27th April, 2018
ANTARCTIC SCIENCE PLATFORM UPDATE
Two broad research programmes will form the core of the Antarctic Science Platform: The Antarctic ice-ocean-atmosphere system in a warming world, and Ross Sea region ecosystem dynamics in a warming world. The outlines for these programmes were developed by focus groups following a workshop in March, and have been considered by independent peer reviewers.
The objective of two workshops over the next fortnight will be to develop detailed descriptions of major projects that could collectively deliver these programmes of research. Invitations to these workshops were extended to research institutions across New Zealand and other interested parties. We have an impressive group of people coming together, including researchers from a wide range of disciplines and research institutions, as well as stakeholders and Antarctica New Zealand staff.
Programme One: The Antarctic ice-ocean-atmosphere system in a warming world
The overarching aim of this programme is to address how the Antarctic / Southern Ocean environment will change in a +2°C world, and understand the regional and global consequences of warming. To achieve this goal, the programme will focus on developing the data sets and process understanding required to detect and anticipate the implications of warming and associated environmental change in Antarctica. Research will investigate the coupled ice-ocean-atmosphere system, and focus on regions and processes where knowledge gaps exist, thereby having the greatest impact on how the world addresses the challenges of climate change. The work will involve significant Antarctic field campaigns that bring together multidisciplinary teams at geographical hubs. The complexity of the Antarctic system requires utilisation and integration of new and existing data of all types including proxies, model outputs, and remote sensing technologies. The knowledge gained through this programme will be used to improve predictions of Antarctica’s response to global change, such as rates of ice loss and changes to ocean/atmospheric dynamics, particularly with respect to the ambitions of The Paris Agreement.
Programme Two: Ross Sea region ecosystem dynamics in a warming world
The focus of this programme is to develop a mechanistic understanding of natural ecosystems (structure, function and variability) in the Ross Sea region, and the relative effects of both natural and anthropogenic changes on these ecosystems. The programme will use a multidisciplinary approach and incorporate technological advancements to concentrate on all ecosystem components – physical, chemical and biological – in areas that are most sensitive to change in the Ross Sea and along the Victoria Land coastline. The ability to predict ecosystem change will be enhanced through an improved understanding of the baseline state of ecosystem structure and function, key processes that drive variability and trends, linkages between ecosystem variability and physical drivers, and the inherent value of these ecosystems. This base of scientific knowledge and understanding will support effective management of the ecosystems within the Ross Sea region. Particular focus will be given to the roles of sea ice and meltwater in driving ecosystem change, other cross-system drivers, and the use of sentinel species/ecosystems to detect change.
4th April, 2018
ANTARCTIC SCIENCE PLATFORM UPDATE
A workshop was held in Wellington on the 27th and 28th of March to discuss broad research programmes to be conducted as part of the Antarctic Science Platform. The workshop attendees provided cross-representation of the Antarctic science community, and two broad programmes of work, each crossing multiple priority areas, were identified. The programmes will address the overarching purpose of the Platform, which is “… to understand Antarctica’s impact on the global earth system, and how this might change in a +2 degrees Celsius world”. Programme One will focus on ice, ocean and atmosphere interactions, and Programme Two will be centred on biophysical processes and ecosystems. The programme outlines are currently being refined, and further details will be circulated by the 20th of April. Institutions will be asked to nominate researchers to attend the workshops listed below.
Dates for the two workshops, which will include broad science and stakeholder representation, are as follows:
- Programme 1 (ice, ocean and atmosphere interactions): 1st and 2nd of May, in Christchurch
- Programme 2 (biophysical processes and ecosystems): 9thand 10th of May, in Wellington
Please note that we have cancelled the workshop scheduled for the 23rd and 24th of April.
9th March, 2018
ANTARCTIC SCIENCE PLATFORM UPDATE
Research Programme Development Workshops
In developing the Antarctic Science Platform, MBIE and Antarctica New Zealand agree that it must represent a departure from business as usual. The Platform presents an opportunity for developing new ways of planning and delivering Antarctic research. An important component of this fresh approach is the opportunity to develop integrated research programmes that are inclusive of research disciplines, institutions and expertise.
A series of workshops are now planned for March, April and early May to follow up the Antarctic Science Platform Impacts Workshop that was held in December 2017. They will develop the research programmes that will deliver the Impact Statements of the four Science Priorities. The first workshop will be held on March 27th and 28th in Wellington, with an objective of developing a number of ‘cross-cutting’ research programmes that will deliver on Impact Statements across two or more Science Priorities.
By instituting research programmes that span the Science Priorities, it is intended to establish research teams that by necessity require a mix of research disciplines to cooperate in order to address the Impact Statements relevant to that programme. This will foster new conversations and establish collaborations between researchers not necessarily used to working together. It is also anticipated that this approach will assist in identifying gaps in skills and expertise that can be addressed by the cross-cutting theme of ‘building innovation and interdisciplinary capability’.
Attendance at this first workshop is by invitation only, with attendees representing the range of disciplines and research institutions involved in Antarctic science. The names of the representatives will be made available on Antarctica New Zealand’s Antarctic Science Platform webpage once attendance is confirmed.
In the first week of April, the research programmes resulting from this first workshop will be presented via webinar to all who are interested. This presentation will also provide an overview of the process up until this point, and information about how researchers can get involved. A series of workshops will then be held in order to develop the research programmes further. Attendance at these workshops will likely be coordinated by the Research Offices (or their equivalent) at each research institution, in communication with Antarctica New Zealand.
The challenge is that the focus of each of these workshops will not be known until after the March 27/28 workshop. To that end, please be aware that the dates and locations set aside for these workshops are as follows:
· Research Programme A: 23rd & 24th April, Wellington
· Research Programme B: 1st & 2nd May, Christchurch
· Research Programme C: 9th & 10th May, Wellington
· If required, a further workshop will be scheduled for Research Programme D
28 Feb 2018:
Earlier this month, Antarctica New Zealand presented the Interim Plan for the Antarctic Science Platform to an assessment panel convened by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. The next key step is to hold a series of workshops in order to develop research programmes that will deliver on impact statements that were developed during a workshop with scientists and stakeholders in December. These impact statements relate to the four priorities that MBIE identified during their consultation last year.
From mid-April, we will begin a series of up to four workshops, where the goal of each will be to develop the framework for a research programme. The dates and venues of these workshops will be announced as soon as the details are finalised.
14 Sept 2017:
Next steps for Antarctic Science Platform