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pdf SCAR EXCOM 2011 WP11: Report on Antarctic Climate Evolution (ACE)

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SCAR Executive Committee Meeting
18-19 July 2011, Edinburgh, Scotland

SCAR EXCOM 2011 WP11: Report on Antarctic Climate Evolution (ACE)

Working Paper 11
Agenda Item: 2.4.1
Deadline: May 9
Person Responsible: Carlot/Rob

Executive Summary

Title: Antarctic Climate Evolution (ACE)

Authors: C. Escutia and R. DeConto

Relevant URLs or references to other reports: (obsolete link removed)

Introduction/ Background: The SCAR Antarctic Climate Evolution (ACE) Programme represents the interests of a large land and marine geoscience research community focusing in deciphering the record of the onset and the response of the Antarctic ice sheets to past climate changes across a range of timescales. ACE coordinates the integration between geophysical and geological records of past ice sheet behavior and coupled climate, ocean, and ice sheet models.

Important Issues or Factors: The present Antarctic ice sheet has existed for approximately 34 million years. Understanding the response of the Antarctic ice sheet to climatic forcing is essential because changes in the ice sheet can have major impacts on global sea level and can impact the entire climate system through a wide range of physical and chemical feedbacks. ACE continues to be very active in its primary coordination role, catalyzing interactions amongst geologists, geophysicists, modelers and other polar scientists from the climate, ocean and ice coring communities. During the 1st ACE Symposium (Granada, 2009) new subcommittees with a processes-oriented focus were developed to address gaps in our knowledge about the role of Antarctic ice sheets in the global climate system. ACE subcommittees synthesize the state of the art of our knowledge and define the future questions and challenges that are critical for providing science-based advise to major scientific programs (i.e., IODP, ERICON-AB) and policy makers (i.e., IPCC). To address some of these outstanding questions ACE is coordinating the submission of a series of drilling proposals (ANDRILL and IODP) in key areas around Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. In this last 2 years of the programme, ACE is playing an active and central role in the development of a proposal to SCAR for a new SRP to succeed ACE. In addition, and as it has been done in the past, ACE will continue to be active in proposing dedicated sessions and workshops in all international meetings, including 2011 ISAES and the 2012 SCAR OSC, and in the publishing of its results in high impact journals.

Recommendations/Actions and Justification: Support for ACE plans for the remaining life of the Programme and input from EXCOM on ACE plans based on the new SCAR Strategic Plan.

Expected Benefits/Outcomes: Significant publication output (both in content and numbers). Publications and science relevant to “Big- science” programmes and policy makers, enhancement of SCAR profile.

Partners: IPICS; PAGES of the IGBP; IASC on APEX; ANDRILL, SHALDRIL, IODP and ERICON-AB.

Budget Implications: Request for confirmation of SCAR science programme funding at current level for planned remainder of the Programme’s operation to 2013.