SCAR focuses its science efforts on high priority topical areas through its Scientific Research Programmes (SRPs). The five programmes begun in 2012 ended in December 2020.
This Scientific Research Programme aims to deliver improved regional projections of key elements of the Antarctic atmosphere, ocean and cryosphere for the next 20 to 200 years, and to understand the responses of the physical and biological systems (through multi-disciplinary collaboration) to natural and anthropogenic climate drivers.
This Scientific Research Programme aims to increase the scientific knowledge of biodiversity, from genes to ecosystems that, coupled with increased knowledge of species biology, can be used for the conservation and management of Antarctic ecosystems.
This Scientific Research Programme aims to provide a platform for the exchange of knowledge and for the support of research on biological processes at ecological time scales especially related to environmental change.
This Scientific Research Programme aims to improve understanding of the sensitivity of East, West, and Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheets to a broad range of climatic and oceanic conditions and to improve confidence in predictions of ice sheet and sea level response to future climate change and ocean warming.
This Scientific Research Programme aims to advance understanding of the interactions between the solid earth and the cryosphere to better constrain ice mass balance, ice dynamics and sea level change in a warming world.
This was a Scientific Research Programme until 2018, when it became an Expert Group directly under the Executive Committe. It aims to coordinate astronomical activities in Antarctica in a way that ensures the best possible outcomes from international investment in Antarctic astronomy, and maximizes the opportunities for productive interaction with other disciplines.
Details of the process for establishing this suite of SRPs in 2012 can be found on the archived SCAR website.
The First Scientific Research Programmes
Scientific Research Programmes were initiated following SCAR's restructuring in 2004. The first programmes were:
- Antarctic Climate Evolution (ACE) (ended 2012)
- Antarctica and the Global Climate System (AGCS) (ended 2012)
- Evolution and Biodiversity in the Antarctic (EBA) (ended 2013)
- Interhemispheric Conjugacy Effects in Solar-Terrestrial and Aeronomy Research (ICESTAR) (ended 2010)
- Subglacial Antarctic Lake Environments (SALE) (ended 2010)