SCAR Bulletin 194 published

23 December 2015:

The latest SCAR Bulletin, number 194, has now been published on the website.  It contains the report of the SCAR Executive Committee (EXCOM) Meeting held in Tromsø, Norway on 26-28 August 2015.

All previous SCAR Bulletins are available to view and download from the Bulletins page of the website.

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SCAR to Highlight Women in Antarctic Research

South Pole women318 December 2015:

The presence and impact of female Antarctic researchers has increased rapidly. In the 1950s most countries did not allow women to work in Antarctica and there were few female Antarctic scientists. Today females are playing leading and influential roles in Antarctic research.

To help acknowledge the many great leading Antarctic women researchers, SCAR is hosting a Wikibomb* event to promote and celebrate the achievements of female Antarctic scientists within the SCAR community at the next Open Science Conference, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (22-26 August 2016).  The aim is to increase the visibility of these leading and influential role models for our younger female researchers and to stimulate girls around the world to pursue science careers.  

We are seeking nominations from the community for outstanding women involved in Antarctic Research.  Get involved and nominate a female Antarctic researcher here: http://www.scar.org/outreach/women

For more information, please contact the Wikibomb organizer, Jan Strugnell or the SCAR Secretariat.


* A wikibomb is a coordinated effort to increase the number of wikipedia entries on a specific topic.  This was successfully done in Australia in 2014, and SCAR is following a similar procedure to help increase the presence of Female Antarctic Researchers on Wikipedia.

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Do you play a role in Antarctic research?

23 December 2015:

Then the EU-PolarNet project needs you!  The project wants to improve the connection between polar research and society and come to an integrated research agenda that is relevant to society. It is a cross-European initiative but explicitly wants to establish dialogue and cooperation beyond the European borders as well, creating links and connections that will increase research’s relevance and will make better use of resources.

In order to get an overview of the ‘players in the field’, we are currently mapping all stakeholders in polar research, including you!  Are you a scientist, social scientist, private or public organisation, NGO or community that is connected to the Antarctic (or Arctic) in some way, then we would very much like to invite you to sign up. We will include you in our extensive and hopefully inclusive list of stakeholders that is to combine our efforts and make polar research (even) more relevant, integrated, resourceful and robust.  Please sign up!

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Report Available: 38th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting

Antarctic Treaty 3814 December 2015:

The Final Report of the Thirty Eighth Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (Sofia, Bulgaria, 2015), has now been published, and is available for download on the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat’s website (http://38atcm.ats.aq).

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Report available: SCAR Antarctica Day events at COP21 in Paris

11 December 2015:

Dr Julian Gutt, Chief Officer of the SCAR Science Research Programme Antarctic Thresholds - Ecosystem Resilience and Adaptation (AnT-ERA), has produced a report on the SCAR events at COP21 last week, which is available on the AnT-ERA website.

SCAR partnered with the International Cryosphere Climate Initiative (ICCI) to host a press briefing on the impact of climate change on the cryosphere which was webcast live. A recording of the webcast is available on the UNFCCC media website.

A side event was also held in the COP21 Nordic Pavilion in the afternoon entitled “View from Two Poles: Climate Lessons from the Arctic and Antarctica”.  It was opened by Dr Valérie Masson-Delmotte, winner of the 2015 Muse Prize and Co-Chair of the IPCC's Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) Working Group 1.

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Announcement of 2015 SCAR Visiting Professor Awards

9 December 2015:

SCAR initiated the Visiting Professor Scheme in 2013 to promote partnerships that advance Antarctic research. The scheme financed five Visiting Professor placements internationally in 2013, with three placements in 2014. The initiation of this scheme was made possible with a generous contribution from India.

The scheme is directed at mid- to late-career scientists and academics whose work contributes to the scientific objectives of SCAR, offering the opportunity for them to undertake a short-term visit (from one to four weeks) to another SCAR member country to provide training and mentoring. Awards provide a contribution to an international return flight and some living expenses for the visiting period.

