iSTAR – an ambitious scientific program funded by NERC

November 30th, 2014 would like to introduce new stamp issue by British Antarctic Territory Post. This philatelic release is devoted to iSTAR - an ambitious scientific program funded by NERC (Natural Environment Research Council). It brings together leading scientists from 11 UK universities and from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). The issue consists of four stamps that were already put into circulation.

It used to be thought that the volume of water flowing into the oceans from melting glaciers and icebergs in Antarctica was equal to the amount of water falling as snow onto the continent; and that this process was keeping the whole system in balance. But some glaciers in the Antarctic (and also in Greenland) are losing ice at a faster rate than they are being replaced. This affects sea level all over the world.

The mission of this program is to improve understanding of what’s happening to the area of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet where the greatest rates of ice loss over the last decades have been observed. New knowledge about the stability of this ice sheet is critical for making better predictions about how the ocean and ice will respond to environmental change, and what impact this may have on future sea level.

The six-year, £7.4 million program is organized into four main research projects — each uses state-of-the art technologies to make new discoveries about the ocean or the ice. These projects are the theme of this philatelic issue.