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New chairs of the Southern Ocean Observing System

13 May 2014

SCAR and SCOR are pleased to announce the new members of the Southern Ocean Observing System (SOOS) Executive Committee: Anna Wahlin takes over from Mike Meredith as the Physical Sciences Co-Chair and joins Oscar Schofield, the Biological Sciences Co-Chair, in leading the Scientific Committee. There are also two new positions in the Executive Committee: Sebastiaan Swart is the Physical Sciences Vice Chair, and Andrew Constable is the Biological Sciences Vice Chair.

Visit the SOOS website for more information on the Executive and Steering Committee members, as well as additional information on the SOOS.

Antarctic scientists work on 20-year goals

23 April 2014

Antarctica has been the focus of a major conference in Queenstown over Easter. Dozens of scientists came together, and for once they were not after answers, but questions. The world's best Antarctic scientists say we cannot ignore the icy continent.

"As we always say, what happens in Antarctica actually has global implications," says American oceanographer Chuck Kennicutt.

Fifty-five scientists from 24 countries have convened in Queenstown for the first-ever Antarctic and Southern Ocean Horizon Scan conference. Their aim was to come up with the most important questions about Antarctica that need to be answered in the next 20 years. Delegates submitted 800 questions, and they were culled to about 100 over the three days of the conference.

"They were questions about how ice sheets relate to sea level, changes in the ocean, changes in the atmosphere and also changes in weather and long-term climate patterns," says Dr Kennicutt.

Scientists say sea level rise caused by Antarctic ice melt is likely to be a major issue for New Zealand. There may be another marine-based problem – increased acidity in the Southern Ocean, which threatens our shellfish stocks.

"To which extent that might be happening is something that for sure we don't know," says marine ecologist Jose Xavier. "But what we are witnessing today and our predictions for the future is that they will have an effect, and probably a negative effect, regarding ocean acidification in New Zealand waters."

That's just one of the questions deemed most important. It's now hoped they can set out to answer them, with a more cohesive direction than they have had in the past.

For more information, including video, see the item on the 3 News website.

For further information on the Horizon Scan, visit the Horizon Scan section.

Interview: Chuck Kennicutt and Gary Wilson

23 April 2014

Just prior to the start of the Horizon Scan Retreat in Queenstown, New Zealand, Lisa Owen of 3 News talks to US oceanographer Chuck Kennicutt and Professor Gary Wilson of NZARI about how climate change is affecting Antarctica and the impact that's having on New Zealand.

To watch the video interview and read the transcript, see the item on the 3 News website.

For further information on the Horizon Scan, visit the Horizon Scan section.

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

24 March 2014

The 1st Martha T. Muse Fellows Colloquium; 22 April 2014; Queenstown, New Zealand

Many forecasters and futurists tell us that in 2065:

What will these dramatic changes to Planet Earth mean for the world's last great wilderness and a 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" will convene 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, April 22, 2014. The Colloquium is part of the 1st SCAR Antarctic and Southern Ocean Horizon Scan that is assembling 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 will include 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), University of Bristol University, UK. The Muse Fellows will be 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). The panel will be moderated by a public New Zealand personality or popular news scientist to be named. The Muse Colloquium will be made widely available via the web - details to follow.

Obituary: Dr Philip M. Smith

6 March 2014

Phil M Smith

The Polar world and SCAR have lost a great friend. Phil Smith, known to SCAR members as the leader of the review that led to major restructuring of SCAR in the early 2000s, passed on February 16, 2014.

Phil began his involvement in the Polar Regions when, as a young US Army Lieutenant, he was sent to Greenland as a navigator for the heavy tractor "swings" then traversing the Greenland Ice Sheet. Phil was trained by Major Palle Mogenson and Captain Bert Danielson for his work in Greenland.

When his tour of duty in the Arctic was completed, Phil made the decision to volunteer to join the US efforts in the International Geophysical Year 1957-1958 (IGY) in Antarctica, and there he joined with Bert Crary and others utilizing heavy tractors to haul materials for the construction of the US bases established as part of IGY.

After returning to US, Phil became an early member of the Office of Polar Programs that was established in the National Science Foundation to continue the scientific efforts begun as part of the IGY. Bert Crary was the Chief Scientist and Phil served as the Deputy Director of OPP for a number of years.

His abilities were soon recognized by his colleagues in Washington DC and, in following years, he spent time in the Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Office of Management and the Budget, followed by over a decade of leadership in the National Academy of Sciences and the National Research Council.

In the late 1990s, Phil was asked by the then president of SCAR to conduct a review of that organization. At that time SCAR was operating on the same "plan" that was instituted when it was formed in the late 1950s, and the increase in size and activities were not reflected in the SCAR system of operation, leading to pressure to change from some quarters. After some reflection, he agreed to lead a review committee, and it is as a testament to his wise and skillful chairmanship that reforms, which might well have been controversial, met with wide approval. Indeed, SCAR as we see it today is largely a result of that review. More recently he was asked and agreed to chair a "review of the review" for a fine tuning of the operation of SCAR. He was elected as an Honorary Member of SCAR to recognize his contributions to SCAR.

Anyone who has worked with Phil knows that he was a unique individual. Outstanding leadership skills, the ability to get diverse groups to work together, but most importantly, he had the ability to see years ahead and to have an understanding of what was to come. He has been called a "futurist" by some.

Phil's contributions to the continued growth and development of SCAR as an important organization in the international arena cannot be ignored. SCAR members owe a great debt to Phil and those of us who knew him well, some for over 50 years, will miss his skills, humour, and leadership. SCAR today is a far better and more relevant organization due largely to the efforts of Phil Smith.

Claude Lorius, SCAR President 1986-1990
Antonio Rocha-Campos, SCAR President 1994-1998
Robert Rutford, SCAR President 1998-2002
Jorn Thiede, SCAR President 2002-2006
Chris Rapley, SCAR President 2006 – 2008
Mahlon "Chuck" Kennicutt II, SCAR President 2008-2012
Jerónimo López-Martínez, SCAR President 2012-2016

Launch of 2014 SCAR and COMNAP Fellowships and CCAMLR Scholarships

12 February 2014

Three leading Antarctic organisations today announce opportunities for early career researchers. The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programmes (COMNAP) and the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) are working together to attract talented early career researchers, scientists, engineers and other professionals to strengthen international capacity and cooperation in fields such as climate, biodiversity, conservation, humanities and astrophysics research.

SCAR and COMNAP have again joined forces to launch fellowships for early career researchers. The SCAR and COMNAP fellowships are worth up to US$ 15,000 each and up to five fellowships in total are on offer for 2014. The fellowships enable early career researchers to join a project team from another country, opening up new opportunities and often creating research partnerships that last many years and over many Antarctic research seasons. The deadline for SCAR and COMNAP applications is 4 June 2014.

