Top news from the polar science community

Arctic Inspiration Prize

The new $1 million CAD Arctic Inspiration Prize was launched today at the International Polar Year 2012 conference. Newswire

Université Laval - annonce de bourses d'études

Laval, en collaboration avec quatre de ses facultés soit les facultés de Foresterie, de géographie et de géomatique, de Médecine, des Sciences et de génie et des Sciences sociales, offre aux étudiants les Bourses de leadership et déloppement durable pour un Nord en changement afin d'entreprendre des études de cycles supérieurs liés aux problématiques du Nord. L'Université Laval souhaite ainsi stimuler et encourager les étudiants aux défis de taille qu'il faut relever dans le Nord. L'annonce de ces bourses a été faite au Congrès de l'Année polaire internationale qui se tient au Palais des congrès du 22 au 27 avril.

Pew Environment Group calls for International Fisheries Accord

More than 2,000 scientists from 67 countries urged Arctic leaders, in an open letter released on April 23 2012 at the IPY 2012 From Knowledge to Action Conference at the Palais des congrès in Montréal by the Pew Environment Group, to develop an international fisheries accord that would protect the unregulated waters of the Central Arctic Ocean. Full story

Announcing the creation of Polar Educators International

A direct product of the IPY 2012 From Knowledge to Action Conference and the education and outreach efforts of International Polar Year 2007 - 2008. Polar Educators International will be a formal network of professionals involved in science education focused on promoting excellence in teaching on polar science. Press release

Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP)

On April 23, 2012, a new report released by the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP), the cornerstone program of the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF), the Arctic Council's biodiversity working group identified that pelagic fishes (those living close to the surface of the water, as opposed to those living near the ocean bottom) were strongly linked to a large-scale climate oscillation (the Arctic Oscillation). This includes such commercially important species as Pacific herring, ocean perch and Arctic cisco. Full story

Weston Family Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Northern Research

On April 25th, 2012, during the IPY 2012 From Knowledge to Action Conference at the Palais des congrès in Montréal The W. Garfield Weston Foundation announced that Dr. Louis Fortier has been awarded the $50,000 Weston Family Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Northern Research for his work focused on the impacts of climate change on the Arctic. Newswire.

Announcing the new APECS Director: Dr. Alexey Pavlov

APECS is proud to announce that beginning in June, Alexey Pavlov will take on the challenging and exciting role of APECS Director. As the sole full-time employee of APECS, Alexey will be in charge of guiding the development and administration of the organization, along with overseeing and managing all APECS activities, finances and events, recruitment of volunteers and members, and interacting with APECS mentors, advisors, and supporters.

Full story

Unikkausivut:Sharing our stories

The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) launches the Montreal premiere of its landmark Inuit audiovisual legacy project, Unikkausivut: Sharing Our Stories, to coincide with the International Polar Year (IPY) 2012 Conference taking place in Montreal April 22 to 27.

Download the press release

International Polar Initiative (IPI)

How can we encourage international cooperation over the long-term on polar initiatives? A draft Concept Note has been prepared on the International Polar Initiative or IPI and the IPI Steering Group is looking for your input.

Please contact:
Vladimir Ryabinin, World Climate Research Programme ()
David Hik, Steering Committee Co-Chair ()
Jan-Gunnar Winther, Steering Committee Co-Chair ().

Canadian Polar Commission Summary Release

The Canadian Polar Commission has released a summary of Canada's International Polar Year 2007-2008 (IPY) science results. Adapted from the findings of the 52 Canadian IPY projects, the report features topics from marine life and wildlife to sea ice, human and community health, the atmosphere, and more. To see a copy of the report, click here.

Attracting Media Attention

IPY 2012 organizers are looking to shine a spotlight on you. IPY 2012 is an excellent opportunity to attract media attention to your work and recent results. "A month from the Conference, we already have over 40 media registered from 10 different countries," said Mr. Jacques Lavigne, the Media Centre Manager for the IPY 2012 Conference, "it is going to be a very interesting opportunity to discuss the latest polar results with journalists, freelance science writers and bloggers from all over the world".

