A thirty-four million dollar investigation involving more than 200 researchers from fourteen countries are involved in the International Polar Year program.
"Global warming is amplified at the Earth’s poles, melting about 27,000 square miles of Arctic ice each year, an area the size of Lake Superior. That pace could see the region free of sea ice by 2050, which would have implications for the Inuit natives and polar bears, as well as for shipping and offshore oil and mineral development"The study will bring researchers to the far north where they will communicate with the people who are actually living in this area. The Inuit people have twelve words for snow and ice, and now they are creating one for "sun burn." Global warming is having a great impact on the culture of these northern communities.
It is possible that there will be no more ice to study when the next Polar Ice Year rolls around fifty years from now.