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Although international scientific cooperation was established previous to the first International Polar Year, the IPY-1 (1882-83) is considered to be the first revolutionary step towards an extensive international cooperation in the polar areas for the benefit of science rather than national prestige and territorial gain. This was followed by IPY-2 (1932-33) and IPY-3 – actually the International Geophysical Year (1957-58) – before the crowning effort of IPY-4 (2007-08).
The history of these years is recounted here and explains the political, economic, technical and scientific conditions and expectations that laid the basis for each IPY and which gradually expanded both the scope and extent of our understanding of the complexities in polar regions.
- The first three polar years (IPYs) - a general overview
- An evaluation of the achievements of the first International Polar Year
- Some IPY-2 histories
- Achievements of the Second International Polar Year
- The International Geophysical Year and its achievements
- Side-Effects and Traces of the early IPYs
- International Meteorological and Magnetic Co-operations in Polar Regions
- Why do we have a 4th IPY?
"This book is an impressive collaborative effort, with authors from a number of different countries [...] . Each polar year has chapters that approximate a history, a description of expeditions and activities, and an evaluation of achievements. Well-known historians, scientists and polar commentators make up the impressive list of authors. [...] they acknowledge and pay respect to the legendary early [...] that have now become a part of the global polar heritage. [...] Buy one for your bookcase or library [...] ."
- Julia Jabour, The Polar Journal, Vol. 1 (1), June 2011