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About APECS

IPY-OSC Francisco Fernandoy-46
APECS is an international and interdisciplinary organization for undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, early faculty members, educators and others with interests in Polar Regions and the wider cryosphere. Our aims are to stimulate interdisciplinary and international research collaborations, and develop effective future leaders in polar research, education and outreach. We seek to achieve these aims by:
  • Facilitating international and interdisciplinary networking to share ideas and experiences and to develop new research directions and collaborations;
  • Providing opportunities for professional career development; and
  • Promoting education and outreach as an integral component of polar research and to stimulate future generations of polar researchers.

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The Greenland ice sheet is likely to be more vulnerable to global warming than previously thought. The temperature threshold for melting the ice sheet completely is in the range of 0.8 to 3.2 degrees Celsius of global warming, with a best estimate of 1.6 degrees above pre-industrial levels, shows a new study by scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Today, already 0.8 degrees of global warming has been observed. Substantial melting of land ice could contribute to long-term sea-level rise of several meters and therefore it potentially affects the lives of many millions of people.

The time it takes before most of the ice in Greenland is lost strongly depends on the level of warming. "The more we exceed the threshold, the faster it melts," says Alexander Robinson, lead-author of the study now published in Nature Climate Change. In a business-as-usual scenario of greenhouse-gas emissions, in the long run humanity might be aiming at 8 degrees Celsius of global warming. This would result in one fifth of the ice sheet melting within 500 years and a complete loss in 2000 years, according to the study. "This is not what one would call a rapid collapse," says Robinson. "However, compared to what has happened in our planet's history, it is fast. And we might already be approaching the critical threshold."

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Featured Member

wheelerEndangered Wildlife Trust, South Africa

Standing on the beach as a child, I used to stare at the horizon and wonder what it would feel like to sail away until I only had the ocean surrounding me. Later, when I learned about sub-Antarctic Marion Island, it became my dream to go there. It came true in 2004, when I went to the island to conduct field work towards my PhD studies. My PhD work focused on the effects of human activities on the seabirds and seals at the island. Sailing away and living on the remote island for a year! I obtained my PhD in 2009. I am currently working as an environmental consultant investigating the impacts of developments on fauna and flora as well as on water resources.

I am based in South Africa. We have an Internet network entitled South, for people interested in sub-Antarctic and Antarctic research and the environment. Unfortunately APECS is still relatively unknown here. I know many of the researchers working on Marion Island and Gough Island as well as staff members from the South African National Antarctic Programme (SANAP).

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