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International polar year

Goals of IPY 2007-2008

Adaptation to climate change and the well-being of northern communities get special attention from Canada’s IPY researchers.

Canada is a polar nation. Nearly one-quarter of the Arctic falls within Canada’s boundaries, more than half of our coastline is in the Arctic, and 40 percent of our landmass is above the tree line. That makes Canada a natural leader and partner for a global science initiative such as International Polar Year (IPY) 2007-2008.

IPY in Canada has involved people from universities, federal government departments, territorial and provincial governments, northern communities and Aboriginal organizations. The interdisciplinary science and research program focused on two critical issues: climate change impacts and adaptation and the health and well-being of Northern peoples. Guided by six government departments (Indian and Northern Affairs, Environment Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Health Canada, Industry Canada and Natural Resources Canada), a six-year budget of $150 million was dedicated to the IPY cause.

Those funds are underwriting an impressive array of scientific activity: 52 major research projects have touched on virtually all aspects of the Northern environment and involved more than 1,750 researchers, 500 Northerners and 950 students. To support the increased activity, northern research stations were given much needed facelifts, facilities and laboratories upgraded and local search and rescue support bolstered.

IPY has also served to increase awareness of the Canadian Arctic and northern issues generally. Canada has supported museum exhibits, a time capsule, IMAX movie, IPY Arctic Radio, the IPY Film Festival and many more initiatives driven by dedicated individuals and organizations who care deeply about Canada’s North.

Perhaps most significant of all, IPY has created on-the-ground training opportunities for Northerners and Aboriginal people to become the future leaders of Arctic research, creating a lasting legacy.


This interactive map showcases the multiple IPY research projects that were conducted above the permafrost line of Canada’s Northern region. Users are invited to select a specific region of the North, and are given specific details on the research and activities involved in the projects for that area.


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Quiz :

Which atmospheric agent vanishes every spring in the Arctic?

Carbon dioxide