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February 28, 2007 3:00 AM

Scientists launch a campaign to study how the Earth's ice is melting

It seems like a paradox, but scientists say the best places to study global warming are the coldest regions on Earth. Collapsing ice sheets, thawing permafrost, shrinking glaciers and thinning sea ice will be the focus of a yearlong, worldwide scientific extravaganza known as the International Polar Year, which researchers and policymakers from 60 nations will formally launch in Paris on Thursday after five years of preparations.

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