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Arctic Research

How is climate change affecting fauna in the Arctic?

Polarstern expedition explores the interplays between the atmosphere, ice and ocean – and the effects on the ecosystem

[18. May 2017] 

On Wednesday, 24 May 2017, 49 atmospheric and cloud researchers, sea-ice physicists, marine biologists and biogeochemists will embark on a joint expedition headed for Svalbard. On board the research vessel Polarstern from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) all of these disciplines are focused on just one question: How is the climate changing the Arctic?

Project launch

Climate researchers are pursuing better ice and weather predictions for improved safety in the Arctic and Antarctic

The WMO and AWI kick off the international research initiative “Year of Polar Prediction” to offer improved protection for humans and the environment in polar regions

Meteorologe Thomas Schmidt lässt bei starkem Wind einen Wetterballon vom Dach der deutschen Antarktis-Forschungsstation Neumayer-Station III steigen.
[15. May 2017] 

Today, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) officially announced the start of the international research initiative Year of Polar Prediction.

Anniversary celebrations

125 years of oceanographic research on Helgoland

The Alfred Wegener Institute’s Biological Institute Helgoland hosts an open-house event

Helgoländer Felswatt
[11. May 2017] 

125 years ago, the Royal Biological Institute (Königliche Biologische Anstalt) was founded on Helgoland – and oceanography has been a fixture on the island ever since. To mark this milestone anniversary, the Alfred Wegener Institute’s BAH will be hosting an open house: on 19 May (on Helgoland) and 20 May (on Sylt), visitors will have an exclusive opportunity to learn more about the researchers and the work they do.


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

Blick auf die Kalbungsfront des Filchner-Ronne-Schelfeises, Aufnahme aus dem Jahr 1995.
[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”