Science and Stewardship in the Antarctic

Committee on Antarctic Policy and Science

Polar Research Board

Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.
1993



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Science and Stewardship in the Antarctic Science and Stewardship in the Antarctic Committee on Antarctic Policy and Science Polar Research Board Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1993

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Science and Stewardship in the Antarctic 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 competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. Support for this project was provided by the U.S. Department of State under Grant No. 1755-200101 and the National Research Council (NRC) Fund. Cover: Images of Earth: Antarctica from the Galileo Project, December 8, 1990. Image processing by W. Reid Thompson of Cornell University. The Galileo Project is managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California for NASA. Front: This near-infrared, false-color view of the Earth is constructed using the Galileo spacecraft’s Solid State Imager (SSI) wavelength band near 1 micron along with its red and green bands. Ice and snow preferentially absorb incident solar radiation near 1 micron resulting in a cyan (blue-green) hue on Antarctica in this false-color version, while vegetation preferentially reflects radiation near 1 micron resulting in reddish areas on the other continents. Differences in the cyan hue within the Antarctic continent are mainly due to clouds or windblown snow masking the surface. Differences in the saturation of the blue-green color in other areas are due to different ice textures; e.g., the boundary between the continent and solid ice shelves (upper right and middle left), fans of broken offshore icebergs (upper left and middle left), and the deeply colored serration-like protrusions of glaciers and their associated fringe of offshore icebergs (lower left) are seen at different longitudes. Deeper cyan colors result from relatively clear or warm ice, while weaker hues result from cold, fine-grained ice and snow. Galileo’s sensitive imaging of snow and ice is a prelude to observations of the icy Galilean satellites of Jupiter when the spacecraft arrives there in December 1995. Back: This unique polar view of the Earth was produced from a total of 21 images obtained by Galileo’s SSI after its first Earth flyby in December 1990. Galileo receded from the Earth looking down on 34°S latitude and, thus, had a very clear view of the southern hemisphere and Antarctica. Here, computer mapping techniques have utilized these images to construct a view of the Earth as if it were illuminated and viewed from directly above the South Pole. The regularly spaced weather systems and especially the antarctic continent are prominent. The continents of South America, Africa, and Australia are respectively at the upper right, lower right, and lower left. In this natural-color version, the slightly bluish ice and snow of Antarctica include large ice shelves (upper right, middle left), a broad fan of broken offshore pack ice (left and upper middle), and the continental glaciers protruding into the sea (lower left). Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 93-84800 International Standard Book No. 0-309-04947-4 Copyright 1993 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. B-172 Copies of the report are available from: Polar Research Board, National Research Council, 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20418 and National Academy Press, 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW, Box 285, Washington, DC 20055, 800-624-6242, 202-334-3313 Printed in the United States of America

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Science and Stewardship in the Antarctic COMMITTEE ON ANTARCTIC POLICY AND SCIENCE LOUIS J. LANZEROTTI, Chair, AT&T Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, New Jersey RICHARD B. BILDER, University of Wisconsin Law School, Madison ROBERT A. BINDSCHADLER, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland DANIEL M. BODANSKY, University of Washington Law School, Seattle WILLIAM M. EICHBAUM, World Wildlife Fund, Washington, DC DAVID H. ELLIOT, Ohio State University, Columbus WILL MARTIN, Harwell Martin & Stegall, Nashville, Tennessee (through 4/22/93) DIANE M. McKNIGHT, U.S. Geological Survey, Boulder, Colorado NORINE E. NOONAN, Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne DONALD B. SINIFF, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis SUSAN SOLOMON, Environmental Research Laboratories, Aeronomy Laboratory/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Boulder, Colorado VICTORIA E. UNDERWOOD, Explorer Shipping Corporation/Abercrombie & Kent International, Oak Brook, Illinois NRC Staff SARAH CONNICK, Study Director DAVID A. SHAKESPEARE, Research Associate MARIANN S. PLATT, Senior Project Assistant KELLY NORSINGLE, Senior Project Assistant

