International Polar Year IPY

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

International Polar Year (IPY)


period of simultaneous geophysical observations conducted in the arctic by a number of countries according to a common program and methodology.

During the first IPY (August 1882 to August 1883), geophysical, meteorological, and some biological observations were carried out at 13 stations in the north polar region (in Russia, the United States, Canada, Norway, Finland, and Greenland and on the Spitzbergen Islands and Jan Mayen Island) as well as in the south polar region (on Cape Horn and the island of South Georgia). Great Britain, France, Germany, Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Sweden also took part. The observations of the IPY were of great importance for the study of magnetic variations, the aurora borealis, and the climate of the arctic, as well as the air currents, ice formations, and other features of the arctic.

The second IPY (August 1932 to August 1933) also included radio sounding, radio physical, and acoustical observations of the atmosphere; expeditionary observations from ships (Sibiriakov, Knipovich); and observations of glaciers in the Caucasus, Pamirs, and the Altai Mountains. The Byrd expedition wintered in Antarctica during the second IPY.

The third IPY (1957-58) was called the International Geophysical Year (IGY).


Vize, V. lu. Mezhdunarodnyi poliarnyi god. Leningrad, 1932.
Zubov, N. N., and N. I. Kozitskii. Uchastie Sovetskogo Soiuza v provede nii Vtorogo mezhdunarodnogo poliarnogo goda. Moscow, 1959.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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