FUTURE SCIENCE OPPORTUNITIES IN

ANTARCTICA
AND THE SOUTHERN OCEAN

Committee on Future Science Opportunities in
Antarctica and the Southern Ocean

Polar Research Board

Division on Earth and Life Studies

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
                         OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

Washington, D.C.

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FUTURE SCIENCE OPPORTUNITIES IN A N TA R C T I C A AND THE SOUTHERN OCEAN Committee on Future Science Opportunities in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean Polar Research Board Division on Earth and Life Studies

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T HE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS • 500 Fifth Street, N.W. • Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special compe- tences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was supported by the National Science Foundation under contract number ANT- 1062149. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this mate- rial are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsoring agency or any of its subagencies. Cover image (courtesy of SuperStock) represents a satellite view of Antarctica and the sur- rounding sea ice derived from Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) data. The AVHRR instrument is used for a wide range of applications in polar and climate research. International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-21469-8 International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-21469-6 Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2011 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distin- guished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to se- cure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and educa- tion. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of fur- thering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing ser- vices to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org

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COMMITTEE ON FUTURE SCIENCE OPPORTUNITIES IN ANTARCTICA AND THE SOUTHERN OCEAN WARREN M. ZAPOL (Chair), Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston ROBIN E. BELL, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Palisades, New York DAVID H. BROMWICH, Ohio State University, Columbus THOMAS F. BUDINGER, University of California, Berkeley JOHN E. CARLSTROM, University of Chicago, Illinois RITA R. COLWELL, University of Maryland, College Park SARAH B. DAS, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts HUGH W. DUCKLOW, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts PETER HUYBERS, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts JOHN LESLIE KING, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor RAMON E. LOPEZ, University of Texas, Arlington OLAV ORHEIM, Research Council of Norway, Oslo STANLEY B. PRUSINER, University of California, San Francisco MARILYN RAPHAEL, University of California, Los Angeles PETER SCHLOSSER, Columbia University, Palisades, New York LYNNE D. TALLEY, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California DIANA H. WALL, Colorado State University, Fort Collins NRC Staff EDWARD DUNLEA, Study Director LAUREN BROWN, Research Associate AMANDA PURCELL, Senior Program Assistant v

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POLAR RESEARCH BOARD JAMES W. C. WHITE (Chair), University of Colorado, Boulder SRIDHAR ANANDAKRISHNAN, Pennsylvania State University, University Park JULIE BRIGHAM-GRETTE, University of Massachusetts, Amherst DAVID H. BROMWICH, Ohio State University, Columbus JENNIFER A. FRANCIS, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey EILEEN E. HOFMANN, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia BERNICE M. JOSEPH, University of Alaska, Fairbanks AMY LAUREN LOVECRAFT, University of Alaska, Fairbanks MOLLY E. MCCAMMON, Alaska Ocean Observing System, Anchorage ELLEN S. MOSLEY-THOMPSON, Ohio State University, Columbus GEORGE B. NEWTON, QinetiQ North America, Marstons Mills, Massachusetts CARYN REA, ConocoPhillips, Anchorage, Alaska VLADIMIR E. ROMANOVSKY, University of Alaska, Fairbanks GAIUS R. SHAVER, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts ALLAN T. WEATHERWAX, Siena College, Loudonville, New York Ex-Officio Members: JACQUELINE M. GREBMEIER, University of Maryland, Solomons MAHLON C. KENNICUTT II, Texas A&M University, College Station TERRY WILSON, Ohio State University, Columbus NRC Staff CHRIS ELFRING, Board Director LAURIE GELLER, Senior Program Officer EDWARD DUNLEA, Senior Program Officer LAUREN BROWN, Research Associate AMANDA PURCELL, Senior Program Assistant vi

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Preface T he purpose of science, in the broadest sense, is to expand the frontier of hu- man understanding. Antarctica and the Southern Ocean have always been, and remain, a frontier—both an unexplored place and an untapped library of knowl- edge. In the past 50 years, scientists have made tremendous progress in Antarctic and Southern Ocean science. But there are still many frontiers to explore in the coming decades. Scientific inquiry in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean is helping to answer questions that are important to understanding the planet: its history, its processes, and how it is changing. The gas inside of a tiny bubble of air trapped in the Antarctic ice miles below the surface can help us understand how the climate of the whole planet is changing. A temperature sensor strapped to a seal swimming deep in the ocean under sea ice in the Southern Ocean can ultimately help us understand how sea levels might rise in Washington, DC. There are also mysteries to be solved about how the world and the universe work. Light from earliest seconds of the formation of the universe that is collected at telescopes at the South Pole can help unlock the mysteries of dark matter. In this report, the Committee on Future Science Opportunities in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean was asked to identify the important questions that will drive scientific research in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean over the next two decades. This report is intended to inform the work of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF’s) Office of Polar Programs and in particular a Blue Ribbon Panel that is reviewing the logistical support of NSF’s U.S. Antarctic Program. In doing its work, the committee has tried to highlight important areas of research by encapsulating each in an overarching ques- tion. The questions fall into two themes—observing and understanding global change and fundamental discovery. Research support in the South requires considerable resources, so the committee has also attempted to identify key opportunities to be leveraged in the effort to enhance scientific research in the Antarctic region. In looking forward, the committee has identified a need for new initiatives to further develop an observing network and improve scientific modeling capabilities. Through the process of gathering information for this report, the committee heard from many people in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean science community and we thank everyone for their thoughts (see Acknowledgments section). The committee re- lied upon a large number of reports from the community, and we would like to thank vii

