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Press release

Study published in Science: Rapid changes in the Arctic ecosystem from surface to depth during the ice minimum in the summer of 2012

[14. February 2013] 

Huge quantities of algae are growing on the underside of sea ice in the Central Arctic: in 2012 the ice algae Melosira arctica was responsible for almost half the primary production in this area. When the ice melts, as was the case during the ice minimum in 2012, these algae sink rapidly to the bottom of the sea at a depth of several thousands of metres. Deep-sea animals such as sea cucumbers and brittle stars feed on the algae, and bacteria metabolise what’s left, consuming the oxygen in the sea bed. This short-term reaction of the deep-sea ecosystem to changes in sea ice cover and ocean productivity has now been published in the scientific journal Science by a multidisciplinary team of researchers

Press release

Two top teams join forces: German deep-sea researchers and space travel technologists jointly develop robot systems for the exploration of extreme regions

[25. January 2013] 

The start of the first two-day scientific workshop at the MARUM-Center for Marine Environmental Sciences in Bremen next Monday heralds the beginning of the operative phase of the new Helmholtz research alliance “Robotic Exploration under Extreme Conditions” or ROBEX for short. In this project - unique for Germany - space travel specialists and deep-sea researchers from 15 research institutions will be jointly developing technologies for robot systems capable of conducting independent missions on the moon and in the deep sea.

Press release

New ice core study: Greenland‘s ice sheet shrank only minimally during the Eemian interglacial

[23. January 2013] 

An international team of researchers has succeeded for the first time in completely reconstructing the layer of the Greenland ice sheet from the Eemian interglacial (130 000 to 115 000 years ago). Using this ice data, the scientists can now say how warm it became in Greenland at that time and how the ice responded to climate changes.

Press release

Melt ponds cause the Artic sea ice to melt more rapidly

[15. January 2013] 

The Arctic sea ice has not only declined over the past decade but has also become distinctly thinner and younger. Researchers are now observing mainly thin, first-year ice floes which are extensively covered with melt ponds in the summer months where once metre-thick, multi-year ice used to float.

Press release

Death in the egg: as embryos, shore crabs have nothing to protect themselves against climate change

[19. December 2012] 

Up to now the shore crab has belonged to those animal species thought by scientists to be more or less immune to climate change. One reason for this was that the crabs are highly tolerant to extremes temperature and feel just as at home in the eight degrees offered by the Atlantic as they do in the 20 degrees warm Mediterranean. A study conducted by German and Italian scientists has now shown, however, that shore crabs react most sensitively to temperature anomalies at certain times of life – as embryos in the egg.