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IAOOS: Integrated Arctic Ocean Observing System
The polar regions’ sensitivity to climate change makes them an ideal early warning system. But an early warning system can only function if scientists can continually monitor the world’s oceans and develop better models. A Global Climate Observing System was set up by the United Nations in 1992, but major gaps exist at high latitudes because the harsh environmental conditions make gathering this data very difficult. iAOOS – a project involving a dozen countries, including the UK, USA, Russia and China – will help plug this gap by setting up a long-term ocean monitoring system in the Arctic. This kind of project is impossible without huge international cooperation and is an example of the vitally-important global science that IPY is producing.