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Media Advisory 07-011

Global Earth Day Broadcast to Feature South Pole

Science leader in Antarctic will be interviewed for ABC-TV's news programs

April 19, 2007

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

Air quality research and ozone monitoring at the National Science Foundation's Amundsen-Scott South Pole will be showcased as part of a global Earth Day telecast scheduled for April 20, 2007, on various ABC-television's news programs.

Stephen Padin, the South Pole station science leader, will be featured on the network's broadcast "Planet Earth 2007: Seven Ways to Help Save the World." Padin is spending the southern winter at the world's most remote scientific observatory.

Padin is expected to discuss what it is like to spend eight months of darkness at the Pole and what scientists are doing there. He will also talk about long-range scientific research to track levels of carbon-dioxide and other gases in the atmosphere since men first wintered at the Pole 50 years ago. The condition of the Earth's protective ozone layer also is monitored at the Pole.

The various reports in the daylong broadcast will air on "Good Morning America," "World News with Charles Gibson," an hour-long "20/20" anchored by Diane Sawyer and "Nightline."

The South Pole has the most pristine air on the Earth and the record of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere derived from measurements at the Pole, which has shown steady growth for 50 years, is one of the oldest and most comprehensive in existence.

Padin lives in an elevated station that replaced one built in 1975. He oversees the operation of the South Pole telescope, a 75-foot tall, 280-ton device that will allow scientists to study the evolution of the universe.

The broadcast also airs shortly after the March 2007 launch of International Polar year (IPY), a concentrated, global campaign of research in the polar regions. NSF, which manages the U.S. Antarctic Program and chairs the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee, is the lead U.S. agency for IPY.


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The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2018, its budget is $7.8 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 50,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

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