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Antarctica Day at COP-21: Climate Lessons from Antarctica and the Arctic

cop2130 November 2015:

On the occasion of Antarctica Day, the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research (SCAR) and International Cryosphere Climate Initiative (ICCI) will host a briefing on the impact of climate change on the cryosphere, and growing – potentially irreversible – feedbacks from cryosphere on the Earth climate system at current INDCs (the “Thresholds” Report). The SCAR Media Briefing for COP21 will take place on 1 December from 10:30-11:00 and will be streamed live at http://unfccc6.meta-fusion.com/cop21/

The briefing includes a welcome from Svante Bodin, Director, ICCI-Europe

  • Likelihood of Ice sheet instability on Centennial Time Scales by Dr. Frank Pattyn, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium ;
    SCAR-ISMASS
  • Ice Sheets: Tale of Two Poles, Greenland and West Antarctica by Prof. Jonathan Bamber, University of Bristol and AR5 Review Editor
  • The Sea-level Giant: Antarctic Hotspots by Prof. Ricarda Winkelmann, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
  • Southern Ocean Ecosystems: Irreversible Thresholds? by Dr. Julian Gutt, Alfred Wegener Institute, Bremerhaven, Germany

There will also be a side meeting held in the Nordic Pavillion, Blue Zone, Hall2B, Room 65 from 14:15 - 15:45 entitled “View from Two Poles: Climate Lessons from the Arctic and Antarctica” opened by Valerie Masson-Delmotte, Muse Prize Recipient and Co-chair of the IPCC AR6 WG1.

The events are organized by SCAR and ICCI for questions/follow-up: SCAR – Eoghan Griffin, Executive Officer, eg393@cam.ac.uk or ICCI - Dr. Svante Bodin, Eurasia Director, +46-70-695-2116, svante@iccinet.org.

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SCAR Bulletin 193 published

26 November 2015:

The latest SCAR Bulletin, number 193, has now been published on the website.  It contains the report of the SCAR Delegation to XXXVIII ATCM and CEP XVIII in Sofia, Bulgaria, 1 – 10 June 2015 and includes an an appendix with further information about the work of SCATS.

All previous SCAR Bulletins are available to view and download from the Bulletins page of the website.

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Report Available: ICSU and Climate Change

Icsu climate change 201525 November 2015:

Since the 1950s, the International Council for Science (ICSU) has played a pioneering role in the development of climate science at the international level, principally by generating mechanisms to orient and complement research undertaken at the national level. In recent decades, climate science has required international collaboration among researchers on an unprecedented scale, coupled with collaboration at the intergovernmental level. ICSU’s contribution has been crucial to defining the scientific issues, facilitating consensus on research priorities and convening collaborations which have underpinned the research. In parallel, ICSU has also worked tirelessly to initiate and support mechanisms for ground-breaking climate research to reach policy-makers in some cases resulting in important shifts in policy development.

This document highlights the major contributions of ICSU and its scientific community to the development of climate science, and explains how ICSU’s approach to facilitating research collaboration to inform policy development has evolved over time.

SCAR is an ICSU body and featured in this document, along with several of our partners and Union members.

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SCAR Bulletin 192 published

24 November 2015:

The latest SCAR Bulletin, number 192, has now been published on the website.  It contains the report on the SCAR Structural Review meeting, which took place in Cambridge, UK on 20-21 April 2015.

All previous SCAR Bulletins are available to view and download from the Bulletins page of the website.

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Science Feature: Potential sea-level rise from Antarctic ice-sheet instability constrained by observations

nature16147 f124 November 2015:

Paper by: Catherine Ritz (Chair of SCAR/IASC/CliC ISMASS), Tamsin L. Edwards, Gaël Durand, Antony J. Payne, Vincent Peyaud & Richard C. A. Hindmarsh

