Standing Scientific Group on Physical Sciences (SSG-PS)
Within the physical realm, processes at the interfaces between ice, ocean, land and atmosphere are critical to our ability to describe and predict the response to climate change. Outstanding uncertainties will require continued research directed at improving understanding of ice sheet dynamics, extracting climate records from the ice sheet, exploring processes and changes in sea- ice and ocean circulation and improving understanding of atmospheric dynamics and chemistry and the role of the ozone hole in Antarctic climate. A distinct component of physical sciences research in Antarctica is based on the unique properties of the continent that favour its use as a platform for astronomical and solar-terrestrial observations.
SSG-PS is designed to coordinate international scientific research across several fields:
- the Antarctic continent and the Southern Ocean play key roles in global climate change, and observations of climate parameters and their evolution over time there are crucial to understand and predict local and global change.
- Antarctica is a key environment for studies of all aspects of the cryosphere, including deriving the history of climate change from ice cores.
- the position of the magnetic south pole makes Antarctica (like the Arctic in the north) a region where interactions between a variable star, our Sun, and the Earth can be best monitored from the ground.
- the characteristics of the site (dry, cold, and wind free at some locations, especially on the high domes of the polar plateau) make Antarctica one of the places on Earth where astronomical research is expected to be best conducted.
- Lack of human habitation makes Antarctica a pristine environment in which slight contamination from human activities and from distant volcanic eruptions can readily be observed and related to global physical processes.
SCAR SSG-PS Meetings
- Report of XXXII SCAR SSG-PS Business Meeting, 15 and 20 July 2012 in Portland, Oregon, USA
- Report of XXXI SCAR SSG Physical Sciences Meeting, Buenos Aires, 30 July - 2 August 2010
- SSG-PS Report to XXX SCAR Delegates Meeting, 14-16 July 2008, Moscow, Russia
- SSG-PS Report to XXIX SCAR Delegates Meeting, 17-19 July 2006, Hobart, Australia
- SSG-PS Report to XXVIII SCAR Delegates Meeting, 4-8 October 2004, Bremen, Germany
People in SCAR Physical Sciences
SCAR Data Policy
The SCAR Data Policy aims to provide a framework for SCAR-related research data to be handled in a consistent manner, and to strike a balance between the rights of investigators and the need for widespread access through the free and unrestricted sharing and exchange of both data and metadata. In order to be considered part of a SCAR Research Programme, each Project should follow this policy:
Southern Ocean Observing System (SOOS) Plan
- The Southern Ocean Observing System: Initial Science and Implementation Strategy (7.2 MB)
- Other information on the SOOS.
Reports & Articles
- 'Recent Change in the Climate and Atmospheric Chemistry over Antarctica', ITASE Synthesis Workshop Report, September 2008
- Recent High Latitude Climate Change: Report on the SCAR-CliC-IASC-ICPM Workshop, October 2007 - SCAR Report 32
- WCRP/CliC Global Prediction of the Cryosphere (GPC) Project Workshop, October 2007 - SCAR Report 31
- "Observing the polar oceans during the international polar year and beyond" (reprinted with permission from WMO Bulletin 56(4) October 2007, pp 271- 284)
- Workshop on the Antarctic Wind Field by Turner and Abu Samah, May 2007
- Cryosphere Theme Report (April 2007)
- Report on the CliC SSC meeting in Boulder, Colorado, 4-8 December 2006
- CliC Report for XXIX SCAR, July 2006
- Summary Statement from the Workshop on Understanding Sea-Level Rise and Variability, June 2006
- Report on the SCAR/CliC/ICPM Workshop on High Latitude Reanalyses, British Antarctic Survey, 10-12 April 2006
- Significant warming of the Antarctic winter troposphere by Turner and others, Report in Science, February 2006
- Report on the CliC Scientific Steering Committee meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark, 6-9 November 2005
- Antarctic Climate Change During the Last 50 Years, Turner et al, February 2005
- Report on the Workshop on 'Recent High Latitude Climate Change', Fairbanks, Alaska, 6-8 December 2004
- Antarctic Clouds and Aerosols - Contact: Tom Lachlan-Cope (email@example.com)
- Acoustics in the Marine Environment (cross-SSG group) - Contact: Phil O'Brien (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Environmental Contamination in Antarctica (ECA) (incorporates AGAFS) (joint group with SSG-LS) - Contact: Paolo Cescon (email@example.com) and Gabriele Capodaglio (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Ocean Acidification (Cross-SSG Group with SSG-LS) - Contact: Richard Bellerby (email@example.com)
- Polar Atmospheric Chemistry at the Tropopause (PACT) - Contact: Andrew Klekociuk (Andrew.Klekociuk@aad.gov.au) or Gennadi Milinevsky (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Remote Sensing AG (joint group with SSG-LS) - Contact: Hans-Ulrich Peter (Hans-Ulrich.Peter@uni-jena.de)
- Advancing TecHnological and ENvironmental stewardship for subglacial exploration in Antarctica (ATHENA) (Cross-SSG Group) - Contact: Jemma Wadham (email@example.com) and Peter Doran (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- GNSS Research and Application for Polar Environment (GRAPE) (Cross-SSG Group with SSG-GS, incorporates GWSWF AG) - Contact: Contact: Giorgiana De Franceschi (email@example.com)
- Integrating Climate and Ecosystem Dynamics in the Southern Ocean (ICED) (joint group with SSG-LS) - Contact: Eugene Murphy (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com)
- Interhemispheric Conjugacy Effects in Solar-Terrestrial and Aeronomy Research (ICESTAR) - Allan Weatherwax (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- International Partnership in Ice Core Sciences (IPICS) - Contact: Eric Wolff (email@example.com), Ed Brook
- Ice Sheet Mass Balance and Sea Level (ISMASS) - Contacts: Frank Pattyn (firstname.lastname@example.org), Francisco Navarro (email@example.com) and Edward Hanna (E.Hanna@sheffield.ac.uk).
