3

Scientific Advances and Discoveries

In the golden age of polar exploration at the beginning of the 20th century—when explorers like Frederick Cook, Robert Peary, Roald Amundsen, Robert Scott, and Ernest Shackleton led expeditions to the North and South Poles—science discovery was driven by the desire to fill in blank spaces on maps. Now it is driven by the desire to learn about different kinds of unknowns, such as the consequences of changing climate, ecosystems that exist on the underside of the ice, changing patterns of sea ice, and mechanisms of ice sheet flow. International Polar Year 2007-2008 witnessed a host of discoveries in a wide variety of scientific fields—from how Earth’s climate has changed in the past to how it may change in the future, from understanding what goes on in the depths of the ocean to understanding the weather out in space, and from learning about the impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems to their implications for human societies.

Many IPY discoveries relate to how quickly Earth is warming (Box 3.1). Contemporary change detection is difficult for some polar climate processes and their global linkages because the frequencies of natural change may be longer than the three decades of modern observations. It is clear, however, that global weather and climate patterns are interconnected yet spatially variable. The polar regions play key roles in this global system, in part because of the interactions of land and ice masses with ocean currents and atmospheric circulation patterns. IPY enabled scientists around the world to join forces, using new tools and bridging frontiers, in seeking information to expand knowledge of these patterns and Earth’s linked systems. Specifically, scientific results from IPY projects are shedding light on changes in the environment, including climatic responses and human-environmental dynamics.

POLAR ICE SHEET SCIENCE AND SUBGLACIAL SYSTEMS

During IPY, numerous international teams addressed scientific issues from on, within, and below the world’s two massive ice sheets, in Greenland and Antarctica (Figure 3.1). Together these ice masses contain enough water to raise global sea level by 70 m if they melted. These vast frozen expanses exist because ice loss through melting, ablation, and the calving of icebergs has been balanced or exceeded in the past by winter snowfall. But in the years leading up to and during IPY, vivid images showed ice calving along the perimeters of both Greenland and Antarctica and the rapid disintegration of vast ice shelves along the Antarctic Peninsula. Although scientists are still evaluating relationships between ice mass loss and warming of the atmosphere and oceans, it appears that continued warming will likely cause more mass loss.

The sensitivity of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets to climate change and their major roles in modulating sea level make their condition relevant to society. Today millions of people live along low-lying coastlines within a meter of sea level. Future sea level rise is a concern for both maritime societies and extensive seaside commercial and military infrastructure throughout the globe (see also Chapter 5). Numerous satellite data enabled international teams to make important



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3 Scientific Advances and Discoveries I n the golden age of polar exploration at the begin- results from IPY projects are shedding light on changes ning of the 20th century—when explorers like in the environment, including climatic responses and Frederick Cook, Robert Peary, Roald Amundsen, human-environmental dynamics. Robert Scott, and Ernest Shackleton led expeditions to the North and South Poles—science discovery was POLAR ICE SHEET SCIENCE driven by the desire to fill in blank spaces on maps. AND SUBGLACIAL SYSTEMS Now it is driven by the desire to learn about different kinds of unknowns, such as the consequences of chang- During IPY, numerous international teams ing climate, ecosystems that exist on the underside of addressed scientific issues from on, within, and below the ice, changing patterns of sea ice, and mechanisms the world’s two massive ice sheets, in Greenland and of ice sheet flow. International Polar Year 2007-2008 Antarctica (Figure 3.1). Together these ice masses con- witnessed a host of discoveries in a wide variety of sci- tain enough water to raise global sea level by 70 m if entific fields—from how Earth’s climate has changed they melted. These vast frozen expanses exist because in the past to how it may change in the future, from ice loss through melting, ablation, and the calving of understanding what goes on in the depths of the ocean icebergs has been balanced or exceeded in the past by to understanding the weather out in space, and from winter snowfall. But in the years leading up to and learning about the impacts of climate change on marine during IPY, vivid images showed ice calving along the ecosystems to their implications for human societies. perimeters of both Greenland and Antarctica and the Many IPY discoveries relate to how quickly Earth rapid disintegration of vast ice shelves along the Ant- is warming (Box 3.1). Contemporary change detec- arctic Peninsula. Although scientists are still evaluating tion is difficult for some polar climate processes and relationships between ice mass loss and warming of their global linkages because the frequencies of natural the atmosphere and oceans, it appears that continued change may be longer than the three decades of modern warming will likely cause more mass loss. observations. It is clear, however, that global weather The sensitivity of the Greenland and Antarctic ice and climate patterns are interconnected yet spatially sheets to climate change and their major roles in modu- variable. The polar regions play key roles in this global lating sea level make their condition relevant to society. system, in part because of the interactions of land and Today millions of people live along low-lying coastlines ice masses with ocean currents and atmospheric circula- within a meter of sea level. Future sea level rise is a tion patterns. IPY enabled scientists around the world concern for both maritime societies and extensive sea- to join forces, using new tools and bridging frontiers, in side commercial and military infrastructure throughout seeking information to expand knowledge of these pat- the globe (see also Chapter 5). Numerous satellite terns and Earth’s linked systems. Specifically, scientific data enabled international teams to make important 27

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28 LESSONS AND LEGACIES OF INTERNATIONAL POLAR YEAR 2007-2008 BOX 3.1 Climate Change and Polar Amplification The carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere has been steadily Climate changes and their impacts have considerable spatial vari- increasing from its preindustrial value of ~280 parts per million (ppm) ability due to Earth’s interlinked and moving atmospheric and oceanic (Figure) (IPCC, 2007a), and the rate of increase has significantly circulation patterns. Although warming of the planet as a consequence intensified in the past 60 years, from 0.53 ppm per year in 1957 (when of anthropogenic carbon dioxide is happening nearly everywhere (IPCC, measurements were started) to nearly 2 ppm per year in 2008. If this 2007a), it is accentuated in the high latitudes due to polar amplification trend continues, by 2057 (perhaps the time of the next IPY) carbon caused by strongly positive snow and ice feedbacks (Serreze et al., 2009; dioxide values may approach 500 ppm. Furthermore, there is increasing Manabe and Wetherald, 1975). Concern about this polar amplification documentation that in the geologic past, continental ice sheets grew only drove much of the research carried out during IPY, and the complex na- when atmospheric carbon dioxide values were low and retreated when ture of Earth systems and changes will require significant and continuing values were high. Such trends are in agreement with climate change investigation to foster understanding and action toward sustainability. projections based on increasingly sophisticated computer simulations of climatic change. FIGURE The carbon dioxide (CO2) data (red curve) measured on Mauna Loa constitute the lon- gest record of direct measure- ments of CO2 in the atmosphere. T he black cur ve represents the seasonally corrected data. SOURCES: NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory and Scripps Institution of Oceanography. (GRACE), a satellite designed to measure gravity discoveries of large changes occurring in both ice sheets. variations, which in this case are created by regional Taken together, these assessments showed that the pace mass redistributions within the ice sheets. IPY find- of ice sheet mass loss has been increasing since the end ings from the LEGOS1 project using GRACE data of the last century, accelerating sea level rise. As a result provided evidence that the Greenland and Antarctic of research coming out of IPY, projections for the future ice sheet contributions to sea level rise increased to show an accelerating trend for sea level rise by 2100, with 30 percent of the total sea level rise after 2003, com- model predictions ranging from 20 to 180 cm (Figure pared to their smaller contribution of 15 percent of sea 3.2). The upward trend in sea level rise is primarily the level change between 1993 and 2003 (IPCC, 2007a). result of melting of glaciers and small ice caps, and the Repeat observations of ice sheet elevations from the thermal expansion of seawater due to ocean warming. laser altimeter onboard ICESat-1 captured the detailed The former accounts for about 30 percent of the contri- bution to sea level rise (Nicholls and Cazenave, 2010). Ice sheet mass changes can be estimated using 1 Laboratoire d’Etudes en Géophysique et Océanographie Spa- data from Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment tiales; www.legos.obs-mip.fr/.

