Horizon Scan Retreat

The 1st Martha T. Muse Fellows Colloquium

22 April 2014 - Queenstown, New Zealand


"What will Antarctica and the Southern Ocean look like in 2065?"

Many forecasters and futurists tell us that in 2065:

  • the world's human population will be 8.5 billion,
  • atmospheric CO2 levels will exceed 650 ppm under a business-as-usual scenario,
  • the Arctic ocean will be ice free in August and September,
  • average global temperature will be 4°C warmer than in 2000,
  • ocean pH will be less than 8.2, and
  • sea level will be around 26 cm higher than in 1990.

What will these dramatic changes to Planet Earth mean for the world's last great wilderness and bellwether of global change – Antarctica and the Southern Ocean? To speculate about this future world and the ramifications for human societies, the "1st Martha T. Muse Colloquium" convened a panel of the Martha Muse Prize awardees and guests to address the topic "Beyond the Horizon – Antarctica and the Southern Ocean 2065" in Queenstown, New Zealand on Tuesday 22 April 2014. The Colloquium was part of the 1st SCAR Antarctic and Southern Ocean Science Horizon Scan that assembled around 80 of the world's leading Antarctic scientists, policymakers, and logistics science funders to develop a collective community view of the most timely, urgent and compelling scientific questions that need to be addressed in the next two decades.

The Colloquium panel included Martha T. Muse Prize Fellows Steven Chown (terrestrial ecologist and policy adviser), Monash University, Melbourne, Australia; Helen Fricker (glaciologist and satellite observational specialist), University of California, San Diego, USA; José Xavier (marine biologist ecologist and marine mammals expert), University of Coimbra and the British Antarctic Survey, Portugal/UK; Steve Rintoul (physical oceanographic modeller and observationalist), CSIRO, Australia; and Martin Siegert (glaciologist and geologist), Imperial College, London, UK. The Muse Fellows were joined on the panel by Neil Gilbert (policy adviser and Antarctic governance expert), Antarctica New Zealand, and Gary Wilson (marine geologist and geophysicist and paleoclimate expert), Director of the New Zealand Antarctic Research Institute (NZARI).

Video recordings of the Colloquium are available online through YouTube.