Polar Science: Expert Reports

The division produces 60-70 reports per year. These reports are unique, authoritative expert evaluations. Each report is produced by a committee of experts selected by the Academy to address a particular statement of task and is subject to a rigorous, independent peer review. The experts who volunteer their time participating on study committees are vetted to make sure that the committee has the range of expertise needed to address the task, that they have a balance of perspectives, and to identify and eliminate members with conflicts of interest. All reports undergo a rigorous, independent peer review to assure that the statement of task has been addressed, that conclusions are adequately supported, and that all important issues raised by the reviewers are addressed. Thus, while the reports represent views of the committee, they also are endorsed by the Academy.

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Showing results 1 - 5 of 33

Opportunities to Use Remote Sensing in Understanding Permafrost and Related Ecological Characteristics: Report of a Workshop (2014)

Climate change is causing the widespread thawing and degradation of permafrost, subsurface soil or rock that remains frozen for two or more consecutive years. Changes in permafrost could cause significant impacts—for example, by causing erosion that damages buildings, roads, or other infrastructure, by causing shifts in ecosystems, and by contributing large amounts of carbon to the atmosphere. Data are needed to observe and monitor permafrost... More >>

Seasonal-to-Decadal Predictions of Arctic Sea Ice: Challenges and Strategies (2012)

Watch presentations by the report's authoring committee from a webinar held on this report. View the recording > Note: requires downloading the WebEx plugin. Recent well documented reductions in the thickness and extent of Arctic sea ice cover, which can be linked to the warming climate, are affecting the global climate system and are also affecting the global economic system as marine access to the Arctic region and natural resource developmen... More >>

Report in Brief

Lessons and Legacies of the International Polar Year 2007-2008 (2012)

View the webinar recording with authoring committee co-chairs, Julie Brigham-Grette and Robert Bindschadler (1 hour 9 minutes). International Polar Year 2007-2008 (IPY) was an intense, coordinated field campaign of observations, research, and analysis. IPY engaged the public to communicate the relevance of polar research to the entire planet, strengthened connections with the Indigenous people of the Arctic, and established new observationa... More >>

Report in Brief

Future Science Opportunities in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean (2011)

Although the icy landscape of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean may seem distant, scientific research in this region can yield insights on changes that are important to the entire planet. The Antarctic region also holds the promise of novel discovery: ice and sediment records hold clues to Earth’s history, the region’s living organisms may hold genetic secrets to surviving in extreme environments, and the Antarctic plateau offers an unparallele... More >>

Report in Brief

Scientific Value of Arctic Sea Ice Imagery Derived Products (2009)

During the 1990s, environmental scientists and members of the intelligence community collaborated to consider potential uses of classified assets and data to advance the understanding of environmental change. This program collected classified overhead imagery at six sites around the Arctic basin. Hundreds of unclassified products derived from those images have been produced but not yet released to the public. The National Research Council ha... More >>