The SCAR and COMNAP schemes are launched in conjunction with the Scientific Scholarship Scheme of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). The CCAMLR Scholarship provides funding of up to AU$ 30,000 to assist early career scientists to participate in the work of the CCAMLR Scientific Committee and its working groups over a period of two years. The scheme was established in 2010 and a maximum of three awards will be made in 2014. The objective of the scheme is to build capacity within the CCAMLR scientific community to help generate and sustain the scientific expertise needed to support the work of CCAMLR in the long-term. The deadline for CCAMLR applications is 1 October 2014.

All three schemes are being jointly promoted by the three organisations.

For more information, visit the Fellowships section.

Any questions? Crowdsourcing research priorities for greater impact

6 February 2014

Future Earth recently published an article on how scientists increasingly design their research questions through a grassroots process.

They suggest that good research is as much about framing good questions as ferreting out answers. But if the answers are meant to be applied, what counts as a good question is not always easy to agree. Academics, practitioners, and policy-makers tend to have different ideas.

Solution? Get them together to thrash out an agreed agenda.The SCAR Horizon Scan activity is given as an example of a high-profile activity in this area.

For more information, see the item on the Future Earth blog.

New volumes on Antarctic Earth Sciences published

5 February 2014

Under an agreement with SCAR, two new volumes on Antarctic Earth Sciences have been published by the Geological Society, resulting from the 11th SCAR International Symposium on Antarctic Earth Sciences (ISAES XI) held in Edinburgh in 2011. The volumes are entitled: "Antarctic Palaeoenvironments and Earth-Surface Processes" and "Antarctica and Supercontinent Evolution" and are available from the Geological Society.

More details are available in the Geological Society flyer.

SCAR's new Past Antarctic Ice Sheet Dynamics (PAIS) research programme

29 January 2014

The implementation plan for SCAR's new Scientific Research Programme, Past Antarctic Ice Sheet Dynamics (PAIS), is now available.

PAIS aims to improve our understanding of ice sheet dynamics during past warm world conditions by:

For further information, see the PAIS section.

Antarctic Science Communication Award - SCAR OSC 2014

28 January 2014

SCAR is seeking new and innovative ways to communicate Antarctic Science to everyone (scientists, managers, the public) with greater impact.

At the SCAR OSC 2014, there will be a science session (#48) at which a valuable prize will be awarded for the most innovative presentation of Antarctic research results in any discipline. This is the first such award given at SCAR OSC, and is a follow-on to the linkage of science and creative arts activities at the last SCAR OSC meeting.

Researchers' presentations will be video-taped and judged for innovation and impact and the award will be presented at the OSC banquet. The winner will receive a new iPad Air (64GB) and their presentation will be posted on the SCAR website for viewing by the research community. We encourage you to read the information about session #48 on the 2014 OSC website, and consider submitting your abstract to session #48 to compete for the award. The deadline for abstracts is 14 February 2014.

For more information, see the Abstracts section of the OSC website.

Nominations open for 2014 Muse Prize

27 January 2014

Nominations are now open for the 2014 Muse Prize.

The "Martha T. Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica" is a US$ 100,000 unrestricted award presented to an individual in the fields of Antarctic science or policy who has demonstrated potential for sustained and significant contributions that will enhance the understanding and/or preservation of Antarctica. The Prize is inspired by Martha T. Muse's passion for Antarctica and is intended to be a legacy of the International Polar Year 2007-2008.

The prize-winner can be from any country and work in any field of Antarctic science or policy. The goal is to provide recognition of the important work being done by the individual and to call attention to the significance of understanding Antarctica in a time of change. A website with further details, including the process of nomination, closing date and selection of the Prize recipients is available at www.museprize.org.

The Prize is awarded by the Tinker Foundation and administered by SCAR.

XII International Symposium on Antarctic Earth Sciences (ISAES) 2015

23 January 2014

The 12th International Symposium on Antarctic Earth Sciences (ISAES) will take place from 13-17 July 2015 in Goa, India.

ISAES is a SCAR-initiative aimed at showcasing Antarctic geoscience research, taking stock of the accomplishments of the International community and providing guidance for future studies. The first ISAES was organised back in 1963 in Cape Town, and the last one (11th) at Edinburgh, with the Symposium traversing through Oslo, Madison, Adelaide, Cambridge, Tokyo, Siena, Wellington, Potsdam and Santa Barbara. In its 50-year history, Japan has been the only Asian country to hold it, with India being bestowed the honour to host in 2015.

To be on the mailing list, please send an email with your name, institute affiliation and country to isaes2015@ncaor.gov.in

More information is available in the Symposium Flyer.

Future Earth Engagement Committee - call published on the ICSU website

14 January 2014

The call for the Future Earth Engagement Committee has just been published.

Future Earth is a 10-year international research programme that will provide critical knowledge required for societies to face the challenges posed by global environmental change and to identify opportunities for transformations towards global sustainability. Future Earth was launched in 2012 by the Science & Technology Alliance for global sustainability comprising the International Council for Science (ICSU), the International Social Science Council (ISSC), UNESCO, UNEP, the United Nations University, the International Group of Funding Agencies (IGFA) and the Belmont Forum of principals, and the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).

For more information, please visit the Future Earth website.

SCAR's new State of the Antarctic Ecosystem (AntEco) research programme

14 January 2014

The implementation plan for SCAR's new Scientific Research Programme, State of the Antarctic Ecosystem (AntEco), is now available.

Biological diversity is the sum of all those organisms that are present in an ecosystem, that dictate how ecosystems function, and that underpin the life-support system of our planet. This programme has been designed to focus on patterns of biodiversity across terrestrial, limnological, glacial and marine environments within the Antarctic, sub-Antarctic and Southern Ocean regions, and to provide the scientific knowledge on biodiversity that can be also used for conservation and management. In essence we propose to explain what biodiversity is there, how it got there, what it does there, and what threatens it. A primary product of this programme would be recommendations for its management and conservation.

For further information, see the AntEco section.

Call for nominations for SOOS Steering Committee

13 January 2014

Nominations are open for new members to join the SOOS Scientific Steering Committee (SSC).

We are keen to ensure broad national coverage on the SSC. Nominations of experts from all disciplines will be considered; however we are particularly interested in nominations from experts in:
• Ocean/ice-sheet dynamics
• Technologists (e.g., hardware, cyber infrastructure)
• Data assimilation

Ideally, candidates would be present at the upcoming SSC meeting in Norway in June 2014. Nominees should be highly regarded for their scientific excellence, have close connections to the community that they represent, and should be willing to actively participate in the implementation of SOOS.

