This SCAR Open Science Conference will focus on SCAR's dual role of science and advice to policy makers. In a change to previous conferences the first time slots (2.5 hours) of the last three days will be in plenary, with a focus on high level overarching themes we believe will be of interest to the majority of attendees:

  • Antarctic Conservation Challenges in a Century of Change
  • Past, Present and Future Climate Evolution
  • Evolution and Biodiversity in Antarctica

There will be parallel sessions as normal after these plenary sessions. Please note that the below is a draft list of sessions for the SCAR Open Science Conference, put together by the International Scientific Steering Committee based on the following priorities:

  • Ensure all SCAR groups and programmes are represented
  • Try to ensure there is a session for all
  • Try to minimize sessions and therefore number of parallel sessions

Scientific Sessions

Multi-Disciplinary Science

(Expand sessions for additional information)

  1. Antarctic Climate Evolution

    Robert DeConto (US); Carlota Escutia Dotti (ES)

    This session, based around the SCAR ACE programme, aims to present research in the broad area of Antarctic climate evolution. This will involve geophysical and geological studies on and around Klepikov the Antarctic continent as well as ice-sheet and climate modelling studies. These will explore climate and ice sheet behaviour in both the recent and distant geologic past, including times when global temperature was several degrees warmer than today.

  2. Decadal Time Scale Variability in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Climate System

    David Bromwich (US); Alexander Klepikov (RU); Ryan Fogt (US)

    This session invites observational and modeling studies on modes of large-scale climate variability affecting the Southern Ocean and Antarctica. Topics include the natural "modes" of the climate system such as the Madden-Julian Oscillation, the El Nino Southern Oscillation, atmospheric teleconnection patterns, the Southern Annular Mode, etc., and any interactions, with an emphasis on decadal scale variability. We welcome papers on physical and statistical analysis of these phenomena from observations (including ice core and snow pit proxies), models, and synthesis/reanalysis products. The impact of these modes on the ocean (including sea ice) as well as the feedback from the ocean to the atmosphere on decadal time scales is a central concern. Additionally, the impact of stratospheric ozone depletion on the coupled atmosphere-ocean-sea ice behavior is a key issue. Of particular interest are studies on mechanisms driving these modes, their impacts (including the rate of heat and carbon uptake in the Southern Ocean and stability of the West Antarctic ice sheet), and their sensitivity to natural and anthropogenic forcing on decadal and longer time scales.

  3. Global and Regional Climate Signals from Ice Cores

    Ed Brook (US); Tas van Omnen (AU); Rachael Rhodes (US/UK)

    Ice cores provide information about past climate and environmental conditions on time scales from decades to hundreds of millennia, and direct records of the composition of the atmosphere. As such, they are cornerstones of global change research. For example, ice cores play a central role in showing how closely climate and greenhouse gas concentrations were linked in the past, and in demonstrating that very abrupt climate switches can occur. In this session we invite contributions to our understanding of regional and global climate from Antarctic cores, on all time and spatial scales. Presentations on methods of climate reconstruction, and presentations that address the relationship of Antarctic climate with global or large scale regional climate are also welcome.

  4. Natural and Anthropogenic Forcing on the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Climate System

    Sabrina Speich (FR); Alex Orsi (US)

    This Session will investigate natural and anthropogenic forcing on the Antarctic and Southern Ocean climate system, including the production of regional-scale estimates of expected climate change over Antarctica and the Southern Ocean during the next 100 years. This will include papers on: · understanding past climate change in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean using models and observational data; · climate evolution over the continent and the Southern Ocean during the next century; · understanding the effects of past and possible future changes in stratospheric ozone on the surface and upper atmospheric conditions across the Antarctic; · understanding the effects of selected physical and chemical/biogeochemical processes and interactions on This session aims to bring together modellers and observationalists to assess the current state of knowledge concerning the Antarctic and the Southern Ocean climate systems and their role in the global climate evolution and changes, and to exchange ideas concerning how to further such understanding.

  5. The Export of Antarctic and Southern Ocean Climate Signals

    Azizan Samah (MY)

    This session will examine the means by which climate changes in the Antarctic can influence conditions at more northerly latitudes. Much of this is believed to happen via the ocean, with AABW escaping the subpolar gyres and traversing topographic obstacles to spread out into the world's ocean. The processes which control the transfer and spreading of the AABW require investigation, to determine the extent to which changes close to the Antarctic continent can influence the larger-scale ocean and climate. Processes close to the Antarctic can influence the production rate and properties of AABW and other water masses, such as intermediate and mode water. For example, removal of sea ice and glacier melt can both influence water mass production in the Antarctic coastal zone, thus influencing the shelf water properties that are key to the formation of AABW. Atmospheric changes that affect the ocean surface (heat and freshwater fluxes, wind-driven Ekman transports) are known to be important in setting the properties of intermediate and mode waters, and hence need to be included in the analyses. The long-term warming of CDW will have consequence fore formation and spreading of other water masses, since it is the oceanic source for all other waters that form around Antarctica. Thus consideration of this warming is important if our understanding of the Southern Ocean's role in global climate is to be usefully advanced.

