Canada Seeks National Polar Policy as Arctic Scientists Lack Funding

EDMONTON, Alberta, Jan. 13 (UPI) — Canada needs a national polar policy to fund studies in the Arctic — one of fastest changing landscapes on Earth, a University of Alberta researcher said.

Canadian scientists find it increasing difficult to find money to monitor glaciers, sea ice and animals affected by the melting environment in the Arctic, John England said Wednesday in an online edition of the journal Nature.

“The capacity to support researchers in remote field sites has plummeted,” England said, adding, “There simply isn’t enough money for the air support that Canadian scientists need to get people and supplies into the wilderness.”

The underfunded and important Polar Continental Shelf Program needs to be linked with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, which is the main funding body for science in Canada, he said.

“Now is an opportune time to apply pressure to change this,” England said, noting Canada has a responsibility to lead in stewardship of the Arctic.

Copyright 2010 by United Press International

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