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Long-term Research

Loss of Diversity Near Melting Coastal Glaciers

Sedimentation is impacting an entire ecosystem on the seafloor

[13. November 2015] 

Melting glaciers are causing a loss of species diversity among benthos in the coastal waters off the Antarctic Peninsula, impacting an entire seafloor ecosystem. This has been verified in the course of repeated research dives, the results of which were recently published by international experts in a study in the journal Science Advances.

Nature Scientific Reports

Sea Ice Plays a Pivotal Role in the Arctic Methane Cycle

Nature study on greenhouse gas feedback mechanisms between the atmosphere, sea ice and ocean

[10. November 2015] 

The ice-covered Arctic Ocean is a more important factor concerning the concentration of the greenhouse gas methane in the atmosphere than previously assumed. Experts from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) report on the newly discovered interactions between the atmosphere, sea ice and the ocean in a recent online study in the journal Nature’s Scientific Reports.

Floating Summer School

Polarstern Embarks for Cape Town on Training Cruise

Young marine researchers from 19 countries on board

[27. October 2015] 

On 29 October 2015 the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport for Cape Town, South Africa. She’ll take with her 32 students hailing from 19 countries, who will be introduced to the latest methods and instruments used in oceanography. Nine instructors from the Alfred Wegener Institute, the FU Berlin and Ireland’s Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology will teach the participants in the “floating summer school”.

Marine litter

Plastic Litter taints the sea surface, even in the Arctic

For the first time, AWI researchers survey litter on the sea surface at such high lati-tudes

Der Polarstern-Bordhelikopter bei einem Flug über das Meereis in der Framstraße.
[22. October 2015] 

In a new study, researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), show for the first time that marine litter can even be found at the sea surface of Arctic waters. Though it remains unclear how the litter made it so far north, it is likely to pose new problems for local marine life, the authors report on the online portal of the scientific journal Polar Biology. Plastic has already been reported from stomachs of resident seabirds and Greenland sharks.


Polarstern returns from the Arctic after a five-month journey

Experts from all marine research disciplines investigate the Arctic in transition

[14. October 2015] 

On Wednesday, 14 October 2015 the research icebreaker Polarstern entered its homeport in Bremerhaven. Since mid-May, over 200 biologists, physicists, chemists, ice physicists, oceanographers and geoscientists have taken part in a total of four expeditions, with changes of personnel in Longyearbyen (Spitsbergen) and Tromsø (Norway). In the course of these five months, Polarstern covered over 16,000 nautical miles (more than 30,000 kilometres).