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Monash expert alert: Australian and New Zealand Antarctic leaders meet to discuss collaborative research priorities

Monash University 2 mins read

Leaders from the Australian and New Zealand Antarctic science communities will meet at Monash University this week for the Australia-New Zealand Workshop on Antarctic Research Priorities to develop new collaborations to protect Antarctica and the Southern Ocean’s future. 

Monash University experts from the ARC Securing Antarctica's Environmental Future research program are available to comment on the issues facing Antarctica, how it will impact the Asia-Pacific region, and how internationally collaborative research can address these challenges and secure our futures. 

Professor Steven L Chown, Director of ARC Securing Antarctica’s Environmental Future, Monash University 
Contact: +61 3 9903 4840 or media@monash.edu or steven.chown@monash.edu 
Read more of Professor Chown’s commentary at Monash Lens

The following can be attributed to Professor Chown:

“Conditions in Antarctica and its surrounding Southern Ocean are the key determinants of weather and environmental risks to Australia and the Asia Pacific, leading to climate extremes and sea level rise. Reducing uncertainty about those risks with better long-term forecasts over the coming decades are critical research issues. 

“Australia and New Zealand have exceptional joint capability to meet these challenges as well as a shared responsibility, with our Asia Pacific neighbours, to foster a sustainable and just future for the region. Better forecasts will improve livelihoods by reducing the impacts of extreme events.

“The Antarctic region is the only place in the world set aside as a natural reserve devoted to peace and science. Ensuring the ongoing future of the unique global agreement that is the Antarctic Treaty brings substantial security to the Asia Pacific, the neighbourhood in which Australians and New Zealanders thrive.

“At the heart of this agreement lies collaborative international science. That science means we develop joint appreciation for our domestic challenges and the way the Antarctic influences them. And we develop joint solutions to improve the prospects for just and sustainable livelihoods for all of the region’s citizens.”

Professor Nancy Bertler, Director of New Zealand Antarctic Science Platform and Chair of Securing Antarctica’s Environmental Future’s International Advisory Panel
Contact: +61 3 9903 4840 or media@monash.edu or nancy.bertler@vuw.ac.nz 

The following can be attributed to Professor Bertler: 

“Antarctica’s problems are problems of the Earth system as a whole and are important to Australian and New Zealand society. It is exciting to be here in Melbourne to work out what the science is telling us about the future of Antarctica and what we can do together in the future as a lined-up set of international programs.” 

Dr Ariaan Purich, Chief Investigator, ARC Securing Antarctica’s Environmental Future, Monash University
Contact: +61 3 9903 4840 or media@monash.edu or ariaan.purich@monash.edu 
Read more of Dr Purich’s commentary at Monash Lens

The following can be attributed to Dr Purich:

“We are seeing drastic reductions in Antarctic sea ice – the layer of frozen ocean that surrounds Antarctica. Sea ice plays a crucial role in regulating global climate, sea level and Southern Ocean ecosystems.

“For the third summer in a row, sea ice coverage has dropped below two million square kilometres, raising the possibility of a regime shift in Antarctic sea ice.

“Antarctic changes have global impacts, influencing sea level and climate. To adapt to changes caused by the changing Antarctic, we need to better understand and project these changes. And, as always, we also need to urgently cut our emissions.”

For any other topics on which you may be seeking expert comment, please contact the Monash University Media team on +61 3 9903 4840 or media@monash.edu

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