Forty new researchers and technicians will be employed to study ice sheets, ice shelves and sea ice through a new $24 million Antarctic Gateway Partnership.

The details of the three-year partnership, funded by the Australian Research Council under its Special Research Initiatives scheme, were announced today.

The Gateway funding creates greater opportunities for scientists to reach the icy continent to undertake innovative and important Antarctic research.

The Australian Antarctic Division, CSIRO, University of Tasmania’s Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies and the Australian Maritime College today revealed the research objectives for the Partnership including:

  • establishing a sea ice charting capability for polar mariners in East Antarctica;
  • examining the melting of the East Antarctic ice shelves and ice sheets and their influence on sea level rise;
  • studying the changing Antarctic marine environment;
  • developing a next-generation remotely-operated submersible vehicle to explore under the Antarctic sea ice.

This summer the Gateway is funding a major ocean acidification project at Australia’s Casey station where scientists are creating a ‘future ocean’ under the sea to measure the impact of ocean acidification on coastal seafloor communities.

It will also support marine science at the Totten and Mertz glaciers, and ice sheet research in Enderby Land in the far west region of Australia’s Antarctic Territory.