  6. Status and Trends in Antarctic Sea Ice and Ice Shelves

    Marilyn Raphael (US); Steve Ackley (US); Laurie Padman (US)

    This session seeks papers that focus on Antarctic sea ice and ice shelves. From the satellite record, there have been seasonal and annual changes in sea ice extent that have manifested themselves regionally especially in the major Antarctic seas. At the same time portions of some Antarctic Peninsula ice shelves have collapsed and extensive bottom melting has been documented in other Antarctic ice shelves . In this session we welcome papers that address the status of Antarctic sea ice - climatology, variability, trend and properties - and examine contributors to these. Analyses that use both modeled and observed data are welcome. Papers that examine the status of the ice shelves, change in ice shelves, possible links between ice shelf change, sea ice change, surface temperatures and ocean warming are similarly encouraged.

  7. Glaciers and Ice Sheet Mass Balance and Their Relation to Sea Level

    Franciso Naverro (ES); Bernd Scheuchl (US); Sophie Nowicki (US)

    This session is intended to attract a broad range of submissions aimed to improve our understanding of the contribution of glaciers and ice-sheets to sea level rise, considering both observations and modelling. Themes to be explored include, but are not limited to: advances in ice-sheet mass change observations from remote sensing; quantifying the uncertainties of the various remote sensing techniques; understanding and resolving the current discrepancies among the estimates by different techniques; ground-truthing of remote sensing observations; advances in glacial isostatic adjustment modelling and observations; advances on modelling the contributions of glaciers and ice-sheets to sea level changes; glacier and ice-sheet mass exchanges with the atmosphere and the oceans; hydrological aspects and the role of subglacial processes; incorporating geological constraints into the models; projected sea-level rise from glacier and ice-cap wastage; scaling analyses linking changes in glacier surface area to changes in ice volume; effects of a changing hypsometry; scaling glacier volume to AAR; regionally differentiated mass balance estimates; etc.

  8. Prediction of Changes in the Physical and Biological Environment of the Antarctic

    Tom Bracegirdle (UK); Irene Schloss (AR); Akinori Takahashi (JP)

    This is a multi-disciplinary session with the goal of bringing together a broad range of scientists with a common interest in future environmental change over Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. Abstracts on all aspects of the prediction of 21st century change in the physical and biological environments of Antarctica are welcomed. Of particular interest is the integration of physical and biological approaches. There are a number of important issues in achieving closer integration. One of the most important is the downscaling of climate model data to the spatial resolution required for the prediction of biological systems. Additionally, it is important to identify and assess biological processes that produce significant feedbacks onto the physical climate system. The scope of this session extends to studies on relationships between variability in the physical environment and variability in biological systems and implications for future environmental change.

  9. Ocean Acidification

    Richard Bellerby (NO); Colleen Suckling (UK); Jim Orr (FR/US)

    In response to perturbations of the global carbon cycle, driven mainly by fossil fuel emissions, the Southern Ocean is exhibiting rapid, yet regionally distinct, ocean acidification. In the coming decades, modifications to carbonate speciation and reductions in seawater pH and saturation state will influence Southern Ocean functioning from the physiological to the climate scale. The Southern Ocean is a dominant climate regulator and a potentially enormous marine resource and so improved knowledge is required on the resilience of the system to ocean acidification. Presentations are invited on new Southern Ocean understanding (from observational, experimental and modeling approaches) on the scale of past, present and future ocean acidification; responses of marine organisms and ecosystem structure, functioning and biodiversity; perturbations to biogeochemical cycling and feedbacks to the climate system; and the societal and policy challenges of ocean acidification.

  10. Integrating Climate and Ecosystem Dynamics (ICED)

    Nadine Johnston (UK); Eileen Hofmann (US); Jose Xavier (PT); Eugene Murphy (CO, UK)

    Understanding the response of Southern Ocean (SO) ecosystems to climate change and exploitation is crucial to management and understanding links with the Earth System. The sensitivity, contrasts and relatively simple ecological structure of the SO also provide a model system for developing globally applicable methods and early warnings of change. This multidisciplinary session encourages presentations on responses of SO species, food webs and ecosystems to past and current environmental and anthropogenic variability and change, and their likely response to scenarios of future change. Presentations highlighting the development of methodologies for projecting future responses of SO species and ecosystems to change, or that identify key gaps in knowledge and data that will improve studies and guide development of physical and biological observational and monitoring programmes are also welcomed. The session has been developed by the Integrating Climate and Ecosystem Dynamics in the Southern Ocean (ICED) programme (

  11. Evolutionary History of Antarctic Organisms

    Dominic Hodgson (UK); Katrin Linse (UK/DE)

    Encompassing marine, terrestrial and freshwater research, this session will include presentations on the Evolutionary history of Antarctic organisms on a range of geological timescales. Topics will include: (1) vicariance and radiations; identifying when the key radiations of Antarctic taxa took place; (2) the impact of glaciation on land (habitat modification/loss and timing and extent of isolation), and at sea (evolutionary links between continental shelf and slope or deep-sea species); (3) phylogeography: geographical structure and relationships in the Antarctic biome; and (4) evolutionary history of Antarctic micro-organisms (both prokaryotic and eukaryotic). We envisage presentations encompassing a range of molecular, observational and biogeographical studies. Presenters will be invited to contribute to a synthesis paper on the achievements of this EBA work package.

