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July Update

31 July 2020

Following the Covid-19 disruption to the 20/21 season, field event planning is now underway for the next five years. The Platform team is working with the Antarctica New Zealand Operations team to outline a logistics plan for future field seasons. Beginning to plan field events so far in advance means we are able to take exciting opportunities into account, develop solutions for logistics challenges, and invest into capability and infrastructure to support smart and efficient deployments.

Platform researchers presenting at SCAR

SCAR’s Open Science Conferences have been a focal point for the Antarctic research community for more than 15 years. The conferences offer an opportunity for scientists to learn about and contribute to high quality international scientific research in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. A number of the Platform team will be taking part in the upcoming online SCAR conference, contributing in significant and diverse ways - from mini symposia, to plenaries, to leading the next generation of SCAR research programmes.

Highlights include: Ice Ocean Atmosphere Programme Leader Professor Tim Naish, alongside Dr Florence Colleoni, is leading the development of the next generation SCAR Research Programme, presented at the session ‘SCAR’s future scientific research programmes’. This new interdisciplinary and flagship programme, “Instabilities and Thresholds in Antarctica” (called INSTANT), aims to quantify the Antarctic ice sheet’s contribution to past and future global sea-level change. This programme encompasses geoscience, physical sciences and biological sciences, and how interactions between the ocean, atmosphere and cryosphere have influenced ice-sheets in the past, to inform future projections. Platform Director Nancy Bertler, Dr. Florence Colleoni and Associate Prof. Ceridwen Fraser are co-chairing the mini symposia ‘Antarctica in a warming world; regional changes, global consequences and future commitments featuring EG Chair Associate Prof. Nick Golledge presenting on ‘Antarctic contributions to future sea level rise’. Dr Daniela Liggett is a plenary speaker discussing the unprecedented challenges COVID-19 has placed upon all human engagement with Antarctica.

For more detail, and to sign up, please visit the SCAR website

Special issue of “The Cryosphere”

ASP Modelling Hub Scientists Nick Golledge, Dan Lowry and Alex Gossart have made a major contribution to the The Ice Sheet Model Intercomparison Project (ISMIP6), which is the primary activity within the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6), focusing on modelling the evolution of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. The results were recently published in a special issue of the international journal “The Cryosphere”.

This represents 6 years of co-ordinated collaborative research under the umbrella of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) Grand Challenge on Melting Ice and Global Consequence. In collaboration with SCAR, the research provides improved estimates of ice sheet melt contributions to future sea-level rise for the forthcoming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 6th Assessment Report (IPCC AR6).

The Victoria University of Wellington parallel ice sheet model, developed by Nick Golledge, contributed to the international effort and, together with post-doctoral research fellows Lowry and Gossart, the team have co-authored six papers which will help improve understanding the risks and impacts of future sea-level rise.

Christina Hulbe from Otago University co-edited the special issue. View the titles and abstracts here.

Webinar series

Thank you to everyone who tuned in to our first Antarctica’s ICEperts webinar, we have remedied the technical errors with the question and answer section and are looking forward to our next webinar on the 6th of August. Please join us, Professor James Renwick and Dr Kyle Clem, as they discuss their new journal article about warming of the South Pole.

For more details and to register, click here or contact Georgia Nelson with any questions.