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Press release

Satellite check: Polar aircraft from the AWI begins an expedition to the Arctic

[22. April 2004] 

Within the framework of the expedition ‘CryoVex 2004’ the aircraft ‘Polar 4’, operated by the Foundation Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), is on a 3 week Arctic trip to conduct ice surveys. The measurements are to be used in preparation for a mission by the European space satellite ‘CryoSat’ which will survey the polar ice caps and sea ice beginning November 2004. The satellite is to determine whether ice recedes or increases in response to global climate change.

Press release

Iron fertilisation of the ocean raises the food supply of marine animals and transports carbon dioxide to the deep ocean

[02. April 2004] 

An international team of scientists that recently carried out an experiment in the South Atlantic on board RV „Polarstern“ of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research has found that an algal bloom induced by iron fertilisation transported carbon dioxide to the deep ocean. The bloom also stimulated growth of zooplankton grazers such as copepods and krill that form the basis of food chains leading to fish stocks of commercial importance such as sardine and herring but also whales.

Press release

One of the largest diatom databases is now online

[26. January 2004] 

Researchers can now access one of the largest diatom databases on the Internet. With a current size of approximately 300,000 preserved samples and 80,000 microscope slide preparations, the collection is invaluable for science. Diatoms are unicellular photosynthetic organisms that occur both in marine and in freshwater environments. They are an important part of the food chain, and represent useful indicators for ecological and climatic change. Their unique feature is a cell wall constructed of silica organized in a characteristic structure. Diatoms are classified according to this structural pattern of the walls.

Press release

Sinking greenhouse gas into the Ocean

[16. January 2004] 

"Polarstern” begins new iron fertilization experiment


On January 21, 2004, the "Polarstern", research vessel of the Alfred-Wegener-Institute of Polar and Marine Research, will leave Cape Town for the third stage of the 21st expedition to Antarctica. Forty-nine scientists from nine countries will be aboard to investigate the effects of fertilizing the Southern Ocean on the carbon exchange between air and sea surface. Carbon in the form of carbon dioxide acts as a greenhouse gas, and plays a major role in global climate warming.

Press release

Dallmann Laboratory celebrates 10th anniversary of international cooperative work in Antarctica

[13. January 2004] 

Ten years Dallmann Laboratory


On January 19, 2004, the Dallmann Laboratory on King George Island in Antarctica will celebrate its 10th anniversary. Biologists and geoscientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) use this laboratory, which is located on a shallow bay, for investigations of ice-free areas and nearshore shallow waters. This is only possible in few Antarctic localities since most of the coast is covered with thick shelf-ice or glaciers.