News Release

Academic journal Polar Science features science in the Arctic

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Research Organization of Information and Systems

The National Institute of Polar Research (NIPR) publishes Polar Science, a peer-reviewed quarterly journal dealing with polar science in collaboration with the Elsevier B. V.. The most recent issue (Vol. 27 published in March 2021) was a special issue entitled "Arctic Challenge for Sustainability Project (ArCS)," which featured the former national (nation-wide) Arctic research project in Japan. The full text of this issue is freely accessible worldwide for a limited time until 10 September 2021.

The Arctic Research Project "Arctic Challenge for Sustainability (ArCS)" was carried out from September 2015 to March 2020 as a national flagship project funded by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT).

NIPR started dedicated Arctic researches with space and upper atmospheric observation in Scandinavia and Iceland in the early 1980s. By establishing an (international) observatory at Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard, in 1991, NIPR continuously conducts scientific observations for Arctic environment studies through international collaborations. In 2011, a new initiative of the Arctic project was started under the Green Network of Excellence (GRENE), funded by MEXT. The GRENE Arctic Climate Change Research Project was conducted from 2011 to 2016 and had acquired fruitful results, especially on the mechanism of Arctic warming amplification.

As the successor of the GRENE Arctic, the ArCS project was conducted under the leadership of three core institutions, NIPR, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), and Hokkaido University. Under global warming, the surface temperature in the Arctic is increasing with speed more than double the global average, and sea ice extent in the Arctic Ocean is decreasing extensively. The rapid change of the Arctic is affecting not only the natural environment but also human society. Now, in order to tackle these subjects, ArCS was composed of not only natural scientists but also scientists of humanities and social sciences. Coming to the end of the ArCS project, it was intended to summarize the project's achievements as a Special Issue in Polar Science.

This special issue comprises 14 invited articles overviewing the project and additional 22 articles submitted for respective researches. The whole structure of the project was explained by the research note, describing the implementation, supportive activities, and the background of Japanese Arctic research. 13 review articles cover the "International Collaborative Researches," which are composed of 8 themes as follows:

  • Theme 1: Predictability study on weather and sea-ice forecasts linked with user engagement,
  • Theme 2: Variations in the ice sheet, glaciers, ocean, climate, and environment in the Greenland region,
  • Theme 3: Atmospheric climate forcers in the Arctic,
  • Theme 4: Observational research on Arctic Ocean environmental changes,
  • Theme 5: Study on Arctic climate predictability,
  • Theme 6: Response and biodiversity status of the Arctic ecosystems under environmental change,
  • Theme 7: People and Community in the Arctic Possibility of Sustainable Development
  • Theme 8: Arctic Data archive System (ADS)

Other 22 articles cover a wide range of topics from the atmospheric sciences, oceanography, glaciology, marine and terrestrial ecosystems, and so on, which belongs to the respective theme above.

You can get a general view of the project by reading through this special issue.


About Polar Science

Polar Science is a peer-reviewed comprehensive academic journal relating to the polar regions of the Earth and other planets, which the NIPR began to publish in collaboration with Elsevier B.V. in 2007. The primary purpose of this journal is to inform people about polar science. Currently, more than 150 articles are submitted per year. As a result, this journal is recognized globally as one of the few comprehensive academic journals in the field of polar science. In addition to normal issues, Polar Science publishes a special issue annually on a given topic from various fields.

The main characteristics of Polar Science are summarized as follows.

  • Polar Science is an international academic journal with an impact factor of 1.389 as of 2019
  • Polar Science covers 15 disciplines related to the Antarctic and the Arctic such as:

    • Space and upper atmosphere physics
    • Atmospheric science/Climatology
    • Glaciology
    • Oceanography/Sea ice studies
    • Geology/Petrology
    • Solid earth geophysics/Seismology
    • Marine earth science
    • Geomorphology/Cenozoic-Quaternary geology
    • Meteoritics
    • Terrestrial biology
    • Marine biology
    • Animal ecology
    • Environment
    • Polar engineering
    • Humanities and social sciences

  • Polar Science has an Open Archive whereby published articles are made freely available from ScienceDirect after an embargo period of 24 months from the date of publication.
  • Printed products are also published.
  • After Polar Science became an open archive in 2016, the number of article downloads has increased rapidly since then. Currently, more than 140,000 papers are used (PDF download and HTML Views) annually.

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