About the book
"Antarctica" is a keystone to understand the past and present status on the Earth system, as well as to predict future of our planet as viewed from polar region. Antarctica, ice-covered continent surrounded by the Southern Ocean, has been gradually investigated during the last half century by all kind of scientific branches; bioscience, physical sciences, geoscience, oceanography, environmental studies, together with technological components. This book covers the topics on recent development of all kinds of scientific research in and around Antarctica, in a context of currently on-going processes in the extreme environment in polar regions. Antarctica is now affected by remarkable changes in its temperature and sea-ice extent, mass loss of ice-sheet and glaciers, variations in marine and terrestrial ecosystem including human activities.
Since the most exciting initiative in polar region was the International Polar Year (IPY) in 2007-2008, conducted as 50th anniversary of the International Geophysical Year (IGY 1957-1958). The initiative greatly enhanced the exchange of ideas across nations and scientific disciplines to unveil the status and changes of planet Earth. This kind of interdisciplinary exchange helps us understand and address grand challenges such as rapid environmental change and its impact on society. In this regards, this book partially aims to compile fruitful achievements of involved projects by the IPY and post era, especially focusing on surface environmental variations associated with climate change such as global warming.