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Press release

Melt ponds cause the Artic sea ice to melt more rapidly

[15. January 2013] 

The Arctic sea ice has not only declined over the past decade but has also become distinctly thinner and younger. Researchers are now observing mainly thin, first-year ice floes which are extensively covered with melt ponds in the summer months where once metre-thick, multi-year ice used to float.

Press release

Death in the egg: as embryos, shore crabs have nothing to protect themselves against climate change

[19. December 2012] 

Up to now the shore crab has belonged to those animal species thought by scientists to be more or less immune to climate change. One reason for this was that the crabs are highly tolerant to extremes temperature and feel just as at home in the eight degrees offered by the Atlantic as they do in the 20 degrees warm Mediterranean. A study conducted by German and Italian scientists has now shown, however, that shore crabs react most sensitively to temperature anomalies at certain times of life – as embryos in the egg.

Press release

How cold will a winter be in two years? New study shows: climate models still struggle with medium- term climate forecasts

[04. December 2012] 

How well are the most important climate models able to predict the weather conditions for the coming year or even the next decade? The Potsdam scientists Dr. Dörthe Handorf and Prof. Dr. Klaus Dethloff from the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association (AWI) have evaluated 23 climate models and published their results in the current issue of the international scientific journal Tellus A.

Press release

New approach allows past data to be used to improve future climate projections

[29. November 2012] 

Climate scientists are still grappling with one of the main questions of modern times: how high will global temperatures rise if the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide doubles. Many researchers are now turning to the past because it holds clues to how nature reacted to climate change before the anthropogenic impact. The divergent results of this research, however, have made it difficult to make precise predictions about the impact of increased carbon dioxide on future warming. An international team of scientists have evaluated previously published estimates and assigned them consistent categories and terminology.