  12. Evolutionary Adaptation to the Antarctic Environment

    Guido di Prisco (IT); Meghana Rajanahally (NZ/IN); Cinzia Verde (IT)

    A major question in evolutionary biology is how organisms cope with changes of environmental conditions. The study of the rate of impact of current changes in relation to the capacity to acclimate or adapt is crucial for future managing of polar ecosystems. The issue is of special relevance, considering the growing awareness of current changes. Physiological modifications in response to changes can occur at two levels: phenotypic plasticity, and genetically based heritable adaptations. The purpose of this session is to understand the impact that these unprecedented changes are having on Antarctic species at the population and ecosystem level. The evolutionary adaptations at various levels of biological organisation are fundamental to understand how the polar climate shaped the physiology of Antarctic organisms. A detailed understanding of the nature of thermal adaptation is crucial in this respect. Genomic technologies have become increasingly sophisticated and dramatically cheaper, such we can now apply them to Antarctic organisms. The session is intended to bring together specialists in Antarctic experimental biology, with the aim to perform studies in the framework of multidisciplinary research projects.

  13. Patterns of Gene Flow and Consequences for Population Dynamics: Isolation as a Driving Force

    Claudio Gonzalez-Wewar (CL); Elie Poulin (CL)

    This session will focus on micro evolutionary processes responsible of pattern of genetic diversity, structure and connectivity at intra-specific levels in Antarctic and Subantarctic ecosystem, in marine and terrestrial realms. Among the main topics included in this session, we especially encourage studies dealing with natural and anthropogenic dispersal processes, the role of advective/transport processes in gene flow and population structure, the role of local extinction/recolonization as metapopulation dynamics and connectivity between Antarctic and Subantarctic regions. We invite researchers working on these fields to submit their abstract and participate to this session.

  14. Patterns and Diversity of Organisms, Ecosystems and Habitats in the Antarctic, and Controlling Processes

    Siti Alias (MY)

    This session will examine patterns and diversity of organisms, ecosystems and habitats in the Antarctic, and controlling processes including: - Spatial and temporal variations in diversity: variation of diversity at different spatial scales within the Antarctic and within defined time frames; - Response to latitudinal and environmental gradients: local, regional and global; - Radiations: history of key evolutionary radiations in the Antarctic; - Unknown areas: patterns of diversity and biotic composition of unexplored but important areas (e.g. deep sea, inland nunataks, subglacial lakes).

  15. Birds and Marine Mammals

    Mark Hindell (AU); Yan Ropert-Coudert (FR); Jean-Benoit Charrassin (FR)

    This session will explore the recent trends in both fundamental and applied research on top predators from the southern ocean and the continent. A large range of questions will be addressed: What are the recent trends in top predator populations as air and sea temperature continue to increase? And how do these relate to past trends? How birds, seals and cetaceans distribute at sea, especially during the winter? How oceanographic parameters affect these distributions and can we establish efficient, dynamic Marine Protected Areas for them? Has the diet of top predators shifted over the past years? How will they face the ongoing environmental changes and through which physiological and/or behavioural mechanisms? What are the determinants of phenotypic plasticity and how these change with age? What are the new, cutting-edge techniques available to investigate top predators in their environment, from stable isotopes to miniature bio-loggers and automatic identification systems.

  16. Environmental Contamination in Antarctica

    Gabriele Capodaglio (ECA CO, IT); Berry Lyons (US); Ian Snape (AU); Terry Wade (US)

    Anthropogenic activities can affect characteristics and quality also of relatively pristine environments. Previous investigations demonstrated that polar regions can be characterized by organic and inorganic contamination that originated from either local activities or has been transported from temperate regions. Therefore Antarctica represents an excellent observatory to assess the global distribution of contaminants. Many processes can contribute to transport; these frequently involve atmospheric transport through direct atmospheric emissions as well as those modulated by the exchange at the ocean/atmosphere interface. In this contest it is particular important to understand the contribution of these different processes and to assess the effects of chemical contamination on the composition of various environmental matrices and various trophic levels of the ecosystems. Understanding temporal evolution of the input and composition of contaminants is also important in clarifying the effects of international actions to control global chemical contamination.

  17. Subglacial Aquatic Environments

    Warwick Vincent(CA); Robin Bell (US); Irina Alekhina (RU)

    The exploration of subglacial aquatic environments has emerged as one of the most exciting and rapidly evolving themes in Antarctic science. The first results from direct sampling of subglacial waters and sediments are expected shortly, and will have broad implications for diverse disciplines, from geophysics to astrobiology. These subglacial aquatic environments influence large scale ice sheet flow both by changing basal lubrication and by modifying the strength of the overlying ice sheet. Changing ice sheet flow affects sea level, ocean circulation and global climate. The subglacial waters are thought to form interconnected hydrological systems that ultimately discharge to the sea, with effects on landscape geomorphology. Subglacial sediments may yield valuable records of paleoclimate change and ice sheet history. Finally, these aquatic environments and their underlying sediments may contain unique microbial ecosystems. This session invites contributions from all disciplines toward understanding Antarctic subglacial aquatic environments, including modelling, experimental approaches, geomorphological surveys, and deep ice, water or sediment analysis.

