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New Start-up develops aquafarms for macroalgae

AWI and Carbonwave spin-off: Large algae simultaneously bind CO2 and create raw materials for the chemical industry

Makroalga Sargassum natans
[27. April 2023]  The company MACROCARBON SL has just been founded in Las Palmas, on the Canary Islands. It is a spin-off from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) and Carbonwave. The start-up is developing algae farms, in which the macroalgae Sargassum will be cultivated. These algae simultaneously bind large amounts of CO2 and produce new raw materials for the chemical industry.

Arctic ice algae heavily contaminated with microplastics

Melosira arctica has ten times higher concentration of plastic particles than surrounding seawater

Melosira Arctica
[21. April 2023]  The alga Melosira arctica, which grows under Arctic sea ice, contains ten times as many microplastic particles as the surrounding seawater. This concentration at the base of the food web poses a threat to creatures that feed on the algae at the sea surface. Clumps of dead algae also transport the plastic with its pollutants particularly quickly into the deep sea - and can thus explain the high microplastic concentrations in the sediment there. Researchers led by the Alfred Wegener Institute have now reported this in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.

The climate crisis and biodiversity crisis can’t be approached as two separate things

New review study released in the journal Science offers new solutions for combating climate change and biodiversity loss

Bizarre ice formation
[20. April 2023]  Anthropogenic climate change has sparked an unprecedented loss of biodiversity that continues to worsen. In this regard, the climate crisis and biodiversity crisis are often viewed as two separate catastrophes. An international team of researchers led by Hans-Otto Pörtner from the Alfred Wegener Institute calls for adopting a new perspective.  

Make Way for the BLUEHOUSE

Demolition of the old aquarium on Helgoland has begun

Abriss Altes Aquarium
[18. April 2023]  The demolition now underway on Helgoland will make room for construction of the BLUEHOUSE, which will offer a uniquely interactive permanent exhibition on marine research. Its 600 square metres of exhibition space will be home to various exhibits designed to promote learning and discovery.

Less Ice, Fewer Calling Seals

[Translate to English:] Weddellrobbe
[17. April 2023]  For several years, a team of researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute used underwater microphones to listen for seals at the edge of the Antarctic. Their initial findings, just released in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, indicate that sea-ice retreat has had significant effects on the animals’ behaviour: when the ice disappears, areas normally full of vocalisations become very quiet.