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29 SCIENTIFIC ADVANCES AND DISCOVERIES FIGURE 3.1 Maps of Arctic and Antarctic showing ma- jor ice sheets. Top: Antarctic ice velocity derived from ALOS PALSAR (Advanced Land Observing Satellite, Phased Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar), Envisat ASAR (Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar), RADARSAT-2, and ERS (Earth Remote Sensing)-1/2 satellite radar interferometry, color-coded on a loga- rithmic scale, and overlaid on a MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) mosaic of Ant- arctica. Thick black lines delineate major ice divides. Thin black lines outline subglacial lakes. Thick black lines along the coast are interferometrically derived ice sheet grounding lines. Bottom: Satellite-based passive microwave images of the sea ice cover have provided a reliable tool for continuously monitoring changes in the extent of the Arctic ice cover since 1979. This visu- alization shows Arctic sea ice minimum area for 2010. SOURCE: Rignot et al., 2011 (top); NASA Scientific Visualization Studio (bottom).

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30 LESSONS AND LEGACIES OF INTERNATIONAL POLAR YEAR 2007-2008 FIGURE 3.2 Projection of sea-level rise from 1990 to 2100, based on Intergov- ernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) temperature projections for three different emission scenarios (labeled on right). The sea level range projected in the IPCC AR4 (IPCC, 2007b) for these scenarios is shown for comparison in the bars on the bottom right. Also shown is the observations-based annual global sea level data (Church and W hite, 2006) (red) including artificial reservoir correction (Chao et al., 2008). SOURCE: Vermeer and Rahmstorf, 2009. pattern of changes across each ice sheet. This pattern draining between 2003 and 2008 (Smith et al., 2010). of interior gain and marginal loss that had been seen in The first case of a direct connection between subglacial Greenland was detected across the Antarctic ice sheet lake drainage and a surge in an East Antarctic glacier with particularly large mass losses concentrated in the was made using a combination of satellite altimetry and Amundsen Sea region (Pritchard et al., 2009). imagery (Stearns et al., 2008; Figure 3.4). Other lakes, The magnitude and pattern of ice mass loss directed detected with surface radar are water-rich but not cur- many researchers’ attention during IPY to the margins rently water-filled (Langley et al., 2011). of the ice sheet, where the ocean melts the undersides New observations were made during IPY of the of the floating fringes, and the base of the ice. Observa- potential awakening of the East Antarctic ice sheet, a tions of accelerating ice flow following the collapse of potentially powerful influence on global sea levels and Antarctic ice shelves confirmed the buttressing effect of the climate system. Surface mass balance in East Ant- ice shelves on ice flow and underscored the importance arctica is a fundamental but poorly known component of ice shelves to ice sheet stability (Rignot et al., 2004; of the ice sheet mass balance (IPCC, 2007a). Using Scambos, 2011; Joughin et al., 2010). Initial oceano- an interdisciplinary approach and latest technologies, graphic measurements made during IPY in the fjords the Norwegian-U.S. Scientific Traverse of East Ant- of Greenland outlet glaciers (Figure 3.3) and beneath arctica IPY project aimed to improve understanding the Pine Island ice shelf in Antarctica confirmed the of surface mass balance and the drivers of climate presence of warm waters expected to cause elevated variability in East Antarctica. Findings to date show ice melting ( Jenkins et al., 2010; Rignot et al., 2010; that millennial-scale net accumulation rates from ice Straneo et al., 2010). cores are generally lower than net snowfall estimated in The ramifications for ice sheet mass change of previously published large-scale assessments (Anschutz the discovery of a surprisingly active subglacial water et al., 2009). Discoveries of links between microstruc- system beneath both ice sheets were pursued vigorously ture, accumulation rate, and satellite imagery provide during IPY. Abrupt draining of surface-melt lakes and the means of accounting for natural variability in 20th associated fracture propagation and glacial movement century accumulation trends and show that current were measured on the Greenland ice sheet (Das et al., c limate models likely overestimate accumulation in 2008; Joughin et al., 2008). Discovery of actively filling East Antarctica (Albert et al., 2012; Scambos et al., and draining Antarctic subglacial lakes was followed by 2011). Firn temperature measurements suggest a recent a comprehensive mapping using ICESat laser altimetry, warming trend near the crest of the East Antarctic ice resulting in the detection of 124 lakes actively filling or sheet but cooling or no change at a lower elevation

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31 SCIENTIFIC ADVANCES AND DISCOVERIES site (Muto et al., 2011). Aerosol depositions across all spatial and temporal scales across the continent show surprising similarity, supporting the importance of South American and other midlatitude source areas for dust, burning, and pollution aerosols (Bisiaux et al., 2012). Overall, our understanding of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet improved during IPY, and these observations set the baseline for continued monitoring in the future. An entire mountain range under the Antarc- tic ice sheet was discovered during the 1957-1958 International Geophysical Year (IGY ) but remained uninvestigated because of extreme inaccessibility until this IPY. The Antarctic Gamburtsev Province project used cutting-edge airborne radar to investigate the Gamburtsev Mountains which are completely covered by ice near the center of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. The data reveal an Alps-like mountain range incised by fluvial river valleys in the south and truncated by the landward extension of the Lambert Rift to the north (Figure 3.5). Radar data reveal areas where hundreds of meters of ice have been frozen onto the bottom of the ice sheet, driving subglacial flow and ice sheet behavior in ways not captured in present models (Bell et al., 2011), as well as the first comprehensive view of the crustal architecture and uplift mechanisms for the Gamburtsevs (Ferraccioli et al., 2011). IPY also created the opportunity for teachers, students, and laypersons, as well as scientists from many disciplines to access data to foster their own discoveries. The Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica (LIMA) IPY project produced the first-ever, true-color, high-resolution mosaic image of Antarctica using visible imagery from the years between 1999-2003 (Bindschadler et al., 2008). This tool, made available to the public,2 enables teachers, students, and scientists to explore the continent from their desks. The early completion of this mosaic allowed polar researchers FIGURE 3.3 Warm waters located at the margins of an ice the opportunity to make discoveries during IPY using sheet can cause increased melting and thinning of the ice. This LIMA data. For example, using LIMA, Fretwell and image indicates subsurface ocean temperatures over the west Greenland continental shelf showing the impact of warming Trathan (2009) identified previously unidentified pen- fjord waters on the acceleration of ice flow. In 1997, a warm guin rookeries and determined other rookeries that water pulse entered the region and coincided with rapid thin- have been abandoned. ning and acceleration of an outlet glacier along the west coast of Greenland. SOURCE: Holland et al. (2008). Another one of the IPY 2007-2008 projects that had its beginnings during the IGY was the McCall Glacier Research Program (Weller et al., 2007). This 2 http://lima.nasa.gov.

