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The Second International Polar Year, 1932–33


THE plan for the First International Polar Year was devised At the year 1875, and its purpose was to establish a number of outlying observation stations in the arctic and antarctic regions and to enable these stations to undertake geophysical observation for one year according to a prescribed common programme. The reasons underlying the plan were not only the great scientific interest of geophysical conditions in the polar regions and the close interrelation which was known to exist between these conditions and the corresponding conditions in lower latitudes, but also the practical importance which a more thorough knowledge of this interrelation might have, for example, within the field of meteorology. The procedure hitherto used in exploring polar regions, namely, the sending out of single expeditions to unknown or little-known places, was of but limited value as regards the solution of such world-wide geophysical problems. The plan for the Polar Year, of course, also embraced investigations of such special phenomena as, for example, auroras, the occurrence of which is mainly limited to polar regions, and on the extent and physical nature of which simultaneous systematic observations from a large number of stations must be expected to yield valuable information.

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LAURSEN, V. The Second International Polar Year, 1932–33. Nature 164, 170–171 (1949).

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