SCAR focuses its science efforts on high priority topical areas through its Scientific Research Programmes (SRPs). The five programmes begun in 2012 will end in December this year. Three new programmes have been approved by the Executive to start officially in January 2021.
Further SRPs may be developed and proposed by Programme Planning Groups (PPGs) over the coming months and years, fostered by one or more of the permanent, disciplinary Science Groups (SGs). A PPG develops a proposal for an SRP based on wide consultation with the community. Details will be posted on the Programme Planning Groups page.
Scientific Research Programmes approved in 2020
The Ant-ICON SRP will answer fundamental science questions (as identified by the SCAR Horizon Scan), relating to the conservation and management of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean and focus on research to drive and inform international decision-making and policy change.
The INSTANT SRP will address a first-order question about Antarctica’s contribution to sea level. It encompasses geoscience, physical sciences and biological sciences, of the way in which interactions between the ocean, atmosphere and cryosphere have influenced ice-sheets in the past, and what expectations will be in the future with a special focus on quantifying the contributions to global sea level change. They aim to quantify the Antarctic ice sheet's contribution to past and future global sea-level change.
AntClimnow will investigate the prediction of near-term conditions in the Antarctic climate system on timescales of years to multiple decades. They will take an integrated approach, looking beyond climate projections of the physical system to consider the Antarctic environment as a whole.
Scientific Research Programmes, 2012-2020
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.
Information on the previous generation of SRPs can be found on the Science page of the archived SCAR website.