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32 LESSONS AND LEGACIES OF INTERNATIONAL POLAR YEAR 2007-2008 FIGURE 3.4 Subglacial systems (and the implications for ice sheet mass change) were actively studied during IPY. In fact, satellite altimetry and imagery were used to make a direct connection between subglacial lake drainage and changes in glacier dynamics. Notably, Stearns et al. (2008) show that surface elevation changes in the Antarctic Byrd Glacier reflect the filling and draining of the subglacial lakes below. (a) ICESat elevations for 11 passes between November 2003 and November 2007. (b) Elevation residuals for ICESat data after correction for topography. (c) Map of elevation ranges for 500-m sections of track, interpreted lake boundaries (green, blue outlines) and elevation ranges for gridded surface displacements. The arrow indicates the direction and orientation of the profiles in (a) and (b). (d) Estimated lake volume displacements for the downstream lake (green), the upstream lake (blue) and the two lakes together (black). The horizontal bars show time uncertainty in lake volumes. (e) Ice speed at the grounding line from 2003 to 2008. The horizontal bars indicate start and end dates for each pair of observations; the thickness of each bar represents its as- sociated error. SOURCE: Stearns et al., 2008. important glacier lies in the Brooks Range, near the warming is exerting a long-term influence on glacial northeast corner of Alaska and offers the longest systems in this region. history of research on any glacier in the U.S. Arctic. Studies revealed a long period of negative mass bal- SEA ICE VULNERABILITY AND ance, with annual losses of –100 to –200 mm water CONNECTIONS TO SOCIETY equivalent during the period 1958-1971 (Nolan et al., 2005). The negative mass balance of the glacier persists Extensive research was conducted during IPY to today,3 including accelerated thinning of ice volume understand the multifaceted role of sea ice—that is, and retreat of the ice margin, indicating that climate ocean (salt) water that has frozen—in climate, ecologic, and socioeconomic systems. One critical element of sea ice that crosses many scientific disciplines is its 3 M att Nolan, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, personal influence on planetary albedo. Albedo, or reflectance, c ommunication, 2011.

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33 SCIENTIFIC ADVANCES AND DISCOVERIES FIGURE 3.5 Top: Until IPY 2007-2008, an entire mountain range under the Antarctic ice sheet (discovered during the International Geophysical Year) remained uninvestigated because of inaccessibility. Cutting-edge airborne radar was used to investigate the Gamburtsev Mountains which are completely covered by ice near the center of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. Bottom: (A) Radar data reveal areas where hundreds of meters of ice have been frozen onto the bottom of the ice sheet, driving subglacial flow and ice sheet behavior in ways not captured in present models. (B) A schematic of this process. SOURCES: Michael Studinger, NASA (top) and Bell et al., 2011 (bottom).

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34 LESSONS AND LEGACIES OF INTERNATIONAL POLAR YEAR 2007-2008 is a material property, dependent on the surface type. projections from recent trends (Stroeve et al., 2007, As the extent of the white sea ice and its associated 2008). This was not a trivial change; rather, Arctic sea snow cover decreases, more dark ocean surface water ice area at the end of the 2007 summer was 27 percent is exposed to the sun and warmed. This in turn melts lower than the previous record low observed in 2005 more ice, further decreasing the extent of the ice, a (Figure 3.7). Although in 2008-2009 there was a small positive feedback, and allows a significant increase in recovery toward the earlier (pre-2006) trend-line, the heating of the exposed ocean, leading to subsequent 2010 value remained well below this trend. The sea ice increases in the amounts of heat and moisture trans- minimum for late September 2011 was only slightly ferred from the ocean into the overlying atmosphere higher than in 2007. (Figure 3.6). Because long-term studies of sea ice extent prior to 1950 were limited, and a bipolar record of the sea ice concentrations extending back to the late 19th century has only recently been attempted,4 the science commu- nity largely relies on satellite-based passive microwave data collected since 1978. Instrumental time series of minimum ice extent leading up to 2006 showed that there had been an ~8 percent areal loss per decade in Arctic sea ice, with the strongest losses occurring in areas such as the Kara and Barents Seas. Thus IPY provided an opportunity to study the changing Arctic in a time of rapid change. During the first year of IPY investigations (2007), the minimum sea ice extent value showed a sharp additional decrease below most model FIGURE 3.7 Instrumental records show a decrease in sea ice extent in the years leading up to IPY. As a result, IPY provided scientists an opportunity to study the Arctic in a time of rapid change. Top: Monthly sea ice concentration for September 2012. The red line marks the September 2007 extent, the orange line is the extent for September 2008, the green line the September FIGURE 3.6 Cartoon of positive feedback leading to sea ice loss 2009 extent, and the pink line is the climatological (1979-2000) in the Arctic. SOURCE: Stroeve et al. 2011. monthly mean for September. Bottom: Time series of monthly averages of September sea ice extent with linear trend line show- ing decreasing trend over past three decades and sharp drop 4 http://nsidc.org/data/docs/noaa/g00799_arctic_southern_sea_ice/ in 2007, the first year of IPY. SOURCE: Stroeve et al., 2011. index.html.

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35 SCIENTIFIC ADVANCES AND DISCOVERIES In addition to changes in ice extent, upward- ice age—which correlates with thickness—was also looking sonar data obtained via recent submarine decreasing (Figure 3.8). Although the minimum ice cruises coupled with estimates based on measurements extent in 2011 was slightly larger than in 2007, the by NASA’s ICESat laser altimeter indicate that sea actual volume of ice present was dramatically less ice thicknesses have also shown a substantial decrease because of the consistent thinning trend due to the loss of more than a meter from values obtained prior to of thicker multiyear ice (Kwok and Rothrock, 2009; 1990 (Kwok and Rothrock, 2009). Satellite tracking Maslanik et al., 2007). Many interpretations of these of ice trajectories (Fowler et al., 2003; Pfirman et al., measurements were quickly published; some positing 2004; Rigor and Wallace, 2004) indicated that the that 2007 represented a tipping point leading to an FIGURE 3.8 Satellite tracking pro- vides information on Arctic sea i ce age, which correlates with thickness. Upper panels show the s patial pattern of sea ice age at the end of February in 2009 ( upper right) compared to the m edian age during the period 1981-2000 (upper left). The lower panel shows the relative percent composition of sea ice of different ages aggregated over the entire A rctic basin. It can be shown that sea ice cover in the Arctic is steadily decreasing both in extent and thickness, as indicated by the loss of multiyear ice. SOURCE: National Snow and Ice Data Cen- ter, courtesy J. Maslanik and C. Fowler, University of Colorado.