  18. Seeps and Vents

    Phil O'Brien (AU)

    Hydrothermal vents and hydrocarbon seeps host intriguing ecosystems. They also influence sea floor processes such as slope stability. Seep and vent communities have received special nomination as Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems by the United Nations and the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). While most work on these features has occurred in low latitudes, new seeps and vents are being found in the Antarctic. This session invites papers on all aspects of Antarctic seeps and vents including detection, geological processes of fluid escape and biological processes and communities. Discussions will also include how best to assist CCAMLR in developing protection regimes for Antarctic seeps and vents.

  19. Antarctic Permafrost, Periglacial and Ice-Free Environments

    Mauro Guglielmin (IT); Goncalo Vieira (PT); Lin Zhao (CN)

    This session focuses on permafrost, on the overlying active layer and on the related landforms and ecosystems that characterize almost all the ice-free areas of Antarctica. These environments are extremely variable ranging between very old (more than 10 Ma years) to very recent (some ten or hundreds years) surfaces, from the hyperarid conditions of the Dry Valley to the relatively wet areas of subantarctic Islands. These environments are also witnessing the impacts of climate change in very different ways, with the Antarctic Peninsula being one of the fastest warming areas of the planet and the Ross sea area where air temperature are relatively stable. These environments present a unique opportunity to carry out multidisciplinary analyses' to investigate the impacts of the climate change exportable in the larger permafrost areas of the Arctic and at the same time represents also an analogue with the extraterrestrial environments such as Mars.

  20. Antarctic Clouds, Precipitation and Aerosols

    Thomas Lachlan-Cope (UK); Christophe Genthon (FR); Irina Gorodetskaya (BY)

    Although an important part of the climate system our knowledge of Antarctic Clouds and aerosols and the processes that result in precipitation is limited. Recently new satellites, ground based remote sensing techniques, such as lidars, and some limited in situ measurements have meant that our understanding of Antarctic clouds, precipitation and aerosols is slowly advancing. This session plans to review the measurements taken from the various instruments and produce an overview of our understanding of Antarctic clouds, aerosols and precipitation. It is hoped that the session will attract talks on satellite, ground based and in situ airborne measurements as well as modelling studies.

  21. Operational Meteorology in the Antarctic

    Shelley Knuth (US); Masha Tsukernik (AU)

    This session will highlight the recent advances in Antarctic operational meteorology. We invite scientists working in the fields of Antarctic remote sensing, observational meteorology, forecasting systems development, and numerical weather prediction to contribute. Presentations will focus on current progress in the remote sensing techniques and advances in the observational systems and analysis as well as improvements of our conceptual understanding of high southern latitude weather systems and recent advances in Antarctic numerical weather prediction systems. This session is open to discussions on methodologies and current/future needs for providing better weather services to national Antarctic programs.

  22. Stratosphere-troposphere Exchange, Tropopause Chemistry and Climate Influences/Responses

    Robyn Schofield (AU),; Gennadi Milinevsky (UA); Markus Rex (DE)

    Increasing evidence suggests interactions of the polar stratosphere with the rest of the climate system has a major effect on tropospheric climate at all latitudes and is the topic of increasingly active research. We invite contributions from all areas of this interaction, including studies that address (1) the effect of polar ozone depletion on the northern and southern annular modes and tropospheric climate change, (2) the impact of climate change on the conditions in the polar lower stratosphere, age of air, and vortex descent, including the effect on chemistry, (3) troposphere/stratosphere exchange, the composition of the extratropical tropopause region, stratospheric folding and mixing, the radiative properties of the tropopause and the influence from volcanic eruptions and biomass burning inputs, and (4) the dynamical, chemical and microphysical processes at the tropical tropopause and climate change related changes in these processes, determining the overall chemical composition of the stratosphere, including the composition in polar regions.

  23. Solar-Terrestrial Physics in Polar Regions

    Allan Weatherwax (CO, US)

    The polar regions provide a unique natural laboratory for a variety of research dedicated to studying the Earth's atmosphere, its space environment, and solar-terrestrial interactions. An overarching goal to improve our understanding of the mechanisms which couple solar processes to the polar geospace environment. These include investigations of auroras, induced electrical currents, space weather, geomagnetic fields, ionosphere, temperature and winds in the neutral atmosphere, and atmospheric waves. This session solicits papers on recent advances in solar-terrestrial physics, especially as related to inter-hemispheric and conjugacy studies, as well as studies incorporating Antarctic observations in the global context.

  24. GPS for Weather and Space Weather Forecasting

    (merged with session 28)

  25. Astronomy and Astrophysics from Antarctica

    John Storey (AU); Zhaoui Shang (CN); Silvia Masi (IT)

    Antarctic stations have been found to offer unique and impressive advantages for astronomy over temperate sites. New observatories have been established on the plateau and, together with South Pole and McMurdo stations, are revealing new insights into stellar structure, star formation, galactic structure and cosmology. The study of site conditions continues, and complementary sites in the Arctic are now also being examined. Site testing for astronomy has found exceptionally low levels of atmospheric water vapour above the Antarctic plateau, and demonstrated the existence of a persistent stable boundary layer less than 20 metres thick; measurements of interest to atmospheric scientists as well as to astronomers.