If you would like to take advantage of the national and international media covering the Conference, you need to complete a Media Template describing your work and recent results. These templates will include in a media guide. If you would like to organize a press conference, solicit a one on one interview, or have any other questions about potential media activities at IPY 2012, please contact .

Special Offer to IPY 2012 Participants:

"Understanding Earth's Polar Challenges: International Polar Year 2007-2008"

Summary by the ICSU/WMO IPY Joint Committee.
Editors: Igor Krupnik, Ian Allison, Robin Bell, Paul Culter, David Hik, Jeronimo Lopez-Martinez, Volker Rachold, Eduard Sarukhanian, and Colin Summerhayes.
Published by CCI Press in collaboration with the University of the Arctic.

The comprehensive, 720p. summary of IPY activities covers the development of IPY 2007–2008 for almost a decade, from 2001 till summer 2010. The report produced by the ICSU/WMO Joint Committee for the IPY comprises 38 chapters in five parts (Planning, Research, Observations, Outreach, and Legacies) and engaged hundreds of contributing authors from all disciplines and more than 20 nations. This broad overview demonstrates the extensive and essential contribution made by participating nations and organizations, and provides a prospective blueprint for future polar research.

Canadian Circumpolar Institute (CCI) Press, University of Alberta, is pleased to announce a special offer to participants of the IPY 2012 Montreal Conference. Copies of the report can be ordered by April 5 for $200 CAN and picked up at the Conference in Montreal. Use the enclosed order form and save $50 CAN and shipping costs.

Accommodation Awards for Students and Early Career Researchers still available!

There are still a few Accommodation Awards available to give out to students and early career researchers attending the IPY 2012 From Knowledge to Action Conference. The award will cover the nights of 22 - 26 April 2012 during the conference with shared accommodation at either the Travelodge or the Auberge Alternative near the Palais de Congres. Participants of the "From Knowledge to Careers" Workshop, will receive an additional two nights during the workshop. The remaining awards will be given out on a first come - first served basis to qualified applicants. More information on the Accommodation Awards is available at Interested students/early career researchers should contact as soon as possible.

Poster Award Prizes and Categories Announced

To support the development of students and early career scientists, IPY 2012 is pleased to announce that 22 poster prizes will be awarded in 9 categories. First, second and third prizes are cash awards of $500, $400 and $300. For more information on prizes. An Indigenous Partnership of Excellence Award is also being given out, as well as prizes for best Frostbyte video.

Aqqaluk Lynge, Keynote Speaker, delivers talk on the future of the Inuit at Dartmouth College

Mr. Aqqaluk Lynge, a Keynote speaker at the International Polar Year 2012 Conference this April in Montréal, last week delivered a speech at Dartmouth College that illustrated the tough decisions Inuit people have to make between further resource development and environment conservation across the North.

The lecture – titled "Inuit in the Changing Arctic: A Bright New Future or a Fight for Survival," highlighted that Inuit people in Greenland particularly welcomed the economic opportunity that comes with growing international interest in regional oil and mineral resources, but worry about the effects it may have on their environment and traditional lifestyle.

For the whole story, click here

Announcing the Chair of the Indigenous Knowledge Exchange

International Polar Year 2012 is delighted to announce that Nancy Karetak-Lindell has recently been confirmed Chair of the Indigenous Knowledge Exchange. Nancy was a Canadian Member of Parliament for the territory of Nunavut from 1997 to 2008, and is currently Director of the Jane Glassco Arctic Fellowship Program at the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation, which is devoted to engaging, training, and inspiring the next generation of Northern Leaders.

"I am very excited and honoured to chair and be part of the Indigenous Knowledge Exchange Program Committee," Nancy said. "There are so many ways our traditional knowledge from the circumpolar world can complement science and put a human face to the challenges facing us in our Arctic world, and I believe the International Polar Year conference can highlight these opportunities."

The IPY 2012 conference will feature an Indigenous Knowledge Exchange (IKE) with programming developed by Indigenous peoples to highlight issues of interest and importance to community members of the circumpolar Arctic. The IKE welcomes all conference participants to discuss critical topics including: Food Security and Health, Changing Environment – Climate Change, Wildlife and Management, Youth and Capacity Building and Knowledge Transfer.

