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Science Update

November 2018




Antarctica New Zealand is delighted to officially be named as the host of the Antarctic Science platform. Over the last 18 months, the Antarctica New Zealand science team and the wider science community have worked tirelessly to confirm the $49 million Strategic Science Investment Fund.


“This is an exciting time for Antarctic science. We will bring together our most talented researchers and work with our international partners to improve projections for important climate change consequences ranging from sea level rise to ecosystem health” Antarctica New Zealand Acting Chief Scientific Advisor, Dr. Fiona Shanhun, says.


Nine Primary investigators (PIs) have appointed research teams and are working closely with Prof. Wilson and Prof. Hawes to develop research proposals for the four core projects. These proposals are with international expert reviewers, and feedback is due on Friday 30 November. The International Science Panel will review the projects and responses before providing advice to the Antarctic Science Platform Steering Group on the quality and suitability of the proposed work. A decision is expected from the Steering group in mid-February with approved proposals commencing before 1 April 2019



We are very pleased to announce that the online database of scientific publications is now ‘live’ and ready to be explored!

Our goal was to develop, populate, and maintain a centralised database of scientific publication records that have emanated from science that has been supported logistically by Antarctica NZ.


The publications database was developed within our pre-existing Antarctic Digital Asset Manager (ADAM). This has enabled the publication records to be integrated with other supporting information already within ADAM such as event details, photos, personnel, and reports.


Users are able to browse publication details and conduct searches (e.g. papers published in 2017, or research about sea ice). Furthermore, the integrated nature of the database enables users to follow links from the publications to access further information on field sites, research programmes, scientists etc. This provides a contextual and interesting way for the public to learn about New Zealand Antarctic science and scientists in a user-friendly and engaging manner. Users will be able to lead their own journey of discovery through this network.

We encourage you to take a look and explore this new way of showcasing your science. Please click here for instructions on accessing the database, and here for exploring the linking capability. We welcome any feedback you may have.



After a 15-day delay to the start of the season, operations at Scott Base are back on track. Sea ice science is underway – the K066 (Natalie Robinson, NIWA) team have successfully completed their (abridged) programme for the season and have returned to Base; K043 (Ken Ryan, VUW) are camped at Cape Evans completing under ice research; the data download and recovery of equipment from the HWD2 site has been completed, and K001B (Gary Wilson, UoO) have finally made it to the Kamb Ice Stream.
Further up the coast, K050 (Christian Wild, UC) have completed their work on the Priestley Glacier and K812-A (Ian Hawes, UoW) have completed their diving programme. Closer to home K083-B (Kim Goetz, NIWA) are continuing their seal research, and our heroic traverse team have departed the comfort of Scott Base and set out into the great white on a 1000 km quest for Siple Coast.


Congratulations to our Antarcticans on these recent publications:

MacIntyre C., Risk D., Lee C.K., Cary S.C. (2018). Processes driving soil CO2 temporal variability in Antarctic Dry Valleys. Geoderma, 337. DOI:10.1016/j.geoderma.2018.09.050


If you would like your publications featured here please email our Science Team about your papers as they go to press. 


Pressure ridges. Photo: Richard Lord.

The Antarctic Environments Portal invites you to take part in a survey designed to help us improve our services to you, our intended users. Please click here to get to the survey.


Submissions are invited, by 1 March 2019, for a Special Issue of the Polar Data Journal on "Data Rescue" for the International Polar Year (IPY 2007-2008). 

The International Polar Year (IPY 2007-2008) was the world’s most diverse international science programme which explored the polar regions through observation, research and analysis.  Several different aspects of polar scientific data have great significance for global environmental research in this century.  The huge amount of scientific data accumulated during IPY should be its most important legacy, but only if they are preserved and made available.

Full information on the Special Issue, including details of the Editors, the scope of the issue, and the topics and keywords for submissions, are available on the Polar Data Journal website and can be downloaded as a pdf.


The abstract submission for the forthcoming 27th IUGG General Assembly to be held July 8-18, 2019, at the Palais des Congress in Montreal (Quebec, Canada) is now open.

We are encouraging submissions to the following IACS session: "New Frontiers in Paleoclimate Reconstructions and Proxy Interpretations from Ice Cores".

Session Description

This symposium welcomes contributions of state-of-the-art ice core science from both polar regions as well as mid and low latitude glaciers. We invite contributions on, but not limited to, the following topics:

  • results from new drilling campaigns
  • new analytical and drilling techniques -advances in ice-core proxy interpretations
  • paleoclimate reconstructions which may integrate other natural archives and / or develop array reconstructions
  • climate model simulations, including isotope enabled models
  • ice/bedrock investigations from ice core and fast access drilling projects

We encourage contributions on different temporal scales spanning the past decades to glacial-interglacial cycles.

The abstract submission closes on 18 February 2019.

Abstract submission, online registration and accommodation reservation are all now open here.

SOOSmap - Southern Ocean Observing System

Looking for Southern Ocean data? Want to play with and explore the data in your browser before downloading it? SOOSmap is a new portal for finding circumpolar, internationally curated datasets of observations. In SOOSmap, you can find data and metadata from global programs such as Argo floats, long-term moorings, CTD profiles, and MEOP seal data, as well as Antarctic-specific datasets like the SOOS-endorsed NECKLACE program (observing basal melt rates from ice shelves), the Southern Ocean Continuous Plankton Recorder project, and the hundreds of moorings in the SOOS Southern Ocean Mooring Network. In coming weeks and months, many new layers will be added to SOOSmap. As it continues to grow, SOOSmap will host data from all kinds of Southern Ocean platforms and observing projects—including physical, chemical, and biological ocean sciences.

SOOSmap data coverage.

SOOSmap is  being developed by SOOS (the Southern Ocean Observing System) and EMODnet-Physics (the European Marine Observation and Data Network Physics group). Datasets that are suitable for publication through SOOSmap are circumpolar in extent and include data from all or most of the nations collecting those kinds of observations. If your favourite kind of ocean data are not available through SOOSmap yet, please contact the SOOS data officer, Pip Bricher, to discuss how to get it published. You can access SOOSmap here.



The SCAR Visiting Scholars Scheme (previously called the Visiting Professors Scheme) is open for applications until Monday 3 December 2018.

The scheme provides awards of up to USD $5,000 each, covering the cost of an international return flight and some contribution towards living expenses for the visiting period. Full information on the scheme, including details of the application process and assessment criteria, is available here


Mum and pup. Photo: Richard Lord.
If you have any news, items, great images, or recent publications that you would like to feature in the monthly update, please send them to our Science Team.