The International Polar Foundation at CryoSat-2 Launch

CryoSat-2, successor to CryoSat, was launched successfully from Baikonur, Kazakhstan on April 8th, 2010. The freshly launched satellite will provide accurate data on the variations of ice thickness in the Polar Regions, whether on land or on the sea surface. CryoSat-2, the third of the Earth Explorer satellites to have been launched in the past year, is part of a larger European effort to better understand the impact of climate change on these remote, yet sensitive regions.

Back in 2007, Alain Hubert, President of the International Polar foundation took snow depth measurements during his “Arctic Arc expedition”. This crossing from Siberia to Greenland, covering 1,654 kilometers in 106 days, was an ideal opportunity for the ESA to collect precious data that would contribute significantly to the validation of the CryoSat mission.

Representing the IPF at the CryoSat-2 launch event at Darmstadt, Germany, Executive Director Thierry Touchais underlined the need for better education around polar sciences and climate to bring citizens to a sound level of awareness and knowledge about the complex issues of climate.