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Developing a standardised approach to measuring the environmental footprint of Antarctic research stations

Brooks, ST ORCID: 0000-0002-0516-7841 2014 , 'Developing a standardised approach to measuring the environmental footprint of Antarctic research stations' , Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management, vol. 16, no. 04 , p. 1450037 , doi:

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Within the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings, momentum has been building to define and manage the human footprint of research stations in Antarctica. This has been reflected by national operators and researchers offering varied approaches to measuring “footprint”. By not having a standard method, comparative measurements have shown great disparity. By formulating a standard approach, this study delivered a method that enables comparison. To achieve this, recognition was needed of the vastly different environments in which Antarctic stations are situated. To aid this, defining what to measure, resources consumed, and location descriptors were developed to represent the actual impact of the footprint. The model was then tested on Australia’s Davis Station. Inspection of aerial photography and mapping with geographical information systems was supported by field measurements. The model was found to be applicable, with on-the-ground measurements detecting additional footprint area not obvious from the desktop methods. While open to refinement, this study offers a standardised and comparable approach to measuring the footprint of Antarctic research stations.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Brooks, ST
Keywords: Antarctica; footprint; environmental impacts; research stations.
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management
Publisher: World Scientific Publishing Company
ISSN: 1464-3332
DOI / ID Number:
Copyright Holders: World Scientific Publishing Company (or its subsidiaries)
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