The most ambitous scientific effort for 50 years kicks off this week. The UK launch of International Polar Year takes place on Monday 26 February 2007 at the Royal Society, London in the presence of HRH the Princess Royal. IPY is the largest coordinated international scientific effort for 50 years and includes more than 200 Arctic and Antarctic projects, harnessing the skills of 50,000 people from 63 nations

Recent international reports such as the Stern Review and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change emphasise the uncertainties regarding the contribution that the polar regions will make to future climate change and sea-level rise. International Polar Year 2007-2008 addresses the urgent need for a global response.

Several Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) scientists are involved in IPY projects. Our main focus is on the IPY ABACUS project. The ABACUS project will investigate two principal research questions; first, how vulnerable are Arctic carbon stores to global warming, and second, how will changes in Arctic regions affect the rest of the planet? ABACUS stands for "Arctic Biosphere Atmosphere Coupling at Multiple Scales".

ABACUS involves CEH, the Universities of Edinburgh, Durham, Stirling, Sheffield, York, and UCL, and the Macaulay Institute. The project is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council.


The ABACUS project
Dr Eleanor Blyth - Principal Investigator on the ABACUS project
To find out more about IPY, visit their website or the British Antarctic Survey website.