Nominations should include a cover letter stating the nominee's motivation to be involved, CV highlighting relevant experience (6 pages maximum), and letter of support from the nominator. Please send nominations (including self-nominations) to Louise Newman <info@soos.aq> by 17 February 2014.

For more information, please visit the SOOS website.


2013

Prof Martin Siegert awarded 2013 Muse Prize at Cryosphere Reception

16 December 2013

Muse prize winner, Martin Siegert, flanked by Ian Allison, chair of the Selection Committee, and Renate Rennie, Chair of the Tinker Foundation who fund the prize.

2013 Muse prize winner, Martin Siegert, flanked by Ian Allison,
chair of the Selection Committee, and Renate Rennie, Chair of
the Tinker Foundation, which funds the prize.
Image: Renuka Badhe

Professor Martin Siegert of the University of Bristol was awarded the 2013 Martha T Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica by Ms Renate Rennie, Chair of the Tinker Foundation. The ceremony took place at the Cryosphere Reception (Fall AGU) at San Francisco.

Professor Siegert was recognised for his innovative research on Antarctic subglacial lakes and the reconstruction of Antarctic glacial history. His research in this field is multidisciplinary and collaborative, and has received significant world-wide attention, which Siegert has cultivated to promote public awareness of Antarctic earth and environmental sciences. He has maintained a successful and diverse research programme, involving multiple multidisciplinary international collaborations. His work has supported the development of early career scientists (e.g. his airborne geophysics research, and his convening of major international meetings), international collaborations (e.g. the ICECAP and subglacial lakes activities) and the public understanding of science (through outreach work on subglacial lakes, and in international symposia).

For more information on the Martha T Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica, which is awarded annually, visit the Muse Prize website.

SCAR announces Horizon Scan Retreat Discussion Leaders

27 November 2013

Planning for the 1st SCAR Antarctic and Southern Ocean Science Horizon Scan is continuing! Community responses to requests for input have been excellent and a total of just over 850 unique questions have been submitted by the community in two rounds. These questions were representative of the breadth and depth of modern Antarctic science and can be perused on the Retreat Questions page.

A critical element of the Science Horizon Scan is a Retreat to be held in Queenstown, New Zealand from April 20 to 23, 2014, where the most important scientific questions will be formulated and agreed, and the database of questions will be the starting point for discussion. The final structure of the question database is organized into eleven themes. For the retreat, each theme is led by a Discussion Leader (DL), and a supporting DL. These DLs will be critical to managing the discussions and ensuring that the goals for each session are met in the time allotted. The discussion teams include an impressive array of talented scientists and experts from around the world! Draft lists of sessions and session leaders are available to view.

Scan Retreat Discussion Leaders, as well as attendees, are representatives of their communities and are tasked with providing a broad perspective on their areas of expertise at the Retreat. Everyone is encouraged to contact DLs and attendees and make their opinions known and take advantage of opportunities to participate in the Horizon Scan.

If you have any further questions or wish for more details, please contact a member of the Horizon Scan International Steering Committee, especially a member from your own country or region, or the SCAR Secretariat.

For more information, please visit the Horizon Scan website.

SCAR Data-related meetings in Japan

19 November 2013

SCAR promotes free and unrestricted access to Antarctic data and information by promoting open and accessible archiving practices. SCAR has adopted a Data and Information Management Strategy (DIMS), developed by the SCAR Standing Committee on Antarctic Data Management (SCADM), to ensure that the scientific user community has adequate access to data and information.

Between 13 and 18 October 2013 the following data-related meetings were held:

Participants of the Forum on Polar Data Activities, held in Japan, October 2013

This series of meetings highlighted the importance of Polar data management and facilitated interesting discussions between Arctic and
Antarctic communities. SCAR acknowledges and congratulates ICSU and all the organizers, in particular the NIPR and its director and also the SCAR National Delegate of Japan, Dr Kazuyuki Shiraishi, for these successful meetings.

SCAR participation at UN Climate Change Meeting in Warsaw

SCAR@COP19

14 November 2013

SCAR is represented at a series of events at the UNFCCC COP19 meeting in Warsaw.

On Saturday 16 November (14:00 CET), there is a UNFCCC Press Briefing on the Cryosphere Day and "On Thin Ice" side events, highlighting the upcoming events and including a panel to answer media queries. Follow the live webcast of the Briefing.

Following this (at 18:30–20:00 CET), there is a UNFCCC Side Event, "On Thin Ice". This event is focused on climate change in the cryosphere, and the new report "On Thin Ice" released recently by the World Bank and International Cryosphere Climate Initiative (ICCI)

On Sunday 17 November, Cryosphere Day takes place at the Radisson Blu Centrum, Warsaw (08:30–18:00 CET). This is a full-day event devoted to regions of snow and ice on the Earth — the cryosphere — and their importance to the global climate system, the changes they are exhibiting and implications for ecosystems and human communities. For more details and to follow the Cryosphere Day webcast live, visit the Cryosphere Day website.

Horizon Scan Retreat questions available to view

6 November 2013

Community response to the request for Antarctic and Southern Ocean science questions generated more than 850 questions that the community believes will be important in Antarctic science over the next two decades. The responses were representative of the breadth and depth of modern Antarctic science and cover important research questions in the life sciences, geosciences, physical sciences, and social sciences and the humanities (as defined by SCAR and its subsidiary group topics).

The database of submitted questions will be the starting point for discussion at the Horizon Scan Retreat in April 2104 so an important decision was grouping the questions into a logical structure. The database is organized into eleven (11) themes: Southern Ocean Physics, Geology, and Chemistry; Southern Ocean Life and Ecology; The Solid Earth; Atmospheric Science; Land Ice; Near Earth Space and Beyond; Biotic Responses to Change; Marine Biosphere and the Physical Environment; Humankind; The Past - A Window on the Future; and Terrestrial Life and Ecology. Questions that could be logically addressed in more than one theme are repeated in the database for a total of nearly 1000 questions.

To view the questions, please see the Retreat Questions section.

For more information, please visit the Horizon Scan website.

Antarctic Thresholds - Ecosystem Resilience and Adaptation (AnT-ERA)

4 November 2013

AnT-ERA's implementation plan is published in the journal "Polarforschung" and available to download from the AnT-ERA section of the website.

We would also like to draw your attention to all AnT-ERA related sessions of the forthcoming SCAR Open Science Conference in Auckland, New Zealand, 25 - 28 August 2014. See the conference programme for more details.

Day of the Cryosphere at COP-19

30 October 2013

A full-day event devoted to regions of snow and ice on the Earth — the cryosphere — and their importance to the global climate system, the changes they are exhibiting and implications for ecosystems and human communities is being held on Sunday 17 November, in conjunction with the COP-19 (Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change) meeting.

