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MOSAiC expedition

MOSAiC aerial survey campaigns for the atmosphere and sea ice temporarily suspended

Polarstern crew continues to be unaffected by the corona pandemic

[16. March 2020] 

The MOSAiC project management decided to temporarily suspend the aerial survey campaigns planned for this spring and based in the Svalbard archipelago due to the highly dynamic development of the corona pandemic. There are currently three icebreakers underway in the Central Arctic for the MOSAiC expedition.


Two New Records at the North Pole

Despite adverse ice conditions, resupply icebreaker reaches the MOSAiC expedition

[02. March 2020] 

For days, fast sea ice had slowed the progress of the resupply icebreaker Kapitan Dranitsyn; bound for the North Pole, her mission was to support the second exchange of researchers and crew in the MOSAiC expedition. Nevertheless, she steadily drew closer to her destination, and finally, at 12:20 pm (CET) on Friday, 28 February, dropped anchor 970 metres from Polarstern, moored to the same floe. While the handover is in full swing on the MOSAiC floe, in Russia another icebreaker will soon leave port in order to supply Kapitan Dranitsyn with additional fuel on her return trip.

Climate Change

Major wind-driven ocean currents are shifting toward the poles

Satellite data gathered over four decades reveals a shift in the positions of the ocean gyres; model-based studies confirm that global warming is largely responsible

[24. February 2020] 

In the course of the past 40 years, the major wind-driven current systems in the ocean have steadily shifted toward the poles. Experts at the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) came to this conclusion.


Increased greenhouse-gas emissions due to abrupt permafrost thaw

In a new study, researchers show that abrupt thaw could increase emissions by 40 percent

[18. February 2020] 

An international team of researchers has now determined that rapid thaw processes of permafrost landscapes have a significant influence on the amount and types of gases released but were not considered in permafrost emission estimates so far. As they report in the journal Nature Geoscience, abrupt thaw processes, which are possible in ca. five percent of all Arctic permafrost landscapes, could potentially increase total emissions by 40 percent – a factor that has yet to be considered in current climate models. 

Press Release

Call for tender procedure for the construction of a successor to the icebreaker Polarstern has been cancelled.

A statement by the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research

[14. February 2020] 

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) today cancelled the Europe-wide call for tenders for the procurement of a new polar research vessel, Polarstern II, for legal reasons.