Standing Scientific Group on Life Sciences (SSG-LS)

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The Antarctic as a cold, isolated, pristine environment is undergoing significant change through regional climate warming, ozone depletion, alien introductions, long range transport of contaminants and increased global attention as a scientific and tourist destination and a fisheries provider. Over the 21st century, the Antarctic is projected to warm by 3.4 ± 1°C and lose about 30% of its sea ice extent. Biologically, the Antarctic is a centre of evolutionary divergence and adaptation to polar extremes. Its diversity is now threatened by environmental changes occurring on short time scales that do not accommodate natural selection.

SSG‐LS coordinates research focused on:

  1. understanding the impact of past, current and predicted environmental change on biodiversity and the consequences for adaptation and function.
  2. determining the effects of cold, darkness, isolation and pathogens on the health and welfare of scientists and support staff in the Antarctic,
  3. through multidisciplinary collaborations, understanding the complexities of the Antarctic environment and predicting the consequences of change.