The XXXVI SCAR Delegates Meeting is currently held online in a series of two-hour sessions over two weeks in March 2021. Bettine van Vuuren is giving the South Africa National Committee members regular feedback. She and Tracy Klarenbeek are South African Respresentatives at the SCAR delegates meeting.

SCAR focuses its science efforts on high priority topical areas through its Scientific Research Programmes (SRPs).  Three new programmes were approved by the Executive in 2020 and began officially in January 2021. During the delgeates meeting the following new Scientific Research Programmes have started under the auspices of SCAR. They are:

Integrated Science to Inform Antarctic and Southern Ocean Conservation (Ant-ICON). The Ant-ICON SRP will answer fundamental science questions (as identified by the SCAR Horizon Scan), relating to the conservation and management of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean and focus on research to drive and inform international decision-making and policy change.

INStabilities and Thresholds in ANTarctica (INSTANT). The INSTANT SRP will address a first-order question about Antarctica’s contribution to sea level. It encompasses geoscience, physical sciences and biological sciences, of the way in which interactions between the ocean, atmosphere and cryosphere have influenced ice-sheets in the past, and what expectations will be in the future with a special focus on quantifying the contributions to global sea level change. They aim to quantify the Antarctic ice sheet’s contribution to past and future global sea-level change.

Near-term Variability and Prediction of the Antarctic Climate System (AntClimnow). AntClimnow will investigate the prediction of near-term conditions in the Antarctic climate system on timescales of years to multiple decades. They will take an integrated approach, looking beyond climate projections of the physical system to consider the Antarctic environment as a whole.

“There is a lot of opportunities for South African Researchers to participate within these new programmes” – Bettine van Vuuren. Please contact the various Chief Officers for more information on how to become involved.

Visit the South African Government's COVID-19 Information page at sacoronavirus.co.za

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