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36 LESSONS AND LEGACIES OF INTERNATIONAL POLAR YEAR 2007-2008 ice-free Arctic during Northern Hemisphere summers climate patterns such as the North Atlantic Oscillation within the near future (Kwok and Cunningham, 2008; (Overland, 2011), but this is an area of active research Stroeve et al., 2008). Replacing thick old ice floes that (Francis et al., 2009; Overland et al., 2007, 2008; are currently being lost requires several years and is O verland and Wang, 2010). increasingly unlikely under current warming climatic Sea ice conditions in the Antarctic differ from the conditions. Arctic in a number of ways. Most sea ice in the South- During periods of minimum sea ice extent, break- ern Ocean melts each summer, so there are only a few out events—such as the large volumes of ice swept out regions with multiyear ice. The Antarctic Peninsula of the Arctic Basin during the fall of 2007—became region is undergoing the largest positive temperature more frequent (Stroeve et al., 2011). Current studies increase of any Southern Hemisphere location: +3.7 ± suggest that such events are the composite result of 1.6°C for the 20th century based on unweighted sta- thermodyamic and dynamic processes, including the tion data as compared to a global value estimate by the preconditioning of the ice by warmer than usual air Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of +0.6 ± and water temperatures and pressure patterns con - 0.2°C (Vaughan et al., 2003). These pronounced tem- ducive to ice exiting the Arctic Basin via the Fram perature changes have been associated with a noticeable S trait (Perovich and Richter-Menge, 2009). In addi- decrease in sea ice extent (–5.4 percent per decade for tion, studies of the ice-albedo feedback contribution the Amundsen and Bellingshausen Seas (Domack et to the observed warming of the upper layer of the al., 2003; Stammerjohn et al., 2008); and with spectacu- Arctic Ocean show that although annual trends are lar retreats and disintegrations of several ice shelves, for small, cumulative effects are large, amounting to a example, Larsen, George VI, and Wilkins (Rignot et 17 percent total increase by 2005. Although the time al., 2004; Scambos et al., 2004). In contrast, the sea ice series of this contribution was fairly constant from cover around West Antarctica showed a slight increase 1979 to 1992, it then increased steadily from 200 in area with the Ross Sea showing the largest increase MJm -2 to about 400 MJm –2. Furthermore overall (+4.4 percent per decade; Cavalieri and Parkinson, negative trends in ice extent are also strongest in more 2008; Stammerjohn et al., 2008). When the Southern northerly locations as would be expected if the ice- Ocean was examined as a whole, sea ice extent showed albedo effect was a significant contributor (Perovich a slightly positive trend (+1.0 percent per decade). et al., 2007). The mechanisms causing changes in Antarctic sea Changes in Arctic sea ice extent are now becoming ice conditions investigated during IPY remain under implicated with changing weather patterns at lower intense investigation. Oceanographic factors appear latitudes. During the last few years there has been a to be important, and theories explaining the observed breakdown in the stable counterclockwise polar vortex differences between the significant sea ice retreats in wind pattern that during recent decades has character- the Antarctic Peninsula region and the slight advances ized the Arctic. This wind acts to keep the far north in the seas off eastern Antarctic have been suggested. cold and isolated from temperate regions farther south. One particularly interesting theory includes couplings As a result, cold air outbreaks to the south have become b etween processes involving stratospheric ozone, increasingly frequent, with the Arctic and sub-Arctic changes in atmospheric pressure patterns, oceano- consistently exhibiting above-normal temperatures and graphic upwelling, and sea ice distributions (Sigmond less snowfall, while typically more temperate regions to et al., 2011; Thompson and Solomon, 2002). Most of the south have been subjected to heavy snows and frigid these linkages have been supported by an analysis of temperatures. Major economic disruptions occurred melt features on the Pine Island Glacier ice shelf (Bind- with these events in northern Europe, eastern North schadler et al., 2011). Interesting correlations have also America, and eastern Asia. One contributing factor to recently been explored between Antarctic sea ice extent these changes may be the decrease in both the extent changes and variations in the state of the Southern and thickness of the Arctic sea ice cover (Serreze Annual Mode and the El Nino–Southern Oscillation et al., 2007). At present it is uncertain exactly how indexes of atmospheric pressure pattern variability recent changes in the Arctic are modifying sub-Arctic (Stammerjohn et al., 2008; Figure 3.9).

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37 SCIENTIFIC ADVANCES AND DISCOVERIES FIGURE 3.9 Decadal composite differences of sea ice advance and retreat with emphasis on ENSO and Southern Annular mode. SOURCE: Stammerjohn et al., 2008. MARINE ECOSYSTEMS IN Networks [SAON]; and the U.S. Sea Ice Mass Bal- A WARMING WORLD ance in the Antarctic, IPY/ASEP, and SO GLOBEC; also see Chapter 4) are providing data critical for While disappearing sea ice in the Arctic, por- determining the pace of future change and identifying tions of Antarctic, and glaciers are among the most the complex mechanisms driving ecosystem modifica- visible surface indications that our planet is warming, tions in both the Arctic (western Arctic, e.g., Chukchi IPY research also served to highlight the vulnerabil- Sea) and the Antarctic (western Antarctic peninsula). ity of Arctic and Antarctic polar marine ecosystems to warming and to provide benchmarks of present Arctic Discoveries p hysical and biological ocean conditions against As a consequence of a warming world and asso- which changes can be quantified. In contrast to earlier ciated changes in sea ice and ocean currents, Arctic international years where polar biology and ecology scientists anticipate significant shifts and reorganiza- were nearly ignored, research conducted during IPY tion of marine ecosystems. The dramatic sea ice loss of 2007-2008 clearly demonstrates that such changes 2007 was depicted in images of polar bears and walruses are having a serious impact at all trophic levels—from stranded as their habitat literally melted beneath them, microorganisms to top predators (Grebmeier, 2012; and there is evidence of reduced body size in polar NRC, 2011a,b). It remains a major forecasting chal- bears caused by declining sea ice (e.g., Rode et al., lenge to understand the ecological, biogeochemical, 2010). Projections of future sea ice distributions (e.g., and socioeconomic implications and broader impacts O verland, 2011) indicate that summer ice cover is likely of these changes and predict their future courses as to remain for longest in the region north of Canada and warming and sea ice loss proceed over the next few Greenland where the oldest and thickest ice now occurs decades. New international observation systems put in (Figure 3.8). This area may become a refuge (Pfirman place during IPY (e.g., Sustaining Arctic Observing

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56 LESSONS AND LEGACIES OF INTERNATIONAL POLAR YEAR 2007-2008 climate conditions (Harwood et al., 2009). Fossils pre- The Arctic climate was dominated by 41,000-year served in these strata suggest marine climate conditions climate cycles up until about 1 million years before the similar to that of southern Patagonia and southwestern present; since about 900,000 years ago, the Arctic has New Zealand today, influenced by high sediment dis- been dominated by climate cycles of 100,000 years, but charge from river runoff, and high coastal turbidity, with cycles of 21,000-23,000 years that persist in the implying surface air temperatures warm enough for precession band. significant ice surface melt and the transfer of moisture The Quaternary section of the Lake E sediment from the ocean onto the land and ice surface. core includes a complete record of glacial-interglacial Comparable lengthy records of the Late Cenozoic c hange, including warm intervals correlative with history of the Arctic are poorly known. To partially fill well-known marine isotopic stages. The extent to this gap, during the boreal winter of 2008-2009, the sci- which many of these interglacials, including marine ence community successfully recovered a 3.6-million- isotopic stages (MIS) 9, 11, and 31 and others, appear year-long sediment record from Lake El’gygytgyn to have been warmer than MIS 5e (Lozhkin and (“Lake E”), which is a 12-km-diameter meteor crater Anderson, 2011), is an extraordinary surprise because lake located 100 km north of the Arctic Circle in north- it suggests repeated intervals in the past when the eastern Russia (see also “Paleoclimate Tools” section Greenland ice sheet may have been much smaller than in Chapter 4). The record captures for the first time today and sea ice vastly reduced (Melles et al., 2011). the rhythm of orbitally forced climate in the Arctic. These new data contribute to numerical modeling FIGURE 3.25 Simulation of inception of ice sheets on ice-free isostatically rebounded Greenland as simulated by the 3-D dynamical ice sheet model and forced by the sensitivity scenarios. Ice sheet thicknesses (m) are shown after 11,000 years for Pleistocene 200 ppmv pCO2 (left panels) and Pliocene 400 ppmv pCO2 (right panels) scenarios. (a, b) Cold orbit, fixed warm orbit vegetation; (c, d) cold orbit, interactive vegetation. SOURCE: Koenig et al., 2011.