Nature (2015) doi:10.1038/nature16147

Large parts of the Antarctic ice sheet lying on bedrock below sea level may be vulnerable to marine-ice-sheet instability (MISI), a self-sustaining retreat of the grounding line triggered by oceanic or atmospheric changes. There is growing evidence that MISI may be underway throughout the Amundsen Sea embayment (ASE), which contains ice equivalent to more than a metre of global sea-level rise. If triggered in other regions, the centennial to millennial contribution could be several metres. Physically plausible projections are challenging: numerical models with sufficient spatial resolution to simulate grounding-line processes have been too computationally expensive to generate large ensembles for uncertainty assessment, and lower-resolution model projections rely on parameterizations that are only loosely constrained by present day changes. Here we project that the Antarctic ice sheet will contribute up to 30 cm sea-level equivalent by 2100 and 72 cm by 2200 (95% quantiles) where the ASE dominates. Our process-based, statistical approach gives skewed and complex probability distributions (single mode, 10 cm, at 2100; two modes, 49 cm and 6 cm, at 2200). The dependence of sliding on basal friction is a key unknown: nonlinear relationships favour higher contributions. Results are conditional on assessments of MISI risk on the basis of projected triggers under the climate scenario A1B (ref. 9), although sensitivity to these is limited by theoretical and topographical constraints on the rate and extent of ice loss. We find that contributions are restricted by a combination of these constraints, calibration with success in simulating observed ASE losses, and low assessed risk in some basins. Our assessment suggests that upper-bound estimates from low-resolution models and physical arguments (up to a metre by 2100 and around one and a half by 2200) are implausible under current understanding of physical mechanisms and potential triggers.

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Geological Heritage and Geo-conservation Action Group Established

Fossil leaves OliverBluffs JFrancis12 November 2015:

With improving accessibility to Antarctica, the need for recognition, protection and management of geo-heritage sites is becoming increasingly important. Environmental protection and conservation practise in the Antarctic is managed by provisions contained within the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty. Whilst these provisions have been used primarily to protect sites of biological or cultural significance, sites of geological or geomorphological significance may also be considered. However, to date, sites of geological and geomorphological significance have not received the same attention as sites protecting other values, leaving much scope to improve protection of Antarctica’s geological heritage.

SCAR is pleased to announce the creation of the Geological Heritage and Geo-conservation Action Group to consider emerging concerns on the recognition, protection and ongoing management of geological and geomorphological sites of significance within the Antarctic, including fossils. Their goal is to develop a policy paper detailing their findings for submission to the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting’s Committee for Environmental Protection.

For more information on the group, please visit their webpage or contact Dr. Chris Carson, the group chair. 

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Science Feature: Just a nudge could collapse West Antarctic Ice Sheet

5 November 2015:

It won’t take much to cause the entire West Antarctic Ice Sheet to collapse—and once it starts, it won’t stop. In the last year, a slew of papers has highlighted the vulnerability of the ice sheet covering the western half of the continent, suggesting that its downfall is inevitable—and probably already underway. Now, a new model shows just how this juggernaut could unfold. A relatively small amount of melting over a few decades, the authors say, will inexorably lead to the destabilization of the entire ice sheet and the rise of global sea levels by as much as 3 metres. 

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30 years of Italian research in Antarctica

2 November 2015:

Roma PNRAExhibition Oct2015This year, Italy celebrates 30 years of scientific and technological activities in Antarctica. The first expedition of the Italian Programma Nazionale di Ricerche in Antartide (PNRA) was conducted in the 1985-1986 Austral Summer season. Italy joined SCAR in 1987 and became a full member in 1988. Two major initiatives were organized to celebrate this anniversary:

  • an exhibition on Antarctic research, technology and operations in a monumental building in the centre of Rome, that was open to the public during the whole month of October 2015;
  • a national conference on Antarctic research held at the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei in Rome on 20 and 21 October 2015.

 

 

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Abstracts available from VIII Congress of Latin American Antarctic Science

1 November 2015:

Contributed by Javier N. Gelfo, División Paleontología Vertebrados, Museo de la Plata. Argentina.

