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Marine Pollution

The seafloor of Fram Strait is a sink for microplastic from the Arctic and North Atlantic Ocean

A new study shows: sea ice and ocean currents transport plastic particles into the deep sea from two directions

Wasserfiltrationssystem geht zu Wasser
[25. March 2020] 

Working in the Arctic Fram Strait, scientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) have found microplastic throughout the water column with particularly high concentrations at the ocean floor. 

Observing Phytoplankton via Satellite

Water quality and toxic algal blooms

Sentinel 3A Satellit im Orbit
[18. March 2020] 

Thanks to a new algorithm, researchers at the AWI can now use satellite data to determine in which parts of the ocean certain types of phytoplankton are dominant

MOSAiC expedition

MOSAiC aerial survey campaigns for the atmosphere and sea ice temporarily suspended

Polarstern crew continues to be unaffected by the corona pandemic

Die geplanten MOSAiC-Flugkampagnen mit Polar5 und Polar6 finden vorerst nicht statt.
[16. March 2020] 

The MOSAiC project management decided to temporarily suspend the aerial survey campaigns planned for this spring and based in the Svalbard archipelago due to the highly dynamic development of the corona pandemic. There are currently three icebreakers underway in the Central Arctic for the MOSAiC expedition.


Two New Records at the North Pole

Despite adverse ice conditions, resupply icebreaker reaches the MOSAiC expedition

The icebreakers Kapitan Dranitysn and Polarstern in the Arctic ice
[02. March 2020] 

For days, fast sea ice had slowed the progress of the resupply icebreaker Kapitan Dranitsyn; bound for the North Pole, her mission was to support the second exchange of researchers and crew in the MOSAiC expedition. Nevertheless, she steadily drew closer to her destination, and finally, at 12:20 pm (CET) on Friday, 28 February, dropped anchor 970 metres from Polarstern, moored to the same floe. While the handover is in full swing on the MOSAiC floe, in Russia another icebreaker will soon leave port in order to supply Kapitan Dranitsyn with additional fuel on her return trip.

Climate Change

Major wind-driven ocean currents are shifting toward the poles

Satellite data gathered over four decades reveals a shift in the positions of the ocean gyres; model-based studies confirm that global warming is largely responsible

The Roaring Forties
Die "Bruellenden Vierziger"
[24. February 2020] 

In the course of the past 40 years, the major wind-driven current systems in the ocean have steadily shifted toward the poles. Experts at the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) came to this conclusion.