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Press release

“Like a giant elevator to the stratosphere”

[03. April 2014] 

An international team of researchers headed by Potsdam scientist Dr. Markus Rex from the Alfred Wegener Institute has discovered a previously unknown atmospheric phenomenon over the South Seas. Over the tropical West Pacific there is a natural, invisible hole extending over several thousand kilometres in a layer that prevents transport of most of the natural and manmade substances into the stratosphere by virtue of its chemical composition. Like in a giant elevator, many chemical compounds emitted at the ground pass thus unfiltered through this so-called “detergent layer” of the atmosphere. The newly discovered phenomenon over the South Seas boosts ozone depletion in the polar regions and could have a significant influence on the future climate of the Earth.

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Press release

Climate change: Earth warming already leads to significant changes in oceans

[24. March 2014] 

The current and projected climate change is altering living conditions in the oceans faster than during comparable events in the past 65 million years. This is the conclusion drawn by AWI biologist Prof. Dr. Hans-Otto Pörtner, who will take part in the coordination phase for the second part of the Fifth Assessment Report on climate change in Yokohama, Japan starting tomorrow. The expert from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), jointly headed the work on the chapter “Ocean Systems” together with his American colleague David Karl. It summarises the knowledge regarding the already observed and future consequences of climate change for life in the oceans.


Press release

New actors in the Arctic ecosystem: Atlantic amphipods are now reproducing in Arctic waters

[12. December 2013] 

Biologists from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) have for the first time shown that amphipods from the warmer Atlantic are now reproducing in Arctic waters to the west of Spitsbergen. This surprising discovery indicates a possible shift of the Arctic zooplankton community, scientists report in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series.


Press release

EU supports projects on atmosphere research with 36 million euros – the research cluster “Aerosols and Climate“ starts at the AWI Potsdam

[05. December 2013] 

The new research cluster “Aerosols and Climate” started on Thursday 5 December with a kick-off meeting at the Potsdam Research Unit of the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI). It brings together three projects, which deal with the interactions between aerosols and climate. The scientists involved want to minimise the great uncertainties in understanding the aerosol processes, which are emphasised in the last World Climate Report (IPCC). The EU is supporting the cluster in the coming four and a half years with a total of 36 million euros.


Press release

International scholarship programme launched – Opening ceremony for the Centre of Excellence in Observational Oceanography in Berlin

[04. December 2013] 

The international advancement of young scientists has assumed a new dimension at the Alfred Wegener Institute: ten scholarship holders from just as many different nations will be embarking a ten-month traineeship as ocean experts this week. The Japanese Nippon Foundation and POGO (Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans) have selected the Alfred Wegener Institute to conduct their joint project to strengthen the globally networked oceanographic research in the coming years. Federal Research Minister Prof. Dr. Johanna Wanka welcomes the scholars to the official programme launch in Berlin.


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