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Marine Microplastics

Pathogenic bacteria hitchhiking to North and Baltic Seas?

For the first time, AWI scientists have found evidence of living, potentially pathogenic vibrions on microplastic particles

[21. July 2016] 

With increasing water temperatures comes an increasing likelihood of potentially pathogenic bacteria appearing in the North and Baltic Seas. AWI scientists have now proven that a group of such bacteria known as vibrios can survive on microplastic particles. In the future, they want to investigate in greater detail the role of these particles on the accumulation and possible distribution of these bacteria.


Long-awaited breakthrough in the reconstruction of warm climate phases

AWI researchers decipher the temperature indicator TEX86 and overcome a seeming weakness of global climate models

The ocean's surface in the "Roaring Fourties".
[18. July 2016] 

Scientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) have overcome a seeming weakness of global climate models. They had previously not been able to simulate the extreme warm period of the Eocene. One aspect of this era that particularly draws interests to climatologists: It was the only phase in recent history when greenhouse gas concentration was as high as researchers predict it to be for the future.

New Technology

One year alone in the deep sea of the Arctic

First long-term mission of the AWI underwater robot Tramper from the research vessel Polarstern has begun

[18. July 2016] 

Far from any controls, an underwater robot has been working for the past few days in 2,500 metres of water on the seabed of the Arctic, after the completion of a successful test run. Researchers and engineers of the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) have deployed the deep-sea crawler Tramper for a year-round, fully autonomous mission for the first time. The mobile underwater robot, which has been developed within the Helmholtz Alliance Robotic Exploration of Extreme Environments (ROBEX), will...


Minister of Environment visits AWIPEV station

AWI Director Lochte and scientists give information on their research in Svalbard

[14. July 2016] 

Germans Federal Minister of Environment Barbara Hendricks visits Svalbard to get first hand information on climate change. Together with Karin Lochte and scientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine research (AWI) she discusses global warming, which affects the Arctic particularly fast and heavily.

Sea-ice modelling

Researchers simulate the emergence of leads in sea ice

The success now allows the modelling of the heat fluxes between the ocean, ice and the atmosphere

The wind has opened a lead between ice floes. As the white streaks reveal, the water surface is freezing again immediately. The streaks occur when the wind drifts loose ice crystals.
[14. July 2016] 

Scientists from the Alfred-Wegener-Institute (AWI) and the University of Hamburg have succeeded in realistically simulating the emergence of large channels in the Artic sea-ice in a computer model. Two approaches were decisive for this success: On the one hand, the researchers had increased the spatial resolution of the FESOM AWI sea-ice ocean model. On the other hand, they were able to improve the numerical solution to the equation so that the simulation of the lead formation holds up well when compared to real sea-ice satellite data....