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The Arctic

When the sea ice melts, juvenile polar cod may go hungry

Biologists confirm how heavily the fish depend on ice algae

Without the polar cod (Boreogadus saida) polar bears and other Arctic predators would die of hunger. The fish is believed to account for up to 75 per cent of the energy transfer between zooplankton and vertebrate predators.
[15. March 2017] 

Polar cod fulfil a key role in the Arctic food web, as they are a major source of food for seals, whales and seabirds alike. But the polar cod themselves might soon be the hungry ones. Under the ice of the central Arctic, the juvenile fish are indirectly but heavily dependent on ice algae. As a result, retreating sea ice could have far-reaching impacts on the food web.

Underwater acoustics

Look, who is calling?

AWI biologists identify calls and whistles of the world's smallest killer whale form

Ecotype C killer whales (Orcinus orca) in the Atka Bay, Weddell Sea.
[14. March 2017] 

AWI marine biologists Ilse Van Opzeeland and Elena Schall managed for the first time to record killer whale calls and identify which ecotype produced them. 

The MOSAiC Expedition

Adventure in the Ice

Climate Researchers’ Plans for the Polarstern

[01. March 2017] 

Two-and-a-half years from now, the research vessel Polarstern will depart on an adventurous expedition. For an entire year, the ship will drift through the Arctic, stuck in the pack ice. Using this approach, the researchers hope to gain new insights into climate change.

Climate and weather prediction

Kick-off Meeting EU project APPLICATE

Scientists from 16 European institutions meet in Bremerhaven

[08. February 2017] 

From 8 to 9 February representatives from the 16 partner organisations taking part in the EU Horizon 2020-funded APPLICATE project are meeting in Bremerhaven, Germany. This Kick-off Meeting is the beginning of their collaborative efforts to improve climate and weather prediction for the Arctic and the mid-latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere, as well as contributing to improved Arctic observations.

Arctic Ocean

Litter Levels in the Depths of the Arctic are On the Rise

Sea ice could be responsible for transporting plastic litter

[08. February 2017] 

The Arctic has a serious litter problem: in just ten years, the concentration of marine litter at a deep-sea station in the Arctic Ocean has risen 20-fold. This was recently reported in a study by researchers at the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI).