XIII Indian Symposium on Antarctic Earth Sciences – 2015
The ISAES 2015 (www.isaes2015goa.in), the first Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) symposium in India, was held at Mariott Spa and Resort, Goa from 13-17th July 2015. The five-day symposium was kick started by an Ice-breaker event on 12th July 2015. Recognizing the significance of the occasion, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Honourable Minister of Science and for the Ministry of Earth Science (MOES) inaugurated the symposium on 12th July 2015. Dr. ShaileshNayak, Secretary, MOES addressed the gathering with India’s perspective on geosciences research. The R & D arm of the MOES, National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research, Goa hosted the symposium with Dr M Ravichandran, Director-NCAOR, welcoming the guests. SCAR President, Professor Jeronimo Lopez-Martinez besides several other office bearers of the organization actively participated in the symposium.
The morning session of each day of the symposium was devoted to two plenary talks of 45 minutes each followed by day long oral presentations through three parallel sessions.
Dedicated poster session of one and a half hour for the first four days was part of the symposium.
A total of 32 sessions on each facet of polar earth sciences constituted the subject matter of the oral and poster presentations.
ISAES symposium at Goa represents truly an international effort with participation from 27 countries of around 400 scientists nearly equally divided between the overseas and the Indian participants. The deliberations consolidated the status of scientific studies and provided guidance for future research. Of particular interest is the nature of sub-ice rocks as 98% of Antarctica is covered by ice with an average thickness of ~2000m and large areas of continent are not accessible to direct observation. This information is crucial to predict the behaviour of melting of ice which in the eventuality of complete melting is estimated to lead to the global sea level rise of ~60m. It is only one example of the significance of studies on Antarctic science. Both the atmosphere over Antarctica as well as the ocean surrounding this southern continent has strong influences on global weather patterns and ocean currents which directly affect the mankind.The two-way interaction between the global and Indian polar scientific community has already provided a positive feedback to the scientific programs of the 35th Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica which will be proceeding to the southern continent later this year.