2015 clcaFrom 8-9 October 2015, in the context of the 30th anniversary of the incorporation of Uruguay as plenary member of the Antarctic Treaty, the VIII Congress of Latin American Antarctic Science (CLCA) was held at the Radisson Victoria Plaza Hotel, in Montevideo, Uruguay. In addition to local researchers, scientific contributions from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, France, Mexico, Peru, Portugal, Venezuela, Spain, United Kingdom and United States were presented. The thematic areas focused on Atmospheric, Oceanographic and Physical Sciences, Earth Science and Glaciology; Antarctic Microbiology, and Ecology, Biodiversity and the Antarctic Environment. The keynote lectures were given by Antonio Quesada from Spain and Luisa Falcón from Mexico, who introduced the audience in the cyanobacteria research in Antarctica; and Jefferson C. Simões from Brazil, who talked about the Brazilian action plan in Antarctica. The complete book of abstract of the VIII-CLCA  could be find here http://www.scribd.com/doc/287755776/Libro-de-Resumenes-CLCA-2015 

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Science Feature: Antarctic ice rises and rumples

2015 ice rises paper27 October 2015:

We are pleased to announce a new review paper on Antarctic ice rises and rumples has recently been published in Earth Science Reviews. This paper is a community paper contributed by 20 authors from multiple disciplines, including glaciology, geology, oceanography, atmospheric sciences, and climate. It reviews the current status of our knowledge, and highlights the knowledge gap, and discusses key directions of the future research. It is a direct output of an International Workshop on Antarctic Ice Rises in 2013, sponsored by SCAR's Standing Scientific Group on Physical Sciences, CliC, APECS, Research Council of Norway, British Antarctic Survey and Center for Ice, Climate and Ecosystems of the Norwegian Polar Institute. We thank all of the workshop participants and the sponsors.

Matsuoka et al. (2015): Antarctic ice rises and rumples: Their properties and significance for ice-sheet dynamics and evolution. Earth Sci. Rev., vol. 150, pp.724-745.
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0012825215300416
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.earscirev.2015.09.004

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Call for SCAR Medals Nominations

23 October 2015:

An important SCAR activity is recognition of excellence in Antarctic and Southern Ocean research and outstanding service to the international Antarctic community, both of which are critical to advancing SCAR's vision and mission. Peer recognition is a way of rewarding and highlighting those who exemplify the best of the Antarctic community and serve as models for the next generation. SCAR created the medals to provide this recognition: the Medal for Excellence in Antarctic Research and the Medal for International Coordination. To encourage nominations and ensure an open, fair and transparent selection process, recipients of the medals are selected by committee. Nominations for 2016 Awards are open until 31 March 2016.

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Report Available: SCAR Cross-program workshop

by Julian Gutt with participants of the workshop, 9 October 2015

38 scientists from 14 countries had been invited by the SCAR Scientific Research Programs AnT-ERA, AntEco and AntClim21. They met in September 2015 in Barcelona, Spain, to discuss improvements in interdisciplinary Antarctic and Southern Ocean research. The aim of this workshop was to exchange novel ideas among scientists in order to gain an improved understanding of interactions between biological and environmental processes in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean.

Read more about the workshop and the outcomes here: http://www.scar.org/srp/ant-era#CPW

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SCAR OSC 2014 Organizers Receive New Zealand Tourism Award

19 October 2015:

In a gala event on 13 October, Bryan Storey from Gateway Antarctica and his amazing SCAR 2014 Open Science Conference Organizing Team received a New Zealand Business Events Award from New Zealand Tourism for the 2014 conference.The award was in recognition of the fact that the SCAR conference raised New Zealand’s international profile, encouraged knowledge transfer and generated opportunities for trade and investment, all of which are invaluable for the future development of New Zealand.

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Science Feature: Threatening processes and environmental management in the Polar Regions

19 October 2015:

Several SCAR scientists and colleagues have recently published a paper comparing the polar regions in the context of shared threatening processes and environmental management.

In the paper they show how evidence-based lessons learned from scientific research can be shared between the poles on topics such as contaminant mitigation, biosecurity protocols to reduce species invasions, and the regulation of fisheries and marine environments.