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57 SCIENTIFIC ADVANCES AND DISCOVERIES efforts that test the vulnerability of Arctic sea ice and 2007 is dramatic compared to recent glacial-interglacial the Greenland ice sheet to global air temperature rise cycles of natural variability but not unprecedented for (Koenig et al., 2011; Figure 3.25). Extreme warmth warmer interglacial stages in the past (Polyak et al., at 1.1 million years ago during Marine isotope stage 2010). At the same time, changes in the size of the 31 is especially interesting because this interval coin- Greenland ice sheet over its history have been primar- cides by half a precession cycle with the last time ily controlled by temperature, with warming in the ANDRILL chronicles the collapse of the WAIS and past always causing considerable ice sheet shrinkage the Ross Ice Shelf (Naish et al., 2009). The climate contributing to sea level rise (Alley et al., 2010). Arctic record from Lake E, especially the history of past amplification, as a process in modern records of global interglacials, provides a means of testing what con- climate change is now known to be a persistent feature trols polar amplification over time using data/model of past climates, typically falling in the range of 3-4°C comparisons. over global mean temperatures (Miller et al., 2010a; Figure 3.26). Paleoclimate ice core records show that once thresholds in the system are passed, global climate Paleoclimate Synthesis During IPY change can be larger and faster than models used now For its part, the U.S. Climate Change Science for predictions of future change might predict (White Program commissioned a synthesis of paleoclimate et al., 2010). data from the Arctic as one of many scientific synthesis During IPY, multiple paleoclimate studies were reports intended to inform public debates on modern carried out, aimed at characterizing natural climate climate change (Fitzpatrick et al., 2010). The original variability, especially warm climate variability, and the report (CCSP, 2009) highlighted the record of climate system processes that drive variability on annual to change in the Arctic over the past 3-4 million years, in millennial time scales. A community compilation of the context of a global system. This synthesis acknowl- lake sediment sequences, ice cores, and tree ring records edged that the anomalous loss of summer sea ice in from the circumarctic region (Figure 3.27) confirmed FIGURE 3.26 Paleoclimate data quantify the magnitude of Arctic amplification. Shown are paleoclimate estimates of Arctic summer temperature anomalies relative to recent, and the appropriate Northern Hemisphere or global summer temperature anomalies, together with their uncertainties, for the fol- lowing: the last glacial maximum (LGM; ~20 ka), Holocene thermal maximum (HTM; ~8 ka), last interglaciation (LIG; 130 to 125 ka) and middle Pliocene (~3.5 Ma). The trend line suggests shows that summer temperature changes are amplified 3 to 4 times in the Arctic. SOURCE: Miller et al., 2010a; White et al., 2010.

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58 LESSONS AND LEGACIES OF INTERNATIONAL POLAR YEAR 2007-2008 FIGURE 3.27 This community compilation of lake sediment sequences, ice cores, and tree ring records from the circumarctic region confirmed that the natural cooling trend of the last 2,000 years has been completely reversed by contemporary warming, with the last five decades being the warmest over the length of record. (A and B) Kaufman et al. (2009) show a composite of 23 high-resolution proxy climate records from the Arctic. (C) Mean of all records transformed to summer temperature anomaly relative to the 1961-1990 reference period, with first-order linear trend for all records through 1900 (green line), the 400-year-long Arctic-wide temperature index of Overpeck et al. (1997) (blue curve; 10-year means), and the 10-year-mean Arctic temperature through 2008 (red line). (D) Time series of PC1 based on the 15 records that extend from 1 C.E. to 1900 C.E., showing a strong first-order trend. (E) Difference in the fractional proportion of records that exceed ±1 SD for each 10-year interval. (F) Change in summer (JJA) insolation at 65°N latitude relative to the 20th century (Berger and Loutre, 1991). (G) Northern Hemisphere average proxy temperature anomalies (10- year means) reconstructed by Mann et al. (2008) on the basis of two approaches and by Moberg et al. (2008). The Arctic regional reconstruction is overlaid in gray. SOURCE: Kaufman et al., 2009.

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59 SCIENTIFIC ADVANCES AND DISCOVERIES that the natural cooling trend of the last 2,000 years has to underestimate polar amplification, projections from been completely reversed by contemporary warming, these paleoclimatic analogs point to the possibility with the last five decades being the warmest over the that human influence will become unprecedented in length of record (Kaufman et al., 2009). Because the combined speed and persistence (White et al., 2010). climate has shown a normal response to natural forc- ings over the last two millennia, the only recent forcing ARCTIC SOCIETIES AND capable of causing this reversal is the dramatic input of SOCIAL PROCESSES anthropogenic carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. This clear attribution for anthropogenic forcing of current The IPY planners made a radical departure from climate change came not only from a synthesis of the the earlier IPY/IGY template by creating a special geologic and glaciological record, but also from the “People” field and by introducing the social sciences modeling community (Miller et al., 2010a; Serreze and and humanities, as well as the studies of human health Barry, 2011), as well as from the space physics com- to the IPY program: munity, who used satellite observations to show that energy from the sun was a minor impact in climate • Research Theme #6: To investigate the cultural, change (Scafetta and West, 2005). historical, and social processes that shape the sustain- Paleoclimate data also provide independent evi- ability of circumpolar human societies, and to identify dence for comparison and calibration of climate model their unique contributions to global cultural diversity simulations of past change. For example, the last time and citizenship (Rapley and Bell, 2004). Arctic summer sea ice extent was vastly reduced was • Observational Strategy #6: To investigate crucial 6,000-8,500 years ago, when solar insolation was about facets of the human dimension of the polar regions 7 percent higher than today because Earth’s orbit which will lead to the creation of data sets on the reached perihelion in northern hemisphere summers changing conditions of circumpolar human societies (Funder et al., 2011). Sea ice was also vastly reduced (Rapley and Bell, 2004). 125,000 years ago, when solar insolation was 11 percent more than now. But in both cases, atmospheric CO2 Previous IPY/IGY excluded research in the socio- levels were only 270-280 ppm (Miller et al., 2010a; economic and humanities fields, except for the limited Polyak et al., 2010). Assessments of the rate of climate medical studies carried on the personnel of the polar change in the past show that climate responses can be stations. This new and more human-oriented format rapid with diminishing sea ice first being a feedback of IPY reflected more integrative and society-driven (i.e., in this case through changes in albedo as ice transi- nature of today’s polar research. In the United States tions to open water) and eventually becoming a forcing alone, NSF allocated almost $20M in support of more (i.e., a primary driver of climate change) with delayed than 30 research, observational, and data management release of heat from areas ice free in summer (Serreze projects in the social sciences and the humanities, the and Barry, 2011; White et al., 2010). Environmental largest-ever concerted U.S. funding for such efforts. change, which occurred on longer time scales in the IPY’s new focus on the social and humanities issues was past, is now happening faster than models predict. This also spearheaded by the preceding efforts stimulated by is a major emerging theme of IPY 2007-2008. the Arctic Council, such as the Arctic Human Devel- I mproved understanding of teleconnections opment Report (AHDR, 2004), Arctic Climate Impact between the Arctic and Antarctic and mid- to lower- Assessment (ACIA, 2005), Survey of the Living Condi- l atitude climate regimes are emerging from IPY tions in the Arctic (SliCA; Andersen et al., 2002) and paleoclimate studies. As is observed today, when CO2 others (Downie and Fenge, 2003) that were initiated increased in the past, the global system warmed up prior to, or during, the planning phase for IPY. These with an amplified response across the polar regions, and other new developments resulted in the increased especially the Arctic. Changes in sea ice and the extent engagement of polar residents, particularly Arctic of ice sheets create feedbacks in the climate system with indigenous people, in IPY operations. Such broadening implications for regional change and sea level fluctua- of the research base and scope led to significant science tions around the world. While long-term models tend

