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pdf SCAR EXCOM 2015 WP14: Report on PAIS (Past Antarctic Ice Sheet Dynamics)

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SCAR EXCOM 2015 WP14: Report on PAIS (Past Antarctic Ice Sheet Dynamics)
SCAR Executive Committee Meeting
26 - 28 August 2015, Tromsø, Norway

SCAR EXCOM 2015 WP14: Report on PAIS (Past Antarctic Ice Sheet Dynamics)

Working Paper: 14
Agenda Item: 2.2.5
Posted/Revised: 18 Aug 2015
Person Responsible: C. Escutia 

Executive Summary

Title: Past Antarctic Ice Sheet Dynamics (PAIS)

Authors: C. Escutia, R. DeConto, K. Gohl, R. Larter, R. Powell, L. De Santis, M. Bentley

Introduction/ Background:
The overarching goal of PAIS is to improve confidence in predictions of ice sheet and sea level response to future climate change and ocean warming. For this, PAIS aims to improve understanding of the sensitivity of East, West, and Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheets to a broad range of climatic and oceanic conditions. Study intervals span a range of timescales, including past “greenhouse” climates warmer than today, and times of more recent warming and ice sheet retreat during glacial terminations. The PAIS research philosophy is based on data-data and data-model integration and intercomparison, and the development of data transects, extending from the ice sheet interior to the deep sea. The data-transect concept will link ice core, continental, ice sheet-proximal, offshore, and far-field records of past ice sheet behaviour and sea level, yielding an unprecedented view of past changes in ice sheet geometry, volume, and ice sheet-ocean interactions. These integrated data sets will enable robust testing of a new generation of coupled Glacial Isostatic Adjustment-Ice Sheet-Atmosphere-Ocean models that include new reconstructions of past and present ice bed topography and bathymetry. PAIS will accomplish its objectives by: 1) facilitating the planning of new data-acquisition missions using emerging technologies; 2) encouraging data sharing and integration of spatially targeted transect data with modelling studies; and 3) initiating/expanding cross linkages among Antarctic research communities.

Important Issues or Factors:
PAIS continent-to-abyss transects build on ongoing and planned projects and therefore guarantee continuous deliverables. PAIS has invited new members to the SC and plans to conduct a rotation of the co-chief officers at the end of 2015. PAIS plans to organize a Symposium in 2017 with budgetary implications (i.e., request to carry forward PAIS funding).

Recommendations/Actions and Justification:
Support for PAIS plans for the remaining life of the Programme and input from EXCOM on PAIS plans based on the SCAR Strategic Plan and the Horizon Scan outcomes.

Expected Benefits/Outcomes:
Publications and science relevant to large international programmes/initiatives and policy makers, enhancement of SCAR profile.


Budget Implications:
Request for confirmation of SCAR science programme funding at current level until the internal progress review. PAIS funding to be carried forward to help with organization costs on PAIS Symposium in 2017.