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Guest post by co-chief scientist Laura De Santis from Instituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale (OGS):

This year the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) and International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) mark six and five decades, respectively, of successful international scientific achievements.

SCAR, with a membership representing the scientific communities of 43 countries, is an international network of thousands of scientists who share a common ambition to carry out Antarctic science for the benefit of society. SCAR scientific programs cover geological, biological, and physical sciences and are instrumental in initiating, developing and coordinating high quality international scientific research in the Antarctic and the Southern Ocean https://www.scar.org/general-scar-news/60-years/

The SCAR/Geoscience PAIS (Past Antarctic Ice Sheet dynamics) program https://www.scar.org/science/pais/pais/ has carried out coordinated action for the past 5 years to design depth and longitudinal transects of deep drilling expeditions along the West Antarctic Ice Sheet margin in collaboration with IODP. IODP scheduled drilling activities over the next two years include the ongoing Expedition 374 in the Ross Sea (2018), and in 2019, Expedition 379 in the Amundsen Sea and Expedition 382 in “iceberg alley” in the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean and on the South Falkland Slope Drift. IODP Proposal 732 proposes to drill along the Antarctic Peninsula and is available to be scheduled in 2021. Mission Specific Platform Expedition 373 along the George V Land coast will also be rescheduled in this timeframe. These IODP expeditions are tightly linked and highly complementary to obtain continental-scale understanding of how different sectors of the Antarctic ice sheets have responded to elevated levels of CO2 and warming climates in the past. The results will provide much-needed constraints to models for simulating past and future global sea level rise.

SCAR coordination has helped to design and carry out Antarctic cruises by many nations since the 1980s, with the aim of collecting site survey data for ODP and IODP expeditions. 2018 is also the 30th anniversary of the Italian Antarctic Research Program’s (PNRA) first marine geophysical survey in the Ross Sea in 1988 with the OGS Explora research vessel. IODP Expedition 374 is using some of these initial seismic profiles as well as those collected all the way through last year’s 11th survey, for locating drill sites. The huge amount of data collected in the Ross Sea by many Nations and favourable logistic conditions has also led to 40 years of successful international deep drilling projects in coastal areas led by the New Zealand Antarctic CRC, which employ custom-designed platforms on fast ice.

The first DSDP leg to Antarctica successfully collected cores in the Ross Sea 45 years ago in 1973, resulting in the discovery of the age of the Antarctic glaciations and the link between ice sheet volume and global sea level fluctuations. Since 1973, several Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP 1968-83), Ocean Drilling Program (ODP 1985-2003) and IODP (2003-current) expeditions were successfully carried out along other sectors of the Antarctic margin. Twenty years ago, ODP Expedition 178 demonstrated the crucial importance of drilling depth transects across the Antarctic margin from the continental shelf to the continental rise and also revealed the role of ice sheet volume fluctuations in governing and interacting with the global circulation during past climate changes. This was followed by successful ODP and IODP expeditions to Prydz Bay (2001) and Wilkes Land (2010) that were based on transects from the continental shelf to the abyssal plain.

IODP Expedition 374 has returned to the Ross Sea after 45 years to core below the seafloor seeking evidence of the influence of a warming ocean on ice sheet instability by investigating the past sedimentary record. IODP Expedition 374 has been very successful, with unprecedented recovery from the Antarctic continental margin, thanks to the efficient IODP organization, the professional skill of the technicians and the crew gained through 50 years of collective experience, and to the enthusiasm motivation and determination of the science party members and the science planning community, along with some much needed assistance from Mother Nature in keeping the sea ice away from the JOIDES Resolution and the waves calm!

The SCAR President Steven Chown recently stated: “The collaboration between SCAR and IODP with the support of National Antarctic Programs is an example of international best-practice coordination and optimization of logistic and human resources for addressing important scientific issues of global and societal relevance, with significant contributions also to technological development, outreach and education.

http://joidesresolution.org/

DRILLING FOR PAST ANTARCTIC CLIMATE - THEN AND NOW

on 14 June 2018
DRILLING FOR PAST ANTARCTIC CLIMATE - THEN AND NOW

  This collection of videos captures talks on this topic on the evening of 8 March, 2018, at the Lyttelton Arts Factory, New Zealand, after the return of the JOIDES Resolution from IODP...

CELEBRATING 60 YEARS OF ANTARCTIC SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH AND 50 YEARS OF SCIENTIFIC OCEAN DRILLING

on 06 February 2018
CELEBRATING 60 YEARS OF ANTARCTIC SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH AND 50 YEARS OF SCIENTIFIC OCEAN DRILLING

Guest post by co-chief scientist Laura De Santis from Instituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale (OGS): This year the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) and&n...

