Officials Mark Start Of U.S. Effort For International Polar Year

Posted on Tuesday, February 27 at 11:01 by jensonj
“The U.S. government has invested considerable effort and resources in projects related to the polar regions – more than $350 million per year – and we’re excited about the International Polar Year,” said Paula Dobriansky, under secretary of state for democracy and global affairs, during the February 26 opening ceremony at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington. The State Department directs international relations in polar affairs, leads federal policy involving the Arctic and Antarctic and heads U.S. delegations to the Arctic Council, and other polar organizations and forums. The Arctic Council is a high-level forum for cooperation among Arctic states. “Our attention to the polar regions,” Dobriansky added, “is a very important aspect of our U.S. foreign policy.” INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATION The International Council for Science and the World Meteorological Organization lead IPY. In the United States, the National Academy of Sciences has played a key role and its Polar Research Board serves as the U.S. National Committee for IPY. Participating nations include Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Chile, China, Denmark, Greenland, Finland, France, Germany, Greenland, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay and others. “Our planet is changing more quickly than at any time in recorded history,” said U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) Director Arden Bement. “[F]rigid waters of the north and the frozen continent of the south are helping us realize and understand that change. We do not fully understand the causes of what we are observing. IPY has generated the national will to change that, and new tools – from satellites to ships to sensors – make it possible to obtain the needed observations and synthesis of knowledge.” http://usinfo.state.gov/utils/printpage.html [Proofreader's note: this article was edited for spelling and typos on March 1, 2007]

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