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SPRI Review 1996: Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research

Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research

Dr Peter Clarkson

The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) of the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU) is housed within the Institute. Dr P.D. Clarkson and Mrs P.M. Richmond continued as Executive Secretary and Secretary, respectively, throughout the year.

In May 1996, SCAR was represented at the XXth Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (XX ATCM) in Utrecht, The Netherlands, by Professor A.C. Rocha-Campos, Dr D.W.H. Walton, and Dr Clarkson. The meeting appreciated the work of SCAR, particularly in the provision of scientific advice on a variety of topics, many related to protection of the Antarctic environment.

The SCAR Group of Specialists on Environmental Affairs and Conservation held its meeting (GOSEAC VIII) in Puerto Iguazú, Argentina, during June 1996. The Executive Secretary took part in and serviced the meeting.

The XXIV SCAR Meeting was held at the Møller Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge, 5-16 August 1996. All the Working Groups of SCAR met during the first week of the meeting, and the SCAR delegates held a productive meeting during the second week. The event stimulated considerable media interest in many aspects of Antarctic scientific research, particularly ozone depletion, meteorite science, penguin identification methods, and the recently confirmed existence of a large subglacial lake 3800 m beneath the Russian Vostok Station on the Antarctic ice sheet.

The Executive Secretary represented SCAR at the XXVth General Assembly of ICSU in Washington DC, USA, during September 1996. He also represented SCAR at the XXVth General Assembly of ICSU in Washington, DC, during September 1996. Both these meetings provided valuable opportunities for exchanges of information with officers from other ICSU Committees and Unions.

Four issues of SCAR Bulletin (nos 120-123) were published within Polar Record and as separates during the year with the assistance of Polar Publications. SCAR, jointly with the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programmes (COMNAP), also published Monitoring of environmental impacts from science and operations, the proceedings volume of two workshops on environmental monitoring in the Antarctic, held in Oslo, October 1995, and in College Station, Texas, March 1996.

SCAR continues its principal functions to initiate, promote, and coordinate scientific research in the Antarctic, and also provides scientific advice to the Antarctic Treaty System.