Through three inter-dependent themes, the AAPP will provide increased environmental and ecological understanding essential for the sound stewardship of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. The AAPP will focus research on the Australian Antarctic Territory and adjacent Southern Ocean, addressing priorities within the Australian Antarctic Science Strategic Plan. The outcomes of the AAPP will include:
- Delivery of high priority objectives of the Australian Antarctic Science Strategic Plan and outcomes of the Australian Antarctic Strategy and 20 Year Action Plan, through a targeted and well-integrated collaborative research program of the Australian Antarctic Territory and adjacent East Antarctic sector of the Southern Ocean.
- A vibrant Antarctic research community in Hobart, providing sustained support to both established experts and the next generation of researchers with grant funds directly employing a minimum of 221 FTE-years (over grant period).
- Establishment of an enduring multi-agency research collaboration to address recognised and emerging aspects of the importance of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean to Australia and the globe.
- Reinforcement of Australia’s position as a global leader in Antarctic and Southern Ocean science, thereby further enhancing Australia’s standing and influence in the Antarctic Treaty System and global policy forums.
- Contribute to a more effective and efficient national approach to the challenges of a changing climate, by providing Australian decision-makers in government, industry and the community with knowledge of how change in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean will affect Australia and the rest of the globe.
- Excellent science providing support for Australia’s strategic influence in the region and for robust policy and management decisions conserving the unique values in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean in accordance with Australia’s national interests in Antarctica.
The milestone will be achieved using a three-pronged approach: analysis of glacial ice cores to provide records of past climate and radiative forcing; investigation of the dynamics and vulnerability of East Antarctic ice shelves (within the AAT); and identification and elimination of the source of persistent biases in climate models arising from inadequate representation of clouds and aerosols.