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IP055: Summary Report on IPY 2007–2008 by the ICSU-WMO Joint Committee

ATCM XXXIV and CEP XIV 2011, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Information Paper

IP055: Summary Report on IPY 2007–2008 by the ICSU-WMO Joint Committee (with IPY-IPO)


The International Polar Year 2007-2008 (IPY), the largest coordinated polar program ever undertaken, came officially to an end in a ceremony in Oslo on 12 June 2010.

An estimated 50,000 researchers, local observers, educators, students, and support personnel from more than 60 nations were involved in the 228 international IPY projects (170 in science, 1 in data management, and 57 in education and outreach) and related national efforts. IPY generated intensive research and observations in the Arctic and Antarctica over a two-year period, 1 March 2007–1 March 2009, with many activities continuing beyond that date. IPY 2007–2008 involved a large range of disciplines; all IPY projects included partners from several nations and in some cases from Arctic indigenous communities and residents’ organizations. IPY 2007–2008 included education, outreach, and communication of science results to the public, and training the next generation of polar researchers among its primary missions. It broadened the ranks of its participants and the diversity of their products and activities to an extent never realized or even envisioned in the earlier IPYs. It reached out to many new constituencies, including polar residents, Arctic indigenous nations, and millions of people on the planet with no direct connection to the high latitudes.

IPY 2007–2008 generated a much anticipated stimulus in the form of substantial new funding for polar research and monitoring programs, new observational and analysis technologies, integrated system-level approaches, and a broadened circle of stakeholders. It introduced new research and organizational paradigms that will have a lasting legacy of their own. It showed the power of integrative vision, and consolidated new trans-disciplinary practices in polar science. It sent a powerful message about the societal value of advanced and concerted studies on environmental change across the polar regions.

This paper reports to the ATCM on the closing of IPY 2007–2008 and introduces the IPY Summary Report produced by the ICSU-WMO Joint Committee for IPY.

Report: Understanding Earth’s Polar Challenges: International Polar Year 2007-2009. See Attachment 76 ( pdf ATT076 (55 KB) ) for the table of contents of the report and Attachment 75 ( pdf ATT075 (365 KB) ) for the report cover.

ATCM - Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting
CEP - Committee for Environmental Protection
34th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting
20 Jun 2011 - 01 Jul 2011