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New Study

Colonisation in Slow Motion

A long-term experiment in the Arctic deep sea shows: Sedentary animals in deep waters only colonise new habitats extremely slowly

[21. March 2019] 

There is a wide variety of animals living on the Arctic seabed. Attached to rocks, they feed by removing nutrients from the water using filters or tentacles. But it can take decades for these colonies to become established, and they probably don’t achieve their natural diversity until much later. These are the findings of a unique 18-year study by researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), which has now been published in the scientific journal “Limnology and Oceanography”.


Antarctic Expedition

Larsen C Ice Shelf Remains a Mystery

Sea-ice conditions prevents the Research Icebreaker Polarstern from reaching the Larsen Ice Shelf and Iceberg A68’s calving area

[08. March 2019] 

A few days ago, the captain and the head of the current Polarstern expedition jointly decided to abandon their efforts to reach the Larsen C Ice Shelf. Since dense sea ice and ice ridges blocked the planned route, the ship has now set course for alternative research sites further to the north.


Royal Visit

AWI hosts the King and Queen of the Netherlands

Experts from the Netherlands and the State of Bremen intensify their cooperation on coastal, marine and polar research

[04. March 2019] 

On the evening of 6 March 2019, His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands will visit the Alfred Wegener Institute as part of their tour of the State of Bremen. Dutch and German researchers will report to the royal couple on their collaborations regarding climate change, biodiversity and nature conservation, sign a joint declaration, and subsequently gather for a festive dinner.


DAIMON Project

Munitions at the bottom of the Baltic Sea

Should they be monitored, removed or left alone? – researchers provide guidelines and decision-making support

[07. February 2019] 

The bottom of the Baltic Sea is home to large quantities of sunken munitions, a legacy of the Second World War – and often very close to shore. Should we simply leave them where they are and accept the risk of their slowly releasing toxic substances, or should we instead remove them, and run the risk of their falling apart – or even exploding? Administrators and politicians face these questions when e.g. there are plans for building a new wind park, or laying an underwater cable. In the course of the international project DAIMON, researchers prepared essential decision-making aids, which were recently presented at the Thünen Institute in Bremerhaven.


Greenland

Cracks herald the calving of a large iceberg from Petermann Glacier

AWI researchers have observed an increased flow speed on the glacier and predict a further acceleration if a calving event occurs

[06. February 2019] 

Cracks in the floating ice tongue of Petermann Glacier in the far northwest reaches of Greenland indicate the pending loss of another large iceberg. As glaciologists from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) report in a new study, the glacier’s flow rate has increased by an average of 10 percent since the calving event in 2012, during which time new cracks have also formed – a quite natural process. However, the experts’ model simulations also show that, if these ice masses truly break off, Petermann Glacier’s flow rate will likely accelerate further and transport more ice out to sea, with corresponding effects on the global sea level. The study was recently released in the “Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth...


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