Congratulations to SCAR Delegate Dame Jane Francis!

31 December 2016:

1 Jane Francis BASDr. Jane Francis, Director of the British Antarctic Survey and UK Delegate to SCAR was recently made a dame for her services to polar science and diplomacy. Dame Jane has been involved with Antarctic research since the early 1980s with her paleobiology work and was only the fourth woman to receive the prestigious UK Polar Medal in 2002.

Jane has been an active member of the SCAR community for many years, including her service as the UK Delegate and her mentoring of many young female scientists and help with the Celebrating Women in Antarctica Wikibomb held this past year.

Dr. Francis was included in the 2017 New Year Honours List and THE QUEEN has awarded her the title of Dame Commander of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George.

Please join us in congratulating Jane on her many accomplishments and this great honour.


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SCAR December 2016 Newsletter

15 December 2016:

Banner Hols camp 2016Check out SCAR's December newsletter! 
In this issue:


- SCAR thanks the Scott Polar Research Institute!
- New Drake Passage Bathymetry Map
- “Shedding Light” on the sea ice marginal zone - a SCAR capacity-building activity
- Turkey Hosts COMNAP/SCAR Photo Exhibition
- Updates on Antarctic Thresholds - Ecosystem Resilience and Adaptation
- SCAR Fellow, Christine Dow Reports on Her Hobart Experience
- Update on SCAR Fellow MC Manoj’s Japanese Paleoclimate Research Exchange
- SCAR Visiting Professor Report on John Turner’s Visit to India

 Upcoming Events

- Abstract submission open for SCAR 2017 Biology Symposium and
          SCAR Humanities and Social Sciences Conference 

Get to Know SCAR

- International Bathymetric Chart of the Southern Ocean (IBCSO) Expert Group
- Antarctic Sea-ice Processes and Climate (ASPeCt) Expert Group

Research Features

- Journal Special Issue on Antarctic Thresholds - Ecosystem Resilience and Adaptation
- Hoofprints in Antarctica
- Community Review of Southern Ocean Satellite Requirements Published
- Delivering 21st century Antarctic and Southern Ocean science

Educational Resources

- Children's Book: Celebrating Antarctica - A Treaty Protecting a Continent
- How does melting ice affect sea level: A simple demo

Community News and Updates

- Global survey on polar shipping and data collection
- APECS Annual Report 2015-2016 released


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SCAR thanks the Scott Polar Research Institute!

14 December 2016:

SCAR Secretariat thanks SPRI 2016SCAR could not achieve its mission without the generous help of hundreds of volunteers and the goodwill and cooperation of many major organizations and institutes.  Certificates of Appreciation were introduced in 2004 to recognize the efforts of those who give so generously of their time and expertise, working to make a real difference to SCAR and Antarctic science.  Normally, certificates are awarded to people for their outstanding contributions but SCAR recently awarded such a certificate to the Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI), which has hosted the SCAR Secretariat since 1959.

SCAR was founded during the International Geophysical Year of 1957-58, holding its first meeting in February 1958.  The Director of SPRI at the time, Gordon Robin, was elected as Honorary Secretary of SCAR in September 1959 and volunteered to house the Secretariat at the institute.  In the early days, he was assisted by a local secretary and they were joined in 1962 by George Hemmen as part time Assistant Secretary, and later Executive Secretary until 1989.  Over the years, SPRI has generously continued to provide office space and support for the Secretariat, which now comprises 2.6 staff members!

In recognition of the years of support given by SPRI, it was agreed that the Institute should be awarded a Certificate of Appreciation.  On 30 November, at the Institute’s regular morning coffee, SCAR Executive Director Jenny Baeseman officially presented the certificate to SPRI Director Prof Julian Dowdeswell, thanking him for the long association of the two organizations and the continued hosting of the Secretariat.  Prof Dowdeswell responded by highlighting SCAR’s vital role in enabling Antarctic research and advising the Antarctic Treaty parties, and said the close relationship had been beneficial to both organisations over the years. 

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New Drake Passage Bathymetry Map

8 December 2016:  Contributed by Dr Fernando Bohoyo

1 Drake Passage Map coverA new Antarctic map, “Bathymetry and Geological Setting of the Drake Passage”, has just been released.  This SCAR product represents an international collaborative effort coordinated by the Spanish Geological Survey (IGME) and the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), working together with the Korea Polar Research Institute (KOPRI), the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) and the United States Antarctic Program (USAP)

The map covers an area of 1470000 km2 between parallels 52ºS and 63ºS and between meridians 70ºW and 50ºW.  The data were collected over the last 25 years on more than one hundred oceanographic cruises onboard six different Antarctic research vessels.  This initiative is part of SCAR's IBCSO (International Bathymetric Chart of the Southern Ocean) Expert Group, which recognises the importance of regional data compilations in Antarctic areas of particular scientific interest.  The map has been published by the BAS and the IGME, with support from SCAR through the Geosciences Group.

For more details on this SCAR product, see the Drake Passage Bathymetry Map page.


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“Shedding light” on the Atlantic-Southern Ocean sea ice marginal zone

8 December 2016:  Contributed by A/Prof Marcello Vichi

SCAR funding for capacity building in South Africa

1 SA pancake collection 2016On the night of 21 July 2016, South Africa initiated its own contribution to the study of the marginal ice zone (MIZ) in the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean. It was deep dark at about 56oS along the Greenwich meridian when the SA Agulhas II passed abruptly the external MIZ, with sea ice concentration turning swiftly from open water conditions to about 50%.

The University of Cape Town (UCT) team was led by the affiliated civil engineer Keith MacHutchon and comprised ice analyst Trond Robertsen of the Norwegian Ice Service, civil engineering postgrad students Emmanuel Omatuku Ngongo and Devin Dollery, oceanography postgrads Ehlke de Jong, Casey Lyttle and Chloe Blyth, and a seconded technician from France, Emeline Cadier.

SA frazil sampling 2016The expedition schedule allowed little time in the sea ice and the data collection was to be conducted under the spotlights and surrounded by full darkness.  Seven pancake-ice samples were lifted from the freezing cold water using lifting baskets. When the frazil needed collecting, members of the team were suspended over the ice by crane in the middle of the night – not a feat for the faint of heart!

The quest started not many months before, when a multi-disciplinary group of scientists from the Department of Oceanography, the Department of Civil Engineering and the Marine Research Institute at the University of Cape Town, led by A/Prof Marcello Vichi, Dr Keith MacHutchon and Dr Sebastian Skatulla, joined forces to take advantage of the expeditions funded by the South African National Antarctic Programme (SANAP) during wintertime.

Winter expeditions are rare in the Atlantic sector and, since the International Polar Year, a few sea ice observations have been done in this region. Despite the availability of a state-of–the-art icebreaker, the RV SA Agulhas II, which is used for research as well as to serve the Antarctic base, there is almost no expertise in South Africa on sea ice observations and sampling. Capacity building is therefore the first and foremost task to be undertaken. An expert sea ice observer from Norway joined the Cape Town team thanks to funding made available by SCAR and by SANAP.

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Turkey Hosts COMNAP/SCAR Photo Exhibition

1 PhotoExhibit Turkey27 December 2016: Contributed by Dr. Burcu Ozsoy

The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted the photographic exhibition “Our Antarctica – Images from the Great White South”, organized by the Ministry jointly with the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs (COMNAP), the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) and Istanbul Technical University (ITU) Polar Research Centre (PolReC). The exhibition included boards by PolRec illustrating Turkey’s scientific activities in Antarctica. The opening reception was held on 14 October 2016 at the Ministry’s art gallery. Opening speeches were delivered by Mr. İbrahim Cem Şahinkaya, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Head of Department of Environmental Affairs; Professor David Walton, Emeritus Fellow of British Antarctic Survey; and Associate Professor Burcu Ozsoy, Director of PolReC. The opening was attended by about 80 people, including Turkish and foreign diplomats in Turkey, including ambassadors, officials from Turkish government departments and academics.

2 PhotoExhibit Turkey1ITU PolReC hosted the images from the Great White South after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The opening was held, at ITU Maritime Faculty in Istanbul, during the celebration of the 132nd Anniversary of the faculty. Mr. Ahmet Arslan, Minister of Transport, Maritime affairs and Communication kindly joined the opening on 3 December 2016. Dr. Ozsoy, explained the details and importance of the photo exhibition to Mr. Minister. The other ITU PolReC members tried to engage with almost 500 people, who visited the exhibition, from national maritime community, government departments, non-govermental maritime organizations, academics from several universities, ITU maritime students and graduates.

The photo exhibit began at the 2012 SCAR Open Science Conference and COMNAP Annual General Assembly in Portland, Oregon, US and has been traveling the World ever since. If you are interested in hosting the exhibition, please contact David Walton. Turkey became an Associate member of SCAR in 2016.

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Updates from the Antarctic Thresholds - Ecosystem Resilience and Adaptation Scientific Research Programme

7 December 2016:

 1 AnT ERA logoSCAR’s highly successful AnT-ERA (Antarctic Thresholds - Ecosystem Resilience and Adaptation) Scientific Research Programme has highlighted recent group activities and some important research in five new popular articles published on their website.

At the recent SCAR Delegates Meeting, AnT-ERA secured approval and funding for another four-year period. The group’s Chief Officer, Julian Gutt is delighted that their important work can continue, including contributing to the Antarctic Climate Change and the Environment (ACCE) Report updates, providing input to SCAR's reports to the Antarctic Treaty System, involvement in SCAR conferences and symposia, supporting engagement at IPCC events and, more recently, engagement with IPBES (the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services).  In November 2016, Irene Schloss, a member of AnT-ERA’s Steering Committee, represented the SCAR community at the UNFCCC COP22 meeting in Marrakech. She provided an Antarctic perspective at a side event on “Urgencies in Fundamental Climate Research following the Paris Agreement“. Follow the links for more information on AnT-ERA’s continuation and the COP22 side-event.

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SCAR Fellow, Christine Dow Reports on Her Hobart Experience

100Dow Tas

22 November 2016:

2015 SCAR Fellow Dr Christine Dow tested subglacial hydrology modelling with specific Antarctic inputs provided by colleagues in Australia. Dr Dow is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Geography and Environmental Management, University of Waterloo, Canada and visited Dr Jason Roberts at the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD), Hobart, Australia.

Dr Dow aimed to establish the role of basal hydrology in the dynamics of Aurora Subglacial Basin. Her visit involved working with the topographies developed by Dr Roberts at the AAD as well as basal melt rates developed with Dr Felicity Graham from the University of Tasmania. Dr Dow used her background in subglacial hydrology modelling to test the most appropriate combination of these model inputs, and the sensitivities of the model. The results will be presented at the 2016 AGU Fall meeting and a related paper is in preparation.

The SCAR Fellowship Programme is designed to encourage the active involvement of early career scientists and engineers in Antarctic scientific research, and to build new connections and further strengthen international capacity and cooperation in Antarctic research. The work must be carried out in a research group of a SCAR member country different from that of the applicant's origin and current residence.

The full report is available on the Fellows webpage together with the full list of SCAR Fellows and available Reports.

