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SCAR XXXII WP15: Final Report of Antarctic Climate Evolution (ACE)
XXXII SCAR Delegates Meeting
23-25 July 2012, Portland Oregon, USA

SCAR XXXII WP15: Final Report of Antarctic Climate Evolution (ACE)

Working Paper 15
Agenda Item: 5.3.1
Posted/Revised: June 14
Person Responsible: Escutia/ DeConto
Executive Summary

Title: Antarctic Climate Evolution (ACE)

Authors: C. Escutia and R. DeConto

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. The Programme has a planned lifetime of 2005-2013.

Important Issues or Factors: (what do the SSGs and Delegates need to be aware of) 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. Since ACE’s last Report to Delegates during the SCAR OSC 2010, ACE continues to be very active in its primary coordination role, promoting interactions amongst geologists, geophysicists, modelers and other polar scientists from the climate, ocean and ice coring communities. ACE continues to promote work within its subcommittees 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 programmes (i.e., IODP, ERICON-AB) and policy makers (i.e., IPCC). To address some of these outstanding questions ACE has been active in guiding the community and is sponsoring a workshop on Antarctic Drilling during the SCAR OSC 2012 for the coordinated submission of a series of drilling proposals (ANDRILL, IODP, and subglacial sampling) in key areas around Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. In this last 2 years of the Programme, ACE is also playing an active and central role in the development of a proposal to SCAR for the new SRP Past Antarctic Ice Sheet Dynamics (PAIS) to succeed ACE. In addition, and as it has been done in the past, ACE has continued to be active in proposing dedicated sessions and workshops in all international meetings, including AGU, EGU, ISAES and the 2012 SCAR OSC, and in the publishing of its results in high impact journals.

Recommendations/Actions and Justification:  (what actions are you requesting of the SSGs and Delegates and why they should agree) Support for ACE plans for the remaining life of the Programme and input from the Delegates on ACE plans based on the new SCAR Strategic Plan.

Expected Benefits/Outcomes:  (if the actions are taken what outcomes are expected) Significant publication output (both content and numbers), Publications and science relevant to “Big- science” programmes and policy makers, enhancement of SCAR profile

Partners: (will this involve others both within and outside of SCAR?) 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.