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Press release

Geoscientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute are back from an expedition to the Labrador Sea - Indications for volcanic eruptions in the younger geological history found

[20. July 2009] 

Scientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute have researched the geology of the seabed in the Labrador Sea on board of the research vessel Maria S. Merian. They have studied the so-called Eirik Drift at the southern tip of Greenland, a structure of several hundred kilometres length formed like a ridge. They discovered a submarine mountain (seamount) at the south-western fringe of their area of investigation that indicates volcanic eruptions during the past few million years.

Press release

All in sight: The Alfred Wegener Institute tests infrared system for the protection of whales

[01. July 2009] 

A new measurement system for the detection of whales is used for the first time on board of the research vessel Polarstern. Whales are usually difficult to spot. Visual sightings by marine mammal observers are therefore usually based on observations of the spout, the condensing and quite warm breathing cloud. It rises, depending on the whale species and wind conditions, between one metre and ten metres over the water surface and remains visible for only a few seconds. A thermal imaging camera specifically optimized for this purpose now uses the heat of this spout. It is employed for the first time during the current expedition of RV Polarstern.

Press release

Why are diatoms so successful? Researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute find hints to this question in the algae’s evolution.

[26. June 2009] 

Diatoms play a key role in the photosynthesis of the oceans and are therefore intensively studied. Together with international colleagues researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute have made a new discovery regarding the evolution of diatoms’ photosynthesis. Results are presented in the current issue of the periodical “SCIENCE”.

Press release

Research vessel Polarstern starts 24th Arctic season

[18. June 2009] 

The German research vessel Polarstern, operated by the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association, will begin its 24th Arctic expedition on Saturday, June 20th. 119 scientists from seven different nations will research the whole spectrum of current Arctic topics in three journey stages: climate history and current climate development, effects on the ecosystem ranging from bacteria to marine mammals, and also geoscientific questions regarding sediment structure and tectonics of the Arctic. Polarstern is expected back in Bremerhaven September 25th.

Press release

New record Arctic sea ice cover minimum? Climate researchers from Bremerhaven and Hamburg present new prognoses.

[10. June 2009] 

Climate researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research and KlimaCampus of the University of Hamburg participate for the second time in an international scientific competition. Some of the most renowned climate research institutes worldwide fathom possibilities for seasonal prognoses of Arctic sea ice cover by means of different methods and climate models. The declared aim of all participants is to find the best method for reliable prognoses. The German researchers agree upon a continuing negative trend. Another critical minimum of Arctic sea ice is to be expected in the late summer of 2009.