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60 LESSONS AND LEGACIES OF INTERNATIONAL POLAR YEAR 2007-2008 breakthroughs in IPY and in the general conduct of IPY-generated research introduced a new vantage modern research at the poles. point in assessing environmental change at the poles, Altogether, IPY social science and humanities namely, the stock of knowledge by local residents projects engaged more than 1,500 researchers, students, and, especially, polar indigenous people. It includes indigenous experts and monitors, and representatives records of generation-based observations and extensive of Arctic indigenous organizations in more than 30 local terminologies of sea ice and snow patterns and international and numerous national research and phenomena, often of many dozen terms (Krupnik et outreach projects (Krupnik et al., 2011). They studied al., 2010a,b; Oskal et al., 2009). Many scientists and human societies, past and present, and sought better indigenous experts now believe that the vantage points understanding of forces that govern social interactions offered by “two ways of knowing” (Barber and Barber, during IPY; they developed new approaches, interpre- 2007), academic research and local/indigenous knowl- tive models, and groundbreaking research paradigms. edge, are needed for a comprehensive understanding of There have been many pioneer advances in the the polar regions and processes. The changes in polar polar social sciences during the IPY era. Although most sea ice, for example, are observed and assessed differ- of the IPY social science and humanities efforts were ently and at various scales by ice scientists, climate locally focused, several international projects included modelers, oceanographers, local subsistence users, and new coordinated research and data collection in four social scientists (Eicken, 2010; Eicken et al., 2009). or more Arctic nations. They produced the first-ever E ven though the ultimate goals of scientists broad circumpolar overviews of local community adap- (understanding and modeling of climate change) and tation and vulnerability (Hovelsrud and Smit, 2010), polar residents (sustainable adaptation) may be differ- status of indigenous reindeer herders’ and caribou ent, each group can learn from the vision of the others, hunters’ knowledge (Oskal et al., 2009), indigenous use and the common resulting knowledge is more than the of the sea ice habitats (Huntington et al., 2010), role sum of its individual parts. By adding a sociocultural of governmental policies in community resettlement perspective and indigenous knowledge (Box 3.2), sci- and relocations (Schweitzer et al., in press), and other entists broadened the IPY agenda in sea ice research research fields. beyond its common focus on ice dynamics and coupled New “baseline” data sets were generated on com- ocean-atmosphere-ice modeling. One of the key IPY munity development, industrial exploitation of polar legacies is the legitimization of these multiple “ways resources, status of indigenous languages and knowl- of knowing” (Huntington et al., 2007; Kofinas et al., edge systems, cultural heritage, community well-being 2010); it marked a revolutionary paradigm shift accom- (Larsen et al., 2010), and the community use of local plished during the IPY era. resources. IPY researchers have connected these data to Additionally, prior to IPY the prevailing pattern the earlier datasets, including those built by previous of modeling complex linkages and impacts of climate statistical surveys (SliCA—Andersen et al., 2002), thus change was to place “humans” at the bottom of the expanding the scope of IPY records by several decades chain-like charts illustrating interconnections within (Hamilton, 2009; Heleniak, 2008, 2009; Kruse, 2010; the ecosystem. The underlying assumption was to Winther, 2010). Still, the geographic coverage of IPY explore how “humans” (i.e., people or communities) activities in the social sciences and the humanities was respond to the impacts projected by computer-gener- quite uneven, with the bulk of research conducted in ated scenarios, such as warming climate, shorter ice sea- the Eastern Canadian Arctic (Nunavut, Nunavik), son, or thawing permafrost. The new approach explored Alaska, Norway, and Greenland, and fewer efforts in during IPY, called community-based vulnerability the Russian Arctic, northern Finland, and Iceland. assessment, has moved communities to the center of the Even within better covered regions some communities study of climate change (Hovelsrud and Smit, 2010). It received more attention, like Barrow, Gambell, Shis- starts with the observations of change reported within maref, Toksook Bay, and others in Alaska, while many local communities and by their members and it pro- more were hardly touched by IPY. ceeds bottom-up to identify potential new conditions,

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61 SCIENTIFIC ADVANCES AND DISCOVERIES (Forbes et al., 2009; Konstantinov, 2010). Not all impacts BOX 3.2 from climate change will necessarily be negative, and Multiple Ways of Understanding Sea Ice climate and broader environmental change and its many impacts should be thus viewed as an added stressor to Ice scientists, climate modelers, oceanographers, local sub- the already challenging local conditions on the ground. sistence users, anthropologists, mariners, and science historians Two international IPY projects—Community have remarkably different visions of polar sea ice. To various Adaptation and Vulnerability in the Arctic Region groups of scientists, sea ice is a multifaceted physical and natural (CAVIAR) and Arctic Social Indicators (ASI)—were entity—an ocean-atmosphere heat flux regulator, a climate trig- particularly instrumental to this transformation. The ger and indicator, a habitat (platform) for ice-associated species, and/or an ecosystem built around periodically frozen saltwater. CAVIAR project tested new research and modeling To polar explorers and historians, sea ice was first and foremost approaches to assess the vulnerability and adaptability a formidable obstacle to humanity’s advance to the Poles (Bravo, of 26 local communities in Canada, the United States 2010). Polar indigenous people view sea ice primarily as a cultural (Alaska), Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Fin- landscape, an interactive social environment that is created and land, and Russia (Hovelsrud and Smit, 2010). The re-created every year by the power of their cultural knowledge. It main outcome was a new vision of the Arctic peoples’ incorporates local ice terminologies and classifications, ice-built trails and routes with associated place names, stories, teachings, resilience to environmental stress as a “two-way” pro- safety rules, historic narratives, as well as core empirical and cess that depends as much (or more) on the strength spiritual connections that polar people maintain with the natural of the community internal networks (social, cultural, world (Krupnik et al., 2010a). institutional, economic, etc.) as on the intensity of the Cultural landscapes created around polar sea ice (icescapes) environmental signals. The ASI project initiated by the are remarkably long-term phenomena, often of several hundred Arctic Council developed a set of thoroughly calibrated years (Aporta, 2009). By adding a sociocultural perspective and indigenous knowledge, ice scientists broadened the IPY agenda indicators to evaluate the status of sociocultural well- in sea ice research beyond its habitual focus on ice dynamics being of Arctic population at the community, local, and and coupled ocean-atmosphere-ice modeling (Druckenmiller et regional levels (Crate et al., 2010). The previously used al., 2010; Eicken, 2010). general national indexes used by UNESCO and other major international agencies, such as per capita gross domestic product or the overall level of literacy,11 have been successfully superceded by more locally nuanced opportunities, or risks that communities are facing or tools to assess community well-being as a result of IPY may face in the future. This approach includes many research. more parameters of change, both physical and socio- Another critical frontier theme explored in IPY cultural, such as local demographic and economic fac- was the relationship between indigenous perspectives tors, migration patterns, support networks, educational developed via generations of shared knowledge and the level, and others (Hamilton et al., 2010; Huntington data and interpretations generated through scholarly et al., 2007). It puts critical emphasis on the assessment research. The field that compares such perspective of community responses to future risks, sensitivities and did not even exist prior to the late 1990s. Several IPY adaptive strategies, and it requires extensive data collec- projects contributed to our increased understanding tion at the community level, as the current adaptation of how indigenous knowledge could be matched with mechanisms are researched and understood. instrumental data in monitoring the changes in Arctic Often more immediate challenges stem from the ice (see Box 3.2; Figure 3.28), snow and vegetation many social agents, such as local system of governance, condition,12 marine mammal and caribou/reindeer economic development, breakup in community support migrations, and behavioral patterns of polar animals networks, availability of health care, and culture shifts. and fishes (Hovelsrud et al., 2011; Kofinas et al., 2010; In certain areas in the Arctic, the purported “threat” of climate change masks the impact of more immediate fac- 11 http://unstats.un.org/unsd/demographic/products/socind/default. tors, such as the alienation of property rights, appropria- htm. tion of land, disempowerment of indigenous communi- 12 http://icr.arcticportal.org/index.php?option=com_hwdvideoshare ties, and more restricted resource management regimes &task=viewvideo&Itemid=127&video_id=11&lang=en.

