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Irreversible ocean warming threatens the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf

AWI climate researchers have deciphered the processes driving an irreversible inflow of warm wa-ter under the ice shelf, which could begin within the next few decades

[11. May 2017] 

By the second half of this century, rising air temperatures above the Weddell Sea could set off a self-amplifying meltwater feedback cycle under the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf, ultimately causing the second-largest ice shelf in the Antarctic to shrink dramatically. Climate researchers at the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), recently made this prediction in a new study, which can be found in the latest issue of the Journal of Climate, released today. In the study, the researchers use an ice-ocean model created in Bremerhaven to decode the oceanographic and physical processes that could lead to an irreversible inflow of warm water under the ice shelf - a development that has already been observed in the Amundsen Sea.



The Alfred Wegener Institute supports the “March for Science”

A statement by AWI Director Prof Karin Lochte

[18. April 2017] 

The Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) welcomes the "March for Science". Institute staff will send messages of support to those participating in the “March for Science”

Antarctic expedition completed

Polarstern returns to its homeport with precious cargo

The research vessel is expected to arrive in Bremerhaven this Thursday, with 57 metres of sediment cores and 750 kilogrammes of rock samples on board

[13. April 2017] 

The research vessel Polarstern is expected to enter its homeport with the early-morning high tide on Thursday, 20 April 2017, marking the end of a five-month season in the Antarctic for the icebreaker and her crew. Many geoscientists in Bremerhaven can’t wait to see the samples that were collected during a six-week foray into the Amundsen Sea this February and March.


Researchers unravel the drivers of large iceberg movement

Tabular icebergs can drift through the Southern Ocean for eight years or more, and predominantly melt at the bottom

[07. April 2017] 

When, in the foreseeable future, a tabular iceberg nearly seven times the size of Berlin breaks off the Larsen C Ice Shelf in the Antarctic, it will begin a journey, the course of which climate researchers at the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research can accurately predict. The researchers have now succeeded in modelling how Antarctic icebergs drift through the Southern Ocean, and in identifying the physical factors behind their movement and their melting. Which factors are most important tends to depend on the size of the iceberg in question. Their findings were recently released on the online portal of the Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans.

For the first time in five years

RV Polarstern opens its doors to the public

On 22 and 23 April, the Alfred Wegener Institute will host an “Open Ship” event in Bremerhaven

[03. April 2017] 

On the weekend of 22 and 23 April, Germany’s largest research vessel, the icebreaker Polarstern, will open her doors to the public as part of the Science Year 2016*17 – Seas and Oceans. As they walk about the ship, visitors can tour the laboratories, living accommodations, and the bridge, giving them a feel for what it’s like to be part of an expedition.