SCAR will be organizing the Antarctic session at this event arranged by the International Cryosphere Climate Initiative (ICCI), with Carlota Escutia - PAIS (Past Antarctic Ice Sheet Dynamics), Tom Bracegirdle - AntClim21 (Antarctic Climate Change in the 21st Century) and Hartmut Hellmer - ice2sea Project, all presenting.

COP 19 will be held from 11 to 22 November 2013 in Warsaw, Poland.

For more information, see the Cryosphere Day page on the ICCI website.

SCAR supports International Workshop on Ocean Acidification

30 October 2013

The Laboratory of Integrative Taxonomy and Microbial Ecology, based in the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Kolkata (IISER-K) recently organized an 'International Workshop on Ocean Acidification - Consequences for Marine Ecosystems (IWOA'13)' in Kolkata, India from 20-21 September, 2013.

The workshop was attended by 50 enthusiastic participants, including several early career scientists from countries such as Mauritius, Bangladesh and Thailand. Four invited speakers, who are leaders in the field of ocean acidification research, including polar acidification, namely Richard Bellerby (Norwegian Institute for Water Research), Stephen Widdicombe (Plymouth Marine Laboratory), Bayden Russell (University of Adelaide) and V. Thiyagarajan (University of Hong Kong), delivered a series of lectures and actively interacted with workshop participants.

As part of this workshop, three enthusiastic young scientists, Anant Pande (Wildlife Institute of India), Priyanka Chowdhury (IISER-K) and Gitanjali Katlam (IISER-K) from the Indian Polar Research Network (IPRN) moderated a panel discussion on opportunities in ocean acidification research. The panel members comprised the four invited speakers, plus Punyasloke Bhadury and several questions pertaining to ocean acidification research, funding opportunities for graduate students/early career researchers to work in polar regions and ways to establish collaborative links were clarified by panellists.

The IWOA'13 workshop was financially supported by SCAR, the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR), the Science and Engineering Research Board, Govt of India (SERB) and IISER-K. Incidentally, this was the first ocean acidification workshop organized in India and also in South Asia. It is envisaged that, to promote and strengthen ocean acidification research in South Asia, the second IWOA workshop will be organized in 2014.

Inaugural SCAR Visiting Professor awardees announced

23 October 2013

SCAR has initiated the Visiting Professor Scheme to promote partnerships that advance Antarctic research in 2013-14. The scheme has financed five Visiting Professor placements internationally. The initiation of this scheme was made possible with a generous contribution from India.

The scheme is directed at mid- to late-career scientists and academics whose work contributes to the scientific objectives of SCAR, offering the opportunity for them to undertake a short-term visit (from one to four weeks) to another SCAR member country to provide training and mentoring. Awards provide a contribution to an international return flight and some living expenses for the visiting period.

Awards are granted to individuals based on competitive criteria and enable successful candidates to contribute their experience towards strengthening the scientific research capacity of nations with smaller or less well-developed Antarctic research programmes. The ultimate goal of the scheme is to promote capacity building in the host institute and to develop long-term scientific links and partnerships leading to advances in Antarctic research.

For details of this year's awards, please see the 2013-14 Professors Awards page.

For more information on the scheme, please go to the Visiting Professor section.

Second Circular released for 2014 Open Science Conference

23 October 2013

Logo for XXXIII SCAR meetings, Auckland, New Zealand, 2014 The 2014 Open Science Conference, part of the XXXIII SCAR Biennial Meetings, will be held in Auckland, New Zealand in August 2014. We are pleased to announce that the Second Circular is now available.

Abstract submission is open on the website until 14 February 2014 and registration opens on 2 December.

For more information, please visit the Conference website.

SCAR Medals open for nominations

23 October 2013

An important SCAR activity is recognition of excellence in Antarctic and Southern Ocean science and outstanding service to the international Antarctic community, both of which are critical to advancing SCAR's vision and mission. Peer-recognition rewards and highlights those who exemplify the best of the Antarctic community and serve as models for the next generation of scientists and researchers. SCAR created the medals to provide this recognition: the Medal for Excellence in Antarctic Research and the Medal for International Scientific Coordination. To encourage nominations and ensure an open, fair and transparent selection process, recipients of the medals are selected by committee.

The SCAR Medal for Excellence in Antarctic Research is awarded for sustained scientific contributions over a career. This medal is awarded to persons deserving recognition based on outstanding contributions to knowledge and the impact of a person's work on understanding the Antarctic region, the linkages between Antarctica and the Earth system, and/or observations of and from Antarctica. Nominees are welcomed in all areas of Antarctic and Southern Ocean science and research.

The SCAR Medal for International Coordination is awarded for outstanding and sustained contributions to international cooperation and partnerships. Nomination of persons that have advanced SCAR's mission to initiate, facilitate, co-ordinate and encourage international research activity in the Antarctic region are encouraged. Awardees should have a distinguished professional career history and a record of recognition of international activities by their peers including prizes, honorary degrees and other awards which demonstrate the person's impact.

There are no age restrictions or limits on nominees and no higher education degree requirements - everyone is eligible to be nominated. However, self-nominations are not accepted.

For further details and to nominate someone for a SCAR Medal, please go to the SCAR Medals section.

SCAR announces attendees of Science Horizon Scan Retreat

9 October 2013

SCAR continues to plan and organize the 1st Antarctic and Southern Ocean Science Horizon Scan, a critical element of which is a Retreat, to be held in Queenstown, New Zealand from April 20 to 23, 2014, where the most important scientific questions will be formulated and agreed.

The Horizon Scan International Steering Committee (ISC) has selected Retreat invitees from nearly 500 community-submitted nominations of highly qualified and deserving candidates. Primary considerations in selection were scientific excellence, leadership, and a broad perspective of Antarctic science. To reach a consensus, ISC members carefully reviewed the credentials all nominees and selected those they believed should be invited to the Retreat via an online survey. Full details of the selection process are given in the Horizon Scan news release.

The selected Science Horizon Scan Retreat attendees are from 24 countries, 7% are early career scientists or students, 27% are female, and topical expertise ranges from history to astrophysics. Based on SCAR classifications, attendees are 22% Geo Sciences, 32% Life Sciences, 33% Physical Sciences and 14% Social Sciences, Humanities and Policy.

For more details, see the full Horizon Scan news item.

For full information on the Horizon Scan, please visit the Horizon Scan main page.

SCAR wins 2013 Prix Biodiversité of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation

2 October 2013

On Monday 30th September, the SCAR President, Jerónimo López-Martínez, accepted the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation's 2013 Prix Biodiversité on behalf of SCAR. The Prize was awarded in recognition of SCAR's contribution to science and its work to improve our understanding of the environment.

At the spectacular ceremony held in Monaco, in addition to SCAR, awards in different categories were awarded to Dr Jane Lubchenco (Prix Changement Climatique) and Dr John Anthony Allan (Prix Eau).