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Call for Abstracts: SCAR 2016 Open Science Conference

15 October 2015:SCAR OSC 2016

We would like to announce the Call for Abstracts for the SCAR 2016 Open Science Conference to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 22-26 August 2016. This conference will focus on Antarctica in the Global Earth System: From the Poles to the Tropics and how the changes that we are currently seeing in Antarctica will affect the rest of the world.

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Position available for Quantarctica, a SCAR product

24 September 2015:Quantarctica logo

We are pleased to present an opportunity to help further develop the SCAR Product, Quantarctica (www.quantarctica.org). The Norwegian Polar Institute is looking for a project coordinator to expand this free Antarctic GIS package. This position is initially for two years with a possible extension up to four years in total. The work content for this position ranges from technical/scientific tasks to outreach and management tasks, and the minimum requirement is a MS.

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Snow Science Winter School in Switzerland

17 September 2015:

The 2nd Snow Science Winter School will take place on 14-20 February 2016, at Preda and Davos, Switzerland. It aims to teach advanced techniques for snow characterization, such as micro-tomography, measurements of specific surface area by reflection and spectroscopy, high-resolution penetrometer.

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Announcement of SCAR and COMNAP 2015 Fellowship awards

15 September 2015:

The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) and the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs (COMNAP) are pleased to announce this year’s Fellowship awardees.  The Fellowships are worth up to US$15,000 each and six Fellowships (four SCAR, one COMNAP and one joint SCAR/COMNAP) will be awarded in this round. The SCAR Fellowships are awarded to: Jennifer Newall, Sebastian Rosier, Rowan Trebilco and Christine Dow. Rowan Trebilco becomes the first Prince Albert II of Monaco Fellow, funded from the Prix Biodiversité awarded to SCAR in 2013. The COMNAP Fellowship is awarded to: Alejandro Velasco Castrillón. A co-funded SCAR/COMNAP Fellowship was awarded to: Inka Koch.

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SCAR Bulletin 191 published

14 September 2014:

The latest SCAR Bulletin, number 191, is now published on the website.  It contains the SCAR Annual Report for 2014-15.

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POLENET-SCAR-SERCE GIA Training School - Opportunity for Virtual Participation

SERCEschoolad

11 September 2015:

A training school focused on exploring glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) modeling will be held from 13-19 September 2015.  The school entails training on GIA modeling and relevant processes, including ice mass change, solid-earth deformation, and sea-level and geoid variations.

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Future Earth launches Pop-Up Communications webinars

9 September 2015:

Future Earth has launched a webinar series of Pop-Up Communications seminars. They are all one-hour long and cover Twitter, blogging, pitching and writing commentaries for academic journals, infographics, and visualising data using interactive maps.

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3D Map of Antarctica

8 September 2015:

The Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) and the TU Dresden’s Institute for Cartography (Germany) are presenting their joint three-dimensional map of the Antarctic continent and the seafloor of the Southern Ocean at this year’s International Cartographic Conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

For the first time, the map simultaneously shows viewers three geographic layers: the Antarctic ice sheet, the land masses it conceals and the surrounding underwater landscape.

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Southern Ocean community comment on the Year of Polar Prediction Implementation Plan

7 September 2015:

The Southern Ocean community comment on the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP) Implementation Plan has now been published as a Working Paper.  It is designed to highlight key Southern Ocean field and modelling capabilities of relevance to YOPP, identify key areas for collaborative efforts, and raise the imperative of the Southern Ocean’s role in prediction capabilities.

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A Strategic Vision for NSF Investments in Antarctic and Southern Ocean Research

7 September 2015:

Antarctic and Southern Ocean scientific research has produced a wide array of important and exciting scientific advances. Spanning oceanography to tectonics, microbiology to astrophysics, the extreme Antarctic environment provides unique opportunities to expand our knowledge about how our planet works and even the very origins of the universe.

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Southern Ocean plankton makes bright clouds

29 July 2015:

The Southern Ocean has some of the thickest clouds on Earth, made brighter in the summertime by marine microbes living in the waters below, according to new research that combines satellite observations and computer modelling. 

