Polar Science academic journal presents science

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The National Polar Research Institute (NIPR) publishes Polar sciences, a quarterly, peer-reviewed polar science journal in collaboration with Elsevier BV. The most recent issue (Vol. 27 published in March 2021) was a special issue entitled “Arctic Challenge for Sustainability Project (ArCS)”, which featured the former national (national) Arctic research project in Japan. The full text of this issue is freely accessible worldwide for a limited time until September 10, 2021.

The Arctic Research Project “Arctic Challenge for Sustainability (ArCS)” was carried out from September 2015 to March 2020 as a national flagship project funded by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT).

The NIPR began dedicated Arctic research with the observation of space and the upper atmosphere in Scandinavia and Iceland in the early 1980s. By establishing an (international) observatory in Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard, in 1991, the NIPR continuously carries out scientific observations for studies of the arctic environment through international collaborations. In 2011, a new initiative of the Arctic project was launched within the framework of the Green Network of Excellence (GRENE), funded by MEXT. The GRENE Arctic Climate Change research project was carried out from 2011 to 2016 and has acquired fruitful results, in particular on the amplification mechanism of Arctic warming.

As a successor to GRENE Arctic, the ArCS project was carried out under the leadership of three main institutions, NIPR, Japan Agency for Marine and Terrestrial Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) and Hokkaido University. Under global warming, the surface temperature in the Arctic is increasing at a rate more than double the global average, and the extent of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean is decreasing dramatically. The rapid change in the Arctic affects not only the natural environment but also human society. However, in order to tackle these subjects, ArCS was made up not only of natural scientists but also of scientists from the human and social sciences. Coming to the end of the ArCS project, it was planned to summarize the achievements of the project in a special issue in polar science.

This special issue includes 14 guest papers presenting the project and 22 additional papers submitted for the respective research. The whole structure of the project was explained by the research note, describing the implementation, support activities and context of Japanese research in the Arctic. 13 journal articles cover “international collaborative research”, which is composed of 8 themes as follows:

  • Theme 1: Predictability study of meteorological and sea ice forecasts linked to user engagement,
  • Theme 2: Variations of the ice cap, glaciers, ocean, climate and environment in the Greenland region,
  • Theme 3: Forcing forces of the atmospheric climate in the Arctic,
  • Theme 4: Observational research on environmental changes in the Arctic Ocean,
  • Theme 5: Study on the predictability of the arctic climate,
  • Theme 6: Response and state of the biodiversity of arctic ecosystems in the face of environmental changes,
  • Theme 7: People and Community in the Arctic Opportunity for Sustainable Development
  • Theme 8: Arctic Data Archive System (ADS)

Another 22 articles cover a wide range of topics from atmospheric sciences, oceanography, glaciology, marine and terrestrial ecosystems, etc., which belong to the respective theme above.

You can get an overview of the project by browsing this special issue.

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On Polar sciences

Polar sciences is a comprehensive, peer-reviewed academic journal on the polar regions of the Earth and other planets, which NIPR began to publish in collaboration with Elsevier BV in 2007. The primary purpose of this journal is to educate people on polar science. Currently, more than 150 articles are submitted per year. As a result, this journal is recognized worldwide as one of the few comprehensive academic journals in the field of polar science. In addition to normal problems, Polar sciences publishes a special issue every year on a given topic in various fields.

The main characteristics of Polar sciences are summarized as follows.

  • Polar sciences is an international academic journal with an impact factor of 1.389 in 2019
  • Polar sciences covers 15 disciplines related to Antarctica and the Arctic such as:
    • Physics of space and the upper atmosphere
    • Atmospheric Sciences / Climatology
    • Glaciology
    • Oceanography / Sea ice studies
    • Geology / Petrology
    • Solid earth geophysics / Seismology
    • Marine earth sciences
    • Geomorphology / Cenozoic-Quaternary Geology
    • Meteorites
    • Terrestrial biology
    • Marine biology
    • Animal ecology
    • Environment
    • Polar engineering
    • Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Polar sciences has an open archive through which published articles are made available free of charge from ScienceDirect after an embargo period of 24 months from the date of publication.
  • Printed products are also published.
  • After Polar sciences became an open archive in 2016, the number of article downloads has grown rapidly since then. Currently, over 140,000 articles are used (PDF downloads and HTML views) each year.

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