Upcoming release of new evidence about change in the polar regions

A milestone in our understanding of the Earth system is the International Polar Year (IPY) 2007-2008, a joint initiative of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the International Council for Science (ICSU). Thousands of scientists from over 60 countries have carried out over 160 research and outreach projects, which advance our understanding in many areas, including global climate change. New insights in polar knowledge resulting from this historical undertaking will be made public at a ceremony at WMO headquarters on 25 February 2009, where the “State of Polar Research”, a succinct report with preliminary findings of IPY will be released. This will be preceded by a press conference at the Palais des Nations.

Every day throughout February, in the lead-up to this event, major IPY research projects are releasing information for the media, and making themselves available for media enquiries. A wide range of projects will be profiled reflecting the diversity of IPY. Examples include studies of Arctic community adaptation to climate, vast changes in permafrost, extensive marine biodiversity surveys in both Polar Regions, exploration of Antarctic sub-glacial lakes, Antarctic research in search of insight into life on Mars, and the establishment of a network of young polar researchers. For more information, please visit the website.

Press conference at the Palais des Nations, Geneva

You are cordially invited to a press conference about findings of the International Polar Year that will be held at the Palais des Nations (Room III), on 25 February 2009, at 11:00 a.m.

Speakers at the press conference will be: Mr Michel Jarraud, Secretary-General of WMO; Ms Catherine Bréchignac, President of ICSU; and Mr Dave Carlson, Director IPY International Programme Office. They will be accompanied by Mr Ian Allison and Mr Michel Beland, Co-Chairs of the IPY 2007-2008 Joint Committee. The list of names and contacts of scientists who will be present in Geneva will be sent to you in due time. Please see media contacts below to facilitate interviews.

Journalists not accredited to the United Nations Office at Geneva but who wish to participate in the press conference are kindly requested to contact Ms Catherine Fegli: tel: +41 22 917 23 13; fax: +41 22 917 00 73; e-mail: cfegli@unog.ch, and visit this page.

IPY ceremony at WMO headquarters

Media are cordially invited to the ceremony that will take place at WMO headquarters on Wednesday 25 February, from 15h30 to 17h00 in the presence of eminent scientists from different regions who were involved in IPY research projects. The programme of the ceremony will be sent to you in due time. You are also invited to the reception (Attic Restaurant, WMO) that will follow the ceremony.

“Our Polar heritage” – A photographic exhibition of scientists at work in the polar regions

You are invited to the opening, on 24 February at 18h30 followed by a reception at the Palais des Nations (door 40, mezzanine), of “Our Polar Heritage”, a unique photographic exhibition of scientists at work in the field during the IPY. The exhibition will take place at the Palais des Nations, from 23 February to 23 March 2009. The photographs will also be displayed in the WMO online gallery and may be used upon request by media for non commercial purposes.

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