Summary of the research
Research item A01: The Southern Ocean as a reservoir of heat and materials and its variation
A01 consists of the following research plans: (1) A01-1 “Circulation dynamics of heat, freshwater, and material originating from Antarctic Bottom Water”; (2) A01-2 “Paleoclimate dynamics of the Southern Ocean”; and (3) A01-3 “Ecosystem dynamics in the Antarctic sea ice zone”.
From the viewpoint of the Southern Ocean as a reservoir of heat and materials, we will elucidate the interaction processes among the atmosphere, ice sheet, sea ice and ocean in the boundary areas of the sea ice and ice sheet, through the observation of physical oceanography, chemistry, biology, and geology. We will also clarify the variation of the ocean circulation, material cycles, and ecosystem dynamics from past to present.
A01-1 Circulation dynamics of heat, freshwater, and material originating from Antarctic Bottom Water
Research item A02: Reservoirs of water and heat, the Antarctic ice sheet and its variation
A02 consists of A02-1 “Variation and interaction of the Antarctic ice sheet and climate” and A02-2 “Interaction between the solid Earth and the Antarctic ice sheet”.
From the viewpoint of the Antarctic ice sheet as water and heat reservoir, we will conduct geodetic, geophysical and glaciological observe to reveal the flow of ice sheets, surface mass balance. We will also analyze ice cores with the aim of elucidating the relation between the characteristics of the Antarctic climate as the CO2 reservoir and the global changes over the past several million years to the present day. In addition, we aim at revealing the response of solid Earth related to the Antarctic ice sheet changes as well.
Research item A03: Challenges for unexplored frontiers
We will acquire observation data that may bring a breakthrough in our studies using new observation devices in unexplored areas. In particular, we aim to obtain data of temperature, salinity, and topographic features using unmanned aerial vehicles and a year-round observation device beneath the sea ice.
Using unmanned aerial vehicles over the ices and rocks will allow us to make a large-area mapping of the shapes and landforms of glaciers. We will introduce new methods of research observation across different fields to enhance coordination with each research group.
Research item A04: Integrative modeling of the Antarctic Ice Sheet, ocean, and climate
We aim to develop models of Ice Sheet- Ocean interactions and analyze variability of the Southern Ocean, material circulation, and variation factors of the Antarctic climate by numerical experiments.
We will develop models and conduct several numerical experiments independently. At the same time, we will promote integrated research by combining in-situ observations and experiments in A01 and A2 by providing feedback about our result.