Science in Antarctica and the role of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR)
Jerónimo López-Martínez, Michael D. Sparrow
SCAR, Scott Polar Research Institute, Lensfield Road, Cambridge CB2 1ER, UNITED KINGDOM
Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 28049 Madrid, SPAIN
Scientific research in Antarctica requires international cooperation due to the magnitude of the objectives, the particular conditions of the Antarctic environment, and also because the Antarctic Treaty, signed in 1959 and entered into force in 1961, recognizes scientific research and international cooperation as important pillars. The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), established in 1958, is the organisation responsible for promoting and coordinating scientific research in the Antarctic region (including the Southern Ocean) and for providing scientific advice to the Antarctic Treaty System and to other international bodies on Antarctica. This paper illustrates how SCAR operates to accomplish its mission and how it is organized to develop and coordinate the researches carried out by a large scientific community belonging to the – as of 2013 – 37 SCAR member countries. The five SCAR Scientific Research Programmes initiated in 2013 are a framework that will orientate a significant part of the research efforts during the next four to eight years. These programmes are highlighted in this paper, as well as other initiatives currently carried out by SCAR.
Keywords: Antarctica, SCAR, scientific research, international cooperation, policy advice