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P R E FA C E the community at large for all of its work in these efforts over the years. In addition, we want to thank the Office of Polar Programs for providing information as we needed it, and for being open to receiving advice. Finally, this report would not have been pos- sible without the dedication and contributions of the National Research Council staff: Edward Dunlea, Lauren Brown, Amanda Purcell, and Chris Elfring. The Office of Polar Programs has a big job to do in supporting and enhancing scien- tific research in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, and it is very important for under- standing our world. We hope that this report offers advice to guide their efforts in the coming decades. Warren M. Zapol, Chair Committee on Future Science Opportunities in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean viii

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Acknowledgments T his report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s (NRC’s) Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and re- sponsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Sridhar Anandakrishnan, Pennsylvania State University Gerald T. Garvey, Los Alamos National Laboratory Thom J. Hodgson, North Carolina State University Gretchen E. Hofmann, University of California, Santa Barbara Barbara Methe, The Institute for Genomic Research Ellen S. Mosley-Thompson, Ohio State University Claire L. Parkinson, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Steve Rintoul, CSIRO Colin P. Summerhayes, University of Cambridge Although the reviewers listed above have provided constructive comments and sug- gestions, they were not asked to endorse the views of the committee, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by David Karl, University of Hawaii, and Martha Haynes, Cornell University, appointed by the Division on Earth and Life Studies and the Report Review Committee, who were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests en- tirely with the authoring panel and the institution. In addition, the committee would like to thank in particular for their contributions during the study process: Karl Erb, Scott Borg, Brian Stone, Kate Moran, Joel Parriott, John Calder, Waleed Abdalati, Tom Wagner, Jerry Mullins, Larry Hothem, LCDR Michael Krause, Mahlon (Chuck) Kennicutt, Meredith Hooper, John Goodge, Helen Fricker, Eric Rignot, Sarah Gille, Jim Bishop, Donal Manahan, Alton Romig, Scott Doney, Allan ix

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Weatherwax, Lawson Brigham, Alexandra Isern, and George Denton. The committee would also like to thank the numerous scientists spoken to throughout the study process, in particular all of the online questionnaire respondents who provided their thoughts on the future of science in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. x

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le irc cC cti r nta A Kohnen Station Enderby Queen Maud Land Weddell Sea Graham Land Land Palmer Station An Larsen Ice tarc Shelf Biscoe Islands tic Filchner Cir Ice Shelf Palmer cle Peninsula Berkner Island Ronne Ice Amery Ice Shelf Alexander Shelf Island Prydz Bay Gambur tsev Mountains Amundsen-Scott Tr Taa s Bellingshausen Dome A South Pole Station r nn a Sea Lake Ellsworth san t South Pole Davis Sea Ellsworth Land ANTARCTICA nta r ctt ar i i cc Pine Island Glacier c Mo Lake Vostok M un ou nt a tai ns in Marie Byrd s Amundsen Sea Land Dome C Ross Ice Shelf Roosevelt Wilkes Land Island McMurdo Crater Hill Station Scott Base McMurdo Ross Sea Dry Valleys 0 1000 Miles 0 1000 Km Map of selected locations in Antarctica referenced in this report.

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Contents SUMMARY 1 Global Change, 2 Discovery, 5 Opportunities to Enhance Research in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, 7 Recommendations, 10 Closing Thoughts, 12 1 INTRODUCTION 15 1.1 Content and Purpose of the Report, 16 2 FUNDAMENTAL QUESTIONS OF GLOBAL CHANGE 23 2.1 How Will Antarctica Contribute to Changes in Global Sea Level?, 24 2.2 What Is the Role of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean in the Global Climate System?, 33 2.3 What Is the Response of Antarctic Biota and Ecosystems to Change?, 58 2.4 What Role Has Antarctica Played in Changing the Planet in the Past?, 66 3 FUNDAMENTAL QUESTIONS OF SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERY 75 3.1 What Can Antarctica and the Southern Ocean Reveal About Past Climates?, 76 3.2 How Has Life Adapted to Antarctica and the Southern Ocean Environments?, 81 3.3 What Can the Antarctic Platform Reveal About the Interaction Between the Earth and the Space Environment?, 88 3.4 How Did the Universe Begin, What Is It Made of, and What Determines Its Evolution?, 92 4 OPPORTUNITIES TO ENHANCE RESEARCH IN ANTARCTICA AND THE SOUTHERN OCEAN 109 4.1 Collaboration, 109 4.2 Energy, Technology, and Infrastructure, 119 4.3 Education, 128 4.4 Observing Network with Data Integration and Scientific Modeling, 132 xiii

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CONTENTS 5 FUTURE DIRECTIONS IN ANTARCTIC AND SOUTHERN OCEAN SCIENCE 145 Closing Thoughts, 148 REFERENCES 151 APPENDIXES A Statement of Task 161 B Summary of Online Questionnaire Results 163 C Promising Technologies for Antarctic and Southern Ocean Science 169 D Icebreaking Polar Research Vessels and Heavy Icebreakers 177 E Components of an Antarctic and Southern Ocean Observing System 183 F Acronyms 187 G Biographical Sketches of Committee Members 189 xiv

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Icebergs near the Antarctic Peninsula. SOURCE: Jeffrey Kietzmann/NSF.