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Programme Planning Groups -
the next generation of Scientific Research Programmes

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Background Documents

The next generation of Scientific Research Programmes (SRPs) have now been approved, with funding from 1st January 2013. These are AntECO, AnT-ERA, AntClim21, PAIS and SERCE:

State of the Antarctic Ecosystem (AntEco)

AntEco logo

Contact: Aleks Terauds (

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.

AntEco Implementation Plan

AntEco Presentation 2013

AntEco Proposal 2012:

Reviews of the AntEco Proposal:

Response to the Reviews:

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

AnT-ERA logo

Contact: Julian Gutt (

AnT-ERA will examine the current biological processes in Antarctic ecosystems, to define their thresholds and thereby determine resistance and resilience to change. Such processes depend on a cascade of responses from the genomic and physiological through organismic and population to the ecosystem level. The extreme environment and marked difference in community complexity between the polar regions and much of the rest of the planet may mean that consequences of stress for ecosystem function and services, and their resistance and resilience, will differ from elsewhere. Polar ecosystem processes are therefore key to informing wider ecological debate about the nature of stability and change in ecosystems. The main goal of AnT-ERA is to define and facilitate the science required to determine the resistance, resilience and vulnerability to change of Antarctic biological systems. In particular, the science needs to determine the likelihood of cataclysmic shifts or "tipping points" in Antarctic ecosystems.

AnT-ERA Implementation Plan 2013

AnT-ERA Description (paper published in the journal Polarforschung, 2013)

AnT-ERA Proposal 2012:

Reviews of the AnT-ERA Proposal:

Response to the Reviews:

Antarctic Climate Change in the 21st Century (AntClim21)

Contact: Nancy Bertler (

Information on 1st AntClim21 Workshop, to be held in Castine, Maine in September 2013

The goals of AntClim21 are to deliver improved regional predictions 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 to natural and anthropogenic forcing factors. A primary form of data that we see being used by AntClim21 are the global coupled atmosphere-ocean model runs that form the basis of the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Palaeo-reconstructions of selected time periods, recognised as past analogues for future climate predictions, will be used to validate model performances for the Antarctic region.

AntClim21 Proposal 2012:

Reviews of the AntClim21 Proposal:

Response to the Reviews:

Past Antarctic Ice Sheet Dynamics (PAIS)

Contacts: Carlota Escutia ( and Rob DeConto (

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

  1. targeting the study of vulnerable areas around the continent (both on the West and East Antarctic margin);
  2. linking ice-proximal records with coastal and offshore records including far field paleoceanographic and sea level records;
  3. integrating data into the latest generation of coupled Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA)-Ice Sheet-Climate models, which include new paleotopographic/paleobathymetric reconstructions.

PAIS Implementation Plan

PAIS Proposal 2012:

Reviews of the PAIS Proposal:

Response to the Reviews:

Solid Earth Response and influence on Cryosphere Evolution (SERCE)

Contact: Terry Wilson (

SERCE aims to improve understanding of the solid earth response to cryospheric and tectonic forcing. SERCE will:

  1. Identify and develop key disciplinary and interdisciplinary science components of a science programme aimed at advancing understanding of the interactions between the solid earth and the cryosphere, including glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) and ice mass change and the influence of solid earth parameters (heat flow, disposition of sediments) on ice sheet dynamics;
  2. Communicate and coordinate with other international groups investigating ice mass change, ice sheet contributions to global sea level rise, glacial isostatic adjustment models of Greenland and other ice caps, and other pertinent research efforts;
  3. Work with SCAR action/expert groups and research programmes to promote interdisciplinary science using POLENET data;
  4. Provide an international framework for maintaining, and potentially augmenting, the remote autonomous POLENET infrastructure after the International Polar Year (IPY).

SERCE Proposal 2012:

Reviews of the SERCE Proposal:

Response to the Reviews:

Presentations and Report from the PPG Planning Meeting

Held in Modena, Italy, 16-17 January 2012

Report of the PPG Planning Meeting, January 2012

Presentations from the PPG Planning Meeting, January 2012:

For Powerpoint versions of these presentations, please contact the SCAR Secretariat.

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