21 August, 2016 by Staff Reporter
The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) Open Science Conference 2016 kicked off in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, with delegates and participants arriving at the biennial event to discuss a wide range of Antarctic issues.
This year’s conference focuses on Antarctica in the global Earth system, from the Poles to the Tropics, and how the changes that we are currently seeing in Antarctica will affect the rest of the world. The program will cover a diverse range of Antarctica-related topics and disciplines, ranging from how Antarctica’s weather patterns can affect the subtropical and tropical regions, to education and the role of humanities and social sciences within Antarctic studies.
The event includes four keynote presentations. Dr Christina Hulbe, Professor and Dean of the National School of Surveying at the University of Otago in New Zealand, will be delivering this year’s Weyprecht Lecture, focusing on the 190-year history of exploration on the Ross Ice Shelf, in particular the New Zealand Ross Ice Shelf Programme. The programme investigates the processes that influence the rates at which glaciers on the peninsula are receding, and how the Ross Ice Shelf will respond to future warming of the ocean and atmosphere.
Other keynote speakers include Professor Robert DeConto of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and winner of the 2016 Tinker-Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica, who will be discussing his research into the thresholds for the birth and death of polar ice sheets.
Professor Mahlon “Chuck” Kennicutt II, Professor Emeritus of Oceanography at Texas A&M University, and Dr Elie Poulin, director of PhD program in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in Universidad de Chile, will also be giving keynote presentations.
SCAR’s Open Science Conferences are held every two years, in even years. The previous event was held in Auckland in 2014, and focused on global messages from Antarctica, and how the changes being seen in Antarctica will affect the rest of the world.