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SCAR EXCOM 2017 Paper 11: Report on PAIS Activities and Plans
PAIS 2016-2017 Report
Report Author(s): Laura De Santis and Tim Naish
Summary of activities from 2016-17 and any other important issues or factors:
- Significant new papers on past Antarctic ice sheet reconstructions and climate modelling have made significant contributions relevant to the next phase of IPCC over the past year.
- Rob DeConto (US) and Andrew Mackintosh (NZ) have been selected as Lead Authors on the IPCC special report on the cryosphere and the ocean.
- Tim Naish and Rob DeConto were invited to the scoping meeting of the IPCC special report on the impacts and mitigation pathways for stabilisation of global warming at 1.5C.
- Tim Naish delivered the SCAR Science Lecture at the 40th ATCM in Beijing in May on “What the Paris Climate Agreement Means for Antarctica”.
- Laura DeSantis has put major effort into organizing and hosting the PAIS Conference this September in Trieste. More than 200 abstracts have been accepted from more than 17 countries and including 130 student and early career researchers. The conference will cover the latest scientific results in reconstructing Antarctic ice sheet response to warmer climates and model development for predicting future ice sheet contribution to sea-level rise. There is also a focus on interdisciplinarity and far field consequences of Antarctic climate and ice sheet change. On the last day we will host a science to policy session focusing on high-priority research areas for the future PAIS programme work plan. We have invited Valerie Masson-Delmotte (Co Chair of IPCC Working Group 1 for AR6), Chuck Kennicutt (coordinator of SCAR Horizon Scan), and Yeadong Kim (co-coordinator of the ARC road map) to identify key scientific questions and the resources and co-operation required to address them.
- This has been a highly successful year for developing future plans for data acquisition on the Antarctic continental margin with several large drilling expeditions worth USD $100M approved within the International Ocean Discovery Program (Ross Sea, Amundsen Sea, Wilkes Land margin, Scotia Sea).
- Rob McKay (NZ) and Laura DeSantis (Italy) have been appointed co-chief scientists on the IODP Ross Sea Expedition.
- Karsten Gohl (Germany) is the lead proponent on the Amundsen Sea IODP Expedition and led a successful Amundsen Sea oceanographic and shallow sediment coring expedition on the RV Polarstern in 2017.
- These IODP expeditions have been developed within the SCAR-PAIS Programme. PAIS has received praise from the IODP community for organising a clear strategic rationale for drilling on the Antarctic margin. These expeditions will provide much needed evidence of marine ice sheet instability and sensitivity under various past high CO2 warmer worlds for different subglacial basins under the West and East Antarctic ice sheets.
- Several cruises have been carried out by many nations with the aim of collecting site survey data for IODP expeditions 373, 374, 379 scheduled for 2018-2020 and for the other submitted-revised proposals for drilling the Antarctic margin post-2020.
- PAIS provides grants to students and early-career scientists from countries developing their Antarctic programmes (Chile, Denmark, Ukraine) for attending the PAIS conference.
- PAIS recruited Pamela Santibañez from Instituto Antártico Chileno (INACH, Chile), Mathieu Casado (LSCE and LIPhy, France) and Adam Campbell (Otago University, NZ) as APECS representatives on the PAIS steering committee.
- We ask permission to use other PAIS funds, (ca. USD $15,000 in addition to those that were already allocated to the conference) for allowing more students and early-career scientists to attend the conference.