  26. Bipolar Science: Connections with the Arctic

    C Ellis-Evans (UK); S-H Kang (KR); Jenny Baeseman (NO)

    The Arctic and Antarctic are key elements of the Earth System and substantial parts of these highly coupled systems are currently experiencing rapid environmental change and its consequences. Whilst much of modern polar science still largely focuses on one or other Pole there is a substantial case for more integrated and comparative bipolar studies. Benefits include greater sharing of resources, common data formats, methodologies, and pooling of knowledge of both Polar Regions to identify common patterns of change and points of disparity. Greater understanding of polar processes is essential to better address the polar element of more accurate predictive models of global climate change and its consequences. This session is organised by the SCAR/IASC Joint Bipolar Action Group as an opportunity for the presentation and discussion of a range of bipolar research activities addressing diverse topics such as upper atmosphere physics, ice sheet processes, ocean circulation, biological evolution/adaptation and social science.

  27. Human Biology and Medicine

    Jeff Ayton (AU); Claude Bachelard (FR)

    This session invites papers on basic and applied research on and healthcare of humans in Antarctica (e.g. biomedical sciences, social and behavioural sciences, and medicine) and on the promotion of international co-operation in these fields.

  28. Global Navigation Satellite System Research in Atmospheric Science for the Polar Environment

    Giorgiana De Franceschi (IT); Paul Prikryl (CA); Emilia Correia (BR)

    The impacts of solar terrestrial interactions on technology systems and communications arrays are going to be most intense during the upcoming solar maximum. One particular technological system that has rapidly grown in recent years is the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS). Increased coverage in the Arctic and Antarctic will provide remote sensing tools to map the ionospheric total electron content (TEC) and precipitable water vapour (PWV) that will make it possible to assess the impact of solar disturbances on the newly attained precision positioning during the next solar maximum. It may also help in improving short term weather forecasts and in remote sensing for climate change studies.Topics of interest include: establishment or enlargement of network for monitoring polar atmospheric disturbances on GNSS, establishment of e-infrastructures for data and added value products management, atmospheric imaging techniques, multi-instrument approach for ionospheric perturbation monitoring and investigation, ionospheric irregularities and scintillation models, countermeasures and mitigation techniques, services of warnings, prediction and forecasting of atmospheric disturbances on GNSS.

  29. Advancing Clean Technologies for Exploration of Glacial Aquatic Ecosystems

    Jemma Wadham (ATHENA, UK); Peter Doran (ATHENA, US); Warwick Vincent (CA)

    Understanding biogeochemical processes within glacial aquatic ecosystems features highly on the International Scientific Agenda (e.g. Antarctic Subglacial Lakes and ice stream beds). However, there is currently a mismatch between the science goals for environmentally responsible measurement and monitoring in these environments and the technological tools available to meet these objectives. This session aims to explore the issues that arise when considering the development or adaptation of instruments for process measurement in any glacial aquatic environment (to include subglacial ecosystems), and to bring together the diverse communities that have common or overlapping needs within this context. This might include those working on technological development and application in non-Antarctic icy environments. Examples of issues to be addressed include: (i) sample acquisition and processing, including environmental protocols (ii) specific instrumentation for environment access and monitoring (e.g. sensors, observatories, autonomous platforms and ROVs) and (iii) analytical targets including biomarkers, biogeochemical markers and contextual measurements.

  30. Geodetic Infrastructure from a Regional and Global Perspective

    Alessandro Capra (IT); Larry Hotham (US); Markku Poutane (FI)

    Geophysical and geodetic researches within Antarctica have grown over the years in order to understand changes so the establishment of earth monitoring observatories increased relevantly. Network of geodetic observatories have been established at regional level to oversee the development of Geodetic Infrastructure across the greater Antarctic Continent to help facilitate the monitoring of its physical processes. The regional integration at global scale has been a fundamental step in order to determine global models. The session would like to collect contributions in geodetic infrastructure determination and earth monitoring techniques such as GPS, (GNSS), Seismic & Gravity as well as the installation of Tide Gauges to monitor sea level change.

  31. SERCE: Solid Earth Response and Cryosphere Evolution

    Terry Wilson (US); Pippa Whitehouse (UK); Doug Wiens (US)

    The polar regions are unique geodynamic environments where the solid earth, the cryosphere, the oceans, the atmosphere and the global climate system are intimately linked. This SERCE session will explore new data and modeling studies bearing on any aspect of the interaction between the solid earth and ice sheets. Topics are expected to include the crust and mantle structure beneath the ice sheets, mapping of earth properties and their variations, feedbacks between solid earth deformation and ice sheet dynamics, new data and models for ice histories driving GIA in Antarctica, incorporation of geological, geodetic and geophysical measurements into geodynamic modeling of the solid earth response to ice mass changes, and the assimilation of ground-based measurements with data from current space missions. Contributions addressing solid earth - cryosphere interactions at both poles are encouraged.

