It’s October Polar Week!

What Happens at the Poles Affects Us All

A student at Ohio State University explores extreme cold weather issued by the US antarctic program. POLENET researchers established the exhibit at OSU to celebrate Polar Week. Click the picture to visit their site, brand-spanking new on October 9th.

We’re in the middle of an International Polar Week exploring how changes at the poles affect the rest of the world—environmentally, socially, economically, politically, and so on.  You almost can’t swing a cat on the Internet without finding a link to a live event.

Two are planned for tomorrow, Thursday, October 8.  

  1. Join in on a radio discussion about the complexity of the issues in the Arctic, hosted by KLB radio in Yellowknife, Canada. “Listeners can hear classes around the globe share their concerns about the future of the Arctic by listening live OR blogging their own questions to a panel of experts who will respond to class presentations and answer student questions,” the IPY Web site explains. The event starts at 9am MST.
  2. PolarTREC teacher Cristina Galvan and scientist Merav Ben-David (U Wyoming) - both cruising aboard the USCGC Polar Star in search of polar bears -  will offer a short presentation on the Hank Harlow-led polar bear study before answering questions live from somewhere in the Beaufort Sea. This program gets under way at 9:30 am. To participate,  register here.

Check the official IPY Web site (interim) for more of the week’s happenings.

Meanwhile, in the spirit of polar week - and let’s face it, because it’s a great story - we bring you research news from the south:  black-browed albatross apparently feed with killer whales. Japanese scientists working with British colleagues equipped the birds with tiny cameras and depth recorders to investigate how these birds can survive long flights over the open (“featureless”) ocean.  Images suggest they clean up food scraps on or near the ocean surface after the killer whales (and other birds) feed. No news on who picks up the check.

Albatross Cam. Picture C shows the albatross following a killer whale; picture E shows it following a ship - perhaps another place to pick up food scraps.