- Operational Meteorology in the Antarctic (OpMet) - Contact: Steve Colwell (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Joint SCAR/SCOR Oceanography Expert Group (co-sponsored with SSG-LS) - Contact: Mike Meredith (email@example.com)
Scientific Research Programmes within SSG-PS:
- Astronomy and Astrophysics from Antarctica (AAA) - Contact: John Storey (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Antarctic Climate Change in the 21st Century (AntClim21) (starts January 2013) - Contact: Nancy Bertler (Nancy.Bertler@vuw.ac.nz)
- AntClim21 is a successor to AGCS and incorporates, among other things, two previously free-standing Expert Groups which still operate as separate communities, though integrated with AntClim21:-
- Antarctica and the Global Climate System (AGCS) (co-sponsored by the World Climate Research Programme) - ending 2012
SCAR's AGCS team was asked to take the lead in the preparation of a report on Antarctic Climate Change and the Environment (ACCE), to consider the past and possible future changes in the physical environment of the Antarctic and the impact on the biota. It was published in December 2009. Annual updates are submitted to Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings. The report and annual updates are available on the ACCE publication page.
Data and Information Services
- The SCAR REference Antarctic Data for Environmental Research (READER) initiative aims to create high quality data sets of key variables for investigation of climate variability and change. The contact for READER is Steve Colwell (email@example.com). There are currently three components:
- Sea Ice Data - Contact: Tony Worby (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Tide Gauge Data - Contact: Philip Woodworth (email@example.com)
- KGI Data (Cross SSG) - Contact: Victor Lagun (firstname.lastname@example.org)
CliC - Climate and Cryosphere Programme
CLIVAR/CliC/SCAR Southern Ocean Implementation Panel
SCAR co-sponsors the CLIVAR/CliC Southern Ocean Implementation panel with the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP). For further information, see the Memorandum of Understanding between SCAR and the WCRP.
ICED - Integrating Climate and Ecosystem Dynamics in the Southern Ocean Programme
SCAR partners SCOR and other organisations in sponsorship of ICED. For more information on the Integrated Analyses of Circumpolar Climate Interactions and Ecosystem Dynamics in the Southern Ocean (ICED), see the SCAR ICED page.
IGOS-P - Integrated Global Observing Strategy Partnership
SCAR and the WCRP are co-sponsors of the Cryosphere Theme, a plan for a Cryosphere observing system. The observing system was developed for the IGOS Partners, and was published in hard copy in late 2007. It can be found on the Internet at http://www.eohandbook.com/igosp/cryosphere.htm.
IPAB - International Programme for Antarctic Buoys
IPICS - International Partnerships in Ice Core Sciences
At their XXIX meeting in Hobart, July 2006, SCAR Delegates decided that SCAR should formally become a co-sponsor of the International Partnerships in Ice Core Sciences (IPICS).
SCOR - Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research, Oceanography Expert Group
In addition to the SCAR/SCOR partnership sponsoring ICED (see above), a joint SCAR/SCOR Oceanograpy Expert Group was set up to focus on physical oceanography, while recognising the inter-dependence of physical, chemical and biological processes in the Southern Ocean. It is co-sponsored with the Life Sciences SSG.
SCOSTEP - Scientific Committee on Solar Terrestrial Physics
SSG-PS member and officer, Maurizio Candidi, is the SCAR representative on the Bureau of the Scientific Committee on Solar-Terrestrial Physics (SCOSTEP), and provides a key link between SCOSTEP and SCAR programmes, such as ICESTAR (see under Scientific Research Programmes above).
WCRP - World Climate Research Program
The WCRP and SCAR share common goals in seeking to observe, understand, and predict climate variability and change in the Antarctic region, including the Southern Ocean. Through the SCAR-WCRP Memoranda of Understanding, the WCRP and SCAR aim to share corresponding efforts and resources and avoid duplication. This will be achieved through SCAR co-sponsoring the following activities of the WCRP:
(ii) the Climate and Cryosphere Project (CliC), (jointly with IASC and WCRP),
as well as through the WCRP co-sponsoring the new SCAR programme on Antarctica in the Global Climate System (AGCS).