - Antarctic, Euro-Arctic, Baltic and North America. Services can be customized to meet user's needs.

Polar View's contribution to IPY is in collaboration with the world's national ice services. The project, called Polar View: Polar Information Centre (IPY Activity ID 372) will build on the Polar View network and infrastructure. A dedicated web portal will be developed in conjunction with the International Ice Charting Working Group to distribute sea ice information to IPY investigators. Polar View will also offer its integrated monitoring and forecasting services to support scientific expeditions and national science programs operating in the Arctic and Antarctic regions.

"The use of satellites is becoming increasingly important as marine traffic increases, particularly in the Baltic Sea area and Southern Ocean," said Thomas Puestow, Polar View's Manager. "Our services provide safe and efficient transportation routes for merchant vessels, icebreakers and cruise ships or guide fishing and hunting expeditions for northern residents. We can improve flood protection, help with water resource management and track sources of pollution, to name a few."
Detailed information, a full list of team members, high-resolution photos and video clips are available for download at:


British Antarctic Survey

Related Antarctic Articles from Brightsurf:

Evidence of hibernation-like state in Antarctic animal
Among the many winter survival strategies in the animal world, hibernation is one of the most common.

Antarctic penguins happier with less sea ice
Researchers have been surprised to find that Adélie penguins in Antarctica prefer reduced sea-ice conditions, not just a little bit, but a lot.

Benthos in the Antarctic Weddell Sea in decline
Over the past quarter-century, changes in Antarctic sea-ice cover have had profound impacts on life on the ocean floor.

Plastic pollution reaching the Antarctic
Food wrapping, fishing gear and plastic waste continue to reach the Antarctic.

Challenge and desire in Antarctic meteorology and climate
The outcomes of the 13th and 14th Workshop on Antarctic Meteorology and Climate (WAMC), as well as the 3rd and 4th Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP) Meetings, was discussed in an article published in the peer-reviewed journal Advances in Atmospheric Sciences.

Antarctic ice walls protect the climate
Inland Antarctic ice contains volumes of water that can raise global sea levels by several metres.

Quo vadis Antarctic bottom water?
The formation of deep water, which is an important component of the climate system, takes place in only a few parts of the ocean: In the subpolar North Atlantic and in a few places in the Southern Hemisphere.

Antarctic waters: Warmer with more acidity and less oxygen
The increased freshwater from melting Antarctic ice sheets plus increased wind has reduced the amount of oxygen in the Southern Ocean and made it more acidic and warmer, according to new research led by University of Arizona geoscientists.

Malaria could be felled by an Antarctic sea sponge
The frigid waters of the Antarctic may yield a treatment for a deadly disease that affects populations in some of the hottest places on earth.

Stardust in the Antarctic snow
The rare isotope iron-60 is created in massive stellar explosions.

Read More: Antarctic News and Antarctic Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.