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The 2nd International Ross Sea Region Collaboration and Coordination Workshop will be held on 1 August 2020, from 9am to 4:30pm, at Rydges Hotel, Hobart, Tasmania.

Workshop Purpose

The international science community has a critical part to play in providing understanding on how climate warming will affect Antarctica, the Southern Ocean and its ecosystems. The participants of the First International Ross Sea Collaboration and Coordination (RSRCC) Workshop (2 July 2019, Incheon, Korea) concluded that a regular RSRCC workshop would be useful, particularly if it were held in conjunction with the SCAR Open Science Conference. There was consensus that bringing together national Antarctic programmes operating in the Ross Sea and leading researchers, to discuss existing research plans and emerging future priorities in the Ross Sea Region provides an important basis to explore opportunities for collaborative research and logistical efficiencies.

Workshop Priorities

Session 1: Marine and Terrestrial Ecosystem Research

Current and projected environmental change has the potential to fundamentally alter Ross Sea ecosystems with far reaching consequences. There is a critical need for systems-level approaches to understanding ecosystem variability in the framework of broader environmental change. Research to understand and quantify environmental change in the Ross Sea will be time and resource intensive. This workshop session focuses on sharing existing and aspirational plans for research related to:

  • The Ross Sea Marine Protected Area
  • Terrestrial ecosystems
  • Maintaining existing and initiating new monitoring stations

Session 2: Influence of Climate Change on the Cryosphere

Understanding future stability of the Ross Ice Shelf and its implication for accelerated ice mass loss from West and East Antarctic ice sheets is an international priority. Here we propose to focus on four priorities:

  • Terra Nova Bay and Ross Sea polynya
  • Eastern Ross Sea
  • Ross Ice Shelf, cavity and grounding line
  • Paleoclimate / marine sediment drilling

Session 3: Logistics Activities in the Ross Sea

Increased international coordination could increase logistical efficiencies, reduce duplication, and connect relevant researchers. This workshop session aims to raise awareness of planned and future logistical activities in the Ross Sea region that could be leveraged to enhance research opportunities such as:

  • Repeat measurements/surveys
  • Deployment/maintenance of equipment (moorings, floats, gliders etc)
  • Sample collection (biological, water, gas samples)

Session 4: Ross Sea Region MPA Action or Expert Group

The first RSRCC workshop identified as a high priority an improved understanding of the MPA’s vulnerability to climate and environmental change. We discussed with the Chairs of the SCAR Life Sciences Group a proposal for a RSR MPA Action or Expert Group with such a focus. We plan to circulate a proposal draft to workshop participants in March for input, comments and suggestions for group members, for submission to SCAR in early April. This session will provide an opportunity for further discussion and updates.


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