Many forecasters and futurists tell us that in 2065:
- the world’s human population will be 8.5 billion,
- atmospheric CO2 levels will exceed 650 ppm under a business as usual scenario,
- the Arctic ocean will be ice free in August and September,
- average global temperature will 4°C warmer than in 2000,
- ocean pH will be less than 8.2, and
- sea level will be ~26 cm higher than in 1990.
What will these dramatic changes to Planet Earth mean for the world’s last great wilderness and a bellwether of global change – Antarctica and the Southern Ocean? To speculate about this future world and the ramifications for human societies, the “1st Martha T. Muse Colloquium” will convene a panel of the Martha Muse Prize Awardees and Guests to address the topic “Beyond the Horizon – Antarctica and the Southern Ocean 2065” in Queenstown, New Zealand on Tuesday, April 22, 2014. The Colloquium is part of the “1st SCAR Antarctic and Southern Ocean Horizon Scan” that is assembling ~80 of the world’s leading Antarctic scientists, policymakers, and logistics science funders to develop a collective community view of the most timely, urgent and compelling scientific questions that need to be addressed in the next two decades.
The Colloquium panel will include Martha T. Muse Prize Fellows Steven Chown (terrestrial ecologist and policy adviser), Monash University, Melbourne, Australia; Helen Fricker (glaciologist and satellite observational specialist), University of California, San Diego, USA; José Xavier (marine biologist ecologist and marine mammals expert), University of Coimbra and the British Antarctic Survey, Portugal/UK; Steve Rintoul, (physical oceanographic modeller and observationalist) CSIRO, Australia; and Martin Siegert (glaciologist and geologist), University of Bristol, UK. The Muse Fellows will be joined on the panel by Neil Gilbert (policy adviser and Antarctic governance expert), Antarctica New Zealand, and Gary Wilson (marine geologist and geophysicist and paleoclimate expert), Director of the New Zealand Antarctic Research Institute (NZARI). The panel will be moderated by a public New Zealand personality or popular news scientist to be named. The Muse Colloquium will be made widely available via the web, details to follow.