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Greenland Icesheet

Short-lived Ice Streams

Radar scans of the Greenland ice sheet reveal the shutdown and reconfiguration of ice streams in the span of a few thousand years

Atembraubender Ausblick aus dem Fenster eines AWI-Forschungsflugzeuges über Grönland
[05. December 2022]  Major ice streams can shut down, shifting rapid ice transport to other parts of the ice sheet, within a few thousand years. This was determined in reconstructions of two ice streams, based on ice-penetrating radar scans of the Greenland ice sheet, that a team of researchers led by the Alfred Wegener Institute have just presented in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Arctic Carbon Conveyor Belt Discovered

Researchers find new transport route for carbonaceous material from productive Arctic marginal seas to the deep sea

Expedition ARCTIC2018
[21. November 2022]  Every year, the cross-shelf transport of carbon-rich particles from the Barents and Kara Seas could bind up to 3.6 million metric tons of CO2 in the Arctic deep sea for millennia. In this region alone, a previously unknown transport route uses the biological carbon pump and ocean currents to absorb atmospheric CO2 on the scale of Iceland’s total annual emissions, as researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute and partner institutes report in the current issue of the journal Nature Geoscience.

Researching the environmental impacts of deep-seabed mining

The MiningImpact project has started its expedition SO295 investigating the environmental effects of polymetallic nodule mining on the abyssal seabed

Manganese nodule habitat
[11. November 2022]  How does polymetallic nodule mining impact the ecosystem in the deep sea? This is what the MiningImpact expedition SO295 is investigating for the next two months in the exploration contract areas of the Clarion-Clipperton Zone. During the collection of polymetallic nodules, the bio-active layer of the seabed is removed and the sediments suspended during the mining operation blanket also large areas in the vicinity. The aim of the cruise is to determine the extent of the environmental effects 1.5 years after an industrial equipment test.

Antje Boetius once again appointed Director of the Alfred Wegener Institute

Her second-term goals: weathering global crisis, building the Polarstern II, and launching an international Antarctic mission

MOSAiC Welcome Back
[03. November 2022]  Polar researcher and deep-sea biologist Antje Boetius will head the Alfred Wegener Institute, which she has coordinated since November 2017, for another five years. In her first term as Director, she has made essential contributions to strong international networking and increasing the visibility of German polar and marine research, overseen the largest expedition in the institute’s history, and paved the way for the construction of the new Polarstern II. Despite the numerous crises currently facing our world, her plans for the years to come remain ambitious: she intends e.g. to forge an international partnership to back a major research mission to the Antarctic, and to boost the prominence of findings on the network of life in our seas and how it can be preserved. …

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Full Speed Ahead for Climate-friendly Coastal Research

Federal Minister of Research Stark-Watzinger christens research cutter Uthörn

[Translate to English:] Stapellauf Uthörn-Nachfolge
[01. November 2022]  Today, German Federal Minister of Education and Research Bettina Stark-Watzinger christened the Alfred Wegener Institute’s new research vessel Uthörn at the Fassmer shipyards in Berne. The new shippowered by environmentally friendly, low-emissions methanol, setting new standards for sustainability in German shipping.