Having access to near-continuous satellite data of these regions over long periods of time is important for scientists to identify and analyse long-term climatic trends and changes. ESA will provide current and historical data, dating back 15 years, from its ERS-1, ERS-2 and Envisat satellites as well as data collected from a number of non-ESA satellites.
International Polar Year (IPY) 2007-2008 aims to enhance international collaboration in polar region research and monitoring, link researchers across different fields to address questions and issues lying beyond the scope of individual disciplines, ensure data collected under the IPY are made available in an open and timely manner and intensify the recovery of relevant historical data and ensure these also are made openly available.
Legacies of past International Polar YearsIPY has been celebrated three times over the last 125 years – in 1882-1883, 1932-1933 and 1957-1958. Scientific and exploring programmes borne out of each IPY have led to scientific advancements, new discoveries and an increased understanding of many geophysical phenomena that influence the Earth’s global systems.
Dr. Carlson foresees several legacies from this IPY. "We conduct this IPY with a sense of urgency, driven by a sense of change. One legacy, driven by that sense of urgency, will occur as researchers shorten the time it takes to incorporate new data, such as satellite data, directly into predictive models. Another legacy will come from the unique scientific breadth of this IPY, where social, biological and physical scientists will learn, in some cases for the first time, how to combine their ideas and tools to gain a comprehensive understanding of the polar regions."
Data OpportunityESA will provide access to Earth observation data free of charge to selected projects covering the Arctic and Antarctic regions. Data, as well as the exploitation of historical archives, from the following missions will be made available: ESA’s Envisat, ERS 1 and -2, GOCE and SMOS (when available) and Third Party Missions including Japan’s ALOS and the French Space Agency’s (CNES) Spot-4.
ESA is now accepting proposals from users wishing to obtain the satellite data for scientific research and application development in support of the IPY 2007-2008. The deadline for submission is 15 September 2006 with data delivery beginning in March 2007.
IPY is co-sponsored by the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and is endorsed by 31 nations. The idea of IPY was inspired by the Austrian explorer Karl Weyprecht, who was a scientist and co-commander of the Austro-Hungarian Polar Expedition of 1872-1874.
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