Association of Polar Early Career Scientists



Polar Outreach Catalogue

IPY-Thorpex research project documentary
  • General public
The documentary on the Norwegian IPY-Thorpex research project (part of THe Observing system Research and Predictability Experiment (Thorpex) programme) is a film project that received support from IPY. For three weeks in February and March 2008, some 25 researchers gathered on the island of Andøya in Northern Norway to search for polar low-pressure systems. Among them was a German team with a specially-built plane to fly the researchers into the low-pressure systems to collect data on temperature, wind strength and humidity.

This was the first time the entire lifecycle of a polar low-pressure system has been documented “from cradle to grave” with scientific measurements. The film builds up suspense about whether the researchers will manage to get the measurements they need, thus making scientific history. Viewers are also introduced to Harald Figenschou, one of the few people to survive a shipwreck in extreme weather caused by a polar low-pressure system. He helps us to understand exactly just how important this research is. One of the main objectives of the project was to gain a better understanding of this and other weather phenomena in order to improve the accuracy of weather forecasts in the Arctic region.

When the 54-minute-long documentary was aired for the first time on NRK1 in December 2008 it attracted 580 000 viewers. It has since been aired many times and seen by another several hundred thousand viewers. A shorter version of the documentary is available, and a 15-minute-long play was written based on the film.
  • Film - feature or documentary
Norway, Germany
Yes, all of it
Norwegian IPY report

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