A Strategic Vision for NSF Investments in Antarctic and by Engineering, and Medicine National Academies of Sciences,

By Engineering, and Medicine National Academies of Sciences, Division on Earth and Life Studies, Polar Research Board, Committee on the Development of a Strategic Vision for the U.S. Antarctic Program

Antarctic and Southern Ocean medical study has produced a big selection of significant and intriguing clinical advances. Spanning oceanography to tectonics, microbiology to astrophysics, the intense Antarctic atmosphere presents specified possibilities to extend our wisdom approximately how our planet works or even the very origins of the universe. learn at the Southern Ocean and the Antarctic ice sheets is turning into more and more pressing not just for realizing the way forward for the sector but in addition its interconnections with and affects on many different elements of the globe.

The U.S. nationwide technological know-how origin (NSF) offers U.S. researchers with large entry to the continent and its surrounding ocean. A Strategic imaginative and prescient for NSF Investments in Antarctic and Southern Ocean Research identifies priorities and strategic steps ahead for Antarctic learn and observations for the subsequent decade. This survey provides a decadal imaginative and prescient for strategic investments in compelling study and the infrastructure most important for aiding this learn. This file makes innovations for high-priority, larger-scale, community-driven learn projects that deal with questions poised for major increase with the subsequent many years. This record additionally outlines a roadmap during which the imaginative and prescient and those priorities will be met.

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The next chapter discusses the first two of these components, including our recommendations for the high-priority, large-scale research initiatives. Chapter 4 addresses the last component (the foundational elements), with recommendations for what is most needed to support the priority research areas, and to be well positioned to respond to innovative new directions in any aspect of Antarctic and Southern Ocean science. 43 Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. A Strategic Vision for NSF Investments in Antarctic and Southern Ocean Research Copyright © National Academy of Sciences.

For instance, one respondent stated: “NSF must remain nimble and responsive. More mission-driven, large-team based science . . will be at the expense of being responsive to new ideas and exciting discoveries that we don’t even know about yet. These discoveries are often made by single or small groups of 45 Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. A Strategic Vision for NSF Investments in Antarctic and Southern Ocean Research N S F I N V E S T M E N T S I N A N TA R C T I C A N D S O U T H E R N O C E A N R E S E A R C H PIs thinking outside the box, or with a crazy new idea, or even just making the first observations from a new place.

The ice sheets first grew in Antarctica over 34 million years ago as the Drake Passage opened and global atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels dropped below ~1,000 ppm (as a result of erosion and weathering of the huge area of raw rock emerging as the Himalaya Mountains). Together, the ice sheets in East and West Antarctica hold the largest reserve of freshwater on the planet that if fully melted is capable of raising sea level globally by nearly 60 m. While continental in scale, ice sheet flow speed and thickness are affected by the underlying rock and sediment, the temperature of the surrounding oceans, and input of new snow from the polar ­atmosphere.

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