Observing Systems and Data

  1. Observing Antarctica and the Southern Ocean

    Louise Newman (AU); Tosca Ballerini (FR); Sebastiaan Swart (ZA)

    Antarctica and the Southern Ocean are changing. Limited observations indicate that the Southern Ocean is warming more rapidly than the global ocean average; changes in precipitation and ice melt are effecting upper and lower abyssal ocean salinity; basin-wide ocean acidification is occurring due to uptake of anthropogenic CO2. On the continent, ice-shelf collapse and regional warming are heightening the need for increased understanding of ice-shelf and ice-sheet contributions to sea level. Further, Antarctic ecosystems are changing, some at a rapid pace, in response to changes in the physical and chemical environment. The ever-growing activities of national operators and the ecotourism industry also pose a real threat to the stability of ecosystems. Sustained, long-term multidisciplinary observations are therefore required to accurately detect, interpret and respond to change.This session invites presentations on all observational and monitoring research of the Southern Ocean and Antarctic systems, throughout the physical, chemical and biological realms.

  2. Mapping Antarctica and the Southern Ocean: ADMAP, BEDMAP, IBCSO and other activities

    Marta Ghidella (ADMAP, AR); Hamish Pritchard (UK); Shridhar Jawak (IN)

    Basic data gathering and their presentation by mapping, whether geological, geophysical or any other parameters, is the basis for current and future research. Also, the maps themselves serve to depict data in a readily accessible and understandable, and thus interpretative, manner.Data compilation, mapping and archiving are major SCAR efforts supported by dedicated international groups that help preserve and organize existing data and plan future expeditions. This session will focus on the problems and progress of current marine, airborne, land and satellite surveys. Contributions are solicited from researchers involved in polar data acquisition, management, cataloging and sharing, as well as establishing distributed data access, and developing interdisciplinary data applications, and long term data preservation strategies. Papers devoted to the development of computational techniques that facilitate data compilation and interpretation are also welcome.

  3. Data Access and Sharing for Cutting Edge Science

    Taco de Buin (NL); Bruno Danis (BE); Kim Finney (AU)

    Free and open access to the best possible data is an absolute prerequisite for the advancement of (Antarctic) science. Data should be well documented so that they can be used in todays and tomorrows interdisciplinary science. This session aims to bring together data users, data providers and data managers, from all scientific disciplines active in and around Antarctica. We seek contributions covering all aspects of data management as well as the application of informatics and data information systems in science. Topics include, but are certainly not limited to, the development of standards for data and metadata, data discovery systems, quality control and assurance, data interoperability, data dissemination using web services and distributed data systems, data policies and the role of funding agencies, long-term preservation and stewardship to facilitate new interdisciplinary science. Special focus will be on the SCAR data products, such as the Antarctic Master Directory (AMD), the Antarctic Digital Database (ADD), the Composite Gazetteer of Antarctica, the Antarctic Map Catalogue and the Antarctic Biodiversity Information Facility (ANTABIF), and their usage in scientific projects. Papers from all scientific disciplines are welcome, and interdisciplinary data management topics are especially encouraged.

  4. Ecosystem Change in Antarctica, the Importance of Long-Term Data

    Berry Lyons (US); Huw Griffiths (UK); Christine Foreman (US)

    Environmental and ecosystem change are of great concern in polar regions. Cryosphere loss, increases in oceanic and atmospheric temperatures, and changes in oceanic/atmospheric circulation and weather patterns could lead to significant changes in biological production, biomass distribution, and biodiversity. This session encourages presentations that utilize long-term data sets to describe ecological responses to physical, chemical and/or biological change in Antarctica, the Sub-Antarctic Islands and the Southern Ocean. Results from terrestrial, aquatic, marine and cryospheric environments are welcome. Plans and the rationale for future long-term data collection operations would also be welcomed. It is hoped that the session will encourage and enhance the collection of long-term ecological data throughout the Antarctic region as well as denote important locations where data absences exist currently.

Social Sciences and Humanities

  1. Voicing Silences in Antarctic History

    Cornelia Luedecke (CO, History, DE); Ximena Senatore (AR); Peder Roberts (FR)

    This session provides a forum for new perspectives on the history of the Antarctic. Contributions that address historical 'silences' as opportunities to ask new questions, in addition to simply adding new facts, are especially encouraged as the session aims to showcase the increasingly diverse - and sophisticated - nature of historical scholarship on the Antarctic region. These include new methodological approaches like material culture, labor history, and environmental history in addition to new contributions in fields such as the history of science, Cold War geopolitics, and the history of European imperialism. Papers addressing all time periods and all national contexts are welcomed, as are papers that employ perspectives from cognate disciplines such as archaeology or science studies.

  2. Historical Views on Gateways to Antarctica

    Cornelia Luedecke (CO, History, DE); Aant Elzinga (SE); Adrian Howkins, (US)

    The session focuses on the significance of port cities in the history of Antarctica. It examines the important role these "gateway" cities have played as connection points between the history of the Antarctic continent and that of the rest of the world. The session will explore Antarctic logistics, science, and rescue expeditions, and ask questions about the role of "gatekeepers" in these histories. It will also pay particular attention to the history of exchanges between Antarctic expeditions and local communities. The objective of the session is to highlight the great variety of historical experiences, including personal and institutional network relationships that have over time linked Antarctica to the rest of the world.

