This session will be a forum to discuss the scientific program and the framework of the future integrated multidisciplinary study focused on the polar regions, and to consider how a large-scale science plan for Polar Science should be formulated. The focus of the discussion will be on the preparation of the Master Plan 2020, which will be announced by the Science Council of Japan.
The changes in the polar regions are essential for future projection of the Earth system. The Antarctic and Greenland ice sheet holds most of ice and is the largest fresh water reservoir on the Earth, which is equivalent to about 70 m height of sea level. Moreover, dense seawater is produced in the polar regions and formed bottom water that drives the thermohaline circulation. Changes in the thermohaline circulation are considered to be a large impact on global environment. Therefore, the polar regions are the key components that control global climate and sea level changes. However, the polar regions are still poorly unknown components in the Earth system and the systematic various field of scientific observations is required. From such background, the convener believe that the polar science is one of the important topics which should be proposed to the Master Plan 2020.