A joint research effort across fields and across borders for Antarctica
Antarctica InSync is a proposal for an internationally coordinated synchronous scientific observation mission in and around Antarctica, to allow for a circumpolar assessment of the connections between ice, ocean, climate, environment and life, including human pressures, and their solutions such as marine protection.
The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Rresearch Southern Ocean Action Plan has outlined the need for pan-Antarctic studies across a number of scientific disciplines. It builds on a Horizon Scan across the scientific communities. This proposal for a coordinated synchronous mission will be realized in close collaboration with SCAR, which has initiated a UN Decade Collaborative Centre (DCC) for the Southern Ocean.
Planning phase in 2024-2026
We seek the logistic contribution of all National Antarctic Programs via COMNAP, for a planning phase in 2024-2026, and implementation/synthesis in 2027-2030. This mission is thus planned as a contribution to SCAR and to the regional and thematic programs of the UN Decade for Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, which calls for innovative science solutions and a shared, global effort that builds on decades of achievement.
Beyond ocean research it shall include synchronous terrestrial and airborne observations, making use of all available platforms and observatories in the region.
Unite national Antarctic programs
The proposed Antarctica InSync research programme aims to unite national Antarctic programs to achieve collaborative and synergetic actions, dedicated to synchronous observation in the years 2027- 2030, which are likely to conclude the first decade of consecutive sea-ice minima since the onset of satellite observation. Simultaneous research carried out by all disciplines around Antarctica with similar approaches, common methods and shared goals has not been carried out in this region at the level proposed here. Key knowledge gaps will be addressed, including circumpolar assessments of fluxes and dynamics, heat transport, ice behaviour, primary production, CO2 budgets, and the distribution of key species in Antarctica and the surrounding waters.
Data will be shared by FAIR principles, and next-generation scientific capacity will be developed by involving Early Career scientists and policy makers of all ATCM / CEP Parties and Observers. Many leaders of Antarctic scientific research institutions and agencies, including AAD (Australia), AWI (Germany), BAS (UK), IPEV (France), ISP (Italy), NPI (Norway), and NSF (USA), already support the idea of such a pan-Antarctic mission and are ready to engage. Many more have expressed their interest, including the International Association of Cryospheric Sciences (IACS) and the International Association for the Physical Sciences of the Oceans (IAPSO).
- 2022 EOI submission to UN Decade program and SCAR
- 2023 Presentations at ATCM, COMNAP, SCAR, SOOS, IUGG, etc
- 2024-2026 Preparatory Phase
- 2027-2029 Implementation Phase / Fieldwork
- 2029-2030 Completion and Reporting Phase
Feedback and questions can already be submitted to Antje Boetius, Director of the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI)
This article has first been published in the IUGG Electronic Journal Volume 23 No. 7