The major current focus of the climate science community globally is climate model simulation and analysis as part of generating new science results to be reported in the upcoming IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6). The question of how Antarctic climate may change over the 21st century is a high priority across many Antarctic science disciplines and reliable estimation of the global impacts of Antarctic change depends strongly on close collaboration across these disciplines.
The above focus was the main motivation for a recent workshop held by Antarctic Climate Change over the 21st Century (AntClim21) at the British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge, UK, on 26-28 June 2019, which was attended by 55 participants, approximately 10 of whom attended remotely. The goal of the workshop was to provide leadership in developing a strong contribution to IPCC AR6 from the Antarctic and Southern Ocean climate science communities.
A diverse range of scientists attended the workshop representing 9 different countries and including 20 early career researchers (ECRs). The attendance of many of the ECR participants was made possible by the support of SCAR and the WCRP Climate and Cryosphere (CliC) Project. Support for an ECR presentation prize was also provided by a new Nature journal, Nature Reviews Earth & Environment, and was awarded to Dr Kaitlin Naughten (right) for her outstanding talk on future projections of Antarctic ice shelf melting.
Connecting a range of science disciplines through a combination of talks and breakout sessions provided a rich environment for fruitful discussions. Particular highlights and outcomes were:
- collaboration on science papers for contributing to IPCC AR6;
- the identification of novel possibilities for the use of ice core proxies as a source of information on climate processes over the Southern Ocean (e.g. clouds);
- the need for satellite remote sensing, climate modelling and paleo-climate researchers to collaborate on reconstructing past sea ice coverage;
- a look further ahead at the design of future phases of global coordinated climate model projects (e.g. in parallel with future IPCC reports), in particular relating to scenarios of change in ice shelf forcing; and
- the broader perspective provided by the session on the policy implications of Antarctic climate change both regionally and globally.
It is anticipated that many of the planned collaborations and papers will be important for feeding into the final outputs of AntClim21 to be presented at the next SCAR Open Science Conference in Hobart in 2020.
For more information on AntClim21 and SCAR visit www.scar.org/antclim21 or follow us on Twitter at @AntClim21.