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An Update on SCAR Fellow MC Manoj - Japanese Paleoclimate Research Exchange

18 November 2016:

100MCManoj2014 SCAR Fellow Dr M. C. Manoj developed skills and techniques in recovering past climate data from sediment cores during his exchange in Japan. Dr Manoj is a Scientist at the Birbal Sahni Institute of Paleosciences, Lucknow, India. He gained his PhD from the National Center for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR), India in 2013. His host for the Fellowship was Dr Minoru Ikehara at the Center for Advanced Marine Core Research (CMCR), Kochi University, Japan.

The aim of the Fellowship was to focus on well-dated sediment cores from the Indian sector of the Southern Ocean to investigate basin-wide millennial climate variability. Dr Manoj concentrated on extracting high resolution biomarker data from a previously recovered Southern Ocean core available at Kochi University which will help understand paleo-temperature, terrestrial input and productivity in the Southern Ocean. He gained valuable experience by participating in the Japanese Expedition to the Southern Ocean on research cruise KH-16-1. Unfortunately as conditions are often unpredictable in the Antarctic no new cores were collected but new collaborations and friendships were formed.

The SCAR Fellowship Programme is designed to encourage the active involvement of early career scientists and engineers in Antarctic scientific research, and to build new connections and further strengthen international capacity and cooperation in Antarctic research. The work must be carried out in a research group of a SCAR member country different from that of the applicant's origin and current residence.

The full report is available on the Fellows webpage together with the full list of SCAR Fellows and available Reports.

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SCAR Visiting Professor Report on John Turner’s Visit to India

17 November 2016:

1Turner2015 SCAR Visiting Professor Prof John Turner has recently completed his exchange to India. Prof Turner is the leader of the Polar Climate and Prediction group at the British Antarctic Survey and Chief Officer of the SCAR Antarctic Climate Change and the Environment (ACCE) Expert Group. He was hosted at the National Center for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR) in Goa, India by Dr Thamban Meloth.  Read the full report here.

Prof Turner delivered 3 talks at NCAOR during the course of his visit on topics of Antarctic Climate Modelling, a subject in which NCAOR does not presently have specific expertise. He also held discussions with the Indian National Polar Data Center on the needs of climatologists and how their user interface might be developed. In further work he collaborated with individual scientists working in meteorology and paleoclimatology to investigate common topics of interest, collaborations which will continue after the visit itself. As a result, Prof Turner learnt a lot about the Asian monsoon and how it may interact with other elements of the climate system as far way as Antarctica.

The SCAR Visiting Professor Scheme is directed at mid- to late-career scientists and academics (more than five years after completing their PhD) whose work contributes to the research 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. The core purpose of the Visiting Professor Scheme is to build capacity in countries with smaller or less-developed Antarctic research programmes.

A full list of the SCAR Visiting Professors together with the available Visit Reports are available at the Visiting Professors Awardees webpage.

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SCAR November 2016 Newsletter

1 newsletter banner15 November 2016:

Check out SCAR's new online newsletter! In this issue:

- Report from COP22 Side Event
- Geothermal Code of Conduct 
- Austria, Colombia, Thailand and Turkey Join SCAR
- Call for Polar2018 Sessions
- Highlights from the Open Science Conference in Malaysia
- SCAR’s Annual Reports to and from the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting
- Raising the Profile of Female Antarctic Researchers
- 2016 Fellowships and Visiting Professors
- Several Calls for Meeting Participation
- In Memoriam
… and more

Upcoming Events

Get to Know SCAR
- Meet the Executive Committee, learn about the Antarctic Master Directory, and the Antarctic Thresholds - Ecosystem Resilience and Adaptation (AnT-ERA) Scientific Research Programme

Science Highlights
- Advancing Polar Prediction Capabilities on Daily to Seasonal Time Scales
- SO-AntEco (South Orkneys – State of the Antarctic Ecosystem) Cruise Report
- Future Challenges in Southern Ocean Ecology Research

Educational Resources
- An interactive game on impact of climate change on the Antarctic Ice Sheet

Partner News and Updates

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Applications Open for 2017 Glacial Seismology Training School

CryoSeis HomepageImage214 November 2016:

A training school focused on exploring glacial seismology will be held from 11-17 June 2017 on the campus of Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA. The program will include lectures and practical exercises aimed at current and emergent seismological studies of glacial dynamics, structure, seismogenic processes, and seismic observables. While primarily aimed at graduate students and early career scientists, all interested parties are encouraged to apply regardless of career or experience level. There is no registration fee, and participants will be provided with food and lodging for the duration of the training school. Funding for additional travel expenses, including airfare, may also be available for both US and non-US participants. Financial support for the training school is provided by the National Science Foundation (NSF) through the Antarctica Network (ANET) component of the Polar Earth Observing Network (POLENET) project and by the Scientific Community on Antarctic Research (SCAR) through the Solid Earth Responses and influences on Cryospheric Evolution (SERCE) program.

For more information on the school and how to apply, visit The deadline for application is 31 January 2017.

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COP22 Side Event: Urgencies in Fundamental Climate Research following the Paris Agreement

100 COP22 ICSU SideEvent EKey22

8 November 2016: Contributed by ICSU
On the opening day of COP22, the International Council for Science (ICSU) in partnership with the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI), the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group I convened a side event on key pressing issues in fundamental climate research following the Paris Agreement.

The event brought together a group of high level scientists, representatives of research agencies and research funding agencies. The event was moderated by Valérie Masson-Delmotte, co-chair of IPCC Working Group I and 2015 Tinker-Muse Prize Recipient, and David Carlson, Director of WCRP.

David Carlson opened the event by stating that the climate system does not listen to the Paris Agreement. He emphasized the importance of fundamental research in understanding climate signals in order to build credible adaptation and mitigation actions as well as in informing national, regional and international assessments.  Speakers and Panelists included: Jochem Marotzke (Max Planck Institute for Meteorology), Boram Lee (WCRP), Irene Schloss (Antártico Argentino, representing SCAR), Arturo Sanchez-Azofeifa (University of Alberta), Fatima Driouech (National Climate Center of Morocco), Wilfran Moufouma-Okia (IPCC Working Group 1 Technical Support Unit), and Erica Key (Belmont Forum).

The session was live streamed and is available at More about the speeches and discussion can be found below.

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Protecting Antarctica’s vulnerable geothermal environments

10 Geothermal Image P Convey4 November 2016: Contributed by Aleks Terauds

Although relatively rare and small in extent, Antarctica’s terrestrial geothermal environments are of high scientific value to a wide range of disciplines. Recent evidence suggests that these environments support unique and diverse biological communities, and that they have played an important role as biological refugia for a range of species. However, these ecosystems are vulnerable to disturbance and at risk from introduced species, ground disturbance, or other damage by human activity.

In recognition of the high scientific interest, and in light of the potential for disturbance, a multi-stakeholder workshop was held in 2014 to identify and develop a strategy for managing and protecting these unique environments. Based on this consultation and with advice from SCAR, a Code of Conduct for Activity within Terrestrial Geothermal Environments in Antarctica was developed to establish principles and to provide practical guidance on field procedures and protocols to help maintain the unique environmental and scientific values of terrestrial geothermal sites across the continent.

At the XIX Meeting of the Committee for Environmental Protection in 2016, SCAR introduced Working Paper 23 -SCAR Code of Conduct for Activity within Terrestrial Geothermal Environments in Antarctica. SCAR highlighted the high level of consultation undertaken in the development of the Code of Conduct, including a broad cross-section of the scientific community and COMNAP. The SCAR Code of Conduct was endorsed by means of Resolution 3 (2016) at Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting XXXIX. This was the first SCAR Code of Conduct to be endorsed by means of Resolution by the Consultative Parties, and consideration is currently being given to the submission of other SCAR Codes of Conduct for similar endorsement at future ATCMs.

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Workshop Announcement: Airborne Geodesy and Geophysics with Focus on Polar Application

1 geodesy2017 cir14 November 2016:

The International Workshop "Airborne Geodesy and Geophysics with Focus on Polar Application" to be held in Dresden from 19 to 21 April 2017.

The 1st Circular with the complete announcement can be downloaded at this link:

In succession to previous workshops held 2009 in Dresden (“Aerogravimetry: Technology and Application”) and 2012 in Potsdam (“Geodesy and Geophysics on Airborne Platforms, in particular HALO”) we would like to invite you to the International Workshop “Airborne Geodesy and Geophysics with Focus on Polar Applications”, to be held in Dresden from 19 to 21 April 2017.

One focus will be on the new German research aircraft HALO that is planned to be operated in Antarctica. However, we solicit contributions on all kinds of airborne geodetic, geophysical and glaciological measurement techniques applied in polar regions, from airborne gravimetry and magnetometry to radio‐echo sounding of the ice sheets and glaciers, from GNSS reflectometry, scatterometry and occultation to radar and laser altimetry. We solicit contributions on the state‐of‐the‐art of airborne geoscientific observation techniques and their analyses to improve our understanding of processes that interlink the potential fields with the cryosphere, the geosphere and the oceans. Presentations are very much welcome on innovative methods and engineering solutions to adopt airborne platforms of different size and endurance, from jet aircraft to turboprop aircraft, helicopters and UAV for measurements in the polar regions.

For more information contact Mirko Scheinert ( ).

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2017 SCAR Biology Symposium First Circular Available

1 SCAR Bio Symp 2017 logo1 November 2016:

The XIIth SCAR Biology Symposium with the general theme 'Scale Matters', will be held in Leuven, Belgium from Monday 10th to Friday 14th July 2017.
The International SCAR Biology symposia were initiated in 1973 with the purpose of bringing fundamental and applied scientists together with an interest in Antarctic terrestrial and marine life sciences, including man. Symposium themes under consideration include: Distribution and trends; Adaptation and processes; New insights through multi-disciplinary research; Threats and impacts: from the poles to the globe to the poles; Societal impact of Antarctic biological science; Human biology at the poles.
For information, registration and abstract submission (deadline: 15th of February 2017), see or download the 1st Circular here.

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Urgencies in Fundamental Climate Research - SCAR side-event at COP22

1 COP22 SCARevent31 October 2016:

We are pleased to invite you to a discussion about “Urgencies in Fundamental Climate Research following the Paris Agreement”, organized at COP22 in Marrakesh by ICSU with SCAR, IAI, WCRP, and IPCC Working Group I. The event will take place on November 7th 2016 at 15:00-16:30 in the Mediterranean Room, in the Bab Ighli Blue Zone, COP22, Marrakesh - and will also be livestreamed on Youtube here:
Description: Science was fundamental in building understanding and raising awareness of the global climate change challenges that led to the adoption of the Paris Agreement. That Agreement, with its goal of limiting warming to 2oC, including an effort to pursue 1.5oC, will enter into force on 4 November 2016. Several key questions now confront science and society as we move forward. On November 7th, join us for a dialogue among scientists, delegates and research agencies. A group of eminent scientists convened by the International Council for Science (ICSU), the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI), the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group I will address fundamental questions facing climate researchers. Rapid progress on these challenging issues will inform upcoming assessments, provide
a basis for future stock-taking and scientific and political action.

