Canadian Geographic
Left navigation image
International polar year

IPY By Numbers

Number of months in official “International Polar Year”: 24.

Number of IPYs that have been held: 4

Number of countries that participated in past IPYs: 1881-84 – 11 countries; 1932-33 – 40 countries; 1957-58 – 67 countries

Number that participated in IPY 2007-2008: 63

Number of proposals received for Canadian science projects: 146

Number of projects chosen: 52

Funds committed by the Government of Canada to support IPY: $156 million over 6 years

Position of Canada in terms of new money invested in IPY: 1st (China 2nd with $86M Cdn)

Number of international collaborators participating in Canada’s IPY research: 240 from 23 countries

Number of Northerners leading IPY projects: 8

Most popular first name for IPY researchers: David (31 – John 2nd with 23)

Number of IPY projects with a David participating: 18

Number of women leading Canadian IPY research projects: 14

Length in meters of the ice core be extracted from the Greenland Ice Sheet as part of a Canadian IPY project: 2,750

Age of this ice: over 115,000 years old

Number of Canada’s 13 polar bear population that appear to be on the decline: 5

Date the area covered by Arctic sea ice shrank to its lowest recorded level: September 2007

Number of square kilometers remaining of sea ice: 3 million sq km

Number of square kilometers of sea ice lost in 2 years: 1 million sq km

Average reduction in last 10 years: approximately 100,000 sq km

Last time the Arctic Ocean was ice free in summer: 1 million years ago

Number of Coast Guard ships involved in IPY research: 5

Number of ships that enter Canada’s Arctic waters every year: 100

Number of days Canada’s Circumpolar Flaw Lead System Study spent at sea: 286

How much does it cost to ship $2,000-worth of food to a Devon Island research camp: $13,500

Position of Canada for longest coastline: 1 (approximately 230,000 km)

Over half of Canada’s coastline is in the Arctic: 140,000 km

Number of kilometers researchers covered as part of Canada’s Three Oceans Project: 15,000

Size of the caribou population on Banks Island, Nunavut in 1972: 12,000

Size of the caribou population in 2002: 1,196


Users are given a preliminary explanation of the IPY research projects conducted in Canada’s North, and then asked to select either 2007 or 2008, and choose from the ‘statistic’ headings, to learn more about which region involved what activities. The data is shown on a map of the North region.


On the next page:

Air currents

Go now!  Go now!
Quiz :

Which atmospheric agent vanishes every spring in the Arctic?

Carbon dioxide