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SPRI Review 2012: Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR)

Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR)

SCAR’s mission is to be the leading non-governmental, international facilitator and advocate of research in and from the Antarctic region, to provide objective and authoritative scientific advice to the Antarctic Treaty and other bodies such as the IPCC, and to bring emerging issues to the attention of policy makers. In 2012 Professor Jerónimo López-Martínez (Spain) was elected as the new SCAR President. SCAR also gained two new Vice-Presidents: Professor Karin Lochte from the AWI in Germany and Professor Bryan Storey from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand.

From a science perspective SCAR approved several new science groups, including five new SCAR Scientific Research Programmes (SRPs, SCAR’s marquee science programmes): 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). A major update to the Antarctic Climate Change and the Environment (ACCE, www.scar.org/publications/occasionals/acce.html) was submitted to Polar Record and will be available in early 2013.

SCAR continued to work on its commitment to provide independent advice to the Antarctic Treaty with papers on subjects such as non-native species, anthropogenic sound, communication of climate change and a plan for Antarctic Conservation in the 21st Century (http://www.scar.org/treaty/atcmxxxv/). Dr Steve Rintoul was awarded the 2012 Martha T Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica, a $100,000 unrestricted prize sponsored by the Tinker Foundation and coordinated by SCAR (www.museprize.org). Looking forward, SCAR will also hold its Biology Symposium in Barcelona this July (http://www.icm.csic.es/XIthSCARBiologySymposium/). The next SCAR Open Science Conference, Business and Delegates’ meetings will be held in Auckland, New Zealand in August 2014 (http://www.scar2014.com). SCAR will also organize a ‘Horizon Scan of Antarctic Science’ to identify the most compelling questions that will improve understanding of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean and connections to the Earth System over the next 20 years. For further information on SCAR see: www.scar.org. SCAR is also available on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Dr Mike Sparrow (Executive Director)