Expert Group on Antarctic Biodiversity Informatics (EG-ABI)
2015: The Retrospective Analysis of the Antarctic Tracking Data (RAATD) project has taken a big step forward. A team of data crunchers and modelers met at a joint EG-BAMM and EG-ABI meeting in Brussels to compile and standardise the datasets on the one hand, and to start processing them and choose modeling options on the other.
The meeting was hosted by the Belgian Science Policy Office in Brussels and was extremely successful: The project has now more than 2 million lines of data points from above 2000 individuals from 14 species of top predators covering almost all the Southern Ocean (see map attached). The detailed report can be found here.
2014: The Biogeographic Atlas of the Southern Ocean has been published.
The Southern Ocean waters to the west of the Antarctic Peninsula are warming faster than almost any other place on Earth. This area of most rapid environmental change was among others targeted by the Census of Antarctic Marine Life in its collection of biogeographic information. Such biogeographic information is of fundamental importance for monitoring biodiversity, discovering biodiversity hotspots, defining ecoregions and detecting the impacts of environmental changes. It is the preliminary and necessary step in designing marine protected areas in a changing ocean.
At the end of five years of extensive biodiversity exploration and assessment by CAML (www.caml.aq) and the OBIS Antarctic Node (the SCAR Marine Biodiversity Information Network, www.scarmarbin.be), a new initiative, the multi-authored "CAML Biogeographic Atlas of the Southern Ocean", has been established under the aegis of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) to provide an up-to-date synthesis of Antarctic and sub-Antarctic biogeographic knowledge and to make available a new comprehensive online resource for visualisation, analysis and modelling of species distribution.
It will constitute a major scientific output of CAML and SCAR-MarBIN as well as being a significant legacy of CoML and the International Polar Year to fulfill the needs of biogeographic information for science, conservation, monitoring and sustainable management of the changing Southern Ocean. It will be of direct benefit to the Antarctic Treaty and associated bodies such as the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources.