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Relaunch of the Sea Ice Portal: more intuitive layout and new features

AWI information portal on sea ice in the Arctic and Antarctic is now more interactive and includes new content

View: Arctic sea ice.
[24. January 2023] 

Sea ice plays a central part in the Earth system: it cools our planet, shapes ocean currents, and offers a habitat for countless species. The SEA ICE PORTAL offers essential information on this and many other developments. From today, the platform is available in a completely new format – with a more modern interface and new, more accessible content specially targeting users who are newcomers to the topic of sea ice.


Global Warming Reaches Central Greenland

At high elevations of the Greenland Ice Sheet, the years 2001 to 2011 were 1.5 °C warmer than in the 20th century and represent the warmest decade in the last thousand years

[Translate to English:] Gletscherschmelze Grönland
[18. January 2023] 

A temperature reconstruction from ice cores of the past 1,000 years reveals that today’s warming in central-north Greenland is surprisingly pronounced. The most recent decade surveyed in a study, the years 2001 to 2011, was the warmest in the past 1,000 years. The region is now 1.5 °C warmer than during the 20th century, AWI scientists report in Nature.


Polarstern Turns 40

Alfred Wegener Institute Honours Icon of German Polar Research

FS Polarstern wird zur Begrüßung von zahlreichen Schiffen und Booten begleitet.
RV Polarstern is welcomed and escorted by various ships and boats.
[08. December 2022] 

9 December 2022 marks the 40th anniversary of the research icebreaker Polarstern’s commissioning. Built by a consortium combining the shipyards Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft in Kiel and Werft Nobiskrug in Rendsburg, the Alfred Wegener Institute’s flagship has successfully completed more than 130 expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic and offered a temporary home for thousands of researchers from Germany and around the globe. In the process, the Polarstern has safely traversed 1.8 million nautical miles. The ship is currently on an expedition in the Southern Ocean.


Greenland Icesheet

Short-lived Ice Streams

Radar scans of the Greenland ice sheet reveal the shutdown and reconfiguration of ice streams in the span of a few thousand years

Atembraubender Ausblick aus dem Fenster eines AWI-Forschungsflugzeuges über Grönland
[05. December 2022] 

Major ice streams can shut down, shifting rapid ice transport to other parts of the ice sheet, within a few thousand years. This was determined in reconstructions of two ice streams, based on ice-penetrating radar scans of the Greenland ice sheet, that a team of researchers led by the Alfred Wegener Institute have just presented in the journal Nature Geoscience.


Arctic Carbon Conveyor Belt Discovered

Researchers find new transport route for carbonaceous material from productive Arctic marginal seas to the deep sea

Expedition ARCTIC2018
[21. November 2022] 

Every year, the cross-shelf transport of carbon-rich particles from the Barents and Kara Seas could bind up to 3.6 million metric tons of CO2 in the Arctic deep sea for millennia. In this region alone, a previously unknown transport route uses the biological carbon pump and ocean currents to absorb atmospheric CO2 on the scale of Iceland’s total annual emissions, as researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute and partner institutes report in the current issue of the journal Nature Geoscience.


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