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SPRI Review 2005: Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR)

Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR)

SCAR is the principal non-governmental organization responsible for the international coordination of scientific research taking place in the Antarctic region. It aims to improve understanding of the nature of Antarctica, the role of Antarctica in the earth system, and the effects of global change on Antarctica. SCAR has 28 Full National Members, and 4 Associate National Members, all of whom are Parties to the Antarctic Treaty.

SCAR's activities are supported by a full-time Secretariat based at SPRI. It was formerly led by Dr. Peter Clarkson, the Executive Secretary, who retired in June 2005 after many years of service. Peter's job evolved into an Executive Director post, filled by Dr. Colin Summerhayes in April 2004, and an Executive Officer post, filled by Dr. Marzena Kaczmarska in June 2005. Mandy Dalton, who had been the SCAR Administrative Assistant for several years, moved on in August 2005.

Through 2005, SCAR has focused on five major new Scientific Research Programmes (SRPs) that are SCAR's scientific flagships for the next 5 to 10 years. They are: Antarctica and the Global Climate System (AGCS), a study of the modern ocean-atmosphere-ice system; Antarctic Climate Evolution (ACE), a study of climate change over the past 34 million years since glaciation began; Evolution and Biodiversity in the Antarctic (EBA), a study of the response of life to change; Subglacial Antarctic Lake Exploration (SALE), a study of the chemistry and biology of lakes beneath the ice sheet; Interhemispheric Conjugacy Effects in Solar-Terrestrial and Aeronomy Research (ICESTAR), a study of how the Earth's outer atmosphere responds to the changing impact of the solar wind at both poles.

SCAR is making a significant contribution to the International Polar Year (IPY) (March 2007 to March 2009). SCAR is a member (ex-officio) of the Joint ICSU/WMO Committee for the IPY. It also provided scientific advice during the year to the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting in Stockholm, the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources meeting in Hobart, and the Advisory Committee to the Agreement on Albatrosses and Petrels, in Hobart. The Secretariat helped to organise the CLIVAR/CliC/SCAR Southern Ocean Implementation Panel meeting at SPRI (June 27-29), and the first (informal) meeting of SCAR/SCOR Oceanography Expert Group (SPRI, June 28).

Colin Summerhayes (Executive Director)