Co-Chairs: David Carlson (Director of WCRP) and Valérie Masson-Delmotte (Co-chair of IPCC Working Group I, Tinker-Muse Prize Recipient)


  • Wilfran Moufouma-Okia, the Republic of the Congo, IPCC WGI TSU
  • Fatima Driouech, Morocco, National Climate Centre
  • Maria Uhle, USA, National Science Foundation
  • Erica Key, France, The Belmont Forum
  • Jochem Marotzke, Germany, Max Planck Institute for Meteorology
  • Arturo Sanchez-Azofeifa, Canada, University of Alberta/IAI
  • Sophie Nowicki, USA, NASA
  • Irene Schloss, Argentina, Instituto Antártico Argentino - Representing SCAR

Please let us know if you are planning to attend the COP22 meeting, and if you are organizing any events, we would be happy to help disseminate the information.  For any questions, please contact Katsia Paulavets (

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Past SCAR President Jerónimo López-Martínez Interview with Scientific American Spanish Edition

Jeronimo Lopez31 October 2016:

SCAR’s Past President Jerónimo López-Martínez was recently interviewed by Angela Posada-Swafford of the Spanish Edition of Scientific American.  

"Research in Antarctica is crucial to understanding climate variability and its consequences"

Jerónimo López, outgoing Chairman of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research, talks about the importance of investigating the White Continent.

Read the full article in Spanish here.

Here’s the introduction in English via Google Translate:

Over the past four years, and until a few weeks ago, geologist and professor at the Autonomous University of Madrid Jeronimo Lopez was the president of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research. SCAR, for its acronym in English, is the organization responsible for promoting and coordinating scientific research in Antarctica, and advise the Antarctic Treaty on science. With 43 member countries and nine international scientific unions, arguably is a small United Nations of Antarctic science. Lopez was the only Spanish speaker so far to hold that position. Scientific American spoke with him about the future of Antarctic science and the growing Latin American participation in it.

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Workshop Announcement for the Forum for Research into Ice Shelf Processes (FRISP) - A New SCAR Expert Group

1 FRISP31 October 2016:

The 31st FRISP workshop will be arranged 19-22 June, 2017 at Hotel Panorama in Bergen, Norway. Please save the dates and join us for three days of interesting presentations and discussions on all aspects of ice shelf related research! More information on the workshop is available at:

FRISP was first developed by SCAR in 1983, with a specific geographical focus on the Filchner‐Ronne Ice Shelf as a subcommittee under the past Working Group on Glaciology.  It later broadened its scope to the whole of Antarctica and Greenland and the direct connection to SCAR declined after SCAR’s restructuring.  We are pleased to announce a reinvigorated connection between FRISP and SCAR as in August 2016 FRISP was approved as an expert group under the SCAR Physical Sciences Group to focus on the oceanic and atmospheric processes governing the behavior of ice shelves that are key to the ice sheet contribution to sea level change.

This Expert Group is distinct from and complementary to the existing Ice Sheet Mass Balance and Sea Level (ISMASS) Expert Group in that FRISP concentrates on the processes controlling ice shelf behaviour, whereas ISMASS is broadly concerned with the ice sheet contribution to sea level rise.  The scientific focus of FRISP naturally puts its activities at the interface between those of ISMASS, SORP and SOOS, while complementing the efforts of MISOMIP, and the FRISP Steering Committee includes representatives from the Steering Committees of those groups. Establishment of further links with other relevant SCAR groups, such as ASPeCt and AntClim21 will also be explored.

For more information on FRISP visit

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Year of Polar Prediction Southern Hemisphere Efforts in PolarPredictNews

1 PolarPredict131 October 2016:

The Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP) is a major international activity that has been initiated by World Meteorological Organization’s World Weather Research Programme (WWRP) as a key component of the Polar Prediction Project (PPP). It will take place from mid-2017 to mid-2019. The overarching goal of YOPP is to significantly advance our environmental prediction capabilities for the polar regions and beyond. As an internationally coordinated period of intensive observing, modelling, prediction, verification, user-engagement and education activities which involves various stakeholders, the Year of Polar Prediction contributes to the knowledge base needed to managing the opportunities and risks that come with polar climate change.

The YOPP Southern Hemisphere efforts are being coordinated by David Bromwich, SCAR’s Chief Officer for the Physical Sciences Group and thus are closely tied to many of SCAR’s efforts.  Learn more about the Southern Hemisphere plans here:

The first edition of PolarPredictNews, the newsletter from the International Coordination Office for Polar Prediction, has recently been published.  In this first issue, learn more about a flying laboratory and new colleagues joining the Polar Prediction Steering Group. Amongst others, read about the preparation of the Year of Polar Prediction in Columbus, Ohio and Reading, UK, and meet with Dave Bromwich chatting about his YOPP-endorsed project in West Antarctica. Download the newsletter here.

PolarPredictNews aims to keep you updated with recent, ongoing and upcoming activities during the Year of Polar Prediction. With this newsletter, they are aiming to build a common platform to exchange information, updates, and developments in polar prediction. To learn more about YOPP visit their website. Sign up for their newsletter by contacting

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IUGG Electronic Journal Vol 16, No 10 and links to SCAR

31 October 2016:

1 IUGGWe would like to share with you the October 2016 Electronic Journal from one of SCAR’s Union Members, the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG). IUGG is the international organization dedicated to advancing, promoting, and communicating knowledge of the Earth system, its space environment, and the dynamical processes causing change. If you are interested in learning more about IUGG, please contact the IUGG representatives to SCAR: Ian Allison and John Turner.

They produce a monthly newsletter that often has updates of interest to the Antarctic Community. We share this particular newsletter as it has information on the 34th SCAR Delegates Meeting as well as an update on the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) activities. If you are interested in receiving these newsletter right to your own inbox, visit for more information.

The IUGG Electronic Journal, Volume 16, No. 10 (1 October 2016)

1. Milestone for global geodesy
2. Report on the WCRP Joint Scientific Committee Meeting
3. Report on the 34th SCAR Delegates Meeting
4. News from the International Council for Science (ICSU)
5. Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s International Climate Protection Fellowships
6. Meeting calendar

Download the newsletter here:

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Nominations for SOOS Scientific Steering Committee

1 SOOS logo icon31 October 2016:

The Southern Ocean Observing System (SOOS), is seeking nominations for the international Scientific Steering Committee. Nominations of qualified individuals are due 11 November 2016.

SOOS is an international initiative of SCAR and the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR) with the mission to facilitate the collection and delivery of essential observations on dynamics and change of Southern Ocean systems to all international stakeholders (researchers, governments, industries), through design, advocacy and implementation of cost-effective observing and data delivery systems.

Nominations should only be made for those with the capacity to be actively involved in driving SOOS forward. The SSC meet annually, whilst the majority of SSC activities and input is managed via email. In some instances, SSC members will be invited to represent SOOS at scientific meetings, usually on an opportunistic basis. Membership on the SSC is for a 3-year period, with the potential for renewal for an additional 3 years, on approval of the EXCOM.

For more information about SOOS and its SSC please visit the SSC webpages or contact the Executive Officer, Louise Newman (

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Call for participation in 2017 Polar Marine Science Conference

27 October 2016:

1 GRC logoThe 2017 Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on Polar Marine Science, entitled "Understanding Ecosystem Change through Time Series Observations, Technological Advances, and Biophysical Coupled Modeling" will convene on 26-31 March 2017.  It will be preceded by an associated Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) on 25-26 March 2017.  The organizers announce a call for participation applications to both events, which will be held in Ventura, California, USA. Both events are co-sponsored by SCAR.

Conference participants will discuss new findings and uncertainties in observing marine time series data, the use of developing technology for collecting observations, and successes and challenges emerging from time series observations and biophysical modeling that can be used to accurately forecast future ecosystem response.

The Seminar will will focus on innovative marine technology, including autonomous and remotely operated instruments, camera systems, advanced laboratory techniques, and numerical modeling and will provide a forum for graduate students and postdoctoral scientists to present their work and interface with peers and experts in variable disciplines.  Financial support will be offered in priority to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows attending both the Conference and the preceding Seminar. All attendees are expected to actively participate in the Seminar either by giving an oral presentation or presenting a poster. Therefore, all applications must include an abstract.

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3rd Snow Science Winter School

25 October 2016:

1 Snow School 2016The 3rd Snow Science Winter School, organised by the WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF and the Finnish Meteorological Institute, will take place from 12th to 18th February at the FMI Arctic Research Centre in Sodankylä, Finland.  The course is co-sponsored by SCAR's Snow in Antarctica (SnowAnt) group.

The school will teach advanced field techniques, (e.g. high-resolution penetrometry and casting of snow samples for micro-tomography), and relate these measurements to microwave and spectral albedo measurements. The focus of the workshop lies in field and laboratory measurements, combined with theoretical lessons in the classroom. The location, the FMI Arctic Research Centre, has a unique setup of ground-based microwave radiometers and optical spectrometers.  Any graduate student or post-doc working on snow or in some snow-related field, this year especially in remote sensing of the cryosphere, is welcome to participate. Those fields include everybody interested in cryospheric sciences.

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Update from SCAR's SERCE group

25 October 2016:

1 SERCE logoFollowing a successful SCAR meeting in Kuala Lumpur in August, the Solid Earth Response and influence on Cryosphere Evolution (SERCE) Scientific Research Programme of SCAR has rotated leadership, and will now be jointly headed up by Matt King and Pippa Whitehouse. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Terry Wilson for her hard work and leadership over the last four years.
Membership of the Steering Committee has also seen a few changes. Many thanks to continuing members and to those who are now stepping down, and welcome to new members (listed on the SERCE members page).

The SERCE implementation plan has recently been posted on the website, and information about future SERCE meetings and workshops are on the SERCE news page.


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Register for Polar Interoperability Workshop

25 October 2016:

1 Polar ConnectionsRegistration is open for the upcoming "Polar Connections" Interoperability Workshop and Assessment Process, to be held from 7-10 November at the European Space Agency’s research institute, ESRIN, in Frascati, Rome, Italy. The workshop is co organised by SCAR’s Standing Committee on Antarctic Data Management (SCADM).

The workshop forms part of an assessment process, the aim of which is to complete a broad assessment of the status of data and information systems interoperability within the polar regions, as well as connections to global systems. The assessment will not be limited to technical aspects of interoperability. Topics discussed will include governance, sustainability and evolving business models, and potential connections to documented forms of Indigenous Knowledge and social science data.

The process will be active before and after the workshop and virtual participation will be possible during most of the workshop. Participation is encouraged through a brief pre-worshop survey. If you have thoughts on interoperability or are engaged in a relevant project, please complete the survey. Following the workshop, there will be approximately two months available for broad input to the process including live contribution to documents.

