Polar science is alive and well in South Africa.
You may think that a little country situated in the sub tropics, with tolerable year round temperatures and overwhelming biodiversity would not be interested in polar science. You would of course be wrong. South Africa’s involvement in polar science commenced with its participation in the first International Geophysical Year (IGY) Antarctic Expedition in 1958 and in 1960 became one of the original signatories to the Antarctic Treaty launching the first South African over wintering scientific expedition in the same year. The South African National Antarctic Program celebrates 50 years of Antarctic exploration and polar science this year and aims to uphold the high scientific standards and active involvement in Antarctica for many years to come. SANAP also maintains and operates research bases at Marion and Gough Islands situated in the Southern Ocean. Current research themes include the following:
- Antarctica: A window into Geospace
- Climate Variability: Past, Present and Future
- Biodiversity Responses to Earth System Variability
- Engineering a Sustainable Presence in Antarctica
- The History, Sociology and Politics of Antarctic Research and Exploration
APECS has been presented at a number of conferences, seminars and schools over the past few months
- Antarctic Science winter school held in Hermanus, South Africa in July 2009
- South African Society for Atmospheric Sciences Conference held in Tulbagh, South Africa in September 2009
- GAES Seminar, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa October 2009
APECS South Africa is currently doing its best to source new members and expand the APECS scientific network bridging the north-south scientific gap.
APECS South Africa
Climatology Research Group
University of the Witwatersrand