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Polarstern sets sail for the Antarctic

Oceanographers will investigate the melting processes at work in shelf ice, which can lead to the calving of huge icebergs

[Translate to English:] Arbeiten an Deck
[19. December 2017] 

On Wednesday 20 December 2017, the research vessel Polarstern set sail south from Bremerhaven. After a stop in Cape Town, it will deliver supplies to the Neumayer Station III, and the researchers will subsequently gather vital data at the Filchner-Rønne Ice Shelf in the southern part of the Weddell Sea, which is permanently covered by sea ice, in order to examine the melt rates of the Antarctic glaciers. From March 2018, biologists will investigate marine life around the Antarctic Peninsula. Oceanographic studies will be carried out on the return trip to Bremerhaven, where the icebreaker is expected to arrive on 11 June 2018.


Retreating permafrost coasts threaten the fragile Arctic environment

The EU project Nunataryuk will determine the effects of permafrost thaw on Earth’s coldest shorelines

Kuestenerosion auf der russischen Permafrostinsel Muostakh
[22. November 2017] 

Permafrost makes up a quarter of the landmass in the Northern Hemisphere. A large EU project, coordinated by the Alfred Wegener Institute, is now exploring the consequences for the global climate and for the people living in the Arctic. But that’s not all: working together with residents of the Arctic region, the researchers will also co-design strategies for the future in order to cope with ongoing climate change.

New Director

Change of Leadership at the Alfred Wegener Institute

Director Karin Lochte passes the baton to Antje Boetius

Karin Lochte und Antje Boetius
[01. November 2017] 

On 1 November 2017 Prof Antje Boetius will assume leadership of the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI). She will succeed Prof Karin Lochte, who has led the Institute for the past ten years.


Exploring Greenland’s 79 North Glacier

Research vessel Polarstern returns from the Arctic

Gletscher auf Grönland
[12. October 2017] 

Following a five-month journey, the research vessel Polarstern returned to its homeport in Bremerhaven on the evening of Friday, 13 October. During the most recent expedition, the vessel reached the 79 North Glacier in Northeast Greenland, where the researchers on board investigated how the ocean temperature, which has been rising over the past twenty years, has affected the glacier’s mass.


Ten years of exploration with the AWI’s research aircraft Polar 5

Geophysicists, atmospheric researchers and sea-ice physicists can gather data in even the most remote regions

[Translate to English:] Das NETCARE-Team des deutschen Forschungsflugzeuges Polar 5
[29. September 2017] 

The 1st of October 2017 marks the ten-year anniversary since the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) research aircraft Polar 5 began service. In that time, the Basler BT-67 has flown more than 1.3 million kilometres to fulfil essential scientific and logistical duties. In the course of 48 measuring campaigns, predominantly for atmospheric research and geophysics purposes, the airplane has landed on the Arctic sea ice near the North Pole, and at the South Pole.