Before going to my own Antarctic expedition, I thought that I knew a little bit about the global warming and its impact on climate change. However, after my stay there, and reading and discussing more on this subject, I came back more chastened. I understood that climate change is a very complex and multifactorial issue and spans not a few years or decades but may be centuries.
Recent controversy regarding the melting of Himalayan glaciers has raised a very interesting debate. The Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change is in soup over prematurely and erroneously making a claim that the Himalayan glaciers were melting at such a rapid rate that they would disappear by the year 2035. This statement by the IPCC was made, as it turned out, on unsubstantiated claims.
This year two major conferences are being held on Polar sciences to discuss a plethora of subjects including climate change. The International Polar Year Science Conference at Oslo will demonstrate, strengthen, and extend the International Polar Year’s accomplishments in sciences and outreach. The conference is an essential opportunity to display and explore the full breadth and implications of IPY activities. The international and interdisciplinary science conference will in particular highlight the global impact of the changes that have been observed in the Polar Regions. (www.ipy.org) 8 – 12 June, 2010, Oslo (Norway)
The International Polar Year is a large scientific programme focused on the Arctic and the Antarctic from March 2007 to March 2009. IPY, organized through the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), is actually the fourth polar year, following those in 1882-3, 1932-3, and 1957-8. In order to have full and equal coverage of both the Arctic and the Antarctic, IPY 2007-8 covered two full annual cycles from March 2007 to March 2009 and involved over 200 projects, with thousands of scientists from over 60 nations examining a wide range of physical, biological and social research topics. It was also an unprecedented opportunity to demonstrate, follow, and get involved with, cutting edge science in real-time.
The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (www.scar.org) is organizing its 31st Open Science Meeting in Buenos Aires, August 3 – 6, 2010. The SCAR is an inter-disciplinary body of the International Council for Science, and is charged with initiating, developing, and coordinating high quality international scientific research in the Antarctica and providing independent scientific advice to the Antarctic Treaty System. SCAR was established in 1958 to coordinate the Antarctic data from the International Geophysical Year 1957-58. SCAR has grown over 40 members and new applications are received every year. India became a member of the SCAR in 1983 once it established a permanent station, Dakshin Gangotri, in Antarctica.