make observations and collect data to answer questions about the Arctic
(the north polar region) and the Antarctic (the south polar region).
These regions are unique and isolated. However, the Earth is a global
system, so all regions are related. We can learn a lot about physical
science, life science, and Earth/space science when we study the polar
observe patterns in nature. They use these observations to create models.
These models help us explain, understand, and predict our complex, changing
observations and measurements
for patterns to make sense of observations and predict future events
models and propose hypotheses
these models/hypotheses against reality and new information
models until they are acceptably consistent with what happens in the
are some examples of polar science:
Energy a report from the Why Files: This site has four
articles on polar science, three from the Arctic and one from Antarctica.
Arctic Long Term Ecological Research Site at Toolik Lake
See this story and others: "Dear
Young Girl" archaeologists discover a grave of a little
girl in the permafrost.
+ Ice: Exploring for Volcanoes beneath the Arctic
The Hidden Ocean--Arctic 2005
In the summer of 2005, scientists participated in a collaborative effort to explore the frigid depths of the Canada Basin, located in the deepest part of the Arctic Ocean. This expedition is named "The Hidden Ocean" because this part of the Arctic Ocean is covered with sea ice for most of the year and thus difficult to reach.
SHEBA Field Station: a ship frozen in the ice
Ozone Hole Research
Big Meltdownthe Antarctic conveyor belt
Dive and Discover: Expedition to Antarctica
In this 2006 expedition, scientists used scuba diving and other sampling techniques to study the mysteries of salps—transparent jelly-like creatures that are important to the entire Antarctic food chain.
Do Fish in Antarctica Keep From Freezing?
Sounds of the Southern Ocean:
The Southern Ocean surrounds Antarctica and serves as a connection between the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. Much of this ocean basin remains unexplord because of its severe climate. These researchers are learning about the Southern Ocean by investigating the underwater sounds made by moving ice sheets, large baleen whales,
and undersea earthquakes and volcanoes.