Sibirian Rivers discharge more water into the Arctic Ocean
Bremerhaven, 30 July 2012. Today the three Russian rivers Lena, Ob and Yenissey discharge more water in the Arctic Ocean than they did 60 years ago. That’s the result of a study undertaken by an international team of researchers, which was published yesterday in the scientific journal Nature Climate Change. „Each year these three rivers discharge an estimate of 1700 cubic kilometer of water into the Arctic Ocean. That is ten per cent more than they did 60 years ago”, says Prof. Rüdiger Gerdes, scientist at the Alfred Wegener Institute, who participated in this study.
The scientists had analyzed, if changes in atmospheric circulation are the driving force of accelerated river discharge. One example for a change in atmospheric circulation is the recent shift of the so-called Icelandic low-pressure system to regions further east. “Today air masses, which never made it to the basins of Lena, Ob and Yenissey before, reach those regions and bring a lot of moisture with them. Because the warmer the air gets, the more moisture it can contain”, Rüdiger Gerdes says.
In his opinion the accelerated river discharge into the Arctic Ocean will even further increase – du to global warming. Until now the growing input of river water hasn’t had any evident consequences for the Arctic Ocean. Its increasing body of fresh water is based on the decreasing volume of arctic sea ice, Rüdiger Gerdes says.
New flight simulation software for hobby pilots - Fly the research aircraft Polar 5 at home
12 July 2012, A team of software-developers just released a software that hobby pilots can use to fly the AWI’s research aircrafts Polar 5 and 6 in a computer flight simulator at home. „Our software is for free. Everybody interested can download the data-package after a registration at the website www.flightsim.com. Nevertheless, what you need to use our Polar 5 simulation is the ‚Microsoft Flight Simulator X Gold’, a computer program that cost roundabout 30 Euro“, says 3D-designer Manfred Jahn,
He, inititor and designer Daniel Fuernkaess as well as programmer Alexander M. Metzger and Hansjoerg Naegele worked for one year to accomplish a nearly perfect digital 3D-copy of the research aircrafts. “Somehow we did the same job, that was done by the Polar 5-constructing engineers. We took the 3D-modell of the famous Douglas DC-3 and converted it into a Basler BT-67. That means, we lengthened the hull, modified the wings, installed a bigger door, renewed the cockpit interior design and mounted modern turbo-prop engines”, says Daniel Fuernkaess and adds. “Without the support of the Alfred Wegener Institute, the aircraft construction company Basler Conversion and operator Kenn Borek we never would have managed to create such a great copy.”
So, what hobby pilots have to do to fly this digital copy of Polar 5? Manfred Jahn: “They just grab their virtual joystick – a computer joystick with flight simulator function – and start flying. More elaborated users proceed like a professional pilot. They make a flight plan, calculate the needed Kerosene, take off, fly and land like it is specified in the aircraft’s manual. But they can also have the option to fulfill flight missions, or fly for practice. We integrated an autopilot, devices for landing, a navigation system and some more things one really needs while flying in bad weather or extreme regions like the Arctic.“
Users, who want to download the freeware have to sign up at www.flightsim.com. After you have logged in, you may be able to download the data package with the help of the following direct link http://www.flightsim.com/vbfs/content.php?108-Copyright&fid=166898. Otherwise you can go to "File Library". Type in the keyword „Basler“ and the Polar 5-freeware should pop up on your hitlist.
Permafrost researcher Dr. Hugues Lantuit becomes executive member of the International Permafrost Association
4 July 2012, During the 10th Internationel Conference on Permafrost in Salekhard, Russia, AWI researcher Dr. Hugues Lantuit was elected as a new Executive member of the International Permafrost Association. The 34 year old scientist from the AWI’s Research Unit in Potsdam is the youngest researcher, who has ever been nominated for the Executive Committee in the IPA’s history.
The new IPA President is Antoni Lewkowicz from the University of Ottawa, succeeding Hans-Wolfgang Hubberten from the AWI. The two Vice-Presidents are Hanne Christiansen (University of Longyearbyen, Norway) and Vladimir Romanovsky (University of Fairbanks, Alaska, USA). The new Executive Director is AWI researcher Inga May.
During the conference in the Yamal-Nenets region (at the shoreline of the Ob river) over 500 participants from more than 25 countries shared their knowledge about recent outcomes in permafrost research and engineering, discussed future collborations and projects, and experienced the extraordinary hospitality of the local people.
Permafrost researchers start their Arctic summer expedition and will blog for the first time ever
2 July 2012. Peatlands, lakes and underground ice as far as you can see: Simple and breathtaking northern Siberian tundra will welcome permafrost researchers from Alfred Wegener Institute on July 2, 2012. This year's expedition will lead the scientists again on the small Samoilov island in the Lena Delta, where they will live and work almost ten weeks at the Russian research station. For the frist time the research team, led by Dr. Julia Boike, will blog from the site in German on the AWI website. You can also read short abbreviation of the blogs in English here at the PAGE21 website.
Main author is going to be Max Heikenfeld, a 24 year old student from the University of Heidelberg. He has joined the expedition team in order to help erecting a new measuring station and to collect data for his master thesis. Meanwhile he and his colleagues will report what it feels like to work and live in the north siberian tundra. If the online connection works well they will post new blog entries twice a week.