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Arctic sea ice

The Arctic is facing a decline in sea ice that might equal the negative record of 2012

Data collected by the CryoSat-2 satellite reveal large amounts of thin ice that are unlikely to survive the summer

Arctic sea ice in summer 2015. This photo was made during an expedition of the German research icebreaker Polarstern into the central Arctic Ocean.
[21. April 2016] 

Sea ice physicists from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), are anticipating that the sea ice cover in the Arctic Ocean this summer may shrink to the record low of 2012. The scientists made this projection after evaluating current satellite data about the thickness of the ice cover. The data show that the arctic sea ice was already extraordinarily thin in the summer of 2015. Comparably little new ice formed during the past winter. Today Dr Marcel Nicolaus, expert on sea ice, has presented...


Technology Transfer

Bionic Lightweight Design researchers of the Alfred Wegener Institute at Hannover Messe 2016

Honeycomb structures as the basic building block for industrial applications presented using holo pyramid

[21. April 2016] 

Researchers of the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) will introduce their latest developments in the field of bionic lightweight design at Hannover Messe from 25 to 29 April 2016. Their focus is on the ELiSE lightweight construction method, which uses structures from nature to gain a developmental edge over methods that start from scratch. The industry is currently looking for lightweight reinforcement of complex flat and 3D-components. The AWI researchers have developed and built a holo pyramid that allows them to demonstrate the...


Climate History

Six to ten million years ago: Ice-free summers at the North Pole

Geoscientists are closing important knowledge gaps in the climate history of the Arctic Ocean

Pure joy about a successful sediment core recovery: Polarstern expedition leader Rüdiger Stein (blue hat) and his team are posing next to the box core. Photo. Alfred-Wegener-Institut/ Audun Tholfsen, UoB
[04. April 2016] 

An international team of scientists led by the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) have managed to open a new window into the climate history of the Arctic Ocean. Using unique sediment samples from the Lomonosov Ridge, the researchers found that six to ten million years ago the central Arctic was completely ice-free during summer and sea-surface temperature reached values of 4 to 9 degrees Celsius. In spring, autumn and winter, however, the ocean was covered by sea ice of variable extent, the...


Open Letter

“Science Thrives in Open-minded Environments”

An Open Letter from the Directors of Research Institutes in Potsdam

[16. March 2016] 

There is no place in Potsdam for hostility towards foreigners and those seeking refuge, argue the heads of educational and research institutes in Potsdam in an open letter published on 16 March 2016 in the Märkischen Allgemeinen, the Potsdamer Neuesten Nachrichten and other newspapers.


Technology Transfer

Alfred Wegener Institute on Oceanology International

Focus on marine science and ocean technology in exhibition and conference

[15. March 2016] 

The Alfred Wegener Institute participates in the Oceanology International, one of the world's leading marine science and ocean technology exhibition and conference. It is held in London every two years and takes place in London from 15 to 17 March 2016.


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