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Science and Stewardship in the Antarctic POLAR RESEARCH BOARD ROBERT H. RUTFORD (Chair), University of Texas at Dallas RITA R. COLWELL (Vice-Chair), Maryland Biotechnology Institute, University of Maryland, College Park NORBERT UNTERSTEINER (Vice-Chair), University of Washington, Seattle EDDY C. CARMACK, Department of Fisheries & Oceans, Sidney, British Columbia, Canada F. STUART CHAPIN III, University of California, Berkeley INEZ Y. FUNG, Goddard Institute of Space Studies, New York, New York JOHN L. LaBRECQUE, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Palisades, New York MARK F. MEIER, Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, University of Colorado, Boulder JOHN P. MIDDAUGH, Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Anchorage THEODORE J. ROSENBERG, University of Maryland, College Park DONALD B. SINIFF, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis SUSAN SOLOMON, Environmental Research Laboratories, Aeronomy Laboratory/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Boulder, Colorado WILFORD F. WEEKS, University of Alaska Fairbanks ORAN R. YOUNG, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire Ex-Officio Members CHARLES R. BENTLEY, University of Wisconsin, Madison ELLEN S. MOSLEY-THOMPSON, Ohio State University, Columbus Staff LOREN W. SETLOW, Director DAVID A. SHAKESPEARE, Research Associate MARIANN S. PLATT, Senior Project Assistant KELLY NORSINGLE, Senior Project Assistant

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Science and Stewardship in the Antarctic COMMISSION ON GEOSCIENCES, ENVIRONMENT, AND RESOURCES M. GORDON WOLMAN (Chair), The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland PATRICK R. ATKINS, Aluminum Company of America, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania PETER S. EAGLESON, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge EDWARD A. FRIEMAN, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California HELEN M. INGRAM, University of Arizona, Tucson W. BARCLAY KAMB, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena GENE E. LIKENS, The New York Botanical Garden, Millbrook SYUKURO MANABE, NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton, New Jersey JACK E. OLIVER, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York FRANK L. PARKER, Vanderbilt/Clemson University, Nashville, Tennessee DUNCAN T. PATTEN, Arizona State University, Tempe RAYMOND A. PRICE, Queen's University at Kingston, Ontario, Canada MAXINE L. SAVITZ, Garrett Ceramic Components, Torrance, California LARRY L. SMARR, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign STEVEN M. STANLEY, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland WARREN WASHINGTON, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado EDITH BROWN WEISS, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C. IRVIN L. WHITE, Battelle Pacific Northwest Laboratories, Washington, D.C. NRC Staff M. GORDON WOLMAN, Chairman STEPHEN RATTIEN, Executive Director STEPHEN D. PARKER, Associate Executive Director LORRAINE W. WOLF, Assistant Executive Director JEANETTE A. SPOON, Administrative Officer BARBARA B. SINGLETARY, Administrative Associate ROBIN L. ALLEN, Administrative Assistant

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Science and Stewardship in the Antarctic The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished 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. Bruce M. Alberts 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. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure 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 education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine 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 furthering 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 services 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. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.

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Science and Stewardship in the Antarctic Preface With a worldwide increase in the awareness of, and concern for, environmental issues that face Planet Earth has come a growing awareness of the role that the polar regions play in the global environment. A quite natural accompaniment has been the growing recognition by the general public and by organized environmental groups of the especially pristine nature of the Antarctic, the southern polar region of the planet. Of course, the Antarctic has always been considered a special place by those nations that established, more than three decades ago, the Treaty System that has kept the continent free from human conflicts and that has preserved it as a unique locale for scientific research. Now, with the number of Consultative Parties to the Treaty more than double the original 12 and far more nations actively interested in environmental matters for the welfare of their citizens, the place of the Antarctic in international science has grown even more visible, especially for those research areas that require global perspectives. Antarctica itself is no longer viewed as the sole object of the scientific research conducted there. Studies of marine living resources are placed in a global context of food stocks and of local and global ecosystems. The study of algae and bacteria in Antarctica's desert lakes and streams provides insight on microbial systems of the early Earth and the possibility of life on Mars. Studies of the evolution of life history phenomena in extreme environments, the physiological adaptations that accompany these phenomena, and species interactions have provided significant insights on ecosystem structures and functions. Undisturbed benthic habitats, in which marine communities have been isolated for perhaps 20 million years, provide a unique opportunity for studies of evolution. The explosion-generated acoustic signals that bounce off the rock at the bottom of an ice sheet not only yield data on the ice itself but also provide insights into the stability and future of the sheet under conditions of global atmospheric change. Machine-driven augers drilling deep into the ice caps produce cores that tell us of past climates on Earth and of the atmo-