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High heat measured under Antarctica could support substantial life

29 July 2015:

Temperatures on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) can plummet below minus 50 degrees Celsius in winter.  But under the ice, scientists have found intense geothermal heat seeping up from Earth’s interior. The heat production that they measured is nearly four times the global average and could melt up to 35 cubic kilometres of water off the bottom of the WAIS each year, according to results reported in the journal Science Advances.

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Seeking comments on Community Review of Southern Ocean Satellite Data Needs

15 July 2015:

In order to address growing disparities in Polar remote sensing, and in particular to articulate the satellite needs specific to the Southern Ocean, last year SOOS (The Southern Ocean Observing System) and CliC (Climate and the Cryosphere Project) coordinated a community survey to canvas uses of remote sensing and define limitations and recommendations for improvement of Southern Ocean remote sensing.

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Fossilised sperm found in Antarctica is world's oldest, say scientists

15 July 2015:

The world’s oldest fossilised sperm has been discovered in the wall of a worm cocoon found in Antarctica, raising scientists’ hopes of recovering more extremely rare fossils of microscopic soft-bodied lifeforms.

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COMNAP "Antarctic Roadmap Challenges" (ARC) Project – Survey 2 now open

13 July 2015:

Over 500 people accessed ARC Survey 1 and the results are now the basis of a second survey.
 
ARC Survey 2 is now open for community input on the ARC website.
Take the ARC Survey 2…it should only take 5  minutes of your time.

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Antarctic life is highly diverse and unusually structured

8 July 2015:

A new assessment by scientists, published in Nature in June, suggests Antarctica is a more diverse and biologically rich region than previously thought. The team of scientists, led by Monash University, along with colleagues from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), University of Waikato in New Zealand, and Australian National University, looked at how recent investigations have revealed the continent and surrounding ocean is rich in species. They are also very highly diversified into a variety of distinct ecological regions that differ greatly from each other.

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Rift in Larsen C Ice Shelf presents significant risk to stability

8 July 2015:

An established rift in the Larsen C Ice Shelf, formerly constrained by a suture zone containing marine ice, grew rapidly during 2014 and is likely in the near future to generate the largest calving event since the 1980s and result in a new minimum area for the ice shelf.

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Antarctic ice shelf thinning from above, and below

8 July 2015:

One of Antarctica's largest ice shelves is thinning from above and below, helping scientists finally understand just what exactly is causing this rapid ice melt, according to new research. The Larsen C Ice Shelf (whose neighbours, Larsen A and B, collapsed in 1995 and 2002) has long puzzled scientists. They have debated for decades whether warming air temperatures or warmer ocean currents are behind the collapse of the Antarctic Peninsula's floating ice shelves. But new findings, published in the journal The Cryosphere, is shedding light on this phenomenon, and Antarctica's likely contribution to future sea-level rise.

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‘Stable’ region of Antarctica is melting

7 July 2015:

Radar data from the Cryosat-2 probe show sudden ice loss on the southern Antarctic Peninsula.  The new data reveal that glaciers along the southern Peninsula suddenly surged towards the sea around five years ago. The findings, published in Science in May, add to evidence that the ice blanketing West Antarctica is much less stable than previously thought.

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Salty water lurks beneath Antarctica

7 July 2015:

Antarctica’s McMurdo Dry Valleys are one of the coldest, most inhospitable places on Earth. For decades, scientists have thought that beneath a thin permafrost layer, the valleys were ice-cemented earth. But new data suggest that there may be zones of briny, liquid water hundreds of metres below the surface and that these brines may support microbial ecosystems and retain evidence of ancient climate change.

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Antarctic researchers ponder challenges posed by increasing sea ice

7 July 2015:

Scientists working in Antarctica are feeling the impact of climate change in ways the public might find surprising. Although global warming is causing Arctic ice to melt and glaciers around the world to shrink, the problem in Antarctica is that the sea ice surrounding the continent is increasing and now hampering ship navigation and resupply operations. 

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A breath of ancient air

7 July 2015:

One-million-year-old air extracted from bubbles in an Antarctic ice core has enabled the reconstruction of the oldest atmospheric compositions yet studied.

