As the International Polar Year winds up, the organisers have released a statement entitled The State of Polar Research. It gives an overview of work undertaken in the IPY, noting the observation of exciting new phenomena, fundamental scientific discoveries and the development of new methods and tools, and most importantly, gained new understanding of the role of the polar regions in the total Earth system.
The International Polar Year 2007-2008 took place during a time when the planet is changing faster than every in recorded human history, especially in the polar regions. Polar changes are critical because of various feedbacks involving the ocean, the cryosphere and/or biosphere, each of which has the potential to accelerate the rates of global changes. The need for polar research has never been greater.