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SCAR XXXIII WP08: Report of the SCAR Standing Scientific Group on Life Sciences (SSG-LS)
XXXIII SCAR Delegates Meeting
1 - 3 September 2014, Auckland, New Zealand

SCAR XXXIII WP08: Report of the SCAR Standing Scientific Group on Life Sciences (SSG-LS)

Working Paper: 8
Agenda Item: 4.2.2
Posted/Revised: 31 Aug 2014
Person Responsible: G. Hosie

Executive Summary

Authors: G. Hosie (CO), M. Shepanek (Deputy-CO), Y. Ropert-Coudert (Secretary), J. Xavier (Acting Secretary), B. Danis, B. Raymond, M. Hindell, K. Takahashi, J. Ayton, E.Kohlberg, S. Pillon, R. Bellerby, H-U. Peters, D. Bergstrom

Introduction/Background: SSG-LS is primarily responsible for four Expert Groups and two Action Groups. SSG-LS shares five groups with SSG-PS. EG-ABI continues to build on the legacy of SCAR-MarBIN and CAML with the enhanced Antarctic Biodiversity facility It is developing a dynamic online version of the Biogeographic Atlas of the Southern Ocean (dBASO) and Microbial Antarctic Resource System (mARS), a dedicated facility for microbial diversity data and metadata. EG-BAMM has been strengthening links with EG-ABI, APECS and the new Remote Sensing AG. BAMM and Remote Sensing will increase our capacity to monitor bird and mammal populations and species by using satellites to count animals. The new Retrospective Analysis of Antarctic Tracking database (RAATD) is a joint SCAR/CCAMLR project that will contribute significantly to conservation planning and management. EG-CPR continues to expand the SO- CPR Survey with South Africa, France and Brazil now involved. Korea, India, China and Peru are developing their programmes. Analysis CPR database shows significant increases in zooplankton abundance and shifts in species dominance in the eastern Antarctic Sector. The SCAR-COMNAP JEGHBM has enhanced tele- medicine and tele-health as a high priority, as well as applied research facilitating international collaboration and policy. The Ocean Acidification AG plans to release its report in June 2015 at ATCM. Reports for ICED, ATHENA and ECA are contained in the SSG-PS WP07 report.

Important Issues or Factors: A new observing system is being proposed “Antarctic Near-Shore and Terrestrial Observing System (ANTOS)”. This is a cross-disciplinary project involving all three SSGs. An Action Group is proposed to development the Implementation Plan. Another Action Group is proposed on “Integrated Science for the Sub-Antarctic (ISSA)” to reinvigorate interest in the sub-Antarctic and to facilitate the development of a strategy for future research. Full proposals are attached.

Recommendations/Actions and Justification:

We request the Delegates to approve:

  • The establishment to new Action Groups: ANTOS and ISSA.
  • The XIIth SCAR Biology Symposium to be held in Brussels in 2017.
  • SCAR sends a letter of commendation to Profs Claude De Broyer and Philippe Koubbi for their leadership on producing the Biogeographic Atlas.
  • SCAR sends a letter of commendation to Dr Claude Bachelard for his decades of service to Antarctic medical practice and research.
  • SCAR review timing of Business Meetings and OSC to minimum clashes with other activities.
  • SCAR to review the use of new technologies for future group meetings/workshop for enhanced participation via video-conferencing.

Expected Benefits/Outcomes: ANTOS working with SOOS will provide a more complete understanding of changes occurring in the Antarctic region, not just from the ocean environment. ISSA will lead us to a better understanding of the connections between the Antarctic and adjoining areas.

Partners: ANTOS and ISSA will involve all SSGs, and work with the new SRPs, plus SOOS, CEP, CCAMLR and national programmes

Budget Implications: Budget requests for 2015 and 2016 from existing and new groups are $33,800 (2015) and $30,800 (2016).