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Report of XXXIV SCAR Delegates’ Meeting available

25 October 2016:

1 34SCAR Delegates web

The report of the XXXIV SCAR Delegates’ Meeting, held on 29 -30 August in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, has been published as SCAR Bulletin 197 and is available to view and download from the SCAR Bulletin page of the website.  The report gives details of the meeting’s discussions and decisions, which included:

  • the application and acceptance of Austria, Colombia, Thailand and Turkey as Associate Members of SCAR;
  • the approval of a new Expert Group, the Forum for Research into Ice Shelf Processes (FRISP), and two Action Groups, Tropical Antarctic Teleconnections (TATE) and Biogeochemical Exchange Processes at the Sea-Ice Interfaces (BEPSII);
  • the results of external reviews of five of SCAR's flagship Scientific Research Programmes, AntEco, AnT-ERA, AntClim21, PAIS and SERCE, and their renewal for another four years;
  • the proposal to improve communications, to update the SCAR Communication Strategy and develop plans to meet the new Strategic Plan;
  • the agreement to simplify the membership categories and contribution levels.

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In Memoriam: Fred Roots, Legendary Polar Scientist and Leader

1 Fred Roots SOI25 October 2016:

Legendary polar scientist, expedition leader, and explorer, Dr. Fred Roots, passed away unexpectedly and peacefully at his home is British Columbia, Canada on Friday, 21 October, at the age of 93. Dr. Roots was a geoscientist, meteorologist, and ecologist whose distinguished career included serving as the Chief Geologist on the Norwegian-British-Swedish Antarctic Expedition (1949-52), helping to write the Antarctic Treaty and developing Canada’s Polar Continental Shelf Program, the Canadian Polar Commission and the Canadian Committee on Antarctic Research. He holds the record for the longest un-supported dogsled journey on Earth, a six-month scientific journey into the Antarctic interior and has an Antarctic mountain range named after him.

“Fred was very active in international and non-governmental scientific and environmental activities and researchers for decades. He was a member of the Polar Research Board of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences 1970-83 and subsequently on several of its technical committees. From 1979 to 1983 he was President of the International Commission on Snow and Ice, served on the Science Advisory Board of the Geophysical Institute University of Alaska 1976-88 (Chairman 1980-84). He was a founder of the International Arctic Science Committee and served as its first President (1991-94) and from 1983 had been chairman of the Northern Sciences Network of the UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Program. He is the author of over 250 scientific papers and published reports on Polar, environmental and global change subjects. He helped to write the Antarctic Treaty.” (Source: Students on Ice)

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With Sympathy: Remembering Gordon Hamilton

1 Gordon Hamilton UMaine24 October 2016:
The Polar Research Community has lost a leading scientist, colleague, mentor and friend this past weekend. Gordon Hamilton, professor at the University of Maine, USA, died in a field accident on Oct. 22 while conducting research on White Island just south of McMurdo Station, Antarctica on Saturday, when his snowmobile hit a crevasse. 
As a physical glaciologist, Gordon Hamilton, worked tirelessly on advancing our understanding of ice sheet mass balance, modern ice sheet changes and their role in the climate system. During his career he published many important papers on the behaviour of both the Greenlandic and Antarctic Ice Sheets. He was a very caring and energetic colleague, who always had time to help others and share his thoughts - whether on various science topics or advice to the many early career researchers whom have had the pleasure of working with him. 

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Austria, Colombia, Thailand and Turkey join SCAR

20 October 2016:

1 Member flags 2016At the SCAR Delegates Meeting held in Kuala Lumpur in August, four new countries became associate members of SCAR: Austria, Colombia, Thailand and Turkey. This brings the total number of countries in the SCAR family to 43. SCAR has 31 full members and now 12 associate members.

To learn more about these new member countries, their current Antarctic research activities and future plans – as well as how to find scientists to collaborate with – please read their applications for membership linked below:

Austria                       Colombia                   Thailand                    Turkey

Membership of SCAR is through the national scientific academies or research councils that are the adhering bodies to ICSU, the International Council for Science, which is SCAR’s parent body. The relevant bodies for the four new member countries are the Austrian Academy of Sciences (Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften – ÖAW); the Colombian Ocean Commission (Comisión Colombiana del Océano – CCO), designated by the Academia Colombiana de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales to represent Colombia in SCAR; the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (NARIT), designated by the National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT) to represent Thailand in SCAR; and the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBÍTAK).

We welcome all the new members and look forward to fruitful cooperation over the coming years.

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SCAR-IASC Polar2018 Conference Call for Sessions

1 Polar 2018 rgb8 September 2016: 

The organizers of POLAR2018 are now accepting session proposals for the joint SCAR and IASC Open Science Conference “Where the Poles meet“, which will be held on 19 - 23 June 2018 in Davos, Switzerland!

A template to submit session proposals, including a brief session description, the contact information of the session conveners and other details, is available here:

We are looking for sessions that cover a broad range of topics across the spectrum of Polar and high altitude research, such as, but not limited to, climate, glaciology, social and human sciences, ice sheets, atmospheric sciences, oceanography, biology, astronomy, geology, economic aspects, sustainable development, technology and education. There will be oral and poster sessions as well as e-poster sessions with a mini-oral.

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Presentation Awards at the SCAR Open Science Conference 2016

2016 Presentation Awards27 September 2016:

The SCAR Open Science Conference and Biennial Meetings 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (20 - 30 August 2016) attracted nearly 1000 Antarctic researchers and managers from around the world. To acknowledge the outstanding presentations (oral and poster) given by the many early career researchers, the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) and the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) awarded prizes for the best oral and poster presentations by region and one each for the best overall.

The Award Organizing Committee (Heike Link, Johanna Grabow, Gerlis Fugmann and Jenny Baeseman) would like to especially thank the many conveners and conference participants that helped with the judging for those awards!!!

Congratulations to the recipients listed below:

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2016 SCAR Certificates of Appreciation

2016 Certificates Appreciation Medals7 September 2016:

The many activities of SCAR are made possible thanks to the dedicated volunteer leaders of our many groups. During the SCAR Open Science Conference Banquet in Kuala Lumpur on 25 August, we took the opportunity to publically thank many of these great leaders for their service.  The awarding of Certificates of Appreciatoin was followed by the presentation of the SCAR Medals:

  • SCAR Medal for Excellence in Antarctic Research - Dr. Robert Dunbar, USA
  • SCAR Medal for International Scientific Coordination - Prof. Dr. Heinrich Miller, Germany (accepted by Karin Lochte)
  • SCAR President's Medal for Outstanding Achievement (awarded by Prof Jerónimo López-Martínez) - Prof. Francisco Hervé, Chile

We would like to again say thank you to these wonderful scientists listed here for their tireless efforts to help coordinate international Antarctic research! 

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New SCAR Executive Committee

5 September 2016:

At the SCAR Delegates Meeting held in Malaysia from 29-30 August, a new President and Vice President were elected to the Executive Committee.  Outgoing President, Prof Jerónimo López-Martínez of the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, will remain on the Executive Committee as Past President for two years.  Prof Bryan Storey, director of Gateway Antarctica in New Zealand, departs after four years as Vice President for Finance, during which time he was also responsible for hosting the very successful XXXIII SCAR open science conference and meetings held in Auckland in 2014. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Jerónimo and Bryan for their dedication and service to SCAR over the past four years.

Steven ChownProf Steven Chown has been elected for a four-year term as SCAR President. Steven has a long history of involvement with SCAR. Currently head of the School of Biological Sciences at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, he was previously director of the Centre for Invasion Biology at Stellenbosch University, South Africa and served as South African delegate for a number of years. In the past, he was secretary of SCAR’s Working Group on Biology, and subsequently Chief Officer of the Life Sciences Standing Scientific Group. But it was perhaps in his role as Chief Officer of SCAR’s Standing Committee on the Antarctic Treaty System (SCATS) that he made his greatest contribution to SCAR’s work to date, combining his scientific research with policy advice to the Antarctic Treaty System. Much of his work has been on conservation and the risks to Antarctica from human activities and climate change, in particular the threats to Antarctic biodiversity from invasive species. An outstanding scientist and communicator, he was the first recipient of the prestigious Tinker-Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica in 2009.

Two Vice Presidential posts were also up for election. Prof Dr Karin Lochte, director of the Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany, was re-elected for a second term and will remain as Vice President responsible for Capacity Building, Education and Training (CBET). Karin is an oceanographer, researcher and climate change specialist and currently the Director of the Alfred Wegener Institute.

Replacing Bryan Storey as Vice President is Prof Jefferson Simões, a glaciologist based at the Institute of Geosciences, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) in Brazil. He founded the Polar Research Centre at UFRGS and is director of the Brazilian National Institute for Cryospheric Sciences. He has participated in numerous scientific expeditions to both poles and is one of the scientific leaders of the Brazilian Antarctic programme

Terry Wilson, Ohio State University, and Azizan Abu Samah, University of Malaya, are also members of the SCAR Executive Committee currently starting the third year of their four-year terms.

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SCAR Biology Symposium 2017 - get involved!

5 September 2016:

SCAR Bio Symp 2017 logoThe  XIIth SCAR Biology Symposium will take place around 10-14 July 2017 in Belgium.

The main theme is "Scale Matters".  From the small molecular scale, through population and large ecosystem scale, biological processes and diversity span all these levels.  Understanding these processes, as well past and present patterns of biodiversity, are essential for understanding possible threats to Antarctic biology and their impact.  With this Symposium we want to focus on understanding biological distribution and trends, as well as adaptation and processes both in the marine and terrestrial realm, including the human biology.  Special attention will be paid to multidisciplinary research and how combining insight from different fields can help our understanding of biology in this unique region.  An important aspect of this symposium will focus on the societal impact of Antarctic biological sciences and how this can be communicated, not only to the general public, but also to policy makers.

We want to have your input for this symposium so we are carrying out a public consultation for sessions. The forms linked below allow you to vote for sessions that have been proposed, or to propose your own session.  This is a great opportunity to make the symposium more interesting for yourself so please participate.  The organisers will take into account your suggestions when deciding on the different sessions.

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SCAR Bulletins 195 and 196 published

31 August 2016:

Bulletin iconThe latest SCAR Bulletins are now published on the website.  Bulletin 195 contains the SCAR Annual Report to the Antarctic Treaty System, 2015/16.  Bulletin 196 contains the Report of the SCAR Delegation to XXXIX ATCM and CEP XIX in Santiago, Chile, 23 May – 1 June 2016.

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

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New version of the Year of Polar Prediction Implementation Plan released

30 August 2016:

YOPP logoThe revised version of the Implementation Plan for the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP) has just been released through the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

The new Implementation Plan (version 2.0) includes a number of changes that reflect important recent developments, in particular outcomes and decisions made at the YOPP Summit held last year in Geneva. Among the most significant changes are (i) a revised description of how the social component of YOPP will be implemented, (ii) an updated description of the coordination between YOPP and the international Arctic research initiative MOSAiC, (iii) a new section describing the YOPP endorsement process, and (iv) additional information on special and intensive observing periods during the Year of Polar Prediction.

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Scientists develop interactive game on impact of climate change on the Antarctic Ice Sheet

23 August 2016:

ice flows game startScientists and games developers have joined forces to help communicate the impact of climate change on the Antarctic Ice Sheet.

The ice held in the Antarctic Ice Sheet has the potential to cause significant changes in sea level in the future, which will affect many people around the world. As a result, it is important that people have an awareness of the impact of a changing climate on the world’s ice sheets, but this complex system is difficult to understand and predict.

