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SPRI Review 2011: Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR)

Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR)

SCAR provides objective and authoritative scientific advice to the Antarctic Treaty and other bodies, and brings emerging issues concerning Antarctica and its surrounding seas to the attention of policy makers. SCAR is now implementing its Strategic Plan 2011-2016, entitled “Antarctic Science and Policy Advice in a Changing World” (http://www.scar.org/strategicplan2011/). It is also planning for its next generation of Scientific Research Programmes (SRPs). Five new proposals will be submitted for approval (to join the current SRP Astronomy and Astrophysics from Antarctica): State of the Antarctic Ecosystem (AntEco); Antarctic Thresholds - Ecosystem Resilience and Adaptation (AnT-ERA); Antarctic Climate Change in the 21st Century (AntClim21); Solid Earth Response and Cryosphere Evolution (SERCE); and Past Antarctic Ice Sheet Dynamics (PAIS).

During 2011, SCAR continued to work on its commitment to produce annual updates of the Antarctic Climate Change and the Environment (ACCE) for the Antarctic Treaty Parties and other policy makers. Other papers on subjects such as nonnative species, subglacial aquatic environments and Antarctic Climate Evolution were also presented. The Science and Implementation plan for the Southern Ocean Observing System (SOOS) was finalised and a Secretariat office established in Hobart, Australia. This will be a major international activity over the coming years.

Concerning SCAR administration, Eoghan Griffin joined the SCAR Secretariat on a part-time basis for one year. Eoghan is responsible for producing a Climate Communications plan and for the SCAR Open Science Conference abstract submission system. Rosie Amos was also hired as a consultant to work on the redesign of the SCAR website. Looking forward, the next SCAR Open Science Conference, Business and Delgates’ meetings will be held in Portland, Oregon in July, 2012. Finally, Dr José Xavier was awarded the 2011 Martha T. Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica, a $100,000 unrestricted prize sponsored by the Tinker Foundation and coordinated by SCAR.

Dr Mike Sparrow (Executive Director)