For further details, see the report on the Prize website.

SCAR President Jeronimo Lopez Martinez receives the Biodiversity Award from HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco

HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco presenting the
Prix Biodiversité to SCAR President Jerónimo
López-Martínez.

Call for Abstracts for SCAR 2014 Open Science Conference

1 October 2013

Logo for XXXIII SCAR meetings, Auckland, New Zealand, 2014

Abstract submission is now open on the SCAR 2014 Open Science Conference website.

The Open Science Conference will be held in Auckland, New Zealand, on 24-29 August 2014. The closing date for submission of abstracts is 14 February 2014.

Full details of the conference are on the website but, if you have any queries, please contact scar2014@tcc.co.nz.

Latest issue of SOOS Update available

16 September 2013

The latest issue of SOOS Update, the quarterly newsletter of the Southern Ocean Observing System, is now available to view online.

Sea Ice Modelling and Observing Workshop - report and outcomes

5 September 2013

The sea ice covers of the polar oceans are a critical element of the global system. With support from the Research Council of Norway, CliC (the Climate and Cryosphere project), the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) and SCAR, 48 researchers from 13 countries, including 10 early-career scientists, met from 5th to 7th June 2013 in Tromsø, Norway to discuss the next steps in better integrating sea ice observations and modelling. The meeting identified key areas where we need to improve our understanding of sea ice properties and processes and enhance our ability to model sea ice on different spatial and temporal scales.

A workshop report, videos and PDFs of presentations are available from the CliC website.

Polar Educators International – a new initiative for schools

20 August 2013

A recent guest editorial in the journal Antarctic Science highlights the importance of polar education at all levels. The SCAR-endorsed organisation, Polar Educators International (PEI), is working with partners to contribute to this international polar educational effort.

Read the full editorial in Antarctic Science.

The horizon is getting closer!

14 August 2013

Planning for the 1st SCAR Antarctic and Southern Ocean Science Horizon Scan is continuing apace! Community responses to requests for input have been excellent. Over 750 questions were received for the first community-wide solicitation of the most important and compelling scientific questions in Antarctic science over the next two decades. The call for nominations of deserving, potential invitees to the Horizon Scan Retreat is now closed and nearly 800 nominations for almost 500 individuals were received. The International Steering Committee is currently deciding on the final list of Scan Retreat invitees and invitations will be issued around the end of August / early September. The second solicitation of future oriented scientific questions will be launched soon, when the community will be asked to review the database (unedited), identify important gaps and submit truly futuristic, "forward-leaning" questions.

For full details, see the item on the Horizon Scan News page.

SCAR and COMNAP announce 2013 Fellowship Awardees

9 August 2013

Two Antarctic organisations, SCAR and the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs (COMNAP), joined forces again this year to launch Fellowships for early career researchers. The Fellowships are worth up to USD 15,000 each and six Fellowships (four SCAR, one COMNAP and one joint SCAR/COMNAP) were awarded in 2013 (one more than the previous year). The SCAR Fellowships were awarded to: Paula Casanovas, Bella Duncan, Reny Tyson and Luis Huckstadt. The COMNAP Fellowship was awarded to Charlotte Havermans and a co-funded SCAR/COMNAP Fellowship was awarded to Luis Rodriguez.

This year, twenty-six applications were received. The winners of the Fellowships will carry out a range of scientific research in areas including marine biology, climatology, remote sensing and understanding terrestrial ecosystem complexity. Candidates come from a wide geographic spread of countries, including Argentina, Belgium, New Zealand, Russia, Spain, Venezuela and USA. In 2013, SCAR had a generous voluntary contribution of USD 15000 from Germany, and SCAR was able to offer one extra Fellowship.

For further details, please visit the Fellowships section of the SCAR website.

SCAR VP becomes new President of KOPRI

1 August 2013

Yeadong Kim Congratulations to Dr Yeadong Kim, Vice President of SCAR, who has been appointed as the new President of the Korea Polar Research Institute (KOPRI).

Draft session list for XXXIII SCAR Open Science Conference 2014

19 July 2013

A draft list of sessions for the 2014 SCAR Open Science Conference is now available on the Conference website.

This is your opportunity to suggest new sessions or amendments to the current list.

Please comment before the 1st of August!

Nominations sought for SCAR Horizon Scan Retreat

12 July 2013

The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) enlists your assistance in identifying those in your community that you consider to be experts, leaders and/or visionaries in Antarctic and Southern Ocean science, research, and policy advice. In 2014, SCAR will assemble around 50 scientists, researchers, policy makers, science funders, national programme operators, and technologists to develop a community-based vision of future directions in Antarctic and Southern Ocean science over the next two decades. Nominees from all countries, stages of career, and disciplines are solicited as potential invitees to the "1st SCAR Antarctic and Southern Ocean Science Horizon Scan". The assembled invitees will consider scientific questions posed by the global Antarctic science and research community in identifying the most important and compelling scientific questions that can be addressed in or from Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. Invitees are expected to represent the interests of their community and we need your assistance identifying the best invitees. Your assistance is also requested in identifying early career scientists who have shown the potential to become the leaders of tomorrow.

For more information and to make a nomination, please go to the Horizon Scan website.

Update on the 1st SCAR Antarctic and Southern Ocean Science Horizon Scan

11 July 2013

Progress on the 1st SCAR Antarctic and Southern Ocean Science Horizon Scan has been made on several fronts over the past few months.

The 1st Round community-wide solicitation of scientific questions was opened on 15 May 2013 and closed on 14 June 2013. Question submitters were asked to develop questions of importance to global issues and/or questions grounded in curiosity-driven research capitalizing on the unique setting of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. Questions supported by observations from Antarctica because of its singular characteristics were also solicited. Questions must be addressable by research in the southern Polar Regions or where studies in Antarctica provide insights not attainable elsewhere.

The community responded with 751 questions from 351 submitters from 38 countries. It is appreciated that so many took the time to participate. The questions reflected the geographic, gender and disciplinary diversity of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean scientific community. The complete (unedited) questions and the demographic and topical distributions of submitted questions can be viewed on the Horizon Scan website.

The next step is a community-wide solicitation of nominees to be invited to the Horizon Scan Retreat. This will be launched very soon.

For further details on these topics and for other news on the progress of the Horizon Scan, please go to Horizon Scan News.

Full information on the Scan is available on the Horizon Scan website.

Obituary: Andrey Shmakin

8 July 2013

SCAR deeply regrets the passing away of the SCAR Delegate from Russia, Andrey Shmakin, on June 28th 2013.