The International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) has announced that the IASC Medal 2012 will be awarded to Dr. Igor Krupnik

Dr. Igor Krupnik is one of our most diverse Arctic scientists. The reasons for awarding him are multifold, each of them worthy to be awarded by themselves. Igor is awarded the IASC medal for making scientist, decision-makers and the general public aware that the Arctic is not only about ice and polar bears but also about its inhabitants, for bridging between natural and social sciences as well as to the knowledge of the indigenous Arctic residents, and for invaluable contributions to the success of the International Polar Year.

The medal will be presented by the IASC President on Thursday 26th April 2012 at the IPY 2012 Conference in Montreal (Canada). The award ceremony will be followed by a 30 minute lecture given by the awardee.

Responding to Arctic Environmental Change: Translating a Growing Understanding of Change into a Research Agenda for Action

An International Study of Arctic Change Workshop ( that will take place BEFORE THE CONFERENCE on January 30-31, 2012.

The Arctic needs a concisely designed program to respond to environmental change. It needs to turn knowledge into action. The International Study of Arctic Change (ISAC,, in partnership with the School of Policy Studies at Queen's University, announces a Responding to Arctic Change Workshop, January 30-31 2012, to be held at Queen's University in Kingston, Canada. This workshop is the first in a planned series of meetings that aim to collectively shape and coordinate initiatives for research that directly addresses the needs of stakeholders affected by or who are addressing arctic environmental change. The long-term objective is to enable local people, the arctic nations and the wider global community, including the scientific community, to better respond to a changing Arctic. This workshop is a pre-IPY 2012 event that is intended to develop a science plan that will feed into and further evolve at IPY 2012. READ MORE

International Polar Year 2012 photo contest « COLD SNAP »

Show us your best pictures of wildlife, landscapes and exploration of the Arctic and Antarctic territories.

IPY 2012 in collaboration with the Royal Canadian Geographical Society is proud to present its polar photography competition. READ MORE

Polar Film Festival Call for Entries

Canadian Film Institute and International Polar Year Seek Films that Focus on Arctic and Antarctic Regions

OTTAWA, Ontario (November 30, 2011) — The Canadian Film Institute (CFI), in partnership with the International Polar Year (IPY) 2012 Conference Secretariat, is offically seeking entries for the Polar Film Festival. The two-day moving image event is a featured presentation of the IPY 2012 Conference: From Knowledge to Action, held April 22-27, 2012, in Montréal, Quebec, Canada. Read the full press release.

Looking for volunteers

To support this important Conference, we are looking for bilingual volunteers. In exchange for 25 hours, volunteers will receive: a free registration, all delegate materials plus a conference t-shirt, special volunteer party and an official letter of recognition and thanks for your efforts on behalf of the IPY 2012 Conference. READ MORE

The abstracts are in - IPY 2012 on track to become one of the largest polar conferences in history

The call for abstracts for the IPY 2012 From Knowledge to Action Conference closed on October 7 and the final tally is complete. In total, IPY 2012 Conference received (drum roll, please) 2134 abstracts with contributions from over 45 countries. This represents a significant milestone for the IPY 2012 Conference, which is on track to become one of the largest polar conferences in history.

Over 63% of the abstracts were received in Area 1 (Science Highlights), which is a strong indicator of the robust polar scientific community that is expected at IPY 2012. Areas 2 (Synthesis and Integration), 3 (Knowledge to Action), and 4 (Public Engagement) received a combined total of 37% of the abstracts, with significant contributions from policy- makers, social scientists, indigenous communities, non-governmental organizations and more.

The top 5 contributing countries were: Canada, USA, Russia, Norway, and Germany, in that respective order.

