Scientists: Overview

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Scientists: Profiles

acc_Achim_BeylichAchim A. Beylich
acc_brenda_hallBrenda Hall
icon_mouse_rubyDr. John S. Kimball
acc_Maarten_Loonen3Dr. Maarten J.J.E. Loonen
acc_Steve_ZackSteve Zack
acc_simon_beltSimon Belt

Another word for “scientist” is investigator. Scientists look at the world and find gaps in our understanding of how things work and they design investigations to try to figure out the answers to questions. The results of every experiment and the data from every project are like pieces in a puzzle; the more pieces we get the better our understanding.

The polar regions interest scientists because nowhere on earth is the climate is changing more dramatically or more rapidly. Melting polar ice caps and surging glaciers can impact global climate and ocean circulation and raise sea levels. Melting permafrost can release stored carbon. Many birds and other animals migrate to the Arctic during its summer to feed and raise their young. Arctic peoples live close to the land and sense its changes. Scientists want to investigate these and other questions related to the polar regions.

The settlements in the High Arctic are home to many scientific projects. Resolute, on the south coast of Cornwallis Island is the base for the Polar Continental Shelf Project and home to a weather station. Eureka, on Ellesmere Island, operates a weather station that researches the ozone layer, weather, northern lights, long-range transport of pollutants, and climate change. At the northern tip of Ellesmere Island, Alert, the most northerly permanent settlement in the world, scientists study air chemistry, ozone, air pollution and weather. The Global Warming 101 expedition visited some of these communities. Read up on what the expedition discovered here.

The international scientific community declared March 2007 to March 2009 the International Polar Year and will be focusing efforts on investigating the atmosphere, ice, land, oceans, people and space. The IPY needs youth and young scientists to help in this global effort. Visit www.ipy.org/ to find out more about ongoing projects.

Questions:

  • What do you want to know about the climate in your home region?
  • How could you investigate your questions?

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