Association of Polar Early Career Scientists


SCAR logo white backgroundAs the new SCAR/INSTANT programme develops its structure, committee proposers have been encouraged to seek direction and further participation from the community.

At this stage the subcommittees have defined their targets and general plan and some of them are now asking for expression of interest in being involved as mailing list members and/or as members of the steering committee and leadership.

Some topics will be carried out in more subcommittees, but with different focus. Therefore it is possible that some scientists would be involved in more than one subcommittee. This is not a problem because the coordination within INSTANT will avoid overlap and secure complementary work.

Aims and call for interest in being member/leader of the following four INSTANT subcommittees:

1) the Antarctic Boundary Condition (ABC) subcommittee

2) the Paleo-proxy, Chronology and Correlation Subcommittee (and call for expression of interest)

3) Climate-Ice Sheet Processes in Antarctica - CLIP-Ant

4) Proxies and processes – paleo-reconstructions at seasonal to centennial timescales


[1] The Antarctic Boundary Conditions (ABC)

This sub-committee of SCAR/INSTANT under theme 2 (Earth-Ice interactions) aims to provide better geologically controlled boundary conditions for numerical models of the Antarctic Ice Sheet and Southern Ocean.

To achieve this, we hope to:

  • Analyse subglacial geological datasets (RES, potential fields, seismics etc.) to better determine links between geology (e.g. topography, lithology, sediments etc) and modern and past ice flow;
  • Use offshore geomorphology and seismic stratigraphy to determine patterns of past ice flow and continental margin (shelf-slope-rise) evolution (e.g. erosion and deposition);
  • To reconstruct the past topography and past bathymetry of Antarctica, by providing regional reconstructions (from land to the ocean) constrained by more data and by data-data and data-model integration.  

ABC is proposed by Stewart Jamieson along with Guy Paxman, Kirsty Tinto, Pippa Whitehouse and Alan Aitken.

Membership and leadership will be defined soon on the basis of the public survey recently conducted but we currently request additional expertise in the areas of marine geophysics and ice flow fingerprinting, geology (e.g. lithology and structure), and erosion and sedimentation (patterns and rates).

If you have not done so previously, please go to this google form to register interest:


[2] “Paleo-proxy reconstructions and chronology of Southern Ocean  environments - PALEO-PROXY”

This sub-committee of SCAR/INSTANT under Theme 1 (Atmosphere-Ocean-Ice Interactions) aims to:

  • collate and improve paleo-proxy environmental reconstructions of Antarctic and Southern (sub) polar environments to address necessary constraints of the modelling community.
  • review and assess the relative confidence of dating methodologies, and provide a systematic approach for forming integrated age models and propagating uncertainties.

An initial survey of the needs of the Antarctic community in regards to environmental processes (paleo-proxies) was carried out in early 2021, and highlighted the need for a dedicated subcommittee to integrate available paleo-proxy constraints and the needs of the modelling community to address interactions between the atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere and solid Earth and their influence on the ice-sheet mass balance.

An improved chronological framework, through an assessment of chronological methods and uncertainties to form a ‘best practice’ of age model development, will reduce reliance on tuning to a single chronology and allow better understanding of leads and lags in the environmental response recorded by paleo-proxies. 

The promoting group currently comprises P. Bijl, M. Casado, L. De Santis, C. Escutia, J. Etourneau, G. Grant, C.-D. Hillenbrand, K. Johnson, R.S. Jones, D. Kulhanek, K. Licht, R. Mackay, E. McClymont, F. Nitsche, T. Noble, P. O’Brien, C. Ohneiser, L. F. Pérez, M. Patterson, A. Rovere, F. Sangiorgi, I. Sauermilch, N. Sullivan.

Please express your interest by July 31st to be involved as 1) member of the mailing list, 2) member of the steering group, 3) leader.


[3]  “Climate-Ice Sheet Processes in Antarctica - CLIP-Ant”

This sub-committee of SCAR/INSTANT developed under  Theme 1 (Atmosphere-Ocean-Ice Interactions).

The idea of the CLIP-Ant subcommittee is to focus on processes in the Antarctic system that are relevant to past, present and future melting of the ice sheet. So we would like first to initiate a discussion among the INSTANT community to “define” some processes (or ideas) that we need to better understand and then decide the tools to use. Processes like “meltwater feedback”, “MICI”, “atmosphere-ice sheet feedbacks” are some examples, but any idea is welcome. Once we have defined processes and people willing to be involved, we can then organize a first meeting to initiate the programme.

Below is a document that you can fill in to join the subcommittee. If you have any idea/process in mind, you can report it in this document and we will discuss it at the first meeting:

The subcommittee is just starting, so the leadership team is still “under construction”. If you are interested in joining the leadership team (Alessandro Silvano, oceanographer from the University of Southampton, and Ed Gasson, ice sheet modeller and paleoclimatologist from the University of Exeter) please let us know. We aim to build a team as diverse as possible.


[4] Proxies and processes – paleo-reconstructions at seasonal to centennial timescales

This sub-committee under Theme 1 (Atmosphere-Ocean-Ice Interactions) is focused on high-resolution paleo-reconstructions to explore atmosphere-ocean-ice interactions over seasonal to millennial timescales.

The aim is to build on the success of previous community-led data compilations [Thomas et al., 2017; Stenni et al., 2017; PAGES 2k Consortium, 2013, 2017], with a focus on the drivers of Antarctic surface mass balance.

The main objectives:

  • Explore atmosphere-ocean-ice interactions over seasonal to centennial timescales.
  • Establish the role of sea ice on Antarctic SMB over seasonal to centennial timescales.
  • Quantify the role of winds and atmospheric circulation on SMB variability.

Key deliverables:

  • Improve existing SMB reconstructions as well as its drivers, using a combination of new data and data-assimilation approaches.
  • Initiate new data compilations, based on isotope and chemical data from high-resolution paleo-archives (ice core, marine sediments, peat…) to reconstruct past sea ice and atmospheric circulation.
  • Refine the interpretation and the estimate of the uncertainty of existing records
  • Test the compatibility between the signal reconstructed from different records, between the oceanic and continental records.
  • Understand the atmosphere-ocean-ice interactions over seasonal to centennial timescales.

If you would like to get involved, join the mailing list or take on a leadership role please complete the google form.

This sub-committee has been proposed by Tessa Vance (ice cores and paleoclimate), Hugues Goosse (Climate modelling), Quentin Dalaiden (Data-assimilation) and Liz Thomas (ice cores and surface mass balance). Membership and leadership positions are open and we encourage you to get involved. 


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