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Polarstern Expedition

Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far so

[13. March 2018] 

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14 March 2018. Oceanographers from the Alfred Wegener Institute, together with German and international colleagues, have collected important data along the entire glacier front of the Filchner-Ronne ice shelf, which will help them investigate the melting of the Antarctic Ice Sheet in an important region in the context of global sea-level rise from a multi-disciplinary perspective.


Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

Frontalansicht eines AWI Forschungsflugzeuges beim Stop in Barrow,Alaska
[12. March 2018] 

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team of researchers will spend the next four weeks studying how the Arctic is changing.

Sea Ice

On thin ice in the warm Arctic

Researchers have never recorded a smaller area of February sea-ice cover on the Arctic Ocean than in 2018

Abendlichtstimmung in der zentralen Arktis
[08. March 2018] 

The Arctic sea ice continues to dwindle: Since the 1970s, when satellites first began monitoring the white sheet covering the Arctic Ocean, its February extent was never as small as it was this year.

Climate Research

AWI publishes magazine on climate research in the Arctic and Antarctic

87 pages of reliable information on our planet's hotspots

Eisberg vor antarktischer Halbinsel
[14. February 2018] 

Making climate research accessible – it was with this goal in mind that the Alfred Wegener Institute released the magazine “Tracking Changes”. In articles, interviews and infographics, readers will come to realise why pursuing climate research in the polar regions is so vital. Further, the engaging and highly informative read will make them ideally prepared for the next time they find themselves in a discussion about climate change.

Nature Study

Climate variability – past and future

AWI researchers compare global temperature variability in glacial and interglacial periods

Die ersten 100 Meter
[05. February 2018] 

On the basis of a unique global comparison of data from core samples extracted from the ocean floor and the polar ice sheets, AWI researchers have now demonstrated that, though climate changes have indeed decreased around the globe from glacial to interglacial periods, the difference is by no means as pronounced as previously assumed. Until now, it was believed that glacial periods were characterised by extreme temperature variability, while interglacial periods were relatively stable. The researchers publish their findings advanced online in the journal Nature.