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The Marine Ecosystem Assessment for the Southern Ocean (MEASO) is an activity of the program Integrating Climate and Ecosystem Dynamics of the Southern Ocean (ICED).  A MEASO is a report (or special issue, book).  The activity aims to engage the broader Southern Ocean scientific community to develop a consensus report on status and trends in Southern Ocean habitats, species and foodwebs.  That community is assembled under many different banners and organisations.  The aim is not to have this activity replace the organisational structure of Southern Ocean science or the specific needs and activities of individual bodies. Instead, it is intended to provide a consensus compilation, estimation and synthesis using available materials (published papers, datasets).  This is similar to activities for other regions of the globe, e.g. the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (, which is used by the Arctic Council, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and the like.   The MEASO report can then be used as a common foundation on the state-of-the-art understanding of the state of Southern Ocean ecosystems that can then be used across many end-user bodies without those bodies having to expend extra resources developing independent synthesis reports.

MEASO activity is built on three pillars of activities by the scientific community - Observations, Ecology (theory, responses), and Methods (statistics, modelling).  Rather than establishing another research program, the aim is to develop a network of existing research groups in order to enable a MEASO to be undertaken.  These groups are associated with regional regulatory bodies, global oceanic research, regional research, Earth System research, as well as from international partnerships of research agencies.

The following flow chart shows a network of existing international bodies that would be valuable to contribute to the three components of the MEASO activity and report.  The text following the figure provides the meaning of the acronyms in the diagram as well as URLs for their web sites.

The higher parent funding bodies are on the left and are colour coded.  The next column of beneficiary organisations are bordered by a box with a colour relating to the colour of the parent body.  The third column of beneficiaries are coloured according to the colour of the text in the second column.  The rows in the third column are meant to align in a logical way to their parent in the second column.  Acronyms and explanations where needed are provided in the text that follows.

 Column 1

This column indicates the overarching funding/supporting bodies of the scientific research.  The colours used for each overarching body are used to colour the boxes surrounding the institutions in Column 2, indicating which overarching body is supporting which institution.

ATS: Antarctic Treaty System, including researchers involved with the Antarctic Treaty and its Protocol on Environmental Protection (, the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Seals (CCAS,, the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (Convention on CAMLR,  The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) is considered part of the ATS as well as the International Science Council (

ORB: Other regional bodies, including the International Whaling Commission (IWC,, the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatross and Petrels (ACAP,

UNEP: United Nations Environment Program (

WMO: World Meteorological Organization (

UNESCO: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (

ISC: International Science Council (formerly International Council of Science,, & International Social Science Council,; (

IPs: International Partnerships, including the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (

Column 2

This column shows the institutions involving a broad spectrum of scientists.  Each institution usually has smaller specialist groups. Solid lines indicate the institutions governing the specialist groups.  Dashed lines indicate an affiliation or supporting role.

SC-CAMLR: Scientific Committee for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (

SC-IWC: Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission (

IWC-SORP: Southern Ocean Research Partnership (

ACAP: Agreement on the Conservation of Albatross and Petrels (

GOOS: Global Ocean Observing System (

WCRP: World Climate Research Programme (

SCOR: Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (

SCAR: Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (

Future Earth: Future Research - research for global sustainability (

ISIMIP: Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (

Column 3

This column shows relevant specialist groups, some of which can contribute directly (solid arrows) or indirectly (dotted lines or arrows) to different parts of the MEASO.

SC-CAMLR Working Groups

WG-EMM: Working Group on Ecosystem Monitoring and Management (

WG-SAM: Working Group on Statistics, Assessments and Modelling (

WG-FSA: Working Group on Fish Stock Assessment (

ACAP Working Goup

WG-PCS: Population and Conservation Status Working Group (

GOOS Expert Panel

EP-BE: Expert Panel - Biology and Ecosystems (

SCOR Working Groups:

149 COBS: Changing Ocean Biological Systems: How will biota respond to a changing ocean? (

150 TOMCAT: Translation of Optical Measurements into particle Content, Aggregation & Transfer (

154 P-OBS: Integration of Plankton-Observing Sensor Systems to Existing Global Sampling Programs (

SCAR Life Sciences:

Acidification: (

ANTOS: Antarctic Near-shore and Terrestrial Observing System (

EG-ABI: Expert Group on Antarctic Biodiversity Informatics (

EG-BAMM: Expert Group on Birds and Marine Mammals (

SO-CPR: Southern Ocean Continuous Plankton Recorder Survey(

Remote Sensing: Remote Sensing of Birds and Animals (

SCAR Scientific Research Programs:

AnT-ERA: Antarctic Thresholds - Ecosystems Resilience and Adaptation (

AntEco: State of the Antarctic Ecosystem (

AntClim21: Antarctic Climate Change in the 21st Century (

SCAR Synthesis Reports:

ACCE: Antarctic Climate Change and the Environment (

SO Atlas: SCAR Biogeographic Atlas of the Southern Ocean (

Future Earth projects:

IMBeR: Integrated Marine Biosphere Research (

bioDiscovery: (

AIMES: Analysis, Integration and Modelling of the Earth System (

IMBeR programs:

ICED: Integrating Climate and Ecosystem Dynamics in the Southern Ocean (

CLIOTOP: CLimate Impacts on Oceanic TOp Predators (

ISIMIP projects:

FISH-MIP: Fisheries and Marine Ecosystem Model Intercomparison Project (

Column 4

SOOS: Southern Ocean Observing System (

Column 5

This column links the network to the three pillars of MEASO.  The MEASO is then made available to the different end-users of a MEASO.

In the case of the Antarctic Treaty System, MEASO becomes part of the reporting from the SCAR-ACCE.

End users listed are:

Antarctic Treaty System

CEP > ATCM: Committee for Environmental Protection delivers to the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (

CCAMLR: Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (

SCAR-ACCE: SCAR report on Antarctic Climate Change and the Environment (

Other Regional Bodies:

ACAP: Agreement on the Conservation of Albatross and Petrels (

IWC: International Whaling Commission (

Global Conventions:

CBD: Convention on Biological Diversity (

Global reporting bodies:

IPCC: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (

IPBES: Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (

UN-WOA: United Nations World Ocean Assessment - regular process for global reporting and assessment of the state of the marine environment including socio-economic aspects


Other international bodies:

IUCN: International Union for the Conservation of Nature (


Please cite this page as:
Constable, A.J. (2018) Wednesday 10 Jul 2019.

Page contributors: Andrew Constable

Last modified on: Jul 10, 2019 10:34

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