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Sea Ice

On thin ice in the warm Arctic

Researchers have never recorded a smaller area of February sea-ice cover on the Arctic Ocean than in 2018

[08. March 2018] 

The Arctic sea ice continues to dwindle: Since the 1970s, when satellites first began monitoring the white sheet covering the Arctic Ocean, its February extent was never as small as it was this year.

Climate Research

AWI publishes magazine on climate research in the Arctic and Antarctic

87 pages of reliable information on our planet's hotspots

[14. February 2018] 

Making climate research accessible – it was with this goal in mind that the Alfred Wegener Institute released the magazine “Tracking Changes”. In articles, interviews and infographics, readers will come to realise why pursuing climate research in the polar regions is so vital. Further, the engaging and highly informative read will make them ideally prepared for the next time they find themselves in a discussion about climate change.

Nature Study

Climate variability – past and future

AWI researchers compare global temperature variability in glacial and interglacial periods

[05. February 2018] 

On the basis of a unique global comparison of data from core samples extracted from the ocean floor and the polar ice sheets, AWI researchers have now demonstrated that, though climate changes have indeed decreased around the globe from glacial to interglacial periods, the difference is by no means as pronounced as previously assumed. Until now, it was believed that glacial periods were characterised by extreme temperature variability, while interglacial periods were relatively stable. The researchers publish their findings advanced online in the journal Nature.

ERC-funded Young Investigators Group

European Research Council awards grant to Potsdam-based AWI researcher

The SPACE project: New perspectives on the space-time structure of climate changes

[21. December 2017] 

How is the global climate connected to regional variations in temperature and precipitation? And what is the possible range of future climate variations? To help find answers to these questions, Dr Thomas Laepple will receive 1.5 million euros over the next five years from the European Research Council (ERC) to support his Young Investigators Group SPACE. Together with a five-member team, the climate researcher from the Alfred Wegener Institute in Potsdam will work to combine modern observational data with analyses of paleo-climate archives.


Polarstern sets sail for the Antarctic

Oceanographers will investigate the melting processes at work in shelf ice, which can lead to the calving of huge icebergs

[19. December 2017] 

On Wednesday 20 December 2017, the research vessel Polarstern set sail south from Bremerhaven. After a stop in Cape Town, it will deliver supplies to the Neumayer Station III, and the researchers will subsequently gather vital data at the Filchner-Rønne Ice Shelf in the southern part of the Weddell Sea, which is permanently covered by sea ice, in order to examine the melt rates of the Antarctic glaciers. From March 2018, biologists will investigate marine life around the Antarctic Peninsula. Oceanographic studies will be carried out on the return trip to Bremerhaven, where the icebreaker is expected to arrive on 11 June 2018.