Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Global Leaders Identify Key Antarctic Questions

April 24, 2014

Global Leaders Identify Key Antarctic Questions

The world’s leading Antarctic scientists, policy makers, environmental leaders and visionaries have identified the key 80 questions confronting Antarctic research in the next 20 years.

The 80 Antarctic leaders started the three-day Antarctic and Southern Ocean Horizon Scan with more than 800 questions submitted by scientists from throughout the world.

“Over the past three days, Antarctica’s leading thinkers have reviewed, debated and agreed the leading questions facing the continent in a very robust manner,” said Mahlon (Chuck) C. Kennicutt II, Chair of the Horizon Scan International Steering Committee and past president of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR).

“We are now much better positioned to appropriately direct resources towards understanding and protecting Antarctica in the next two decades.

“This will now be based based on a rich and collective vision of the key scientific questions that will continue to face the continent over the next two decades,” said Kennicutt.

The 80 critical Antarctic research science questions have been broadly grouped under seven different themes. The overarching themes encompass the broad expanse of Antarctic science and reflect its innate interdisciplinary nature.

Topics of high interest include the relationship between the dynamics of Antarctic ice sheets and how they deliver water to the ocean that raises sea level around the world. It is predicted that the presence of humans will increase significantly in number over the next twenty years raising concerns about how Antarctic is managed and how humans might change this once pristine wilderness.

Many questions were postulated related to future environmental changes that might be expected to deeply effect Antarctic marine and terrestrial ecosystems, including threats to biodiversity, as the planet warms. Antarctica is a special place for astronomy and astrophysics that allows scientists to address basic issues about how the universe was formed and where life might be beyond found our solar system.

As the 5th largest continent the dynamic earth under the ice remains largely a mystery but holds clues about the evolution of our planet and how the balance of ice and water has fluctuated over the millennia.

“These themes represent the wide range of challenges facing scientists, policy makers and Governments in the future,” said Kennicutt.

“Antarctica is the keystone to the global ocean and climate systems and it is also the most vulnerable part of those systems.

“This horizon scan provides the world’s scientist with the best opportunity to unlock the secrets of Antarctica and to understand the impacts of continuing changes there and how this is communicated beyond the southern polar regions.. This will benefit the whole world now and well beyond the 20 year vision of this exercise,” he said.

The invited participants to 'A View beyond the Horizon: Future Directions in Antarctic Science' included 25 members of the event’s International Steering Committee and 55 experts selected from 800 world-wide nominations of 500 individuals.

The Antarctic and Southern Ocean Horizon Scan was the first of at least eight major events that New Zealand will host in 2014 that are significant to the future thinking, science, policy and management of Antarctica.

These include SCAR's biennial Open Science Conference, the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Program's (COMNAP) Symposium and AGM and New Zealand IceFest.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Final Frontier: Rocket Lab And NASA Sign Commercial Space Launch Agreement

Rocket Lab has signed a Commercial Space Launch Act Agreement with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The agreement enables Rocket Lab to use NASA resources - including personnel, facilities and equipment - for launch and reentry efforts. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Wheeler Downplays Scope For ‘Large’ Rates Fall

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler says some market commentators are predicting further declines in interest rates that would only make sense for an economy in recession, although some easing is likely to be needed to maintain New Zealand’s economic growth. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha Dam: Consent Conditions Could Mean Reduced Intensity

Legal advice sought by the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council on the Ruataniwha Dam consent conditions has confirmed that farmers who sign up to take water from the dam could be required to reduce the intensity of their farming operation to meet the catchment’s strict nitrogen limit. More>>

Health And Safety: Bill Now Sees Rules Relaxed For Small Businesses

Health and safety law reform sparked by the Pike River coalmine disaster has been reported back from the industrial relations select committee with weakened requirements on small businesses to appoint health and safety representatives and committees. More>>

ALSO:

Bearing Fruit: Annual Fruit Exports Hit $2 Billion For First Time

The value of fruit exported rose 20 percent (up $330 million) for the June 2015 year when compared with the year ended June 2014. Both higher prices and a greater quantity of exports (up 9.0 percent) contributed to the overall rise. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news