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Deep Sea Research

Polarstern Departs on Arctic Expedition

Research focuses on the AWI Hausgarten between Greenland and Svalbard

[Translate to English:] Polarstern vor der Kaiserschleuse.
[22. May 2023]  Today, Monday, 22 May 2023, the Research Vessel Polarstern will leave her homeport in Bremerhaven, catching the afternoon high tide at ca 3:00 pm and bound for the Arctic Ocean. The four-week expedition, slated to end on 19 July in Tromsø, Norway, will focus on extended ecological fieldwork at the AWI’s deep-sea observatory Hausgarten and at the FRAM Ocean Observing System

AWI Researchers demonstrate High Natural Radioactivity of Manganese Nodules

New study shows: Handling manganese nodules can pose health risks

A deep sea octopus sits on a manganese tuber
[17. May 2023]  Manganese nodules in the deep sea contain a wealth of valuable metals that are vital to e.g. the electronics and steelmaking industries. Accordingly, these sectors and many countries have pinned their hopes on deep-sea mining to meet the growing demand for raw materials like cobalt and rare-earth elements. In a study just released in the journal Scientific Reports, experts from the AWI show that such activities could not only have ecological impacts, but also pose health hazards, e.g. in connection with the industrial mining and processing of the nodules. According to their findings, in some cases e.g. the radioactivity of radium-226 in the nodules exceeds the safe limit defined in the German Radiation Protection Ordinance one hundred- to one thousand-fold. …

30 years of AWI airborne survey in the Arctic

AWI's research aircraft document progress of climate change in the Arctic

Polar-6 (Basler BT-67) während der IceBird Expedition in Resolute Bay, Kanada
[09. May 2023]  Research aircraft from the Alfred Wegener Institute have been surveying the ice-covered Arctic Ocean for 30 years. The immense effort of the past 52 expeditions has paid off: 40,000 km of measurement data document the significant decrease in pack-ice thickness as a result of climate change. The time series is the only aeroplane- and helicopter-based measurement series in the world that has been carried out in the Arctic over such a long period. Currently, two Basler BT-67 aircraft are in operation: the Polar 5 and Polar 6.

What is growing in the North Sea?

AWI presents the first app for identifying seaweeds on the German North Sea

Felswatt vor Helgoland
[03. May 2023]  A new app is capable of identifying, visualising and describing macroalgae present in the western and eastern Wadden Sea, and around the island Helgoland. The app, called SeaKey, currently provides details for the identification of 68 brown algae species; green and red algae will follow. Developed by researchers of the Alfred Wegener Institute and external cooperation partners, it offers scientific experts and government authorities, students and interested non-experts a straightforward way to measure algae, thanks to its innovative matrix concept.

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.