Since the last ACE News the ACE CRC has been busy preparing a new science research plan for the next round of funding for five years from July 2014. The ACE board has agreed that the focus for the next five years will be to understand the role of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean in the global climate system, and the consequences of a changing climate for the Antarctic region, Australia and the globe. The research plan will be completed by December and the CRC Committee will be interviewing the ACE CRC in February 2014.
In looking back at the highlights of the ACE CRC’s work since 2010, it is pleasing to see how much has been achieved. A few of the highlights are:
· Antarctic Bottom Water is changing rapidly, including losing 50% of its volume since 1970.
· We can now be confident from scientific research that changes in ocean heat content can be attributed to human activities.
· The Southern Ocean continues to be a large sink for the uptake of CO2 compared to other ocean areas. Over the past 20 years there have been periods of increasing and decreasing rates of uptake, but the overall trend of CO2 uptake remains uncertain.
· There is now stronger evidence of the role of iron in controlling primary productivity in the Southern Ocean demonstrated from research conducted on significant ocean research voyages since 2010.
· ACE has led an international synthesis on the state of knowledge of the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification on the Antarctic and Southern Ocean ecosystem.
· The ICECAP airborne remote sensing study has shown that much of the continental ice in East Antarctica is grounded below sea level, making it vulnerable to a warmer ocean and therefore potentially contributing significantly to sea-level rise.
· ACE CRC researchers made a significant contribution to an important global paleoclimate reconstruction of the last 2000 years.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change will release the “Summary for Policy Makers” from its Fifth Assessment Report in late September. ACE CRC researchers have been involved as authors and contributors to this round of IPCC scientific deliberations, and research from ACE has contributed to these discussions. The ACE CRC will be providing briefings to policy makers on the IPCC report when it is released.
Tony Press, CEO
Authorised by the CEO of the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre October 2019.
The ACE CRC was established and supported under the Australian Government’s Cooperative Research Centres Program.