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The International Geophysical Year

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 January 2010

Extract

In 1874, the Austrian arctic scientist, Weyprecht, on his return from an Austro-Hungarian polar expedition stated that, though many countries had sent expeditions into the polar regions at great expense and involving appreciable hazards to those participating, no important contributions to knowledge had resulted from them. They had done a certain amount of mapping and obtained a few meteorological observations but the primary object had been, as a matter of national prestige, to plant the flag nearer to the Pole than had been reached before. In his opinion what was needed for the advancement of knowledge about the polar regions was that nations should collaborate in sending expeditions to various parts of the arctic region to make observations throughout the whole of one year. Largely because of his persistent advocacy of this view, the value of the proposal came to be recognized, and as a result the enterprise known as the First International Polar Year was developed. A number of countries combined to send expeditions to establish observing stations at selected points in the arctic region to make observations throughout the year 1882–3 in meteorology and geomagnetism and also of the aurora. The observations made during this Polar Year contributed appreciably to knowledge of geomagnetism and of meteorology.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Royal Institute of Navigation 1957

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