Celebrating Antarctica: climate change, biodiversity, and science

Antarctica is one of the most untouched and remote regions left on our planet. As our fifth largest continent, this unique area contains almost 90% of the world’s ice and is home to some incredible animals and plants.

However, as one of the most rapidly warming places on Earth, Antarctica is under significant threat from climate change. It is also under pressure from countries seeking to expand their interests, particularly around fishing, research and tourism.

Join us online or in-person to celebrate this unique region on Antarctica Day 2020.

We’ll hear about the Beyond EPICA – Oldest Ice challenge, a project aiming to find the oldest ice core on Earth. Beyond EPICA is an European funded project coordinated by the National Research Council of Italy. This project could give us valuable information about Earth's climate dating back 1.5 million years.

We’ll discuss how climate change is impacting the region and its biodiversity, what is being done to address these impacts and what else we can do to protect this precious continent.

Speakers and presentation topics (in order of presentation) -

H.E. Francesca Tardioli, Ambassador of Italy to Australia - Introductory address.

Dr Rocco Ascione - Station Leader, Dome C, Antarctica - Life and Science at Concordia Station (Antarctica): the white Mars.

Prof Carlo Barbante - Director of the Institute of Polar Sciences (CNR) and Project Coordinator of "Beyond Epica Project" - Beyond EPICA, the quest for oldest ice in Antarctica.

Prof Nerilie Abram - ANU Research School of Earth Sciences - how is climate change impacting Antarctica and it's biodiversity?

Dr Emily Shuckburgh - Director, Cambridge Zero, University of Cambridge - in discussion with Prof Mark Howden on global responses to climate change.

H.E. Jean-Pierre Thebault - Ambassador of France to Australia - introducing, and presenting awards, to students from Telopea Park School.

Moderator -

Prof Mark Howden - Director, ANU Climate Change Institute

This event is being organised by the ANU Climate Change Institute, the Italian Embassy in Australia, the French Embassy in Australia, and the British High Commission in Australia.

There is a low risk factor at this event for the spread of COVID-19, however, there will be precautions in place to ensure that everyone's health and safety is a priority. If you are sick or have symptoms or if you have recently travelled to/from a corona hot spot or overseas recently, please do not attend this event in person. Seating will be spaced to comply with current guidelines for social distancing, we also ask that you remain at least 1.5 metres away from others at the event, no touching or hand shaking. We will be providing hand sanitizer at multiple locations for your use, please clean your hands often and minimise touching you face; we also recommend that you wear a mask when at this event. There will be signage and protocol officers in attendance to help keep you informed on COVID safe practices. If you attend, we will keep a record of your name and contact details for 28 days for contact tracing purposes.