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Valerie Masson-Delmotte awarded 2015 Muse Prize

1 July 2015:

Dr Valérie Masson-Delmotte has been awarded the 2015 Martha T. Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica for her work on the characterization, quantification and understanding of past changes in climate and water cycle, translating the isotopic data to paleo-temperature records. 

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HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco supports conservation assessment

24 June 2015:

HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco recently closed a historic meeting of biodiversity and Antarctic experts, convened for three days in the Principality.

The central purpose of the meeting was to examine the extent to which conservation of the biodiversity of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean is realizing a set of ambitions agreed for the world as part of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020. The Monaco Assessment is a first product of the meeting.

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Southern Ocean Observing System (SOOS) meetings livestreamed from Hobart

9 June 2015:

SOOS workshops are being held in Hobart, Australia this week, and include sessions on the State of the Southern Ocean climate, and the implementation of a Southern Ocean Observing System.

All events will be livestreamed and recorded, and will be available from the University of Tasmania website.

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Sending ice to Antarctica

8 June 2015:

Scientists are planning to ship ice to the Antarctic. They're afraid that mountain glaciers around the world are melting as a result of climate change and want to store samples of ice in a new vault in the coldest place on Earth.

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The Tällberg Global Leadership Prize

2 June 2015:

The Tällberg Foundation Global Leadership Prize is awarded annually to two individuals or organizations and is intended to identify, reward and thereby promote leadership behaviours that have the potential to produce positive change in the face of significant resistance. 

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Massive Antarctic ice shelf faces imminent risk of collapse

1 June 2015:

A massive Antarctic ice shelf is at “imminent risk” of collapse and needs to be monitored carefully, says a new study, published in The Cryosphere.

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Sudden onset of ice loss in Antarctica so large it affects Earth's gravity field

1 June 2015:

A group of scientists, led by a team from the UK's University of Bristol, has observed a sudden increase of ice loss in a previously stable region of Antarctica.  The research is published in the journal Science.

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The SCAR Visiting Professor Scheme 2015

1 June 2015:

SCAR is pleased to announce the launch of its 'Visiting Professor Scheme 2015'.

The scheme is designed to encourage the active involvement of scientists and academics in Antarctic research, and to strengthen international capacity and cooperation in Antarctic research.

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Antarctic Science Sessions at IGC 2016

18 May 2015:

Session proposals are invited from interested scientists to populate the broad theme proposed of Arctic and Antarctic Geoscience at the 35th International Geological Congress.  The Congress will be held from 27 August to 4 September 2016 in Cape Town, South Africa.

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'Antarctic Roadmap Challenges' first survey extended

12 May 2015:

Two community-wide surveys are being conducted to identify the most important technological and logistical requirements to answer the highest priority questions in Antarctic and Southern Ocean science as identified by the SCAR Horizon Scan.

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ISMASS Workshop on the Marine Ice Sheet and Ice Shelf‐Ocean Model Intercomparison Projects

12 May 2015:

Ice‐ocean interactions are considered to lie at the basis of current and future ice mass loss of the Antarctic ice sheet. One of the feedback mechanisms that can be generated through such ice‐ocean interaction is the so‐called marine ice sheet instability, which generates at present the most important uncertainty for the projections of sea level in the context of global warming.

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APS Special Issues

21 April 2015:

In March 2015, the journal Advances in Polar Science (APS) published a special issue focusing on "Current Status of the Terrestrial and Marine Ecosystems of Maritime Antarctic (TMEMA)", to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the foundation of the Chinese Antarctic Great Wall Station.

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Vacancy: SCAR Executive Director

8 April 2015:

The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) seeks an Executive Director. The successful candidate will play a leading role in the development of SCAR by:

  • Implementing the vision for SCAR and Antarctic science;

    - read more

SOOS Week!

2 April 2015:

SOOS (the Southern Ocean Observing System) is holding two international workshops alongside the annual SOOS Scientific Steering Committee meeting, to be hosted by the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS), in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. We invite all interested parties to attend! (Note - spaces are limited!)

