Antarctica: Highlights from a History of Exploration

Antarctica discovery timeline

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For more information about the 2007-2008 International Polar Year, visit the official web site »

2007-2008: International Polar Year: There have been a number of major international science initiatives in Polar Regions and all have had a major influence our understanding of global processes in these important areas. These initiatives have involved an intense period of interdisciplinary research that provide a broad range of information about the polar regions. The last such initiative was the International Geophysical Year in 1957-58. It produced unprecedented exploration and discoveries in many fields of research and fundamentally changed how science was conducted in the polar regions. Since then, technological developments such as earth observation satellites, autonomous vehicles and molecular biology techniques offer enormous opportunities for a further quantum step upwards in our understanding of polar systems. An IPY in 2007-2008 also affords an opportunity to engage the upcoming generation of young Earth System scientists and to get the public to realize just how much the cold ends of the sphere we all live on really do influence us. (Adapted from