25. January 2013: Two top teams join forces: German deep-sea researchers and space travel technologists jointly develop robot systems for the exploration of extreme regions
The start of the first two-day scientific workshop at the MARUM-Center for Marine Environmental Sciences in Bremen next Monday heralds the beginning of the operative phase of the new Helmholtz research alliance “Robotic Exploration under Extreme Conditions” or ROBEX for short. In this project - unique for Germany - space travel specialists and deep-sea researchers from 15 research institutions will be jointly developing technologies for robot systems capable of conducting independent missions on the moon and in the deep sea.
23. January 2013: New ice core study: Greenland‘s ice sheet shrank only minimally during the Eemian interglacial
An international team of researchers has succeeded for the first time in completely reconstructing the layer of the Greenland ice sheet from the Eemian interglacial (130 000 to 115 000 years ago). Using this ice data, the scientists can now say how warm it became in Greenland at that time and how the ice responded to climate changes.
15. January 2013: Melt ponds cause the Artic sea ice to melt more rapidly
The Arctic sea ice has not only declined over the past decade but has also become distinctly thinner and younger. Researchers are now observing mainly thin, first-year ice floes which are extensively covered with melt ponds in the summer months where once metre-thick, multi-year ice used to float.
19. December 2012: Death in the egg: as embryos, shore crabs have nothing to protect themselves against climate change
Up to now the shore crab has belonged to those animal species thought by scientists to be more or less immune to climate change. One reason for this was that the crabs are highly tolerant to extremes temperature and feel just as at home in the eight degrees offered by the Atlantic as they do in the 20 degrees warm Mediterranean. A study conducted by German and Italian scientists has now shown, however, that shore crabs react most sensitively to temperature anomalies at certain times of life – as embryos in the egg.
4. December 2012: How cold will a winter be in two years? New study shows: climate models still struggle with medium- term climate forecasts
How well are the most important climate models able to predict the weather conditions for the coming year or even the next decade? The Potsdam scientists Dr. Dörthe Handorf and Prof. Dr. Klaus Dethloff from the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association (AWI) have evaluated 23 climate models and published their results in the current issue of the international scientific journal Tellus A.
29. November 2012: New approach allows past data to be used to improve future climate projections
Climate scientists are still grappling with one of the main questions of modern times: how high will global temperatures rise if the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide doubles. Many researchers are now turning to the past because it holds clues to how nature reacted to climate change before the anthropogenic impact. The divergent results of this research, however, have made it difficult to make precise predictions about the impact of increased carbon dioxide on future warming. An international team of scientists have evaluated previously published estimates and assigned them consistent categories and terminology.
27. November 2012: First UNEP Permafrost Report relies on expertise of the Alfred Wegener Institute
For the first time the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has today published a Report on the status of the global permafrost regions. In it an international team of experts clearly explains how climate change is impacting the permanently frozen soils in the Arctic, Siberia and in the high mountain regions, which potential hazards emanate from the thawing ground and the far-reaching consequences countries with permafrost must consider. The researchers also call upon politicians and climate scientists to include the knowledge about the change in the permafrost regions to a greater extent in the international climate debate. “The Report shows that in future the change in the permafrost will present a very great challenge to society“, says co-author and permafrost expert Dr. Hugues Lantuit from the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association.
2. November 2012: Geoscientist Dr Juliane Müller is awarded the German Study Prize for her pioneering climate research
Dr Juliane Müller will be awarded a second place in the German Study Prize on 6 November in Berlin. The Körber Foundation honours the geoscientist from the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association for her pioneering PhD thesis on sea ice distribution.
26. October 2012: Winter experiment planned in the Antarctic ice: the research vessel Polarstern leaves for the South Polar Sea on an 18-month long expedition
The research ship POLARSTERN sets off in the early morning hours of 27 October 2012 for an unusual expedition to the Antarctic. This time the ship will not be returning to Bremerhaven as usual at the end of the Antarctic summer, but will be spending the winter in the South Polar Sea for research purposes.
22. October 2012: Biologists record increasing amounts of plastic litter in the Arctic deep sea: studies confirm that twice as much marine debris is lying on the seabed today compared to ten years ago
The sea bed in the Arctic deep sea is increasingly strewn with litter and plastic waste. As reported in the advance online publication of the scientific journal Marine Pollution Bulletin by Dr. Melanie Bergmann, biologist and deep-sea expert at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association.