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Science and Stewardship in the Antarctic spheric conditions that existed in those ancient times. Geologic and fossil discoveries made by geologists working under the most difficult conditions have been essential for understanding continental drift and the place of the Antarctic in it. Humankind's influence on the stratospheric ozone layer was first discovered and then understood through measurements and experiments made on, and above the continent. The balloon-borne payloads that majestically circle the entire continent in a week or more relay data on the conditions of the upper atmosphere, the near-space environment, and the Sun, all of great importance for understanding global climate and weather. Sensitive ground-based instruments emplaced across the continent monitor signals that are crucial for understanding, and even predicting, the weather conditions where spacecraft that circle the planet fly. The antarctic ice sheet has collected and harbored a vast number of meteorites, some of which are of lunar origin, and some few of which are likely to be the only samples of the surface of the planet Mars that we have on Earth. Thus, research in the Antarctic has become essential for progress in many areas of global geosciences and biological sciences. In meetings in Madrid and Bonn in October of 1991, a Protocol on Environmental Protection was developed for the Antarctic Treaty. The Protocol designates Antarctica as a natural reserve devoted to science and peace and establishes important environmental standards for the Antarctic. Its Annexes contain detailed mandatory rules for certain specific activities and areas. Compliance with the Protocol will require implementing legislation in the United States. The scientific community recognizes the need for strong measures for environmental protection in the Antarctic. At the same time, there is reasonable concern that the implementation of the Protocol could harm the science required for environmental protection, including scientific monitoring. There are also questions as to whether the traditional primacy of scientific excellence as the principal determinant of the research to be pursued might be superseded by other criteria. Humans and their activities cause the need for environmental oversight in the Antarctic. It is commonly believed that the scientific population in the Antarctic likely will grow little for some time. In many areas of research, projects will rely more and more on automated instrumentation and remote sensing from spacecraft. Such trends should be strongly encouraged. At the same time, however, tourism will likely continue to grow. And tourists will want to visit not only fixed scientific bases in order to understand the work in progress, but also continental areas of significant scientific importance. These developments raise concerns about the environmental aspects of such tourism, and its impacts on scientific research.

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Science and Stewardship in the Antarctic At the request of the U.S. Department of State, the Polar Research Board of the National Research Council (NRC) established the Committee on Antarctic Policy and Science (CAPS) to evaluate the possible impacts of policy decisions on scientific programs in Antarctica. The evaluation had four major goals: To identify the possible impacts on science from expanding human activities in the Antarctic. To evaluate the possible impacts on science projected from various political, institutional, and organizational scenarios being considered for managing human activities in the Antarctic. To provide an independent evaluation of U.S. policy options and their possible effects on the structure and functioning of science within the Antarctic Treaty System and within the United States. To provide specific policy recommendations on the role of the antarctic scientists in the policy process. The Committee first met in December of 1992 and proceeded thereafter on a very rapid schedule to carry out its charter. In addition to four extensive meetings at which directions were established and issues debated and settled, the Committee convened a workshop to examine the governmental, environmental, and scientific issues raised by the Protocol. More than 70 interested individuals from government, universities, and nongovernmental organizations attended. The growth of mutual understanding and awareness among the attendees from differing backgrounds was most evident during the course of the workshop, and afterwards. This report is the result of the Committee's deliberations and hard work. I would like to thank the members of CAPS and the NRC staff for the intensity of their participation and for the genuine collegiality demonstrated throughout our deliberations. The members have defined the issues and recommended actions that can be commended to all those concerned for the preservation of this unique continent on Planet Earth. Louis J. Lanzerotti, Chair Committee on Antarctic Policy and Science

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Science and Stewardship in the Antarctic Contents     EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   1 1   INTRODUCTION   6     Science: A Primary and Enduring Objective   7     Stewardship: A New Approach to the Future   16     Toward Dynamic Feedback Between Science and Stewardship   18     Boxes         Possible Linkages Between Ice Sheet Dynamics and Geological Structure in West Antarctica   11     The Future of Antarctic Research Ballooning   21 2   HUMAN ACTIVITY IN ANTARCTICA   22     Physical Environment   23     Human Activity   25     Effects of Human Activity on Science   30 3   GOVERNANCE STRUCTURES   32     The Antarctic Treaty System   32     The Protocol on Environmental Protection   37 4   IMPLEMENTATION OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTOCOL   47     Environmentally Responsible and Science-Friendly Legislation   47     Issues for Implementation of the Environmental Protocol and Recommendations for Resolution   52     Boxes         Lessons from Other Models   49

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Science and Stewardship in the Antarctic 5   THE FUTURE FOR ANTARCTIC SCIENCE AND STEWARDSHIP   78     Benefits of the New Protocol   78     Challenges of Research and Stewardship   79     Conclusion   82     LIST OF ACRONYMS   83     REFERENCES   85     APPENDIXES   87 A.   TOURISM   87     Guidelines of Conduct for Antarctica Visitors   96     Guidelines of Conduct for Antarctica Tour Operators   101 B.   COMMITTEE ON ANTARCTIC POLICY AND SCIENCE         Biographical Information   104

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Science and Stewardship in the Antarctic Science and Stewardship in the Antarctic

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