Now the scientists and games developers have produced a free-to-use interactive game, “Ice Flows”, to help demonstrate how the Antarctic Ice Sheet responds to climate change in an accessible way to children and game players of all ages. The game, which can be played at, will be launched at the SCAR Open Science Conference in Kuala Lumpur on the 23rd August. It will be free to download from app stores.

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Announcement of SCAR and COMNAP 2016 Fellowship awards

 23 August 2016:

Fellowship logoThe 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. 

This year, a record number of 55 applications were received. The Fellowships are worth up to US$15,000 each and seven Fellowships (four SCAR, three COMNAP) will be awarded in this round. The details for each of this years Fellows are listed below:


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Breaking through the 'Ice' Ceiling: Raising the profile of Female Antarctic Researchers

1 LHuffman Gauge box ladies webIn 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; for example, the directors of the Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany and the British Antarctic Survey are both women, and women have led several high impact papers on Antarctic science over the last decades. There is a need to help increase the profile of these amazing researchers. 
As a first step in increasing the visibility of these leading and influential role models and as an effort to stimulate girls around the world to pursue science careers, the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) invited the community to nominate influential female Antarctic researchers and those involved in supporting research, both past and present to be included in an international effort to increase the presence of female scientists on Wikipedia (called a Wikibomb).  The response was huge, with 170 nominations from 30 countries. A dedicated team of volunteers, led by Australian Scientist Jan Strugnell and Wikipedia expert Thomas Shafee, has been working to create and update more than 100 referenced biographies to Wikipedia, the world’s largest encyclopaedia.  These bios of outstanding role models will be launched at the “Women in Antarctic Research” Wikibomb event on 23 August in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, held in conjunction with the SCAR 2016 Open Science Conference (#SCAR2016 or #SCAR2016malaysia). 
News of the Wikibomb event is spreading: a Correspondence article was published in the journal Nature on 11 August  and, throughout August profiles of some of these incredible women have been shared on social media (#AntarcticWomen on Twitter, etc.).  With no funding available for the Wikibomb project, a plea went out for donations to help cover the cost of the launch event, and again people responded, with donations from organizations like the Korea Polar Research Institute, the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators, the Tinker Foundation and Latrobe University, as well as several of the SCAR science groups, and from more than 50 individuals through the GoFundMe online campaign  and, as of late last week, a grant from the Wikimedia Foundation (which they approved only 10 hours after it was submitted!).
For more information about SCAR’s efforts in promoting Women in Antarctic Research and the Wikibomb event and profiles of female scientists, please visit

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Input requested on Antarctic science-policy interface

12 18 CpRopd BarneGl211 August 2016: Contributed by Daniela Liggett, José Xavier, Annick Wilmotte, Kevin Hughes and Gabriela Roldan

With 2016 marking the 25th anniversary of the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty (Madrid Protocol), we would like to investigate how communication between scientists and policy makers could be enhanced, thereby improving our stewardship of Antarctica. With this aim in mind, we would like to invite you to participate in a brief online survey to investigate current engagement between Antarctic researchers and policy-makers. We anticipate that the outcomes of the survey will be used to inform the thinking of SCAR, Antarctic Treaty System Parties and other stakeholders.

The survey will take about 25 minutes to complete. We would kindly ask you to complete the survey within four weeks (by 10 Sept). You can access the survey here: Antarctic-science-policy.

This work is associated with the Mini-Symposium “Linking Antarctic Science with environmental protection: Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Madrid Protocol” of the SCAR Open Science Conference at Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia, August 2016), where issues of science-policy interactions will be discussed further. To obtain more information about the Mini-Symposium go to


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2016 Visiting Professors announced

11 August 2016:

Bryan Storey lowresWe are pleased to announce that the 2016 recipients of the SCAR Visiting Professor awards are Professor Bryan Storey from New Zealand and Dr Judd Case from the USA.

Prof Storey will visit Iran, with the aim of helping them to develop their own national research programme in Antarctica. He will run a workshop at the Iranian National Institute for Oceanography and Atmospheric Science (INIOAS), and give Antarctic lectures at several institutes and national universities in Tehran.

Judd Case lowresDr Case will visit the Museo de La Plata in Buenos Aires, Argentina to provide a workshop-style series of lectures and collaborative working sessions on the practice and uses of biostratigraphy. He will also give a public lecture at the museum, and a general science lecture at the University of La Plata.

The Visiting Professor Scheme is directed at mid- to late-career researchers and academics, enabling them to undertake a short-term visit to another SCAR member country, to share their experience by providing training and mentoring. The scheme is focused on strengthening the research capacity of countries with smaller or less well-developed Antarctic research programmes. The ultimate goal of the scheme is to promote capacity building in the host country and to develop long-term links and partnerships, leading to advances in Antarctic research. Full details of the scheme are available in the Visiting Professors section of the website.

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Call for Proposals for the Baillet Latour Antarctica Fellowship

1 PrincessElisabethStation25 July 2016:

The call for proposals for the 2016 – 2018 Baillet Latour Antarctica Fellowship is now open. The Fellowship provides young scientists with the opportunity to conduct research in East Antarctica operating out of the Princess Elisabeth Antarctica research station.

A joint initiative of the Baillet Latour Fund and the International Polar Foundation, the €150,000 research grant aims to promote scientific excellence in Antarctica and underscores the crucial role polar science plays in furthering our understanding of the Earth and how it functions.

Young researchers interested in conducting research in the atmospheric sciences, glaciology, geology and microbiology (excluding marine microbiology) at, or near, the Princess Elisabeth Antarctica are encouraged to apply.

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Prof. Francisco Hervé to receive the 2016 SCAR President's Medal for Outstanding Achievement

1 Francisco Herve4 July 2016:

We are pleased to announce that Prof. Francisco Hervé, from Chile, has been selected to receive the 2016 SCAR President's Medal for Outstanding Achievement awarded by Prof Jerónimo López-Martínez.

Except from President Jerónimo López-Martínez’s Citation:

“Prof. Hervé was selected for his sustained scientific contributions and distinguished career, linked to Antarctica for 50 years and in recognition of his outstanding contributions to knowledge and impact on understanding of Antarctic geological history and its relationships with the Andes and South America. He has also developed and maintained relationships with many institutions and at least 50 scientists from 13 countries, in addition to his exemplary dedication to development of students and postgraduates, with the supervision of more than 93 degree, Master and PhD. thesis. He has served the community from relevant positions in international and Chilean scientific organizations and programmes, including 35 years of participation in SCAR subsidiary bodies. His generous, discrete and kind character, has gained the respect and friendship of numerous scientists around the world. []”

Excerpt from Response from that Prof. Francisco Hervé:

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Science Feature: Ameghiniana journal features Antarctic paleontology

29 June 2016:







Ameghiniana is a bi-monthly Gondwanan paleontological journal.  The latest issue, entitled Gondwanan Perspectives: Antarctica, (Volume 53, number 3) is dedicated to Antarctic paleontology.  Although the journal is not open access, you may be able to access the articles via Mega.

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How GIS is changing the World

29 June 2016:

1000 GIS applicationsSCAR products are featured in a list of 1000 GIS applications and their uses from over 50 industries, put together by the website GIS Geography to show how GIS is changing our world. 

In the section on Arctic/Antarctic GIS applications, SCAR products Quantarctica and ADMAP (Antarctic Digital Magnetic Anomoly Project) feature at numbers 80 and 86 respectively, and IBCSO (the International Bathymetric Chart of the Southern Ocean) feeds into GEBCO (General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans), which features in the Oceans section at number 696.

The compilers promise that the list will open your mind to our amazing planet and its inter-connectivity.

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European Polar Board seeks an Assistant Policy Officer

28 June 2016:

EPB logoThe European Polar Board (EPB) is looking for an Assistant Policy Officer to assist with creating and editing internal and external policy documents, handle communications and provide administrative support for the organisation.  The post is part-time (80% or 4 days a week) and is based in Den Haag (The Hague) in the Netherlands.

The EPB is a partner organisation of SCAR.

The deadline for applications is 14 July 2016.  Full details of the post are available on the EPB's vacancy webpage

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Rob Dunbar to receive the 2016 SCAR Medal for Excellence in Antarctic Research

1-Rob Dunbar 201627 June 2016:

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Robert Dunbar, from the USA, has been selected to receive the 2016 SCAR Medal for Excellence in Antarctic Research.

Dr. Dunbar, Professor at Stanford University, California, USA, has contributed many important advances to our knowledge of environmental changes in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean both now and in the past. In addition, SCAR would like to note his particular selfless dedication to scientific investigation, support of early career researchers, ability to collaborate across disciplinary boundaries and the leadership he has given to the SCAR community.

After receiving the news about his award, Rob commented "Wow wow wow! That is my reaction as this is surprise – a really nice one! I’ve always worked in Antarctica as part of a team, sometimes as a team leader and sometimes as a follower – so any recognition for excellence in Antarctic research is in fact a tribute to lots of people and many programs. What makes me most happy is the recognition for international collaboration and for supporting other scientists – at all levels of experience. We have many scientific grand challenges to be solved in Antarctica, challenges that impact the entire world. We can only meet them by working together as scientists from many nations – and by making sure we have the next generation of Antarctic investigators well-trained, well-funded, and well-prepared.”

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Nominations for IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Oceans and the Cryosphere Scoping Meeting

IPCCThe IPCC agreed at its 43rd Session (Nairobi, Kenya, 11-13 April 2016) to prepare a Special Report on Climate Change and Oceans and the Cryosphere. To develop the scope and outline of the Special Report on Climate Change and Oceans and the Cryosphere, a Scoping Meeting will be held in the week of 5 December 2016 (venue to be confirmed). The Scoping Meeting would result in a draft Scoping Paper describing the objectives and an annotated outline of the Special Report as well as the process and timeline for its preparation. The Panel at its 45th Session to be held in March 2017 will review the draft Scoping Paper and will decide on further IPCC work on this Special Report.

SCAR has been given the opportunity by ICSU to put forward a few suggestions for the scoping meeting to help plan the IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Oceans and the CryosphereIf you or someone you know would be a good candidate to participate in this process, please download and fill in the nomination form xls  and send it to Jenny Baeseman with the nominees CV before 19 July. The SCAR Executive Committee and Chief Officers will make the final decision on whom is put forward to ICSU from SCAR by their deadline of 27 July.

Participants in the Scoping Meeting should collectively have expertise in the following areas:

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Rob DeConto awarded 2016 Tinker-Muse Prize

22 June 2016:

1 Rob DecontoThe 2016 Tinker-Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica has been awarded to Professor Robert DeConto, University of Massachusetts-Amherst. This recognition comes for his outstanding work on past and future Antarctic climate and for research integrating geological data with modelling to reveal likely consequences for future sea level rise from ice sheet melt.

Rob DeConto’s background spans geology, oceanography, atmospheric science and glaciology. He studied at the University of Colorado in the late 1980s and early 1990s before undertaking one of the first PhD studies on Earth System modelling to help understand warm climates in the geologic past. This was followed by post doctoral positions at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), before joining the faculty of the University of Massachusetts.

