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Polar Science for Planet Earth Overview

What is Polar Science for Planet Earth?

Polar Science for Planet Earth (PSPE) is the new strategic science framework of the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). It started on 1st April 2009.

Aims of Polar Science for Planet Earth

In 2007, the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) launched its new science strategy “Next Generation Science for Planet Earth, 2007-2012”. The strategy recognises that the Antarctic and the Arctic are central components of the Earth system, and introduced different ways of working across the UK's environmental science community.

BAS developed PSPE in order to better support and respond to the NERC strategy, and NERC’s contribution to a major new environmental research programme, Living with Environmental Change (LWEC).

Research Priorities of Polar Science for Planet Earth

PSPE will concentrate on key questions of global or fundamental importance that can be best answered by research requiring access to the Polar Regions. We will continue to develop our successful research, and long term monitoring and survey programmes in the Antarctic. In addition we will pursue new bi-polar and Arctic research opportunities.

Polar Science for Planet Earth Programmes

PSPE will consist of six programmes which are linked to the NERC Science Strategy and Themes. Each programme has a Science Leader, and will be funded by a range of NERC core funding and external research funding.

The following BAS staff are Science Leaders for the 6 PSPE programmes.

PSPE Programme Science Leader
Climate Dr John King
Chemistry and past climate Dr Robert Mulvaney
Ecosystems Professor Eugene Murphy
Environmental Change & Evolution Dr Alistair Crame
Ice sheets Professor David Vaughan
Dr Michael Meredith

How we will deliver Polar Science for Planet Earth

We will support the research programmes in PSPE by investing in training and development of the scientific skills and expertise of our staff; maintaining our existing research infrastructure (including research stations, ships aircraft and laboratories); and developing new techniques to collect, transfer, curate and visualize data from and relating to the polar regions.

Arctic Office

An Arctic Office, based at the BAS offices in Cambridge, will coordinate UK research in the Arctic on behalf of NERC. We will develop collaborations with Arctic countries to share research facilities, equipment and information.

The contact for the NERC Arctic Office is Cynan Ellis-Evans