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Delivering 21st century Antarctic and Southern Ocean science

The COMNAP ARC project final report was officially released at the ATCM in Chile this week. A downloadable file can be found at the COMNAP website (report and summary brochure):

The Antarctic Roadmap Challenges (ARC) project identified critical requirements to deliver high priority Antarctic research in the 21st century. ARC addressed the challenges of enabling technologies, facilitating access, providing logistics and infrastructure, and capitalizing on international cooperation. Technological requirements include: 1) innovative automated in situ observing systems, sensors, and interoperable platforms (including power demands); 2) realistic and holistic numerical models; 3) enhanced remote sensing and sensors; 4) expanded sample collection and retrieval technologies; and 5) greater cyber-infrastructure to process ‘big data’ collection, transmission, and analyses while promoting data accessibility. These technologies must be widely available, performance and reliability must be improved and technologies used elsewhere must be applied to the Antarctic.  Considerable Antarctic research is field-based making access to vital geographical targets essential. Future research will require continent- and ocean-wide environmentally-responsible access to coastal and interior Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. Year-round access is indispensable. The cost of future Antarctic science is great but there are opportunities for all to participate commensurate with national resources, expertise, and interests. The scope of future Antarctic research will necessitate enhanced and inventive interdisciplinary and international collaborations. The full promise of Antarctic science will only be realized if nations act together.

A peer-reviewed article is in process and has been submitted to Antarctic Science as a companion piece to the ‘Antarctic science roadmap’ publication. This is expected to be out by the end of 2016 and will be open access.