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Heinz Miller to receive the 2016 SCAR Medal for International Coordination

Heinz Miller 201620 June 2016:
We are pleased to announce that Dr. Heinrich Miller, from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Germany, has been selected to receive the 2016 SCAR Medal for International Coordination.
Dr. Miller has an outstanding breadth of expertise and scientific contribution across glaciology, geophysics and applications to ice core research. Of particular note has been his active involvement in SCAR and significant contribution to large-scale international scientific projects, as well as his involvement in the Council of Managers for Antarctic Programs (COMNAP), the Antarctic Treaty, helping link SCAR and the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), and his leadership in and vision for Antarctic science.
After receiving the news about his award, Heinz commented "I feel greatly honoured by receiving the SCAR Medal for International Coordination and I thank those who thought me worthy enough for this award. However, all I have ever done in Antarctic science was just governed by my fascination for science on and around this beautiful continent.”

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New website for journal "Advances in Polar Science"

6 June 2016:

1 APS Journal banner

The Polar Research Institute of China (PRIC) announces the launch of the new website for the journal Advances in Polar Science (APS), which is informative and convenient for international readers.  The website ( contains information about APS, published articles, and instruction for authors.

APS is a peer-reviewed English-language journal dedicated to the presentation of multi-disciplinary achievements in Arctic and Antarctic research. APS is a true open-access journal, funded by the Polar Research Institute of China. It has no publication fees and all articles are freely accessible on the web as soon as they are released, with an additional 500 printed copies distributed internationally. The journal is managed by an Editorial Board of both Chinese and international disciplinary editors.

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Deadline approaching for SCAR and COMNAP Fellowships

19 May 2016:

1 Fellowship logoThere are just two weeks remaining to the deadline for applications for the 2016 SCAR and COMNAP Fellowship Schemes.

SCAR and COMNAP fellowships are worth up to US$15,000 each and up to six fellowships in total are on offer for 2016.  The fellowships enable early-career researchers to join a project team from another country, opening up new opportunities and often creating research partnerships that last many years and over many Antarctic research seasons.  The deadline for applications is 1 June 2016.

Preparing a successful fellowship application is a skill.  Often, lack of success with applications is not due to a poor research idea but comes down to the inability to express clearly and confidently, in writing, your research to someone else.  Everyone’s writing skills can be improved and be made more effective.  The joint SCAR-COMNAP-APECS webinar held in April, "Writing for Success! Preparing winning fellowship applications", is available on the Fellowships Mentoring page.  Also on the Mentoring page, you will find the "Writing for Success" supporting document which gathers together information on the evaluation of proposals, feedback from reviewers and some examples of frequently asked questions.  

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New data portal for gravimetric mass balance products for Antarctica

1 CCI Ice Sheet logo15 May 2016: Contributed by  Mirko Scheinert, Martin Horwath and Andreas Groh

We would like to advertise newly released Gravimetric Mass Balance products for the Antarctic Ice Sheet. The products are available at the data portal

with convenient functions to explore and download the data.

The mass balance products are derived from GRACE monthly solutions of the global gravity field. For the period from 08/2002 to 01/2016, we provide

  • time series of mass changes for 26 drainage basins as well as for basin aggregations (West Antarctica, East Antarctica, Antarctic Peninsula, Entire Antarctica)
  • time series of grids of mass changes (in terms of mass per surface area, or millimeters water equivalent)

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Latest issue of SOOS Update

11 May 2016:

SOOS logo iconThe May 2016 issue of SOOS Update, the quarterly newsletter of the Southern Ocean Observing System, has just been published.  Recent activities and the updated SOOS website are featured, along with articles on data, field activities, community news and SOOS-related events.

View SOOS Update, May 2016

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Call for 2020 SCAR Open Science Conference Host

10 May 2016:

Host Guide to Mtgs cover bordered

The offer to host a SCAR meeting is made by a National Committee and demonstrates a country’s commitment to SCAR and the international Antarctic science community to ensure that the meetings are successful. The guidelines have been prepared to inform National Committees when they are contemplating issuing an invitation to host the meetings, and as a guide once an invitation is accepted by SCAR.

Bids to host the 2020 SCAR Meetings will be considered at the next SCAR Delegates' Meeting in Kuala Lumpur in August and must be submitted to the SCAR Secretariat by Thursday 30 June.  If you are interested in your country hosting the meetings, please contact your National Committee.

The Host Guidelines for Organizers of Biennial SCAR Meetings have been updated to reflect more accurately the current format of the biennial SCAR Meetings and Open Science Conference.  The Guidelines are available to view and download from the SCAR Meetings page, along with some examples of previous successful bids.

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Report Available: Antarctic Near-Shore and Terrestrial Observation System 2015 Workshop

2015 ANTOS5 May 2016:

Antarctic Near-Shore and Terrestrial Observation System (ANTOS) is a SCAR Action Group, established in August 2014. It is a biologically focussed initiative to coordinate a cross continent- and cross national programme-scale assessment of environmental variability and change. A major aim is to foster and facilitate collection and sharing of long-term automated climate and associated environmental observations across Antarctica and national programmes. In August 2015, a workshop was held to develop an implementation plan for ANTOS. The workshop was attended by 25 researchers from 12 countries (Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, NZ, Sweden, UK, USA). The report from this workshop is now available.

At this workshop key characteristics of locations, parameters to measure, frequencies, scales and gradients of measurement, and the technical requirements of the system were discussed (i.e., what do we need to measure and monitor in order to detect change, where do we need to do this, and how?). The strong consensus was for locations that share basic characteristics of (a) representative biodiversity for the region concerned, (b) environmental features likely to be informative in a context of change studies, and (c) the practicality of access and working conditions.

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Comments on Draft SCAR Strategic Plan Welcome

2016-strategic plan6 May 2016:

As SCAR’s current Strategic Plan expires at the end of 2016, efforts are underway for the development of a new plan to meet the future needs of SCAR in the period 2017-2022.

As it was approved in the last SCAR Delegates Meeting, we have been working to develop a new strategic plan, under the guidance of the SCAR Executive Committee, Chief Officers, staff, and several other leaders within the organization.

This next Strategic Plan is intended to be reviewed yearly by the SCAR Executive Committee and Chief Officers, and is to be a living document – remaining relevant to SCAR’s changing needs in the period 2017-2022. The goal is to streamline the plan and make it short, succinct, direct, and purposeful. One of the main outcomes of the Strategic Plan meeting (held in conjunction with the SCAR ExCom 2015 meeting) was to focus on communication and strengthening SCAR, under the auspices of the SCAR Antarctic Science Horizon Scan. Thus the vision for the next SCAR Strategic Plan is:

SCAR’s vision is to be an engaged, active, forward-looking organization that promotes, facilities, and delivers scientific excellence and evidence-based policy advice on globally significant issues that are relevant to Antarctica.

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Animal tracking to reveal ecological hotspots in the Southern Ocean

RAATD apr2016map5 May 2016: Contributed by Yan Ropert-Coudert and Mark Hindell on behalf of the RAATD participants

A recent meeting at the Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg in Delmenhorst, Germany, brought together a team of scientists specialising in tracking of Antarctic marine mammals and birds (read the report). The Southern Ocean is a remote, hostile environment where conducing marine biology is challenging, so we know relatively little about this important region, which is critical as a habitat for breeding and foraging of many marine endotherms. But this team use animals to help them find Areas of Ecological Significance – or biological hotspots in the Southern Ocean.  Scientists from around the world have been tracking seals, penguins, whales and albatrosses for more than two decades to learn how they spend their time at sea. In the Retrospective Analysis of Antarctic Tracking Data (RAATD), this team has brought together tracking data from 38 biologists from 11 different countries to accumulate the largest animal tracking database in the world, containing information from 15 species, containing over 3,400 individual animals and almost 2.5 million at-sea locations. Analysing a dataset of this size brings its own challenges and the team is developing new and innovative statistical approaches to integrate these complex data. The meeting in Delmenhorst enabled the RAATD team to complete the daunting task of compiling and checking this enormous dataset, and to develop and run the statistical models that will lead to the identification of the hotspots. When complete RAATD will provide a greater understanding of fundamental ecosystem processes in the Southern Ocean, help predict the future of top predator distribution and help with spatial management planning.

RAATD is an activity of SCAR's Expert Group on Birds and Marine Mammals. For more information on the workshop, read the final report.

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SCAR-COMNAP-APECS Fellowships writing webinar recording available

3 May 2016:

SCAR COMNAP APECS logo towerA recording of the Fellowships application writing webinar provided in April is now available from the SCAR Fellowships Mentoring page.

The webinar was designed to help early-career researchers with developing their fellowship proposal writing skills, specifically in support of the SCAR and COMNAP Fellowship programmes, and was hosted by APECS.  We had 60 participants joining the webinar, with lots of good advice from a highly qualified and experienced panel, and a wide range of questions from the participants.

The guidance documents provided to support the webinar have also been updated to reflect questions from the webinar Question and Answer session (see the "Writing for Success" document and the FAQs page).

The deadline for applications for this year's Fellowships Programme is June 1st.  For more information, visit the Fellowships Detailed Information page.

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Remembering Roland Schlich (1932–2016)

RSchlich19983 May 2016:

We are very sad to inform you that our dear colleague and friend, Roland Schlich, Chair of the French SCAR Committee and French SCAR Delegate, died Thursday, 28 April, from a cancer in Strasbourg, France.

RSchlich1988Roland was enormously energetic and enthusiastic, always ready with advice, and vigorous in discussions. That vigour was frequently coloured with wit and anecdote, making him a fascinating colleague. In an informal setting Roland was always ready to offer a view on the best cuisine and accompanying wines to be found in any place, but especially in France.

During the IGY, from January 1957 to January 1958, Roland and 2 French colleagues, Claude Lorius (SCAR past president) and Jacques Dubois, lived in a 24 m2 aluminium hut buried under the ice in Antarctica at Charcot Station. This amazing experience was shared through a 2009 movie called “365 Days Under Antarctic Ice”. This was just one of the many important contributions Roland made to our understanding of Antarctica.

RSchlich2000Roland was an important leader for SCAR. He was Chair (1965-1966) and Secretary (1966-1971) of the SCAR Upper Atmosphere Physics Working Group. He was adamant in his belief that at least 50% of SCAR funds should be spent on Science activities, and helped to shape that philosophy by serving as the Chair of the former SCAR Standing Finance Committee in the early 1990s, and also as the chair of the Standing Committee on Finances from 2002-2004. He also served as SCAR Vice President from 1998-2004. His strong leadership helped to shape many aspects of SCAR. Roland Schlich will be missed by all of us in SCAR and we will honour his memory as a spirited Antarctic scientist.

Roland was laid to reset Tuesday, 3 May following a ceremony at the church Saint Louis de la Robertsau, Strasbourg, France. He was wearing his SCAR tie - a powerful sign of his love and passion for SCAR and the Antarctic.

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Report Available: 2015 International Symposium on Antarctic Earth Sciences

3 May 2016: Contributed by Naresh C. Pant

2015 ISAES1Globally the scientific progress and state of the studies in earth sciences is reviewed in a gathering of all polar nations at an interval of four years in the form of International Symposium on Antarctic Earth Science (ISAES). A total of 11 such symposiums have been held since 1963 when the first ISAES was held at Cape Town, South Africa. In Asia there are several countries actively working in Antarctica including Japan, China, South Korea, Malaysia and India. However, ISAES was held in this large continent only once in Tokyo, Japan. Thus, organization of the 12 International Symposium on Antarctic Earth Science in Goa, India represented not only recognition of Indian scientific studies in Antarctica but also provided an unparalleled opportunity to Indian scientists to interact with the active researchers in relevant disciplines.