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62 LESSONS AND LEGACIES OF INTERNATIONAL POLAR YEAR 2007-2008 FIGURE 3.28 The “high resolution” of indigenous terms for sea ice often allows distinction among numerous types of ice and related phenomena within a small area. On this photograph, a female wal- rus and a calf (isavgalik) are resting on the ice (nunavat) in the midst of scattered pack ice (tamalaaniqtuaq) interspersed with patches of calm flat water (quuniq). The mass of floating ice (sigu) consists of various ice formations such as puktaat (large floes), puikaanit (vertical blocks of ice), kangiqluit (floes with overhanging shelves) taaglut (pieces of darker or dirt ice), and sangalait (small floating pieces of ice) SOURCE: Winton Weyapuk Jr., May 21, 2007; Krupnik and Weyapuk, 2010. Krupnik and Hovelsrud, 2011; Oskal et al., 2009). Yet tourism, and heritage preservation (Avango et al., 2011; another “frontier” area advanced during IPY explores Barr and Chaplin, 2008; Broadbent, 2009; Hacquebord how to make polar research culturally and socially rel- and Avango, 2009); it illustrated remarkable parallels evant to local residents. It argues for collaboration with in human advances into both northern and southern the new groups of stakeholders on research planning polar regions. in their home areas to assess local concerns and for the In the years prior to IPY, the dichotomy between new research agenda to be set through dialogue with the northern and southern regions went far beyond the communities rather than via top-down planning by basic biological and physical differences exemplified by funding agencies or at university campuses. the northern polar bear and the southern penguin, or Major outcomes from IPY social science and ocean ringed by continents in the north and continent humanities research included the multilevel and adap- surrounded by ocean in the south. Antarctic social tive nature of governance of the “international spaces,” research was almost nonexistent, as there were “no such as Antarctica, the Central Arctic Basin, High Seas people” in Antarctica. As a result of IPY, a new network and Outer Space (Berkman et al., 2011; Shadian and of the “Antarctic social sciences” emerged, first, in the Tennberg, 2009). This outcome originated in large part form of SCAR Action Group (AG) on the History of from the extensive historical studies of IGY 1957-1958 Institutionalization of Antarctic Research (established and previous IPYs (Barr and Luedecke, 2010; Elzinga, in 2004 and focused primarily on the history of human explorations in Antarctica),13 followed by another and 2009; Launius et al., 2010), of the implementation of the Antarctic Treaty of 1959 and the new role of the much broader SCAR Social Science AG, “Values in United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea Antarctica. Human Connections to the Continent,” (UNCLOS) in the Arctic policy debate. Another fron- that includes specialists in political sciences, cultural tier area pioneered in IPY was the comparative study and human geography, law, economics, tourism, litera- ture, psychology, and media studies. 14 These develop- of Northern-Southern Hemisphere processes under the concept of “fringe environments” (Hacquebord and ments were triggered by an explosion of interest in Avango, 2009). In the social sciences and humanities social issues that are common to both polar regions and fields, it focused on the history of polar explorations, 13 commercial use of local resources, polar governance, http://www.scar.org/about/history/. 14 http://www.scar.org/researchgroups/via/.

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63 SCIENTIFIC ADVANCES AND DISCOVERIES HUMAN HEALTH gaining speed in the post-IPY era (Liggett and Steel, 2011), including the Montreal “Knowledge to Action” IPY 2007-2008 was the first IPY to include human Conference (April 2012).15 health dimensions as a recognized thematic area of study. Overall, new research in the social science and IPY activities related to human health were primarily humanities fields helped advance a broad variety of focused on the permanent inhabitants of polar regions, themes: the well-being of polar communities; use of with additional efforts to reach transient and nomadic natural resources and economic development, particu- communities as well. Research previous to IPY had larly the impact of oil and gas industry in the polar highlighted several discrepancies in basic health metrics regions; local ecological knowledge; preservation of between indigenous and nonindigenous populations natural, historical, and cultural heritage and the status residing in these areas (Young and Bjerregaard, 2008). of indigenous languages; and history of exploration, Mortality proxies such as life expectancy at birth and peopling, and the exploitation of polar regions. IPY infant mortality are generally less favorable (lower life participants from local communities and polar indig- expectancy at birth and higher infant mortality) for enous organizations were particularly active in studies indigenous populations throughout the circumpolar investigating adaptations to rapid environmental and world, though distinct regional differences persist. As socioeconomic changes. They joined forces with the such, it was recognized that IPY represented a unique IPY monitoring efforts to collect, exchange, and docu- opportunity to further stimulate cooperation and coor- ment data on sea ice, biota, and climate, use of local dination on Arctic health research and end-user access. resources, and impacts of industrial exploitation of The Arctic Human Health Initiative (AHHI17) was the polar regions (Hovelsrud and Smit, 2010). These created during IPY to link researchers with potential and other contributions of polar residents to the IPY international collaborators and to serve as a focal point program make one of its most lasting achievements. for human health activities (described in section on Besides innovative projects in social sciences, IPY “Subsistence Communities in the Arctic” in Chapter also featured numerous activities in the humanities, 5). While various networks exist to coordinate circum- both international and on the national and regional polar health researchers, these projects exist on a widely scales. Altogether, more than 20 international projects variable country-by-country basis. One of the goals of in the humanities were endorsed for the IPY program, AHHI was to enhance these systems, add international including several museum exhibits (“Thin Ice,” “Inuit connectivity, and provide a better access to data resources. Voices,” “Antarctic Touring Exhibit,” and others), In the United States, the University of Alaska, Anchor- numerous arts and media shows, books, and films (see age has established a new graduate program aimed at examples in Kaiser [2010], Zicus [2011], and Chapter circumpolar health issues. In an effort to connect polar 5). Notable U.S. events include the FREEZE16 activi- regions, the International Union for Circumpolar Health ties in Anchorage in January 2009 celebrating Alaska (IUCH18) now serves as an ongoing network where the and life in the North, where artists, architects, and many circumpolar societies can meet and work on initia- designers from Alaska and around the world came tives that support research, development, networking, together to create large-scale outdoor installations in and dissemination of health information, including the downtown Anchorage using snow, ice, and light— Congress on Circumpolar Health, held every 3 years. distinctly northern elements. Further descriptions of IPY also saw the establishment of the International Net- activities that helped bring the IPY message to thou- work of Circumpolar Health Research, as well as Arctic- sands of people worldwide are included in Chapter 5 Net, which serve to connect researchers from across the (“Knowledge to Action”). globe. To ensure that data access was made available to the many constituents of the project, a key focus of IPY was to create a legacy of data resources. Thus a human 15 http://apecs-social-sciences.blogspot.com/2011/08/fwd-ipy- 17 montreal-22-27-april-2012.html. www.arctichealth.org/ahhi/. 16 http://freezeproject.org/alaska/. 18 http://iuch.net/.

