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Arctic sea-ice minimum 2015

Arctic sea ice is not recovering

Today's extent of 4.35 million square kilometres already tracking below last year’s minimum

Aktuelle Aufnahmen aus der Arktis
[07. September 2015] 

Hamburg/Bremerhaven, Germany: Even before the annual summer minimum, typically seen in mid-to-late September, the Arctic sea ice covers 4,35 million square kilometres. The Northeast and Northwest Passages are mostly ice-free already. Scientists from Universität Hamburg and the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) estimate that the ice extent will not hit a record low in 2015 but confirm the negative trend.

New Technologies

Programmed Multicopter Flies Through the Arctic Autonomously

During the latest Polarstern expedition, researchers conducted an autonomous multicopter flight in the Fram Strait

Multikopter-Einsatz in der Arktis
[13. August 2015] 

Engineers on board the Alfred Wegener Institute’s research icebreaker Polarstern specially programmed a multicopter, allowing it to navigate despite the deviations produced by the Earth’s magnetic field near the North Pole. The researchers recently celebrated the copter’s first successful autonomous flight and landing on an ice floe.


Change of Staff in the Directorate of the Alfred Wegener Institute

Head of Logistics Department Dr Uwe Nixdorf new Vice Director

Dr. Uwe Nixdorf
[04. August 2015] 

Dr Uwe Nixdorf is the new Vice Director of the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI). As resolved by the Board of Governors, on 1 August 2015 he assumed his office as a new member of the Directorate, joining Prof Karin Lochte, Dr Karsten Wurr and Prof Karen Wiltshire.

Press release

Research Vessel Heincke: Serving Science for 25 years

Heincke-Expedition HE-408
[03. July 2015] 

A quarter of a century old, with over 900,000 kilometres (488,842 nautical miles) logged and still on the cutting edge of science and technology: 8 July 2015 will mark the Research Vessel Heincke’s 25th “birthday”. Staff from the Alfred Wegener Institute, which operates the Heincke, take part in expeditions with the ship just as often as fellow researchers and students from Germany and abroad.

Press release

The oceans can’t take any more: researchers fear a fundamental change in the oceans – even if greenhouse emissions are successfully reduced

Coral reef and Boat (c) A. Venn
[02. July 2015] 

Our oceans need an immediate and substantial reduction of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. If that doesn’t happen, we could see far-reaching and largely irreversible impacts on marine ecosystems, which would especially be felt in developing countries. That’s the conclusion of a new review study published today in the journal Science.