The ISAES 2015 ( - link no longer active), the first Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) symposium in India, was held at Mariott Spa and Resort, Goa from 13-17 July 2015. The five-day symposium was kick started by an Ice-breaker event on 12 July 2015. Recognizing the significance of the occasion, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Honourable Minister of Science and for the Ministry of Earth Science (MOES) inaugurated the symposium on 12 July 2015. Dr. Shailesh Nayak, Secretary, MOES addressed the gathering with India’s perspective on geosciences research. The R & D arm of the MOES, National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research, Goa hosted the symposium with Dr M Ravichandran, Director-NCAOR, welcoming the guests. SCAR President, Professor Jeronimo Lopez-Martinez besides several other office bearers of the organization actively participated in the symposium.

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Quantarctica User Survey

1-Quantarctica logo3 May 2016: Contributed by George Roth and Kenny Matsuoka

The Norwegian Polar Institute has developed the free, standalone open GIS package Quantarctica [] for Antarctic science and mapping as a SCAR product. This geospatial data package is built on the open-source, cross-platform QGIS software, and includes a wide range of cartographic basemap layers, geophysical and glaciological datasets, and satellite imagery. The next version of Quantarctica, releasing in 2017, will focus on increasing the breadth and depth of the included open data from an expanded array of international partners and investigators. Priorities for this new version include Antarctic climatology, biology, oceanography, and atmospheric sciences. The Quantarctica project is also expanding its educational outreach through online and video user tutorials and user workshops.
As part of this enhanced outreach effort, the buildup to the 2016 SCAR Open Science Conference in Kuala Lumpur, and the upcoming release of Quantarctica v3, the Quantarctica project team has assembled a User Survey, with three main goals:

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The SCAR Visiting Professor Scheme 2016

13 April 2016:

Visiting Prof logoSCAR is pleased to announce the launch of its 'Visiting Professor Scheme 2016'.

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.

The Visiting Professorship is for mid- to late-career stage scientists and academics (at least 5 years after completing their PhD) who are involved in Antarctic research, providing the opportunity for them to undertake a short-term visit (1 to 4 weeks) to an institute in another SCAR member country, to provide training and mentoring.  The ultimate goal of the scheme is to strengthen the research capacity of countries with smaller or less well-developed Antarctic research programmes, promoting capacity building in the host institute and developing long-term links and partnerships which will lead to advances in Antarctic research.

The Visiting Professor Scheme is seen to complement the early-career SCAR Fellowship Scheme by providing scientists and academics with the opportunity to intensify collaboration amongst SCAR member countries and to contribute to SCAR’s objectives.

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Deadline for nominations for the SCAR “Celebrating Women in Antarctica” Wikibomb

11 April 2016:

Rhian Salmon coldThe deadline for nominating outstanding Antarctic Women is this Friday, 15th April.

We have received a number of great nominations but would like to encourage the Antarctic research community to nominate more influential female Antarctic researchers and those involved in supporting research, both past and present.  Those nominated will potentially be included in our Wikibomb* event, held in conjunction with the SCAR Open Science Conference in Kuala Lumpur on 23 August.  This event will be a celebration of Women in the Antarctic by raising their profile to help provide more visible female role models for early-career scientists and girls around the world.  Instructions for nominations can be found on the "Nominate a Woman" page.

For more information on the Wikibomb event and to nominate an outstanding Antarctic Woman, visit the Women in Antarctic Research section.  Please spread this information widely and use the #AntarcticWomen to help share our community effort.

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SCAR-COMNAP-APECS Fellowship Application webinar

4 April 2016:

SCAR COMNAP APECS logo towerJoin us for a webinar on our fellowships and tips for successful applications on April 18th at 1900 UTC.

Preparing a successful fellowship application is a skill. Often, lack of success with applications is not due to a poor research idea but comes down to the inability to express clearly and confidently, in writing, your research to someone else. Everyone’s writing skills can be improved and be made more effective. This mentoring activity is designed to help early-career persons with developing their fellowship-proposal writing skills. It is particularly meant for young researchers in countries with a small or just developing Antarctic research community that may not have adequate mentoring in their home institutions.

To register:
Webinar ID: 100-249-219

Participants will receive an email with the log-in link for the session once they have registered.

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Report from the 2nd International Partnerships in Ice Core Sciences Open Science Conference

ipics30 March 2016: Contributed by Eric Wolff, co-chair of SCAR’s IPICS Expert Group

Ice cores provide unique quantitative knowledge about past climate change, and have become one of the most persuasive symbols of the importance of polar science. 24 nations have active ice core programmes, and are represented in International Partnerships in Ice Core Sciences (IPICS). This past March the ice core community met in Hobart (Australia) at the second IPICS open science conference (OSC). About 220 researchers attended the conference, which followed a very successful 1st OSC in France in 2012. The meeting was preceded by a 1 day workshop of Ice Core Young Scientists (ICYS). That so many early career scientists could attend the OSC and ICYS workshop was due to the excellent work of the local organisers, led by Tas van Ommen, and the generosity of a range of sponsors including SCAR, for whom IPICS acts as an expert group. The oral and poster sessions, running over 4.5 days, covered the whole range of topics amenable to study with ice cores, from compilations of records over a few centuries (from both polar and non-polar sites) to the use of ice cores to understand ice dynamics and biogeochemical cycles. Technical aspects such as improvements in age models and new proxies were explored. Two topics that were especially prominent concerned the Antarctic in particular. The first is that of understanding the history of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, with a new emphasis on learning how much of it survived the last interglacial. There was also a lot of anticipation about attempts to find the so-called “oldest ice”: extending the ice core record back towards 1.5 million years. Much exploratory geophysics and modelling is underway to find the right site and a number of consortia have ambitions to obtain this old ice within the next decade. The last formal presentation of the meeting was given by the Martha T. Muse 2015 Prize recipient, Valérie Masson-Delmotte, who outlined how ice core findings have contributed to policy debates through the IPCC.

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Communicating Your Science - Spring Webinar Series

23 March 2016:

APECS logo lowresUSAPECS (the United States branch of the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists) is organizing a webinar series for Spring 2016 (April to June) focusing on how to best share your science. The webinars are open to anyone from any country and, although directed at early-career researchers, are open to individuals at any stage in their career.

A tentative list of webinar topics is available and will be updated as speakers are confirmed and webinars scheduled.  The first two webinar sessions are confirmed as:

  • Wednesday 6th April - Data Visualization with Rob Simmon from Planet Labs
  • Tuesday 19th April - Boiling Down Your Message with Twila Moon and Daniella Scalice

Possible later sessions include: 

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New Polar Challenge Launched

16 March 2016:

WCRP Polar Challenge 2016Wanted: Autonomous vehicle for 2,000 kilometre mission under sea-ice
Reward: 500 000 Swiss francs

The World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation have launched a new Polar Challenge to develop an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) capable of a 2 000 km mission under the sea-ice in the Arctic or Antarctic.

The aim is to stimulate innovation into new monitoring tools for the Polar oceans, to complement satellite observations and ultimately expand scientific research capabilities and climate services in both the Arctic and Antarctic.

The Polar Challenge – with a prize of 500 000 Swiss francs – is being announced during the Arctic Science Summit Week, 12-18 March in Fairbanks, USA.

“With the Polar Challenge, we hope to open new horizons in under-ice navigation, endurance and environmental monitoring,” said WCRP Director David Carlson. “This is vital to improve our understanding of the polar oceans which are key indicators of environmental change and which have major influences on global climate.”

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Registration Open for Quantarctica User Workshop

Quantarctica logo9 March 2016:

Quantarctica (QA; is a GIS data package built on the free GIS software QGIS. It includes a range of satellite imagery and scientific data, enabling users to develop their own Antarctic GIS analysis environment.

To help users become familar with the software, we are organizing a workshop on Saturday, 27 August, 14:00-18:00, just after the SCAR Open Science Conference. This workshop will gather a range of QA users to develop their knowledge base further and to gather feedback from them to finalize QA’s version 3, to be released in 2017. The workshop will begin with a presentation on the vision and future of QA, followed by a lecture on QA’s overall functions, hands-on sessions exploring QA’s datasets, features, and analysis tools, and reports on QA’s applications by experienced users. We request that all participants of the hand-on sessions bring a laptop with QA pre-installed.
To register, please visit the following page: Please register before 31 May.
If you have questions, please contact us at

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Antarctic Gravity Wave Instrument Network (ANGWIN)

2 March 2016:

ANGWIN cloud formThe ANtarctic Gravity Wave Instrument Network (ANGWIN) is a highly successful grassroots programme that was started in 2011. Although initially focused on the Antarctic, the group is now aiming to develop collaborations in both Polar Regions. 

ANGWIN aims to use results from the network of instrumentation at international research stations to address the primary research goal of quantifying and understanding the dominant sources, propagation and impact of a broad spectrum of gravity waves on a continental-wide scale.  They are holding a workshop in Cambridge, UK from 12-14 April 2016 which will be comprised of talks about new measurements and modelling studies of gravity waves in both the Antarctic and Arctic regions and also discussion sessions where new ideas and studies can be put forward.

The invited speaker at the workshop is Vincent Noel of Laboratoire d'Aerologie (CNRS) in Toulouse, France, who will be speaking about gravity waves and polar stratospheric clouds.

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2016 Polar Geospatial Center Polar Boot Camp

Antarctic map small26 February 2016:

The Polar Geospatial Center and the University of Minnesota are pleased to announce the 2016 Polar Geospatial Center Boot Camp. This intensive, four-day geospatial workshop will take place from June 13th - 16th on the Twin Cities campus of the University of Minnesota.  It is co-sponsored by SCAR's Standing Committee on Antarctic Geographic Information (SCAGI).

The workshop focuses on applications of commercial satellite imagery for polar science. Instructor-led courses include Discovering Geospatial Data at the Poles, DEM Extraction from Stereoscopic Imagery, Georeferencing Maps and Aerial Imagery, and more. The PGC Boot Camp also hosts visiting speakers and offers dedicated project work time for one-on-one support from PGC staff.

Visit the Boot Camp website for complete details.

Don't delay, applications are due May 16, 2016!

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No! 150 000 Adelie penguins did not die overnight!

Charlie22 February 2016: Contributed by: Yan Ropert-Coudert, Graham Hosie and Mark Hindell from SCAR’s Life Sciences Scientific Steering Group and the Expert Group on Birds and Marine Mammals (EG-BAMM)

If we are to believe the media coverage of the recent article by Wilson et al. (2016) a giant iceberg has caused one of the most impressive mass mortality events that penguins have ever known. The headline proclaims that no less than 150,000 Adelie penguins have died because of a massive iceberg (B09B) grounding off Cape Denison, Antarctica.  How can an iceberg kill that many birds? Did it fall from the sky and crush the birds in one go? (See here for an example story).

