Understanding how ice sheets have responded in the past to changes in the Earth System, and influenced it, and how they will do so in the future, so affecting sea-level rise, are questions of great international interest and urgency. Indeed, the Horizon Scan made clear that this is one of a small handful of international interdisciplinary scientific endeavours that SCAR should be facilitating.
The INStabilities & Thresholds in ANTarctica (INSTANT) Scientific Research Programme will provides a coordinating framework that will augment other important international research initiatives and consortia.
INSTANT aims to quantify the Antarctic ice sheet contribution to past to future sea-level change, from improved understanding of atmosphere, ocean and solid Earth interactions and feedbacks, so that decision-makers can better anticipate and assess the risk in order to manage and adapt to sea-level rise and evaluate mitigation pathways.
The programme is structured into three themes:
- Improved understanding of atmosphere-ocean forcing processes of marine-based ice sheet dynamics.
- Improved understanding of solid Earth feedbacks on ice sheet dynamics and regional sea-level variations.
- Improved projections of Antarctic contribution global sea-level change – consequences and impacts.
The outcomes will include improved projections, and their associated risk profiles that will be of broad interest to decision-makers, civil society, business, industry, agricultural, infrastructure, finance and insurance sectors.
A key focus for the programme is to ensure that it builds capacity in the SCAR community.
The programme will build on best practice from the previous generation of SRPs where there have been considerable successes in running summer schools, training courses, and online webinars.
INSTANT involves close working with APECS and will seek increasing engagement with the ECR community, INSTANT involves international partners in the core membership.