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Climate change

The pace at which the world’s permafrost soils are warming

New global study reveals rising soil temperatures in permafrost regions around the world

AWI-Permafrostexperten untersuchen die erodierende Küste  auf der sibirischen Insel Sobo-Sise im östlichen Lena-Delta

AWI permafrost scientists investigate the eroding coastline at the Siberian island Sobo-Sise, Eastern Lena delta.
[16. January 2019] 

Global warming is leaving more and more apparent scars in the world’s permafrost regions. As the new global comparative study conducted by the international permafrost network GTN-P shows, in all regions with permafrost soils the temperature of the frozen ground at a depth of more than 10 metres rose by an average of 0.3 degrees Celsius between 2007 and 2016 – in the Arctic and Antarctic, as well as the high mountain ranges of Europe and Central Asia. The effect was most pronounced in Siberia, where the temperature of the frozen soil rose by nearly 1 degree Celsius. The pioneering study has just been released in the online journal Nature Communications.


Arctic

How larches are conquering Siberia’s high northern reaches

Reconstructing the development of Siberia’s vast larch forests: Ranges of various larch species not chiefly determined by the climate

Zelte der AWI-Expedition auf der südlichen Taymyr Halbinsel
[29. November 2018] 

Researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research have for the first time reconstructed the historical development of the larch forests in northern Siberia over the past 9,000 years. This allowed them to identify, which factors determine the ranges of various larch species, and to gauge the forests’ capacity for absorbing carbon dioxide.


New study

Climate refugee Cod

High Probability for loss of breeding grounds if temperature increases by more than 1.5 degrees

Polar cod in ice
[28. November 2018] 

The latest research conducted by AWI experts that the chances of survival for the offspring of important fish species will dramatically worsen, if the 1.5 ° C target of the Paris Climate Agreement is not achieved. Under conditions of further warming and acidification of the ocean, Atlantic cod and its arctic relative polar cod would be forced to look for new habitats in the far north. Their populations could dwindle. If so, this could be disastrous, as the polar cod is the most important food source for Arctic seals and seabirds. In addition, fishers could lose the world’s most productive area for catching Atlantic cod, located to the north of Norway. However, the results of the study in the magazine science advances also show that a stringent climate policy…


Arctic

Massive meteorite impact crater discovered

Kilometre-wide iron meteorite proven beneath Greenland’s ice-sheet with AWI’s research aircraft Polar 6

Close-up of the northwestern ice-sheet margin in Inglefield Land. The Hiawatha impact crater was discovered beneath the semi-circular ice margin. The structure is also imprinted on the shape of the ice surface, even though it lies nearly 1000 meters below the ice surface. Hiawatha is named after outlet glacier at the edge of the ice sheet. The name was given by Lauge Koch in 1922 during an expedition around northern Greenland, while thinking of the pre-colonial native American leader and co-founder of the Iroquois Confederacy.
[15. November 2018] 

An international research team has discovered a 31-km wide meteorite impact crater buried beneath the ice-sheet in northern Greenland. This is the first time that a crater of any size has been found under one of Earth’s continental ice sheets. The research aircraft Polar 6 from the Alfred Wegener Instittue verified the discovery with radar measurements. The research is described in a new study just published in the internationally recognized journal Science Advance.


Expedition starts

Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

Das Forschungsschiff Polarstern des Alfred-Wegener-Instituts verlässt seinen Heimathafen Bremerhaven.
[07. November 2018] 

Due to retarded work on the Polarstern the departure is delayed - On Sunday, 11 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa. This will mark the beginning of its Antarctic season, in which oceanographic fieldwork in the Weddell Sea, a resupply mission to the Neumayer Station III, and explorations of the Larsen C ice shelf region and the South Shetland Islands are on the agenda. The ship is expected to return to Bremerhaven in June 2019.


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