  3. Human Connections to the Antarctic and Antarctic Values

    Daniela Liggett (CO, NZ); Gary Steel (CO, NZ); Sira Engelbertz (NZ)

    This multi-disciplinary session will explore the character and meaning of individual, social, and cultural connections to Antarctica. There will be a specific, but not exclusive, focus on the roles that values play in these connections. The meaning of the term "values" within the context of this session is broad, and may include such areas as the interplay between environmental, political, and scientific drivers. In this age of global, environmental change and increasing uncertainty about the future, it is important to examine the relationships that human beings forge with the Southern Continent. The identification of these connections and values are likely to be linked to decision-making at multiple levels of analysis - from individual through to national - and thus influence the complex nature of Antarctic governance. We invite a broad range of contributions addressing the diverse forms of human connections to Antarctica and Antarctic values from all disciplines and a wide range of conference participants, including scholars, policy-makers, industry representatives, and other stakeholders.

  4. Changing Poles: Challenges to Antarctic and Arctic Communities and Institutions

    Daniela Liggett (CO, NZ); Peter Schweitzer (Arctic, US); Erin Neufeld (NZ)

    This session invites papers that look at the social science and humanities aspects of climate change issues in the polar regions. As environments are changing, human communities and institutions are forced to adapt their social practices, cultural and institutional norms and processes, and, in the Arctic, ways of making a living. These adaptive processes do not happen in isolation but are the result of complex interactions among community structure, ecological and economic vulnerability, and social capital and institutions. While there is certainly something to be learned from failure, this session will focus on positive examples of responding to change, in order to better understand what enables polar communities and institutions to turn challenges into opportunities. From a governance perspective, this session will enable us to assess how climate change is portrayed in the political discourse of Antarctic and Arctic institutions and regimes and whether it affects institutional design and strategic decision-making.

Education, Outreach and Communications

  1. Antarctic Education, Outreach and Training

    Jenny Baeseman (NO); Jose Xavier (PT); Erli Costa (BR)

    With the increased attention on the changing Polar Regions, effective science education, outreach and communication need to be higher priorities within the scientific and policy communities. To help increase the effectiveness of outreach and to help stimulate new efforts among Antarctic researchers, SCAR programs and groups, and partner organization, this session will bring together examples of capacity building, education, outreach and communication efforts of researchers, educators, communicators, and others involved with Antarctic knowledge transfer and dissemination. We particularly encourage presentations that not only share experiences, but also include the lessons learned and advice for others interested in developing similar activities. In addition to session presentations, we will hold a panel discussion on what can be done to continue the education and outreach momentum from the International Polar Year and how we can benefit from the many lessons learned to continue to inspire science outreach efforts, improve planning, enhance self-evaluation and capitalize on the current elevated interest in the Antarctic Region and its global connections. SCAR plays an important role in Antarctic capacity building, education and training, through the CBET committee and other efforts. This session is co-sponsored by the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists and the WCRP/SCAR/IASC Climate and the Cryosphere Project.

  2. Antarctic Communication and the Arts

    Alan Cooper (US); Julianne Stafford (US); David Walton (US)

    Science has long been closely linked to the Arts (e.g., written and spoken narrative, art, photography, film/video, poetry, music, dance). However, during the last hundred years, as new technology has improved accuracy of observations and calculations, science-culture has minimized the links with the subjective arts to focus on objective technology. In this session, we look at the history of existing and previous links between Antarctic science and Arts. We seek ideas on how the benefits of researchers linking any of the Arts with science will more effectively communicate science both to the public and to colleagues. The Arts can help simplify and illustrate complex scientific concepts to make them more understandable and evoke greater interest and confidence in the concepts, especially amongst those with little formal science training. The session offers researchers an opportunity to share their insights and knowledge of how the Arts could more effectively be used in science. And we encourage researchers to demonstrate their Arts skills within their presentations, to promote their ideas.

Policy Advice

  1. Conservation and the Protection of Antarctica: The Marine System

    Viviana Alder (AR); Keith Reid (CCAMLR, AU); Tosca Ballerini (FR)

    The Antarctic marine system plays a critical role in the regulation of the global climate, both as a driver of thermohaline circulation and by absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere. Coastal and oceanic marine life dominates the biodiversity of the Antarctic, is regionally distinctive and includes charismatic, physiologically extreme, ecologically critical and/or economically significant species. The state of the Antarctic marine system is highly variable and also subject to long-term change; driven by historical and present-day local-scale human impacts as well as large-scale physical processes, the drivers of which originate well outside the Antarctic. It is essential that the links between scientific theory and conservation and protection practice are strong enough to provide strategic, cross-disciplinary advice to policy-makers to ensure that the ecological good and services provided by the Antarctic marine system are maintained. This session will focus on identifying the current conservation and protection issues, including measures already in place, as well as determining the requirements to achieve longer-term protection of the system. Contributions that include examples of science-based assessments of risk to identify priorities for marine conservation and protection in the Antarctic marine system are warmly encouraged.

