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Feature Stories: Polar Research and the Ocean

In addition to scientific findings, our researchers often bring back exciting, bizarre and fascinating insights from their travels and diverse work between the North and South Pole. Here we want to collect stories, videos or pictures from polar and marine research that are of timeless interest. Go on a voyage of discovery!


Focus on

Ocean acidification – the evil twin of climate warming

Around half of the carbon dioxide volume discharged into the atmosphere through exhaust pipes and chimney stacks over the past two hundred years has been absorbed by the oceans - but not without consequence. The carbon dioxide dissolves in the water, creating carbonic acid. This reduces the pH value of the seawater and makes the oceans more acidic. You will learn here about the consequences this has on the inhabitants of the oceans and on humans and how scientists of the Alfred Wegener Institute are researching this subject area.


Scientific Focus on the Arctic

Climate change affects the Arctic particularly fast and heavily. The mean temperature in the High North has increased twice as fast as the global mean during the last decades. The summer sea ice cover decreases. On our topic pages Arctic science you can find current contributions to research in the High North.


Marine Species of the Month

The United Nations General Assembly has declared 2010 the International Year of Biodiversity, in order to foster awareness that the welfare of mankind depends on the conservation of biodiversity, on preventing the loss of diversity and to demonstrate achievements in the protection of biodiversity. Here you can find twelve selected species, which show biodiversity but also the diversity of research conducted at the Alfred Wegener Institute.


On the climate conference in Copenhagen: “An unusually hot summer today will be considered a cold one within 60 years.”

This much is certain: the earth is facing a profound climate change. How will climate change affect our live?

For your information and as a service for journalists, six senior scientists of the Alfred Wegener Institute, in brief interviews (text), give their views on the changing face of the earth.


PALAOA - What does the Southern Ocean sound like?

The ocean has always had a soothing effect on people through its apparent infinitude and profound quietude. If, however, like our scientists in the Antarctic, you stick a microphone in the water, you quickly notice that it is far from quiet. Seals and whales sing, whistle and rejoice like birds. Icebergs and ice floes, on the other hand, produce thunderous noise. Our researchers wanted to know how big a role acoustics play under water and can now distinguish between several different seal dialects.
Here you can hold your ear under water

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Dept. of Communications and Media Relations

Head of Communications Department:
Ralf Röchert
Jacqueline Martin

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FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions


AWI Fact sheets

Fact Sheets on three IPCC themes AWI is working on: Sea Ice, Climate change and Ice Sheet - available in german language only: 

Fact Sheets