Climbing adelie AkikoKato2012Reading further, the reports imply that the birds have starved due to the iceberg blocking their access to the sea, and that this has taken a number of years. In fact there is no evidence for a mass mortality event. Rather, the colony has reduced in size because the birds have had to go elsewhere in search of a suitable place to breed – there are not 150,000 dead penguins.

What is disturbing is that, in a quest for a sensational headline this misconception is now going viral over the Internet generating unwarranted concern and greatly distorting the actual message in the journal article the journalists are supposedly reporting accurately. We’d like to plead with journalists to “check the facts” and tone down the sensationalism.

There are real and serious issues regarding the future of Antarctic wildlife, which need to be brought to public’s attention which make for enough sobering and dramatic reading without resorting to cheap and inaccurate headlines. 

In the end the culprit wasn't the iceberg, it's the need for sensation!

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Partner News: Integrating Arctic Research - A Roadmap for the Future

18 February 2016:

ICARPIII logoThe official outcomes of the Third International Conference on Arctic Research Planning (ICARP III) were published online today. The report, entitled "Integrating Arctic Research – A Roadmap for the Future“ presents the key messages that emerged from the two–year ICARP III process.

Initiated by the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) with engagement from its partners, including SCAR (represented by Vice-President Karin Lochte), ICARP III provided a process for integrating priorities for forward-looking, collaborative, interdisciplinary Arctic research and observing, and for establishing an inventory of recent and current synthesis documents and major developments in Arctic research.  The report identifies the most important Arctic research needs and provides a roadmap for research priorities and partnerships. The ICARP process points the way for scientists to take action, in cooperation with rights holders and stakeholders, to produce results that will have global impact. It concludes that the role of the Arctic in the global system, the prediction of future climate dynamics and ecosystem responses, and improved understanding of the vulnerability and resilience of Arctic environments and societies must be prioritized.

For more information, please see the final report and visit the ICARP III website.

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SCAR OSC Abstract Submission Deadline Extended to 29 Feb

SCAR OSC 201614 February 2016:

Thank you to all those who submitted abstracts to the SCAR 2016 Open Science Conference which will be held from 22-26 August in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

We already have over 725 abstracts submitted, but because many of you are still returning from the field we have decided to allow a single extension of the abstract submission to the 29 February (all time zones).

Submit your abstract here:

Also remember to receive the early bird registration rate, register before 5 May here:

If you have questions about editing your abstract or need technical assistance, please contact

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Call for nominations for the SCAR “Celebrating Women in Antarctica” Wikibomb*

Rhian Salmon cold11 February 2016:

February 11 is the “International Day of Women and Girls in Science” and we are using this occasion to remind the Antarctic research community to nominate influential female Antarctic researchers and those involved in supporting research, both past and present, to potentially be included in our Wikibomb* event held in conjunction with the SCAR Open Science Conference in Kuala Lumpur on 23 August. Instructions for nominations can be found here:
This event will be a celebration of Women in the Antarctic by raising their profile to help provide more visible female role models for early career scientists and girls around the world.

For more information on the Wikibomb event and to nominate an outstanding Antarctic Woman, visit Nominations should be submitted before 15 April. Please spread this information widely and use the #AntarcticWomen to help share our community effort.

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SCAR Open Science Conference Side Meeting Schedule Now Available

SCAR OSC 20165 February 2016:

We would like to inform you that the Side Meeting Schedule for the SCAR Open Science Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 20-30 August is now available.

You can see the list of meetings here:
… many of these meeting are open and we especially encourage those who many not have participated in a SCAR group before to join a meeting and learn more about what SCAR does and how you can get involved!

We would also like to take this opportunity to remind you that abstracts are due 14 February.

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Mapping the geology of Antarctica

4 February 2016:

Marie Byrd Land Feb2016The SCAR GeoMAP (Geological Mapping Update of Antarctica) action group is facilitating an integrated programme to promote the capture of existing geological map data, update its spatial reliability, improve representation of glacial sequences and geomorphology, and enable data delivery via web-feature services.  There has been significant progress in Marie Byrd Land, North and South Victoria Land, Antarctic Peninsula and Dronning Maud Land during the nine months since they first met, details of which can be found in their current Newsletter.  The task is huge - but about 20% of Antarctic rock outcrops have now got some geological representation assigned to them suitable for reproduction at 1:250,000 scale. 

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SCAR Life Sciences Member Updates

4 February 2016: Contributed by G Hoise, M Shepanek and Y Ropert-Coudert, SSG-LS Officer

The Standing Science Group on Life Sciences (SSG-LS) welcomes three new early career researchers as APECS representatives to participate as observers in SSG-LS meetings: Fernanda Quaglio (Lead, Universidade Estadual Paulista, Brazil), Jeff Bowman (Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, USA) and Henrik Christiansen (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium).  APECS has nominated three representatives, instead of the usual one, to improve the opportunity of having at least one representative at our meetings.  Fernanda will be the principal representative and contact, and will be assisted by Jeff and Henrik.  They will sit on the Life Sciences meetings for two years.  Many thanks to Rob Johnson (Institute of Marine and Antarctic Science, Australia) who served as the previous APECS representative.

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Antarctic Organisations Launch Fellowships for 2016

3 February 2016:

SCAR and COMNAP Antarctic Research Fellowships 2016 and CCAMLR Scientific Scholarships 2016

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, scientists, engineers and other professionals to strengthen international capacity and cooperation in fields such as climate, biodiversity, conservation, humanities and astrophysics research.

SCAR and COMNAP have again joined forces to launch fellowships for early-career researchers. The SCAR and COMNAP fellowships are worth up to USD $15,000 each and up to six fellowships in total are on offer for 2016. The fellowships enable early-career researchers to join a project team from another country, opening up new opportunities and often creating research partnerships that last for many years and over many Antarctic research seasons. The deadline for SCAR and COMNAP applications is 1 June 2016.


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2016 Tinker-Muse Prize Open for Nominations

27 January 2016:

We are delighted to announce that the 2016 Tinker-Muse Prize is now open for nominations on the Muse Prize website.

Muse Prize banner 2016 completeThe “Tinker-Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica” is a USD $100,000 unrestricted award presented to an individual in the fields of Antarctic science and/or policy who has demonstrated potential for sustained and significant contributions that will enhance the understanding and/or preservation of Antarctica. The Prize is inspired by Martha T. Muse’s passion for Antarctica and is a legacy of the International Polar Year 2007-2008.

The prize-winner can be from any country and work in any field of Antarctic science and/or policy. The goal is to provide recognition of the important work being done by the individual and to call attention to the significance of understanding Antarctica in a time of change. A website with further details, including the process of nomination, closing date and criteria for selecting the prize recipients, is available at  Nominations close on 11 May 2016.

The Prize is awarded by the Tinker Foundation and administered by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR).

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SCAR 2016 Open Science Conference Registration Open

SCAR OSC 201619 January 2016:

We are pleased to announce that registration is now open 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.
Early bird registration is available at a reduced rate until 5 May.
This is also a reminder that abstracts are due on 14 February and early submission is encouraged. The conference programme, including sessions and descriptions, is available on the conference website:

We are also happy to announce the availaiblity of exhibitor space. If you are intersted, please contact Nasaruddin Rahman.

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Research Feature: South Orkneys - State of the Antarctic Ecosystem Expedition

25 January 2016:

benthic header 736x85The South Orkney Islands is a small archipelago located in the Southern Ocean, 375 miles north-east of the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. The seafloor around the South Orkney Islands has been shown to be an area with exceptionally high biodiversity. The marine animals there represent approximately one fifth of all species recorded for the entire Southern Ocean.

The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) closed all finfish fisheries around the South Orkney Islands in 1989, and in 2009 they established the South Orkney Islands Southern Shelf Marine Protected Area (SOISS MPA), the first MPA located entirely within the High Seas anywhere on the planet.

SO-AntEco (South Orkneys - State of the Antarctic Ecosystem) is a British Antarctic Survey (BAS) led expedition undertaken in conjunction with an international team of scientists from the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research (SCAR) AntEco research programme. The team includes participants from 9 different countries and 16 institutes. The expedition will take place on board the BAS research ship the RRS James Clark Ross in early 2016.

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Antarctic Observations, Research and Services Update from WMO EC-PHORS

WMO15 January 2016: Contributed by Steve Colwell, SCAR representative to EC-PHORS

The Sixth meeting of the Panel of Experts on Polar and High Mountain Observations, Research and Services (EC-PHORS) was hosted by the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) from September 8 to 11, 2015 at the Hotel Natura in Reykjavík. The Panel reviewed its activities since the previous meeting and planned its activities for the coming 18 months and beyond.  

The Panel facilitates advances in observations, understanding and prediction in pursuit of better and new services. Its activities focus upon improved situational awareness of the state of the cryosphere through, inter alia, the Global Cryosphere Watch (GCW) and seek to improve weather prediction and climate projection at the regional and global scales through the Global Integrated Polar Prediction System (GIPPS).

The Panel will continue its ongoing regulatory responsibilities in the Antarctic and seek to expand observational networks and improve telecommunications related to the Antarctic Observing Network (AntON). It will continue to support, through its research framework, the GIPPS initiative and concentrate efforts to successfully launch the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP mid 2017- mid 2019). To this end, the activities of the services framework will seek synergy with the Polar Prediction Project Socio-Economic Research Activities (PPP-SERA) and to advocate for the Intensive Observing Period (IOP) for the YOPP.

The full report can be found at and click on the read more for a summary of the sections relevant to Antarctica.


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GIANT Releases New Antarctic Grid of Terrestrial Gravity Anomalies

MDS ice sheet homeblock13 January 2016: Contributed by Mirko Scheinert, GIANT Co-Chair

SCAR’s Expert Group on Geodetic Infrastructure in Antarctica“ (GIANT) is happy to announce the release of a gridded dataset of terrestrial (free-air and Bouguer) gravity anomalies in Antarctica. It is for the first time that a gravity anomaly dataset comprises almost the entire Antarctic continent. It is based on 13 million data points and covers an area of 10 million km**2 corresponding to 73% of the Antarctic continent.

The new dataset is given as grid with a resolution of 10 km and comprises free-air gravity anomaly, Bouguer anomaly as well as an accuracy measure. The data are available at:

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SCAR Mentioned in Newsweek Article: The Big Melt

newsweek melt 201611 January 2016:

As many SCAR scientists are heading South for their research seasons, we see a few more articles in the popular press about what the Continent that has changed so many of our lives. Newsweek reporter Nina Burleigh has been working with SCAR’s Executive Director and several others to tell a story about exploring Antarctica for the popular US weekly news magazine. Read the story: or watch the video:

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Newsletter Available: Asian Forum for Polar Sciences Dec 2015

AFOPS20158 January 2016:

The Asian Forum for Polar Sciences (AFoPS) Secretariat is pleased to announce the publication of the third issue of AFoPS Newsletter. The newsletter contains an update on the 2015 General Meeting of AFoPS and resulting actions, information on the 2nd AFoPS Joint Journal, and updates on various polar actives in several countries.

Download the Newsletter

This and earlier issues of the AFoPS Newsletter can be found on the AFoPS website.

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