science and logistics priorities. The proposed observing network described in this report (Section 4.4) would facilitate some of that balance because many disciplines would benefit from the realization of such a network.
In this report, the committee has presented key science questions that the committee believes will drive research in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean in the coming decades, and the committee has highlighted several key opportunities to be leveraged to address those questions most efficiently. In this final chapter, the committee outlines six overarching recommendations that it believes are necessary to ensure success for the next generation of Antarctic science. The committee recommends that the United States
1. Lead the development of a large-scale interdisciplinary observing network and support a new generation of robust Earth system models. A broad-based observing system, including remote sensing as well as in situ instrumentation, is needed that can collect data that will record ongoing changes in the Antarctic atmosphere, ice sheets, surrounding oceans, and ecosystems. Such a large, sustained, and international effort will require a robust planning process and will likely require the leadership of at least one country; the United States could be the leader in this effort. Within the United States, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has the ability to take the lead in developing this observing network in close collaboration with other federal agencies having a fundamental interest in the polar environment, for example, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the U.S. Geological Survey. The goals of the observing network should be to measure and record ongoing changes, develop advanced understanding of the drivers of that change, and provide input for climate models that will enable the United States to project and adapt to the global impact evidenced by the changing Antarctic environment. Earth system models will need to incorporate the unique (and often unknown) conditions in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean in order to better project future changes to the planet more robustly.
2. Continue to support a wide variety of basic scientific research in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, which will yield a new generation of discoveries. The Antarctic region provides a unique platform to perform basic science in a wide breadth of disciplines. In the coming decades future research directions will include discovering more about the climatic shifts that Earth has undergone in its history, the genetic understanding of diverse polar species and their adaptation to the rigors of life in Antarctica, and the predictabil-