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Arctic

How larches are conquering Siberia’s high northern reaches

Reconstructing the development of Siberia’s vast larch forests: Ranges of various larch species not chiefly determined by the climate

[29. November 2018] 

Researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research have for the first time reconstructed the historical development of the larch forests in northern Siberia over the past 9,000 years. This allowed them to identify, which factors determine the ranges of various larch species, and to gauge the forests’ capacity for absorbing carbon dioxide.


New study

Climate refugee Cod

High Probability for loss of breeding grounds if temperature increases by more than 1.5 degrees

[28. November 2018] 

The latest research conducted by AWI experts that the chances of survival for the offspring of important fish species will dramatically worsen, if the 1.5 ° C target of the Paris Climate Agreement is not achieved. Under conditions of further warming and acidification of the ocean, Atlantic cod and its arctic relative polar cod would be forced to look for new habitats in the far north. Their populations could dwindle. If so, this could be disastrous, as the polar cod is the most important food source for Arctic seals and seabirds. In addition, fishers could lose the world’s most productive area for catching Atlantic cod, located to the north of Norway. However, the results of the study in the magazine science advances also show that a stringent climate policy...


Arctic

Massive meteorite impact crater discovered

Kilometre-wide iron meteorite proven beneath Greenland’s ice-sheet with AWI’s research aircraft Polar 6

[15. November 2018] 

An international research team has discovered a 31-km wide meteorite impact crater buried beneath the ice-sheet in northern Greenland. This is the first time that a crater of any size has been found under one of Earth’s continental ice sheets. The research aircraft Polar 6 from the Alfred Wegener Instittue verified the discovery with radar measurements. The research is described in a new study just published in the internationally recognized journal Science Advance.


Expedition starts

Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

[07. November 2018] 

Due to retarded work on the Polarstern the departure is delayed - On Sunday, 11 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa. This will mark the beginning of its Antarctic season, in which oceanographic fieldwork in the Weddell Sea, a resupply mission to the Neumayer Station III, and explorations of the Larsen C ice shelf region and the South Shetland Islands are on the agenda. The ship is expected to return to Bremerhaven in June 2019.


Antarctic

Far fewer lakes below the East Antarctic Ice Sheet than previously believed

AWI researchers recently assessed subglacial lakes detected by satellite, and found very little water. But if that’s the case, what is the source of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet’s massive ice streams?

[07. November 2018] 

In the course of an extensive Antarctic expedition, researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research recently investigated several lakes beneath Recovery Glacier that had been previously detected by satellite remote sensing. The experts found very few substantial bodies of water, which is a surprising result.


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