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Press Release 07-017

United States Launches New International Polar Year

Multiple research and education initiatives extend through March 2009

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This iceberg is a fragment of a much larger one that broke away from the Ross Ice Shelf.

This iceberg is a piece of a much larger iceberg that broke away from the Ross Ice Shelf in March 2000. Scientists believe the enormous fragment broke away as part of a long-term natural cycle (every 50-to-100 years, or so) in which the shelf--about the size of Texas--sheds pieces of itself.

Credit: Photo by Josh Landis, National Science Foundation


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Photo of seal's nose coming up through icy water

A Weddell Seal breathes through a hole in the sea ice of McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. The hole is beneath a temporary hut set up as part of "Penguin Ranch," a biology lab where NSF-funded scientist Paul Ponganis studies the physiology of Emperor penguins. The seals come up to the hole to breathe and can be observed by lifting a hatch in the floor of the shed. They are often seen with fish they have caught in McMurdo Sound.

Credit: Peter West, National Science Foundation


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