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64 LESSONS AND LEGACIES OF INTERNATIONAL POLAR YEAR 2007-2008 Epidemiological studies have related immunological, cardiovascular, and reproductive effects due to con- taminants present in some Arctic populations (AMAP, 2009). Another study19 is examining the risk of breast cancer in Inuit women in response to POPs, and fur- ther studies are investigating whether climate change contributes to high levels of POPs in fish and humans. Results of these studies are forthcoming and should provide insight into the relationship between native populations and their environment in a changing world. Another major health discrepancy is the rate of infectious diseases seen among indigenous populations as compared to nonindigenous. In response to the high native rates of hepatitis B infection, for example, member nations have established the Circumpolar V iral Hepatitis Working Group and are conducting studies to determine the epidemiology.20 Already, this group has identified a new HBV subgenotype (B6), unique to some native populations (Sakamoto et al., 2007), and has investigated outbreaks within the com- FIGURE 3.29 The ICS network of public health laboratories and institutes collects, compares, and shares data on infectious dis- munity (Børresen et al., 2010). Sexually transmitted eases. This map indicates participating countries (areas shaded infections are also high within indigenous populations dark gray), as well as the locations of clinical laboratories (small (Gesink-Law et al., 2008) and work identifying at and large dots) that were used to monitor cases of invasive dis- risk communities has shown that social and cultural ease. During IPY, efforts were made to incorporate this type of data into SAON. SOURCE: Parkinson et al., 2008. norms significantly impact this problem (Gesink-Law et al., 2010; Rink et al., 2009). Beyond these activi- health component was incorporated into the Sustaining ties, studies looking at the prevalence of zoonoses and Arctic Observing Networks (SAON) that pools exist- parasitic infections (Gauthier et al., 2010), Strepto- ing networks, such as the infectious-disease-oriented coccus pneumoniae (Bruce et al., 2008), and human International Circumpolar Surveillance (ICS) system papillomavirus,21 have addressed serious health issues (Parkinson et al., 2008; Figure 3.29), to form a central in native populations and provide a research base for site for human health-related concerns. These projects studies looking forward. are deemed essential not only to the research mission of Because lifestyle changes have engendered an IPY, but to ensure that user needs are incorporated and increase in obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease prioritized on many levels. in native populations (Galloway et al., 2010), several IPY health research focused on a suite of issues of IPY studies were chartered to address these issues. “The concern to Arctic residents, including health impacts Inuit Health in Transition” was a large international of environmental contaminants, climate change, rap- study focused on diet and lifestyle factors (smoking, idly changing social and economic parameters within physical activity, etc.) and is currently tracking living communities, chronic diseases, and health disparities conditions, lifestyle risk factors, and environment with between indigenous and nonindigenous residents. their relationship to chronic disease (Chan et al., 2009; Research on environmental contaminants was tar- Dewailly et al., 2009). Preliminary finds are now being geted at understanding how modern pollution affects distributed. Similar studies at University of Alaska, indigenous life. Though socioeconomic circumstances Fairbanks are building collaborative research presences and lifestyle contribute to health determination, stud- ies also show that contaminant levels in some parts of 19 http://classic.ipy.org/development/eoi/details.php?id=1257. 20 the Arctic have the potential for adverse health effects. http://classic.ipy.org/development/eoi/details.php?id=1109. 21 http://classic.ipy.org/development/eoi/details.php?id=1121.

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65 SCIENTIFIC ADVANCES AND DISCOVERIES FIGURE 3.30 During IPY, there were a number of initiatives to explore behavioral and mental health issues in the northern regions. For example, the Inuit Health Survey team visited 36 communities during the summers of 2007 and 2008 to collect information on mental and community wellness. Locations of the Inuit Health Survey are shown on this map. SOURCE: Steven Fick/Canadian Geographic. in Native communities focusing on the reduction of Studies looking at adoption (Laubjerg and Petersson, health disparities (Mohatt et al., 2007). 2010), culturally based preventive intervention (Allen et al., 2009), and rapid social transition23 also have tack- Beyond addressing physical illness, depression and suicide have been highlighted as significant issues in led some of the problems unique to this demographic. northern regions (Levintova et al., 2010). During IPY, Circumpolar regions experience unique chal - there were a number of research projects that explored lenges in the delivery of health services because of behavioral and mental health issues and the relation- the dispersed populations and geographic isolation. In response to this, the Northern Forum (NF24) was ships between outcomes and environmental factors. The Inuit Health Survey22 (Figure 3.30) collected established to promote mutually beneficial collabora- information on mental and community wellness and tion in telemedicine, telehealth, mobile medicine and provided information on their prevalence and evalu- distance learning. This project is an important first ated community support and other determinants of step in both improving technologies and enhancing resilience (Egeland, 2009). A Nunavik cohort study forums to promote partnership activities. Beyond focused on the exposure of environmental contami- this involvement, offerings including numerous sym- nants and lifestyle factors (smoking, drugs, alcohol) on posia and workshops, published books and journals, child behavior and development (Muckle et al., 2009). 23 http://classic.ipy.org/development/eoi/details.php?id=1266. 22 24 www.inuithealthsurvey.ca/?nav=home. www.northernforum.org/.

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66 LESSONS AND LEGACIES OF INTERNATIONAL POLAR YEAR 2007-2008 television and radio presentations, and establishment terrestrial systems. A new realization emerged that the of educational programs have all enhanced the access total belowground carbon pool in permafrost is more and connection to IPY activities. than double the atmospheric carbon pool and three In conclusion, this was the first International Polar times larger than the total global forest biomass; this Year to address Arctic health issues, and first results are potentially provides an additional positive feedback still emerging. By establishing the infrastructure, con- parameter in the global system. nectivity, and dissemination products and prioritizing Discoveries involving the mechanisms of ice sheet them around user needs, a system has been in place flow associated with internal hydrological and subglacial to provide support for this research mission and user conditions and interaction of ice shelves with the warm- interface for years to come. This is an important new ing ocean enabled new understanding of ice sheet stabil- direction in science that is a distinct and important ity. The West Antarctic ice sheet became unstable and legacy of IPY. collapsed repeatedly, significantly raising sea level, dur- ing the interglacials of the past 3.5M years, which were warmer than today. Paleoclimate data show repeated CONCLUSIONS intervals in the past when the Greenland ice sheet may Scientific discoveries during IPY used obser - have been much smaller than today and sea ice reduced. vations from some of the most remote regions of The IPY years spawned the realization that the impacts the Earth for a new understanding that benefits all of warming on the Greenland ice sheet and the West humanity. Clear attribution that current warming of Antarctic ice sheet will likely raise sea level faster than the planet is due to human activity came during IPY current models now can predict. Remotely sensed and from at least three totally different research areas, the direct measurements of accumulation across the East paleoclimatology, space physics, and modeling com- Antarctic ice sheet showed that current climate mod- munities. Lake sediment sequences, ice cores, and tree els have overestimated accumulation due to snowfall. ring records from the circumarctic show that recent Cutting-edge radar measurements of the bottom of the warming has reversed the cooling trend of the last East Antarctic ice sheet yield insight on ice sheet origins. 2,000 years. Warming and freshening of the Arctic From the polar regions looking into space, IPY Basin is increasing, having a large impact on both sea allowed for some of the most comprehensive synoptic ice reduction and basin stratification. The changes are measurements of the geospace environment ever taken, having significant impacts at all trophic levels of the including new nets for observing and understanding the marine environment—from microorganisms to top impacts of space weather on global communications. predators in both polar regions. Terrestrial research Engagement with the inhabitants of the Arctic show that land warming, sea ice decline, and greening has led to new capacities for learning about the social of the Arctic are linked; this observation of modern processes and health of the people who live in the polar processes is supported by paleoclimate findings on regions.