International Polar Year!

The penguins are celebrating. IPY has begun!

Everybody celebrate! The International Polar Year had begun! Through March 2009 (wait a second: isn’t that two polar years? Oh, well… who said Earth Scientists could do math?) Earth Scientists from all over the world will concentrate their efforts on understanding Earth’s polar regions. There will be all kinds of special expeditions, meetings, and collaborative studies focused on better understanding the poles. The start of the IPY is particularly poignant this time round because of the increased focus on and concern about climate change. The poles are very sensitive thermometers for rising global temperatures and are affected much more by climate change than the more temperate equitorial regions.

Personally, I hope this means that there’s a trip to Antarctica in my future… hey, there’s a volcano there.

Mt. Erebus Volcano in Antarctica



Evelyn is a geologist, writer, traveler, and skeptic residing in Cape Town, South Africa with frequent trips back to the US for work. She has two adorable cats; enjoys hiking, rock climbing, and kayaking; and has a very large rock collection. You can follow her on twitter @GeoEvelyn. She also writes a geology blog called Georneys.

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  1. March 3, 2007 at 8:18 am —

    Penguins… Volcano….



  2. March 3, 2007 at 8:35 am —

    Here's to Erebus being in your future, Evelyn! That would make an interesting contrast to the Indian Ocean / South Pacific.

    Though I suppose parts of Antactica are in the South Pacific. As far south as you can get and still be in the Pacific, anyway. What ocean is Erebus closest to? I'll have to consult Google Earth…

  3. March 3, 2007 at 10:14 am —

    Damn those volcanos and their giant Earth Farts, warming our planet and slowly killing Arnold's chance at owning a fifth Hummer. WHY!!

  4. March 3, 2007 at 11:15 am —

    There are also plenty of rocks that need dating. Virgin rocks, which no one has ever dated before!

  5. March 3, 2007 at 11:21 am —

    N.R. Miller said,

    March 3, 2007 at 12:18 pm

    Penguins… Volcano….



    There's no room with all those scientology souls in there! :-)

    Hail Zenu!

  6. March 3, 2007 at 11:27 am —

    Oh wait, sorry, I had it wrong. The souls were "dumped" AROUND the volcanoes, not in them.

    From that wikipedia link:

    "Xenu is said to have dumped his surplus population around volcanoes, like this one on Hawaii, and blown them up with hydrogen bombs"

  7. March 3, 2007 at 1:47 pm —

    Through March 2009 (wait a second: isn’t that two polar years?)

    Yeah, they should've called it the bipolar year! … *crickets* … Tap, tap, tap. Is this thing on?

  8. March 3, 2007 at 3:13 pm —


    I appreciate such humor mister king.

    And Xenu wouldn't have been able to fit a hydrogen bomb in there if it was stuffed to the rim with cute penguins.

  9. March 3, 2007 at 3:50 pm —

    Ha! The "bipolar year"! Oh man, I need a cigarette after that…and I don't even smoke.

    Well said, sir.

  10. March 4, 2007 at 4:20 am —

    Hey Evelyn, what's the deal with this?

    Is Neal Adams right!!?

  11. March 4, 2007 at 6:30 pm —

    @helio, it is not unique as there are similar gaps in other areas of the world's oceans but this is by far the largest found. There is some more detail in this BBC article with some speculation as to the reason;

  12. March 5, 2007 at 1:54 am —

    I don't suppose you can think of a reason to justify taking an english physicist with you? I'm big, I can carry stuff.

  13. March 5, 2007 at 3:04 am —

    Does that mean seawater is in direct contact with the mantle? If not, then what IS in contact with the mantle?

    And wouldn't that cause an extremely cold spot on the mantle (well, cold compared to its average temperature)?

  14. March 5, 2007 at 3:56 pm —

    it means that all those burnt penguin juices turned acidic and melted away the crust.


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