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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.

Marine Litter

"We need to make fundamental changes"

AWI experts discuss the EU ban on disposable plastics

[26. October 2018] 

The EU wants to ban single-use, disposable products such as drinking straws and ear swabs, the goal being to reduce the amount of plastic litter in our oceans. We discussed this initiative with two experts from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) – Dr Melanie Bergmann and Dr Lars Gutow.


Arctic sea ice continues to track far below average

Sea ice-extent shrinks to a yearly minimum of 4.4 million square kilometres, the sixth lowest value since observations began in 1979

[13. September 2018] 

When the summer melting of the Arctic sea ice ends in the middle of September, the minimum ice extent is likely to have decreased to an area of 4.4 (+/- 0.1) million square kilometres.

New Construction

Site preparation for AWI's Technical Centre gets underway

Information at the “Geestemünde geht zum Wasser” event on Klußmannstraße

[12. September 2018] 

The site preparation for the Technical Centre starts in mid-September. The new building on Klußmannstraße is part of the AWI campus in the 'Handelshafen' area. Anyone interested can find out more on-site on Sunday, 16 September.

Nature Communications Study

Coastal erosion in the Arctic intensifies global warming

Sea level rise in the past led to the release of greenhouse gases from permafrost

[10. September 2018] 

The loss of arctic permafrost deposits by coastal erosion could amplify climate warming via the greenhouse effect. A study using sediment samples from the Sea of Okhotsk on the eastern coast of Russia led by AWI researchers revealed that the loss of Arctic permafrost at the end of the last glacial period led to repeated sudden increases in the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere.