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Antarctic Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences

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Peter  Milne (703) 292-4714   


17-543  Program Solicitation

Important Information for Proposers

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 17-1), is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 30, 2017. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 17-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.


Antarctic oceanic and tropospheric studies focus on the structure and processes of the ocean-atmosphere environment and their relationships with the global ocean, the atmosphere, and the marine biosphere. As part of the global heat engine, the Antarctic has a major role in the world's transfer of energy. Its ocean/atmosphere system is known to be both an indicator and a component of climate change.

Research sponsored by the Antarctic Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences  program is intended to improve understanding of the oceanic environment at high latitudes, including global exchange of heat, salt, water, and trace elements, sea-ice dynamics, and tropospheric chemistry and dynamics. Major program elements include:

  • Physical oceanography, concerned with understanding the dynamics and kinematics of the polar oceans, the effects of interface driving forces such as wind, solar radiation, and heat exchange, water-mass production and modification processes, ocean dynamics at the pack ice edge, and the effect of polynyas on ventilation.

  • Chemical oceanography, concerned with chemical composition of sea water and its global speciation, reactions among chemical elements and compounds in the ocean, fluxes of material within ocean basins and at their boundaries, and the use of chemical tracers to study time and space scales of oceanic processes.
  • Sea ice dynamics, including study of the material characteristics of sea ice down to the individual crystal level and the large-scale patterns of freezing, deformation, and melting. These processes have implications for both atmospheric and oceanic "climates." Advances in instrumentation, including remote sensing or telemetering of ice type, thickness, motion, and growth, should enable large scale dynamics of sea ice to be monitored over long periods.
  • Meteorology, concerned with atmospheric circulation systems and dynamics. Research areas include the energy budget; atmospheric chemistry; transport of atmospheric contaminants to the Antarctic; and the role of large and mesoscale systems in global exchange of heat, momentum, and trace constituents.

University of Wisconsin Antarctic Automatic Weather Stations Project and Antarctic Meteorological Research Center

Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center, Ohio State University

AnSlope: Cross-Slope Exchanges at the Antarctic Slope Front

Antarctic Regional Interactions Meteorology Experiment (RIME)

The Observing System in the Southern Ocean Region: Climate Related Observations (CLIVAR)

Report from the Oden Southern Ocean Workshop, February 10-13, 2008


What Has Been Funded (Recent Awards Made Through This Program, with Abstracts)

Map of Recent Awards Made Through This Program