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Big shelves of Antarctic ice melting faster than predicted

2 April 2015:

Many of the ice sheets that blanket Antarctica run right down to the land's edge and then out into the ocean, where they form floating ice "shelves." Some of those shelves have been shrinking lately. Now, a team of scientists has discovered that shelves in the West Antarctic are shrinking a lot faster than they realized.

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XII-ISAES: Abstract submission deadline extended to 15 April

31 March 2015:

Upon receipt of several requests, and considering that several scientists have not yet returned from Antarctica, the final date for submission of abstracts for XII ISAES 2015 (the 12th SCAR International Symposium on Antarctic Earth Sciences) is extended to 15 April 2015.

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Help to guide the future of SCAR!

23 March 2015:

In preparation for the next SCAR Strategic Plan (2017+), SCAR is undertaking a structural review.  As part of this process, we would like you to give your opinion in a (purposefully!) short questionnaire . . . .  Note that you only need answer those questions you feel are relevant to you and your organisation. 

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The COMNAP "Antarctic Roadmap Challenges" (ARC) Project

23 March 2015:

We need your input  . . . please!

In 2014, the first SCAR Antarctic and Southern Ocean Science Horizon Scan assembled Antarctic scientists, policy makers, leaders, and visionaries to identify the most important research questions that will likely be addressed by research in and from the Antarctic over the next two decades.​ 

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Global sea ice diminishing, despite Antarctic gains

17 March 2015:

Sea ice increases in Antarctica do not make up for the accelerated Arctic sea ice loss of the last decades, a new NASA study finds.  As a whole, the planet has been shedding sea ice at an average annual rate of 13,500 square miles (35,000 square kilometres) since 1979.

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XII-ISAES: Extension of Abstract Deadline to 30 March 2015

5 March 2015:

Considering that the Antarctic field season is not yet over and to facilitate a wider participation, the last date for the submission of abstracts for XII ISAES-2015 is extended to 30 March 2015.

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Earth's orbit affects the stability of Antarctica's Eastern ice cap

4 February 2015:

An international research team led by the High Council for Scientific Research (CSIC in its Spanish acronym) and with the participation of the University of Granada, has found that there is a direct relation between the changes in the earth's orbit and the stability of the Eastern ice cap of Antarctica,

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Antarctic organisations launch fellowships for 2015

4 February 2015:

SCAR and COMNAP Antarctic Research Fellowships 2015 and CCAMLR Scientific Scholarships 2015

Three leading Antarctic organisations today announce opportunities for early career researchers.  The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programmes (COMNAP) and the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) are working together to attract talented early career researchers,

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2015 Muse Prize Open for Nominations

29 January 2015:

The “Martha T. Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica” is a US$ 100,000 unrestricted award presented to an individual in the fields of Antarctic science or policy who has demonstrated potential for sustained and significant contributions that will enhance the understanding and/or preservation of Antarctica. 

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Fish live beneath Antarctic ice

23 January 2015:

Scientists in Antarctica have found translucent fish in a wedge of water hidden under 740 metres of ice, 850 kilometres from sunlight.

Stunned researchers discovered fish and other aquatic animals living in perpetual darkness and cold, beneath a roof of ice 740 metres thick.

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Papers invited on Atmospheric Aerosols and Trace Gases over the Polar Regions

16 January 2015:

Papers are invited for a forthcoming special issue of the journal Advances in Polar Science (APS), entitled "Current Research on Atmospheric Aerosols and Trace Gases over the Polar Regions (AATGPR)".

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Biogeographic Atlas of the Southern Ocean available to purchase

16 January 2015:

The Biogeographic Atlas of the Southern Ocean, published by SCAR, is now available to purchase through Amazon at: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0948277289

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Abstract submission open for SCAR's ISAES 2015

6 January 2015:

The full website has been launched for the SCAR International Symposium on Antarctic Earth Sciences (XII ISAES 2015), which is being held in Goa, India, from 13-17 July 2015.  Abstract submission is now open on the website, with a submission deadline of 27 February 2015.

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