FYI: Science Policy News
FYI
/
Article

US Reaffirms Antarctic Policy

MAY 29, 2024
The new policy reaffirms established U.S. priorities in Antarctica and adds an emphasis on climate change.
Jacob Taylor headshot
Senior Editor for Science Policy, FYI American Institute of Physics
nsf-mcmurdo.jpg

McMurdo station in Antarctica.

(NSF)

The White House released a new Antarctic policy on May 17 that reaffirms U.S. support for keeping the continent as a zone for research and environmental conservation. The policy largely retains the four major goals outlined in the 1994 document it replaces. The goals set in the new policy are:

  • “Protect the relatively unspoiled environment of the Antarctic Region and its associated ecosystems;
  • Preserve and pursue unique opportunities for scientific research and understand Antarctica’s relationship to global environmental change;
  • Maintain the Antarctic Region as an area of international cooperation reserved exclusively for peaceful purposes; and
  • Assure the protection and conservation of the living resources in and ecosystems of the Antarctic Region.”

A spokesperson for the National Science Foundation told FYI that the new policy “does not change” NSF’s role in leading the U.S. presence in Antarctica. The biggest update, they said, is that the policy “acknowledges the impact of climate and other global changes on the Antarctic continent, which raises new scientific questions and elevates the importance of monitoring and understanding the changes in Antarctic glaciers, waters, and ecosystems.”

In announcing the update, the White House also stated it would “work with Congress to continue its support of our three world-class, year-round scientific research stations; research in the Antarctic Region on ocean ecosystems and Antarctic marine living resources; and modernization of the nation’s polar icebreaker fleet.”

This news brief originally appeared in FYI’s newsletter for the week of May 27.

Related Topics
More from FYI
FYI
/
Article
The Department of Energy is seeking to accelerate the progress of science with tailored AI models.
FYI
/
Article
Darío Gil is the first working industry executive to hold the position in more than 30 years.
FYI
/
Article
The grants aim to lay the groundwork for a telescope focused on searching for life outside the solar system.
FYI
/
Article
Senators argue a restructuring last year harmed their states’ EPSCoR offices despite NSF providing more money overall to eligible states.

Related Organizations