The future of UK Antarctic science: strategic priorities, essential needs and opportunities for international leadership
Topics: Climate Science, Earth and Life Sciences, Earth systems science
Type: Discussion papers
Publication date: October 2021
- The future of UK Antarctic science: strategic priorities, essential needs and opportunities for international leadership [PDF]
Authors: Professor Mike Bentley, Professor Martin Siegert, Anna Jones, Professor Mike Meredith, Dr Katharine Hendry, Jennifer Arthur, Professor Ian Brooks, Peter Convey, Professor Klaus Dodds, Mervyn Freeman, Dr Kevin Hughes, Nadine Johnston,Jim Marschalek, Keir Nichols, Charlotte Plaschkes, Dr Rachael Rhodes, Dr Michelle Taylor
- The Antarctic region has been experiencing rapid change in recent decades due to human-induced factors. Most notably, climate heating is causing ice sheet melting, leading to sea level rise and disruption in global ocean heat circulation, with far-reaching consequences.
- At the same time, this region holds unique research potential that can help address a range of critically important scientific priorities, including climate change impacts, ecosystem protection, the likelihood of extra-terrestrial life and monitoring of space debris.
- Due to its long and impressive record of Antarctic research and its scientific, engineering and logistical capabilities in the region, the United Kingdom (UK) is strategically well-positioned to lead or play a key role in the delivery of these research priorities.
- To achieve this potential, the UK must act collectively and in partnership with others, as the best and most urgent research benefits from collaboration, cooperation and cost sharing. Crucially, it must mobilise experts both from within the UK and internationally from a range of disciplines, including the social sciences. In the twenty-first century, Antarctic research must not exist within its own bubble.