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An international research team has discovered a 31-km wide meteorite impact crater buried beneath the ice-sheet in northern Greenland. This is the first time that a crater of any size has been found under one of Earth’s continental ice sheets. The research aircraft Polar 6 from the Alfred Wegener Instittue verified the discovery with radar measurements. The research is described in a new study just published in the internationally recognized journal Science Advance.
Due to retarded work on the Polarstern the departure is delayed - On Sunday, 11 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa. This will mark the beginning of its Antarctic season, in which oceanographic fieldwork in the Weddell Sea, a resupply mission to the Neumayer Station III, and explorations of the Larsen C ice shelf region and the South Shetland Islands are on the agenda. The ship is expected to return to Bremerhaven in June 2019.
In the course of an extensive Antarctic expedition, researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research recently investigated several lakes beneath Recovery Glacier that had been previously detected by satellite remote sensing. The experts found very few substantial bodies of water, which is a surprising result.
Warm, moist air masses from the lower latitudes are the main energy source for the Arctic atmosphere in winter; they have a significant influence on soil temperatures and can produce sea-ice melting. Because climate and weather models still have considerable difficulties when it comes to accurately depicting key processes involved in the transformation of these air masses, AWI researchers recently summarised the current state of knowledge and identified remaining gaps; their study has just been released in the journal Nature Geoscience.
The EU wants to ban single-use, disposable products such as drinking straws and ear swabs, the goal being to reduce the amount of plastic litter in our oceans. We discussed this initiative with two experts from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) – Dr Melanie Bergmann and Dr Lars Gutow.