During the Southern Ocean process, multiple priorities and challenges for progress towards achieving the Ocean Decade’s vision were identified. Some of these are not unique to the Southern Ocean while some were considered as being cross-cutting in nature when considered by the Working Groups. This is because the Societal Outcomes of the Ocean Decade are all closely connected.
Access to data and infrastructure (Outcome 6) is essential to successfully understand the current and future states of the Southern Ocean (Outcomes 2 and 4). Achieving these will allow informed decisions to be made in view of attaining a clean (Outcome 1), resilient (Outcome 2), and sustainably productive ocean (Outcome 3), all of which will ensure a safe ocean where fewer extreme events occur (Outcome 5) and where forecast systems allow for timely responses (Outcome 4). The success of all the above will steer the transition to the sustainable development of ocean activities by inciting behaviour change, engagement and innovation (Outcome 7), which will in turn influence the next generation to invest in ocean science.
The review of identified priorities for the Southern Ocean (published in May 2021) identified six cross-cutting priorities:
- Ensure capacity development and access to knowledge
- Improve interdisciplinary capacity and knowledge integration
- Facilitate transnational cooperation and complementarity
- Ensure long-term funding
- Frame Southern Ocean questions and issues in terms of social needs
- Create synergies with the Arctic community
- Renuka Badhe currently serves as the Executive Secretary of the European Polar Board, based in the Netherlands. She was previously based at the SCAR Secretariat as their Executive Officer. Her educational background is both in biological oceanography and in economics and public policy. As a knowledge broker, she has long standing expertise working with projects at the interface of governance, science, and policy in the polar regions. Renuka has worked with a wide range of national, European and International organisations on various aspects of polar science, policy and/or strategy development for over 20 years.
- Taco de Bruin is a physicist with a major in meteorology from Utrecht University in The Netherlands. He is Scientific Data Manager at NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, where he manages both oceanographic and polar data from national programmes of The Netherlands. Currently, he is co-chair of the International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE) committee of IOC/UNESCO as well as a member of various data committees such as SCADM, SOOS-DMSC and ICES-DIG.
- Thomas Y. Chen is a researcher whose work focuses on natural hazard and extreme weather event forecasting and management, with a particular interest in using machine learning models for both. He is also interested in polar biodiversity informatics, sea ice, and glaciology. Thomas is a steering committee member of the SCAR EG-ABI (Expert Group on Antarctic Biodiversity Informatics). He is a member of the U.S. Technology Policy Committee and the Research Data Alliance. Recently, he founded the Polar AI Task Force with the goal of fostering collaborations and streamlining research at the intersection of the cryosphere and artificial intelligence.