Andrey was a talented scientist, Head of the Climate Laboratory of the Institute of Geography RAS, who carried out fundamental studies in the field of climatology. He was a member of the Russian Scientific Council on Arctic and Antarctic Research, an IPCC expert and the focal point in the EU in the field of environmental problems, and a member of many National and International scientific organizations. He was an author and editor of many scientific publications and initiated many Russian and International projects. He was an excellent scientific adviser for post-graduate students. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.

Andrey Shmakin

Prof Martin Siegert awarded the 2013 Martha T Muse Prize

1 July 2013

Professor Martin Siegert of the University of Bristol has been awarded the 2013 Muse Prize for his innovative research on Antarctic subglacial lakes and the reconstruction of Antarctic glacial history. His research in this field is multidisciplinary and collaborative, and has received significant world-wide attention, which Siegert has cultivated to promote public awareness of Antarctic earth and environmental sciences. He has maintained a successful and diverse research programme, involving multiple multidisciplinary international collaborations. His work has supported the development of early career scientists (e.g. his airborne geophysics research, and his convening of major international meetings), international collaborations (e.g. the ICECAP and subglacial lakes activities) and the public understanding of science (through outreach work on subglacial lakes, and in international symposia).

The venue of the Prize Ceremony will be announced at a later date on the Muse Prize website.

For more information on the Martha T Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica, please visit the Muse Prize website.

2013 Muse Prize Press Release

UNFCCC talk on Antarctica and Global Climate

28 June 2013

A talk by the SCAR Executive Director on "Antarctica and Global Climate", given at the UNFCCC side event "Rapid Climate Change in Polar and Mountain Regions", is available to download (note it is ~100 MB):

Download for PCs
Download for MACs

For coverage of selected side events at the Bonn Climate Change Conference, including Mike Sparrow's talk, please visit the IISD Reporting Service website.

SCAR "Biogeographic Atlas of the Southern Ocean" shares Cosmos Prize

6 June 2013

The Cosmos Prize, established by the International Osaka Expo'90 Commemorative Foundation, was awarded to the Census of Marine Life (CoML), which included the regional programme Census of Antarctic Marine Life (CAML) supported by SCAR. The prize money from this prestigious international award was in turn awarded to a few select projects that represent significant CoML legacies. The "SCAR Biogeographic Atlas of the Southern Ocean", a joint output of CAML and the SCAR Marine Biodiversity Information Network (SCAR-MarBIN), was selected and shared the prize.

Biogeographic information is of primary importance for discovering marine biodiversity hotspots, detecting impacts of environmental changes, modelling future distributions, monitoring biodiversity, and supporting conservation and management strategies. The extensive exploration and assessment of biodiversity by CAML, and the intense compilation and validation efforts of Southern Ocean biogeographic data by the SCAR-MarBIN/biodiversity.aq networks, provided a unique opportunity to assess and synthesize the current knowledge on Southern Ocean biogeography.

The Atlas covers the geographic distribution patterns and processes of the phyto- and zooplankton, macroalgae and zoobenthos, nekton, birds and mammals south of 40°S. It will significantly contribute to the modelling of biogeographic distributions in the context of environmental changes.

More than 120 contributors (biogeographers, taxonomists, ecologists, molecular biologists, IT experts, environmental dataset providers, modellers, GIS experts) have contributed to the Atlas, which will be published under the aegis of SCAR in autumn 2013. A dynamic online version hosted by biodiversity.aq will follow.

SCAR Lecture to the 2013 Antarctic Treaty Meeting now available

5 June 2013

The 2013 Antarctic Treaty Science Lecture, given by Prof Chuck Kennicutt and jointly authored with Prof Jemma Wadham 'Probing the Limits of Technology: Exploration of Subglacial Aquatic Environments' is now available to download (see the lecture slides and lecture text).

Antarctic Subglacial Aquatic Environments (SAEs) are recognized as central to many processes that have shaped the polar ice sheets both today and in the past. They include a range of features that differ in geologic setting, age, evolutionary history, hydrological conditions and size, and include subglacial lakes, ponds, swamps, intermittently flowing rivers and thick sediments. These environments are "natural" earth-bound macrocosms, which in some instances trace their origins to a time before Antarctica became encased in ice. Antarctic SAEs remain the least explored sector of the cold biosphere, yet are now known to be viable habitats for microbial life despite the harsh environmental conditions. Within these sub-surface aquatic environments microbial life drives chemical weathering, which in turn exports dissolved nutrients and carbon to downstream ecosystems and greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. The full spectrum of sub-ice environments present beneath the Antarctic continent provides an unparalleled opportunity to explore and study one of Earth's last frontiers and decipher fundamental clues to the planet's history, climate and biology.

The last 10 years has witnessed a dramatic increase in the profile of Antarctic SAEs and the impetus for their study. This raised profile was linked strongly to the activity of SCAR via SALE, AG-CCER-SAE and ATHENA. It culminated in the funding of four campaigns to access and directly sample SAEs (the Lake Vostok, WISSARD, Lake Ellsworth and BEAMISH programmes). The next phase of Antarctic SAE exploration is very likely to be shaped by the availability of technology for addressing core science goals. This lecture aims first, to identify the science questions driving technology development for the future exploration of subglacial aquatic ecosystems and second, to present the current status of available technologies for sub-Antarctic science.

A paper further expanding on the work of the SCAR ATHENA Expert Group (Advancing TecHnologies and ENvironmental stewardship in Antarctica) was submitted to the Treaty Meeting: IP082 - Advancing technologies for exploring subglacial Antarctic aquatic ecosystems (SAEs).

SCAR at UNFCCC Climate Change Meeting

5 June 2013

SCAR is exhibiting at the UNFCCC Climate Change Meeting in Bonn, June 3rd to 14th, highlighting the recent ACCE report update and promoting additional material from APECS and Polar Educators International.

SCAR will also host a Press Briefing on the ACCE Report Update on June 5th from 13:30-14:00 CET, which can be followed live from the UNFCCC webcast.

An overview of the ACCE report update and short reviews of the topics of ice mass balance and marine ecosystem response will be presented by Dr Eoghan Griffin (SCAR Secretariat), Dr Francisco Navarro (Technical University of Madrid) and Dr Julian Gutt (Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research).

SCAR Executive Director, Dr Mike Sparrow, will also make a presentation on "Antarctica and global climate" at the "A near-term action plan for the Cryosphere" side event on June 12th at 13:15 CET. This final talk is at the invitation of the International Cryosphere Climate Initiative (ICCI).

A View Beyond the Horizon: Future Directions in Antarctic Science

13 May 2013

The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) is embarking on a unique and exciting project to identify the most important and compelling questions in Antarctic and Southern Ocean science over the next two decades. A collective, community-based vision of the 100 highest priority scientific questions will be developed to assist in strategic planning; influence future directions in Antarctic research; highlight opportunities for collaborations and synergies; identify future critical infrastructure, logistical, and technological needs; and inform international decisions about investments in the Antarctic scientific enterprise. For this project to be successful, we need your opinion and insight on what are or will be the scientific questions that, once answered, will measurably improve our understanding of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean and its connections to the Earth and climate systems and beyond.

