Larry Hinzman says cooperation necessary for polar research

Polar scientist Larry Hinzman talk about the technical challenges – and vital importance – of doing research at Earth’s poles.

Larry Hinzman: The changes that are occurring in the Arctic and Antarctic regions are so huge and so complex that it really takes collaboration across many nations, across many institutions to try and understand it and really to gather the data that we need to be able to build the models that we need to project into the future.

Larry Hinzman is director of the International Arctic Research Center. Hinzman spoke with EarthSky about the challenge of doing research in Earth’s polar regions. It’s important research, he said, because changes in the Arctic and Antarctic – such as glacial melting and fluctuations in sea ice – affect life all across the planet. But doing research at the poles is not easy, he said.

Larry Hinzman: It is a very remote area, very difficult to get to, and it’s also an expensive place to work. It takes icebreakers, it takes large equipment and it’s remote, it’s difficult and it’s a harsh environment.

Increasingly, over the past two centuries, nations have worked together to study changes in Earth’s polar regions and their potential consequences – often by necessity.

Larry Hinzman: Essentially the environment has forced those collaborations over all those many years. And that collaboration has actually led us to more achievements than we would have been able to do by any single nation working independently.

Our thanks to:
Larry Hinzman
International Arctic Research Center
Fairbanks, Alaska