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SCAR EXCOM 2013 WP13: Report on PAIS (Past Antarctic Ice Sheet Dynamics)
Title: Past Antarctic Ice Sheet Dynamics (PAIS)
Authors: C. Escutia, R. DeConto, K. Gohl, R. Larter, R. Powell, L. De Santis, M. Bentley
The overarching goal of PAIS is to improve confidence in predictions of ice sheet and sea level response to future climate change and ocean warming. For this, PAIS aims to improve understanding of the sensitivity of East, West, and Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheets to a broad range of climatic and oceanic conditions. PAIS builds on the success of SCAR-ACE (Antarctic Climate Evolution), but with a new focus on the ice sheet rather than palaeoclimate reconstructions. Study intervals span a range of timescales, including past “greenhouse” climates warmer than today, and times of more recent warming and ice sheet retreat during glacial terminations. The PAIS research philosophy is based on data-data and data-model integration and intercomparison, and the development of “ice-to-abyss” data transects, extending from the ice sheet interior to the deep sea. The data-transect concept will link ice core, ice sheet-proximal, offshore, and far-field records of past ice sheet behaviour and sea level, yielding an unprecedented view of past changes in ice sheet geometry, volume, and ice sheet-ocean interactions. These integrated data sets will enable robust testing of a new generation of coupled Glacial Isostatic Adjustment-Ice Sheet-Atmosphere-Ocean models that include new reconstructions of past and present ice bed topography and bathymetry. PAIS will accomplish its objectives by: 1) facilitating the planning of new data-acquisition missions using emerging technologies; 2) encouraging data sharing and integration of spatially targeted transect data with modelling studies; and 3) initiating/expanding cross linkages among Antarctic research communities.
Important Issues or Factors: PAIS continent-to-abyss transects build on ongoing and planned projects and therefore guaratee continuous deliverables.
Recommendations/Actions and Justification: Support and input from EXCOM on PAIS plans for the next two-three years of the Programme.
Expected Benefits/Outcomes: Significant publication output (both in content and numbers). Publications and science relevant to “Big- science” programmes and policy makers, enhancement of SCAR profile.
Partners: ANDRILL, AntECO, APECS, IGBP-PAGES, IODP, IPICS, ISMASS, SCADM, SCERCE, SHALDRIL and other SCAR Expert and Action Groups.
Budget Implications: Request for confirmation of SCAR science programme funding at current level until the internal progress review in two years.