For further details, please see the Science Horizon Scan document or go directly to the Horizon Scan website.

Antarctic nematodes and climate change

7 May 2013

Climate change affects not only air temperature and sea levels, but soil as well. Diana Wall, a previous SCAR medal winner, is on an award-winning quest to reverse the damage.

The frozen desert valleys of Antarctica are among the world's most inhospitable environments. The landscape is so barren that just 30 years ago, experts did not think it could support life. But beneath the surface, microscopic worms called nematodes thrive in a unique ecosystem - and they are helping researchers understand the effects of climate change.

Diana Wall has spent two decades studying Antarctic nematodes, ground-breaking work that this year earned her one of science's top awards - the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement.

For more information, see the article on the BBC News Magazine website.

International Forum on Polar Data

29 April 2013

An International Forum on 'Polar Data Activities in Global Data Systems' will take place at the National Museum of Nature and Science in Tokyo, Japan on 15–16 October 2013.

To manage the considerable data legacy of the International Polar Year (IPY), National Antarctic Data Centres under the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) initiated several dedicated data services. To construct an effective framework for long-term stewardship, data must be made available promptly, and adequate technologies should be employed (e.g., a repository service, such as the Polar Information Commons (PIC)). In addition to activities conducted within the communities of SCAR and the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), stronger links must be established in the post-IPY era with other cross-cutting scientific data management bodies such as ICSU-WDS. To this end, SCAR's Standing Committee on Antarctic Data Management (SCADM), the WDS Scientific Committee (WDS-SC), and IASC are planning a Joint International Forum on 'Polar Data Activities in Global Data Systems'.

For more information about the Polar Data Forum (including abstract submission), please visit the Forum website.

Videos of SCAR Past President Chuck Kennicutt

29 April 2013

Videos of the SCAR Past President Chuck Kennicutt discussing Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, the Antarctic Treaty System and human impacts on the polar regions have been released on Askimo:

Obituary: Eberhard Fahrbach

29 April 2013

Eberhard Fahrbach, a tropical and polar oceanographer who worked at the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) in Germany, passed away recently after many months of illness at the age of 65.

Eberhard was a dedicated scientist. With great enthusiasm and energy he greatly increased the body of observations of the polar oceans, which he considered a prerequisite for understanding our planet. As well as making numerous important contributions to international research and to AWI, Eberhard was also involved with many SCAR activities, including serving as the first chair of the SCAR/SCOR Oceanography Expert Group (now the SOOS Steering Committee).

Science was very important to him, but even more so were the people surrounding him: onboard his numerous expeditions, at AWI, and in international committees. Marine scientists all around the globe have lost a dear and esteemed friend.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends.

Photo of Eberhard Fahrbach

New report highlights the complexity of climate change across the Antarctic

24 April 2013

A new report by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) reveals that while large climatic changes are taking place in parts of the Antarctic, such as the Antarctic Peninsula and West Antarctica, much of the continent has experienced little change. Such a pattern is consistent with the impact of the ozone hole and influences from the tropical Pacific Ocean, such as El Nino.

Published in the last week in the journal Polar Record, the Antarctic Climate Change and the Environment (ACCE) report provides an update on the scientific advances made since the last report in 2009.

Important areas in which the science has rapidly advanced include the debate on whether the Antarctic ice sheet is growing or shrinking, and separating the signals of human-induced change from natural variations in the climate system.

Professor John Turner, editor of the ACCE update, said "the ACCE update allowed us to bring many of the rapidly advancing topics of Antarctic Science up to date and produce a handy summary for people who want to know the latest advances in the science."

A short video interview introducing the report, by the editor Prof. John Turner, is available on YouTube.

For more information, visit the SCAR ACCE Report page, read the Top 10 Points from the update, or read the article in Polar Record.

SCAR renews agreements with APECS, CliC and IACS

22 April 2013

During the Arctic Science Summit Week in Krakow, Poland, the SCAR President, Jeronimo Lopez-Martinez, signed three important agreements renewing SCAR's commitment to work with our partners from the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS), the WCRP Climate and Cryosphere Project (CliC) and the International Association of Cryospheric Sciences (IACS). The individual agreements may be viewed via our Partnerships page.

Partnerships with organizations with complementary skills, technologies and interests bring added value to SCAR's activities. Such partnerships support SCAR's goals to provide authoritative scientific advice to policy makers, expand its advisory sphere of influence on global issues, develop the capacity of students and early career scientists, and encourage cooperation with Arctic counterparts.

IASC President David Hiks, APECS Director Alexey Pavlov and SCAR President Jerónimo López- Martínez after signing a new Memorandum of Understanding

David Hik (IASC President), Alexey Pavlov (APECS Director) and Jerónimo López- Martínez (SCAR President) after signing the MoU between SCAR, IASC and APECS.

Photo credit: Volker Rachold

International Bathymetric Chart of the Southern Ocean released

15 April 2013

Version 1.0 of the new International Bathymetric Chart of the Southern Ocean, a bathymetric compilation covering circum-Antarctic waters, has been released.

The objective of the International Bathymetric Chart of the Southern Ocean (IBCSO) programme is to gain better knowledge of the sea floor topography in the Southern Ocean. For that reason the IBCSO group collects and compiles bathymetric data from hydrographic offices, scientific institutions and data centres to create the first regional digital bathymetric model that covers all circum-Antarctic waters.

The digital bathymetric model of IBCSO Version 1.0 has a 500m x 500m resolution based on a Polar Stereographic projection for the area south of 60° S. It is publicly available together with a digital chart for printing.

For more information, see the article in Geophysical Research Letters or visit the IBCSO website.

The Southern Ocean Observing System Update

25 March 2013

The latest issue of the newsletter of the Southern Ocean Observing System, SOOS Update (Issue 3, March 2013), is now available to read and download. For earlier issues, please visit the SOOS website.

The SOOS is an initiative of SCAR, SCOR, POGO, WCRP, GOOS and other international bodies. For more information, please visit the SOOS page of the SCAR website.

Antarctic organisations launch fellowships

4 March 2013

SCAR and COMNAP Antarctic Research Fellowships 2013 and CCAMLR Scientific Scholarships 2013

Three leading Antarctic organisations have announced opportunities for early career researchers. The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs (COMNAP) and the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) are working together to attract talented early career researchers, scientists, engineers and other professionals to strengthen international capacity and cooperation in fields such as climate, biodiversity, conservation and astrophysics research.