Follow here the IODP Exp. 374 in the Ross Sea

on 27 December 2017
Follow here the IODP Exp. 374 in the Ross Sea

Follow here the IODP Exp. 374 in the Ross Sea DATES: 4 january-8 march LOCATION: Ross Sea Antarctica PORTS: Lyttelton to Lyttelton, New Zealand CO-CHIEF SCIENTISTS: Robert McKay an...

SCAR PAIS obituary for Gene Domack

on 06 December 2017
SCAR PAIS obituary for Gene Domack

Dr. Eugene Domack, Professor of Geological Oceanography at the University of South Florida College of Marine Science, died on Nov. 20, 2017 after a brief illness. Gene earned his Ph.D. in Geology from...

Katabatic winds diminish precipitation contribution to the Antarctic ice mass balance

on 13 October 2017
Katabatic winds diminish precipitation contribution to the Antarctic ice mass balance

A new field work study evaluates how katabatic winds can reduce the amount of precipitation actually reaching the surface. PNAS from Grazioli et al, 2017 Accumulation of precipitation is the principal...

Check the new JOIDES Resolution schedule here http://iodp.tamu.edu/scienceops/index.html

on 05 June 2017
Check the new JOIDES Resolution schedule here http://iodp.tamu.edu/scienceops/index.html

Check the new JOIDES Resolution schedule here http://iodp.tamu.edu/scienceops/index.html After the Ross Sea expedition in early 2018 and the Amundsen Sea expedition in early 2019 there will be 2 addit...

East Antarctic ice sheet most vulnerable to Weddell Sea warming (Golledge et al., 2017)

East Antarctic ice sheet most vulnerable to Weddell Sea warming (Golledge et al., 2017)

The Recovery drainage basin in the eastern Weddell Sea will more likely be the first contributor of future ice loss from EAIS due to ocean warming. Geophysical Research Letters by Golledge et al. Anta...

Sabrina seafloor survey

Sabrina seafloor survey

https://sites.google.com/site/sabrinaseafloorsurvey This site follows the voyage of Australian, Italian, Spanish and American scientists on Australia's research vessel Investigator. Our voyage departs...

Obliquity-paced climate change recorded in Antarctic debris-covered glaciers

Obliquity-paced climate change recorded in Antarctic debris-covered glaciers

Some high-latitude glaciers are found to remain sensitive to 41 000 years obliquity variations despite a global climate paced at roughly 100 000 years. Nature communications by Mackay and Marchant. Th...

Mission report : Evaluation of the warm marine air intrusion at the French Antarctic station Dumont d’Urville using water stable isotopes as an atmospheric tracer

Mission report : Evaluation of the warm marine air intrusion at the French Antarctic station Dumont d’Urville using water stable isotopes as an atmospheric tracer

The first results of water vapour monitoring at the coastal station Dumont d'Urville will help to link the isotopes records from ice cores to the ice-ocean-atmosphere interactions. During the austral...

Antarctic last interglacial isotope peak in response to sea ice retreat, not ice-sheet collapse

Antarctic last interglacial isotope peak in response to sea ice retreat, not ice-sheet collapse

Models evaluate the impact of the collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet and of sea ice reduction on the isotopic composition of precipitation on the East Antarctic Plateau, compared to isotopic rec...

Antarctic ice sheet discharge driven by atmosphere-ocean feedbacks at the Last Glacial Termination

Antarctic ice sheet discharge driven by atmosphere-ocean feedbacks at the Last Glacial Termination

A new ice core record provides clues on the evolution of the ice sheet in the Wedell sea during the last glacial termination which could improve the understanding of the ice-ocean-atmosphere feedback...

IODP Antarctic expeditions 2018-20

IODP Antarctic expeditions 2018-20

We want to make you aware of upcoming opportunities for Antarctic research with the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP). Two expeditions are scheduled for the 2017–2019 Antarc...

Blogs and weekly reports of the upcoming Polarstern cruise (with MeBo)

 Blogs and weekly reports of the upcoming Polarstern cruise (with MeBo)

Blogs and weekly reports of the upcoming Polarstern cruise (with MeBo) The Research Vessel Polarstern is the most important resource for German polar research and the flagship of the Alfred Wegener In...

PAIS provides funding for 1-2 students

on 13 January 2017
PAIS provides funding for 1-2 students

PAIS provides funding for 1-2 students to attend the Urbino Summer School in Paleoclimate: http://www.uniurb.it/ussp/ or other schools related to PAIS. Interested persons should contact Laur...