Antarctica plays a significant role in many global environmental issues such as wind and water currents and world weather patterns.
State of the Environment Reporting allows us to:
State of the Environment Reporting is based on environmental indicators. Indicators:
We have developed a web-accessible system that manages the indicator data, metadata, and custodian information. The system prompts custodians for data and evaluations when required and can produce reports on indicators via the web whenever requested.
For more information see "What are Indicators, and About our Database".
The custodial login is for custodians of State of the Environment indicators to enter data or evaluations, or perform other administrative tasks.
We're interested in State of the Environment Reporting because it allows us to:
State of the Environment Reporting is based on environmental. Indicators:
We have developed a web-accessible computer system called SIMR that manages and reports on the indicator data, metadata, and custodian information. This system has a public interface which permits interrogation of approved indicators and a restricted interface utilised by custodians to enter and maintain indicator information.
Antarctica is largely untouched with little or no evidence of human impact over vast regions. The scientific stations situated along the edge of the continent are associated with significant environmental problems.
Virtually all Antarctic life depends for its existence on the seas surrounding the continent. The Southern Ocean contains living resources potentially several times greater than the combined resources of all other fisheries. There is a long history of over-exploitation of Antarctic marine living resources, with consequent damage to the ecosystem. A number of species have become threatened by over-harvesting and illegal fishing, and others are vulnerable because of human intrusion into their habitat.
The impacts of Antarctic fishing are as yet poorly known, though it is likely that many of the species taken are long lived, making them more vulnerable to over harvesting. This could markedly alter the ecosystem in heavily fished areas. The question of by-catch is also important.
Changes in Climate
Studies in the Antarctic and around the world have shown that fluctuations, whether human induced or natural, in global weather patterns may have serious effects on the environment in Antarctica.
Ecotourism in the Antarctic is increasing rapidly, but is generally well regulated, especially for the subantarctic islands. The potential for serious impact on sensitive areas, usually those most likely to attract tourists, is substantial.
The governance framework is available as a pdf document.
To do this you will first of all need to be a custodian, or a designated data contributor. Simply log on and (if you are based at the Australian Antarctic Division, your user name and password will be the same as those for your general log on). The list of indicators you have access to will then be displayed. Simply click on the link for "Data Entry" to begin entering new data for your indicator.
See the answer to the question about data entry above. Instead of going to "Data Entry" though, you click on "Evaluation Entry" instead.
These scales are designed to provide a visual represenation of the State of the Environment. Each number on the scale has a corresponding colour, and the numbers range from 1-7. The pressure, condition and response scales are a measure of the pressure we're exerting on the environment, the condition of the environment, and the effort we're putting towards mitigating any environmental effects we may be causing. The State of Knowledge scale is an indication of how sure you are that the value you have assigned to the pressure/condition/response is reliable. For example a pressure value of 2 indicates a minimal environmental pressure, and a corresponding State of Knowledge value of 6 indicates that you are very confident in your pressure rating of 2.