SCAR and COMNAP have again joined forces to launch fellowships for early career researchers. The SCAR and COMNAP fellowships are worth up to US$15,000 each and up to five fellowships in total are on offer for 2013. The fellowships enable early career researchers to join a project team from another country, opening up new opportunities and often creating research partnerships that last many years and over many Antarctic research seasons. The deadline for SCAR and COMNAP applications is 4 June 2013.

This year, the SCAR and COMNAP schemes are launched in conjunction with CCAMLR's Scientific Scholarship Scheme. The CCAMLR Scholarship provides funding of up to AU$ 30,000 to assist early career scientists to participate in the work of the CCAMLR Scientific Committee and its working groups over a period of two years. The scheme was established in 2010 and a maximum of three awards will be made in 2013. The objective of the scheme is to build capacity within the CCAMLR scientific community to help generate and sustain the scientific expertise needed to support the work of CCAMLR in the long-term. The deadline for CCAMLR applications is 1 October 2013.

All three schemes are being jointly promoted by the three organisations. For more information on SCAR and COMNAP Fellowships, visit the Fellowships section of the SCAR website or the Fellowships page of the COMNAP website. For information on CCAMLR Scholarships, visit the CCAMLR Scholarships page.

BEDMAP 2 published

4 March 2013

Bedmap2 is a new suite of gridded products describing surface elevation, ice-thickness and the sea floor and subglacial bed elevation of the Antarctic south of 60°S. These products were derived using data from a variety of sources, including many substantial surveys completed since the original Bedmap compilation (Bedmap1) in 2001. In particular, the Bedmap2 ice thickness grid is made from 25 million measurements, over two orders of magnitude more than were used in Bedmap1. In most parts of Antarctica, the subglacial landscape is visible in much greater detail than was previously available and the improved data coverage has in many areas revealed the full scale of mountain ranges, valleys, basins and troughs, only fragments of which were previously indicated in local surveys. The derived statistics for Bedmap2 show that the volume of ice contained in the Antarctic ice sheet (27 million km3) and its potential contribution to sea-level rise (58m) are similar to those of Bedmap1, but the Bedmap2 compilation highlights several areas beneath the ice sheet where the bed elevation is substantially lower than the deepest bed indicated by Bedmap1. These products, along with grids of data coverage and uncertainty, provide new opportunities for detailed modelling of the past and future evolution of the Antarctic ice sheets.

A total of 60 authors from 35 institutions in 14 countries were involved in the production of the Bedmap2 publication, which is available from the website of the journal The Cryosphere. Bedmap2 is a SCAR Product.

More information is available on the Bedmap2 website.

Bedmap2

Summary of Antarctic biodiversity data gathered by 90 expeditions since 1956

20 February 2013

A new peer-reviewed data paper offers a comprehensive, open-access collection of geo-referenced biological information about the Antarctic macrobenthic communities. The term macrobenthic refers to the visible-to-the-eye organisms that live near or on the sea bottom such as echinoderms, sponges, ascidians, crustaceans. The paper will help in coordinating biodiversity research and conservation activities on species living near the ocean bottom of the Antarctic.

The paper provides unique geo-referenced biological basic information for the planning of future coordinated research activities, for example those under the umbrella of SCAR's biology programme Antarctic Thresholds - Ecosystem Resilience and Adaptation (AnT-ERA).

For more information, read the item on the Science Daily website, or read the original article on the Nature Conservation website.

Autobiography of Richard Laws, former President of SCAR

6 February 2013

The autobiography of Richard M. Laws, past Director of BAS and former President of SCAR, is available online. Entitled 'Large animals and wide horizons: adventures of a biologist', the work has been edited by Arnoldus Schytte Blix. It is published in three parts, which are available to download from the Scott Polar Research Institute website.

Dr Cornelia Lüdecke elected to the International Academy of the History of Science

28 January 2013

SCAR would like to congratulate Dr Cornelia Lüdecke, chief officer of the SCAR History Group, who was elected as a corresponding member of the International Academy of the History of Science in Paris due to her work in the history of meteorology and history of polar research.

New co-chairs of the SCAR 2014 Open Science Conference

28 January 2013

Jefferson Simões (Brazilian SCAR Delegate and Glaciologist) and Dana Bergstrom (Australian SCAR Delegate and terrestrial ecologist) will be the co-chairs of the International Scientific Organising Committee of the SCAR 2014 Open Science Conference. For further details, see the Conference website.

Polar Educators International (PEI) endorsed by SCAR

28 January 2013

As a growing global network promoting education in, for, and about the Polar Regions, PEI aligns with SCAR's education and outreach plans. Through SCAR endorsement, PEI will gain important connections to SCAR member countries and member institutions and a strong message of legitimacy as an emerging organization for polar education. For PEI this endorsement will hopefully facilitate subsequent partnerships and proposals. Together, SCAR and PEI will enhance their international impact and their ability to draw global attention to Antarctic science. For further details see the group's page on Facebook.

Southern Ocean Observing System (SOOS) Asian Workshop

17 January 2013

The SOOS Asian Workshop, to be held on 23-24 May 2013 in Shanghai, China, is generously hosted and supported by the Polar Research Institute of China and aims to showcase Asian nations' Southern Ocean research and observation activities and to stimulate discussion for further involvement in SOOS by Asian nations.

The Workshop will be held over two days. Day 1 is open to all interested parties (registration essential) and will see guest speakers from the Asian science community present their nation/organization's Southern Ocean observation and research activities. Members of the SOOS Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) will also present a brief overview of relevant SOOS activities. Day 2 is by invitation only (guest speakers, SSC members and other key representatives) and will provide an opportunity for working group discussions and strategic development planning.

Anyone wishing to attend Day 1 of the Workshop is urged to register with SOOS (email: info@soos.aq) by 23 April 2013, as numbers will be limited to 100 participants (due to the maximum capacity of the workshop venue). Day 1 guest speakers and Day 2 working group participants will be contacted separately.

We look forward to welcoming colleagues from Asia with an interest in Southern Ocean research and who wish to learn more about how to become involved in SOOS.

SCAR Executive Officer gives online lecture to students in India

15 January 2013

Students attending the webinar at the Nagpur Institute of Science, given by Dr Renuka Badhe

Students attending Dr Renuka Badhe's 'webinar'
Image: Anil Futane

SCAR Executive Officer, Dr Renuka Badhe, recently delivered an online lecture to students of Environmental Science at the Institute of Science in Nagpur, India, where she was formerly a student. The lecture, entitled 'The Role of Antarctica in Science' gave a flavour of the range of science activities currently being carried out in Antarctica, and touched on her own experiences there. The lecture was followed by a question and answer session, with students asking Dr Badhe about a variety of issues.

This was the first time that the Institute of Science had organised an online lecture for its students and hoped set a precedent, both for itself and for other Institutes and Colleges in the region.

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