  2. Conservation and the Protection of Antarctica: The Terrestrial System

    Jen Lee (SA); Justine Shaw (AU); Diana Wall (US)

    Antarctic terrestrial systems are at risk from rapidly changing climate and increasing diversification of human activities. This session aims to explore the main threats to the terrestrial biome and potential conservation solutions to help protect it. The session will cover both regional conservation assessments and local case studies that document the efficacy of conservation or remediation measures and ways in which they can be improved. A particular focus will be on how novel techniques and methodologies can be used to understand these rapid changes and to improve conservation planning and management. We especially welcome contributions that adopt a community and ecosystem level approach although research that addresses a single taxa as an exemplar group will also be considered.

  3. Antarctica and the Southern Ocean: Future Management Challenges

    Kevin Hughes (SCATS, UK); Y-D Kim (KR); Susie Grant (UK)

    Antarctica has been maintained as a continent for peace and science for over 50 years. However, human activities at a global and local scale are increasingly impinging on the region. Today, Antarctica faces wide ranging threats, that few could have envisioned when the Antarctic Treaty was signed in 1959. Climate change, ocean acidification, introduction of invasive species, habitat damage through tourism and national programme activities, exploitation of marine resources, potential extraction of minerals (currently banned under the Madrid Protocol), the challenges of the Antarctic Treaty regulatory environment and processes and how the Treaty will evolve in the face of increasing external pressures are some of the issues to be faced over coming decades. This session focuses on future management challenges for Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, to permit discussion of how science might help the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings, Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP) and Commission on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) address these matters in a rapidly changing world.

  4. Sustainability of Antarctic Research

    Michelle Rogan-Finnemore (COMNAP, NZ); Lou Sanson (NZ); Yves Frenot (FR)

    this session will broadly explore "sustainability" there are many ways to measure or define sustainability and the word means different things to different people. in the normal course of business, sustainable development often includes the sustainable use of financial, natural and human capital. for the antarctic, the madrid protocol requirements represent a prerequisite in terms of environmental sustainability which implies that organizations and people must operate in the antarctic area in a manner that is environmentally robust, is generationally sensitive and allows us to continually learn from our actions in order to improve for the future. in addition, the world focus on antarctica means that we must act in a socially desirable and culturally acceptable way. finally, the current global financial situation requires us to carry out antarctic scientific research, the primal activity allowed under the antarctic treaty system and the principle activity of all national antarctic programs, in an economically sustainable, technologically feasible and operationally viable and safe way. this session will build on the practical and technical sessions envisioned to take place at the COMNAP symposium and invites researchers on the topic of sustainable practices in relation to antarctica and antarctic research to submit papers on this topic for consideration. it provides an opportunity for researchers on the topic of sustainability to provide thought-provoking papers which might ultimately inform antarctic policy-makers and those that manage support to science in antarctica.

  5. Microbial Diversity as an Overlooked Criteria for Conservation

    Annick Wilmotte (BE); Don Cowan (SA); Byron Adams (US)

    The tiny and microscopic creatures that are the permanent inhabitants of the Antarctic continent are often overlooked when new management and protection strategies are designed and when new research stations and activities are planned. This lack of consideration is probably due to their small size and the need of sophisticated molecular methods to study their diversity, evolution and geographic distribution. Considerable progress has been made in the field of molecular diversity in the last 2 decennia, and is still ongoing for Antarctic bacteria, cyanobacteria, algae, rotifers, nematodes, mites, springtails, ciliates, etc. In this session, we would like to synthesize the emerging knowledge on the endemicity of these organisms, and reflect how current environmental policies could benefit from a better inclusion of this new information.

  6. General Poster Session

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Research Camp

Photo: DJ Jennings, NSF, 2006


Photo: Jeff Otten, NSF, 2009


Photo: Nick Powell, NSF, 2009


Photo: Dr Stacy Kim, NSF, 2005


Photo: Sean Bonnette, NSF, 2010


Photo: Kelly Jacques, NSF, 2010


Photo: Dave Munroe, NSF, 2007


Photo: US Navy, NSF, 1946-1947


Photo: Keith Vanderlinde, NSF, 2008


Photo: Patrick Cullis, NSF, 2009


Photo: Peter Rejcek, NSF, 2010


Photo: Martin Reed, NSF, 2010


Photo: Maj Mike Phillips, NSF, 2003


Photo: Bruce Raymond, NSF, 1960-1961

About SCAR

The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) is an inter-disciplinary body of the International Council for Science (ICSU). SCAR is charged with initiating, developing, and coordinating high quality international scientific research in the Antarctic and providing independent scientific advice to the Antarctic Treaty System.

Learn more about SCAR

About Portland State

Portland State University serves as a center of opportunity for nearly 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Located in Portland, Oregon, one of the nation's most livable cities, PSU's motto, "Let Knowledge Serve the City," inspires the teaching and research of an accomplished faculty whose work and students span the globe.

Learn more about Portland State


Created in 1988, COMNAP is the international association that brings together National Antarctic Programs from around the world to develop and promote best practice in managing the support of scientific research in Antarctica.

Learn more about COMNAP

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