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Celebrating 40 Years of the Alfred Wegener Institute

Unique infrastructure and scientific excellence are the hallmarks of the AWI

Der Neubau des Alfred-Wegener-Instituts an der Columbusstraße im Jahr 1982
[13. July 2020] 

40 years of research in the Arctic, Antarctic and in coastal regions: on 15 July, the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) celebrates its 40th anniversary. With its innovative science and excellent research infrastructure, the AWI has become a global leader and internationally recognised centre for climate research in the two polar regions and the world’s oceans.

Bivalve ice with pebbles

The latest findings on the MOSAiC floe

Scientific study describes the nursery of sea ice and provides the basis for future assessments of research data

MOSAiC ice floe during Leg 4, June 30. 2020
[06. July 2020] 

The New Siberian Islands were the birthplace of the MOSAiC floe: the sea ice in which the research vessel Polarstern is now drifting through the Arctic was formed off the coast of the archipelago, which separates the East Siberian Sea and the Laptev Sea to the north of Siberia, in December 2018. Sediments, and even small pebbles and bivalves, were incorporated into the ice during the freezing process, which the on-going melting process has brought to light on the surface of the MOSAiC floe.

Climate Change

Rising water temperatures threaten the reproduction of many fish species

Every degree of ocean warming increases the pressure on fish stocks

Kabeljau Embryos im Ei
[03. July 2020] 

As spawning fish and their young are particularly sensitive to rising water temperatures, up to 60 percent of all species may be forced to leave their traditional spawning areas with climate change.

Scientific Publication

Beavers gnawing away at the permafrost

The large rodents are massively changing landscapes in the Arctic, which could have serious consequences for the frozen soils and our future climate

Biber fressen Sträucher in einem Teich in der Nähe des Tonsina-Flusses, Alaska
[30. June 2020] 

The spread of beavers in numerous tundra regions where they did not previously occur could accelerate the thawing of permafrost and thus further boost climate change.

MOSAiC Expedition

Polarstern returns to MOSAiC floe

New team continues fieldwork in the Arctic

First Team goes down the gangway of Polarstern onto MOSAiC Floe Fortress during MOSAiC Leg 4 to explore the ice conditions of the floe
[18. June 2020] 

After a month’s absence, on 17 June the German research icebreaker Polarstern rendezvoused with the MOSAiC floe at 82.2 ° North and 8.4 ° East, after having left it on 19 May 2020 to exchange personnel and bunker supplies near Svalbard. Full of energy, the research team for the fourth leg of the expedition, which consists of experts from 19 countries, is looking forward to continuing the one-year-long MOSAiC expedition and its research on the ocean, ice and atmosphere in the Arctic. Earlier this week, their predecessors from Leg 3 returned to Bremerhaven on board the research vessels Sonne and Maria S. Merian.