SCAR focuses its science efforts on high priority topical areas through its Scientific Research Programmes (SRPs), of which there are currently six:
This Scientific Research Programme aims to coordinate astronomical activities in Antarctica in a way that ensures the best possible outcomes from international investment in Antarctic astronomy, and maximizes the opportunities for productive interaction with other disciplines.
This Scientific Research Programme aims to deliver improved regional projections of key elements of the Antarctic atmosphere, ocean and cryosphere for the next 20 to 200 years, and to understand the responses of the physical and biological systems (through multi-disciplinary collaboration) to natural and anthropogenic climate drivers.
This Scientific Research Programme aims to increase the scientific knowledge of biodiversity, from genes to ecosystems that, coupled with increased knowledge of species biology, can be used for the conservation and management of Antarctic ecosystems.
This Scientific Research Programme aims to provide a platform for the exchange of knowledge and for the support of research on biological processes at ecological time scales especially related to environmental change.
This Scientific Research Programme aims to improve understanding of the sensitivity of East, West, and Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheets to a broad range of climatic and oceanic conditions and to improve confidence in predictions of ice sheet and sea level response to future climate change and ocean warming.
This Scientific Research Programme aims to advance understanding of the interactions between the solid earth and the cryosphere to better constrain ice mass balance, ice dynamics and sea level change in a warming world.
The current Scientific Research Programmes will end in 2020 and the process for forming the next generation of programmes has begun. SRPs are developed and proposed by Programme Planning Groups (PPGs) fostered by one or more of the permanent, disciplinary Science Groups (SGs). A PPG develops a proposal for an SRP based on wide consultation with the community. Three new PPGs were proposed and approved at the SCAR Delegates Meeting in June 2018. See the Programme Planning Group page for details.