Antarctica and the Global Climate System

The ozone hole over Antarctica has intensified a ring of winds around the South Pole, known as the polar vortex, causing an increase in westerly winds over the Southern Ocean in summer and autumn and altering weather patterns around the Earth's southernmost continent. As a result, most of the Antarctic has been shielded from "global warming" to date, a situation that won't continue, says the landmark report Antarctic Climate Change and the Environment (ACCE). As ozone concentrations above the region recover over this century, ... READ MORE

Changes to and Implications of Changing Arctic Coastlines

"The circumpolar Arctic coast is arguably one of the most critical zones in terms of the rapidity and the severity of environmental change and the implications for human communities dependent on coastal resources," says the international report State of the Arctic Coast 2010 – Scientific Review and Outlook. The interdisciplinary 170-page report, published in April 2011, examines the far-reaching impacts of climate change on the physical, ecological, social, economic and institutional states of Arctic coasts. READ MORE

Antarctica Holds Clues to Future Global Changes

Climate-related changes underway in the Earth's coldest, driest, windiest and southernmost continent, Antarctica, will inevitably have impacts around the world. Finding ways to address the regional and global consequences of such changes will be on the agenda at the IPY 2012 Conference From Knowledge to Action, taking place in Montréal, Québec, Canada from April 22 to 27, 2012. READ MORE


May 2011 – The impacts of climate change in the Arctic are becoming increasingly evident in the cryosphere, the part of Earth's surface that is seasonally or perennially frozen, including snow, frozen ground, ice on rivers and lakes, glaciers, ice caps, ice sheets and sea ice. In May 2011, the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP), one of six working groups under the Arctic Council, released a major new assessment on Snow, Water, Ice and Permafrost in the Arctic (SWIPA). The assessment details the latest scientific knowledge about ... READ MORE

Global Framework for Climate Services

As global climate change and variability creates new challenges and opportunities for all sectors of society around the world, the need for accurate, up-to-date climate information and predictions has never been more pressing. Many socio-economic sectors including agriculture, fisheries, health, forestry, transportation, tourism and energy, are highly sensitive to weather and climate extremes, which are already becoming more frequent as the global climate warms. The findings of International Polar Year (2007-2008) and other recent polar science has increased understanding of how the changes taking place in polar regions are influencing ... READ MORE

IPY Report

March 2011 (WMO/ICSU) - The largest coordinated research project ever undertaken into the Arctic and Antarctic regions yielded a treasure trove of information which will shape our understanding of the polar regions, global oceans, climate and climate change for decades ahead, according to a summary of the research.

"Understanding Earth’s Polar Challenges," was presented to the Arctic Science Summit Week in Seoul, Republic of Korea. The summary prepared by the International Council for Science (ICSU) and World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Joint Committee presents the findings from International Polar Year – a massive research effort involving some 50,000 participants from more than 60 nations between March 2007 and March 2009.

The volume of 38 chapters covers the development of IPY 2007–2008 for almost a decade, from 2001 till summer 2010. It has engaged almost 300 contributing authors and reviewers from more than 30 nations. This broad overview of IPY 2007–2008 demonstrates ... READ MORE

Consult the full report (in English)

Changing Arctic Sea Ice

One of the most visible signs of climate change in the Arctic is a significant loss in the aerial extent and thickness of sea ice. Along with other components of polar ecosystems, sea ice is part of the global climate system and plays a crucial role in its regulation. The loss of sea ice, its impacts and policy implications will be among the issues explored at the IPY 2012 Conference From Knowledge to Action, taking place in Montréal, Quebec, Canada in April 2012. The area covered by sea ice grows in the winter and shrinks ... READ MORE

Passing the Torch

At the conclusion of the IPY Science Conference in Oslo, Norway in June 2010, the conference chair, Dr. Olav Orheim handed over a traditional Viking buddstikke to the organizers of the third and final International Polar Year conference to be held in Montréal, Canada from April 22-27, 2012. The buddstikke, which has a spike on one end, was used in medieval times to deliver messages. It was a fitting symbol.

Poster Offer

Get your copy of the IPY 2012 Conference poster! Post it where you can let others know about the IPY 2012 Conference. Go to our Downloads page for a PDF version or contact to have copies sent to you in the mail.

Canada announces that Montréal will host the IPY 2012 Conference

December 2009 – The Government of Canada is pleased to announce that the International Polar Year (IPY) From Knowledge to Action Conference will be hosted in Montréal, Quebec, April 22-27, 2012. This conference will be the final event to wrap-up IPY. It is expected that the meeting will attract as many as ... READ MORE