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Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR)

Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR)

SCAR and IASC (International Arctic Science Committee) arranged the first joint SCAR/IASC Open Science Conference in St Petersburg from 8-11 July 2008. The topic was: "Polar Research – Arctic and Antarctic Perspectives in the International Polar Year". There were 1150 attendees, and 1068 presentations (526 oral and 542 posters). The conference was part of the 30th SCAR meeting and took place in SCAR's 50th Anniversary year. It was preceded by three days of scientific business meetings of SCAR's various science groups, and followed by a 3-day meeting of the SCAR national delegates.

All five of SCAR's major Scientific Research Programmes (SRPs) were peer-reviewed externally during the year. A new SRP on Astronomy and Astrophysics in the Antarctic (AAA) was approved for funding in 2010. Three SCAR medals were awarded: to Vladimir Kotlyakov (Russia) for Antarctic Science; to Angelika Brandt (Germany) for Antarctic Research; and to Claude Lorius (France) for International Scientific Coordination. Four SCAR Fellowships were awarded to young scientists from Canada, New Zealand, Italy and Hungary. In addition, SCAR and IASC together agreed to co-sponsor the new Association of Polar Early Career Explorers (APECS), which now has 1,500 members from around the world.

SCAR has led the development of a network of the four main bodies of the International Council for Science (ICSU) that are concerned with research in the polar regions and/or the cryosphere. SCAR works closely with IASC on bipolar issues of common interest. Together with the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) and IASC, SCAR is co-sponsoring the Climate and Cryosphere programme (CliC). SCAR and IASC have also signed an agreement with the newly formed International Association for Cryospheric Sciences (IACS) of the International Union for Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG). Creation of this four-component network will help to ensure effective coordination of polar scientific research.

SCAR contributes scientific advice to the Antarctic Treaty Parties, and participated in the annual Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting and associated Committee on Environmental Protection meeting, which took place together in Kiev in June. SCAR presented 3 Working Papers and 5 Information Papers. Finally, there were on average 130,000 hits per month on the SCAR web site for 2008, continuing the pattern of year-on-year increases.

Colin Summerhayes (Executive Director)