26. April 2013: Seal of quality on the anniversary: scientists celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Franco-German Arctic station on Spitsbergen and its inclusion in a new climate data network
There are two reasons for celebration today at the Franco-German Arctic research station AWIPEV on Spitsbergen: firstly, the scientific community at the world’s northernmost research location marks the 10th year of cooperation between the German Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) and the French Institut Polaire Paul Emile Victor (IPEV). Secondly, the station is today the first meteorological facility in the world to be awarded with the seal of quality of GRUAN, the climate data network, the objective of which is to measure elevation profiles of climate parameters such as temperature, air pressure and air humidity according to uniform worldwide quality standards so as to globally compare observations.
23. April 2013: Putin’s promised new building now in operation: AWI permafrost researchers start work in the new research station in the Russian Lena Delta
Permafrost experts of the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research are currently conducting a multi-week spring expedition to the Lena Delta where they are investigating the interaction between the atmosphere, snow cover and the frozen earth of the tundra. That they are able to live and conduct their research at less than spring temperatures of up to minus 30 degrees Celsius is attributable to the new Russian research station “Samoylov”. The impressive building was erected at the initiative of the Russian head of state Vladimir Putin and for one week has replaced the old German-Russian station from 1998 where scientists were only able to work in the short Siberian summer.
18. April 2013: Wind parks at sea offering a new home to lobsters? The Land of Lower Saxony promotes a pilot project of researchers on Heligoland
The Land of Lower Saxony is promoting a pilot project on the settlement of the European lobster in the “Riffgat“ offshore windpark with just under EUR 700,000. Researchers of the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, are now starting on the rearing of 3,000 lobsters which they will be releasing in 2014. They wish to investigate whether lobsters successfully settle between the wind turbines.
17. April 2013: Atlantic cod in for even more stress? Marine biologists launch a new research project on the impact of climate change on the popular commercial fish
Researchers have known for some years that the Atlantic cod beats the retreat in the direction of the Arctic when the waters in its traditional habitat become too warm. In summer, shoals from the Atlantic Ocean, for example, are now moving up as far as Spitsbergen into the waters the Arctic cod calls its own. In the next two and a half years, biologists from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, together with scientists from Kiel, Bremen, Düsseldorf and Münster, will be seeking to discover the consequences of this climate-related migration on the stocks of these two commercial fish species, how the fish are responding to the water becoming warmer and more acidic and at which stages of life the changes are most dangerous to them. The first investigations are already in progress as part of the joint project BIOACID with focus placed on the early life stages.
16. April 2013: New sea ice portal provides daily updated ice charts of the Arctic and Antarctic
During the 3rd REKLIM science workshop in Bad Honnef, scientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, today present the new German internet platform www.meereisportal.de which they have developed together with colleagues from the University of Bremen. As a German-language web platform, the portal offers daily updated sea ice charts of the Arctic and Antarctic in addition to a wealth of background information on the subject of sea ice.
9. April 2013: Sharper view of the Southern Ocean: New chart shows the entire topography of the Antarctic seafloor in detail for the first time
Reliable information on the depth and floor structure of the Southern Ocean has so far been available for only few coastal regions of the Antarctic. An international team of scientists under the leadership of the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, has for the first time succeeded in creating a digital map of the entire Antarctic seafloor. The International Bathymetric Chart of the Southern Ocean (IBCSO) for the first time shows the detailed topography of the seafloor for the entire area south of 60°S. An article presented to the scientific world by IBCSO has now appeared online in the scientific journal Geophysical Research Letters. The IBCSO data grid and the corresponding Antarctic chart will soon be freely available in the internet and are intended to help scientists amongst others to better understand and predict sea currents, geological processes or the behaviour of marine life.
28. February 2013: Ice cores show simultaneous changes of carbon dioxide and Antarctic temperature during the last deglacial warming
Atmospheric carbon dioxide and the Antarctic temperature increased synchronously during the last deglacial warming 20,000 to 10,000 years ago. A European team of researchers comes to this conclusion after having re-analysed the age of the enclosed air bubbles in the Antarctic ice core EPICA Dome C. The study, in which the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, was involved, appeared now in the scientific journal Science.
20. February 2013: Award-winning – deep sea researchers receive the Humboldt Memorial Award for investigations into the biodiversity of the deep Arctic Ocean
Dr. Bodil Bluhm from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and deep sea researchers of the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, received the 2012 Alexander von Humboldt Memorial Award, Thursday, 21 February 2013, in Frankfurt am Main. The group of researchers investigated the biodiversity in the Artic deep sea and extended the list of known deep sea dwellers by over 400 new species. The Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung (Senckenberg Nature Research Society) honours the scientists because with this work they have laid an important foundation stone for future research projects in the Arctic.
15. February 2013: New satellite shows precise extent of the Arctic sea ice loss
Current measurements of the ESA ice thickness satellite CryoSat-2 have shown that the total mass of the Arctic sea ice was 36 per cent smaller last autumn than during the same period in the years 2003 to 2008. Five years ago the autumn ice volumes averaged 11900 km3. But in the second quarter of 2012 they had declined to 7600 km3. This conclusion is reached by an international research team after comparing the CryoSat data of the past two years with measurements of a former NASA satellite and with the results of sea ice investigations of the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research. The study is published in the online issue of the scientific journal Geophysical Research Letters and for the first time shows how precisely scientists can observe the development of the Arctic sea ice using CryoSat-2.
14. February 2013: Study published in Science: Rapid changes in the Arctic ecosystem from surface to depth during the ice minimum in the summer of 2012
Huge quantities of algae are growing on the underside of sea ice in the Central Arctic: in 2012 the ice algae Melosira arctica was responsible for almost half the primary production in this area. When the ice melts, as was the case during the ice minimum in 2012, these algae sink rapidly to the bottom of the sea at a depth of several thousands of metres. Deep-sea animals such as sea cucumbers and brittle stars feed on the algae, and bacteria metabolise what’s left, consuming the oxygen in the sea bed. This short-term reaction of the deep-sea ecosystem to changes in sea ice cover and ocean productivity has now been published in the scientific journal Science by a multidisciplinary team of researchers