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Press release

North-East Passage soon free from ice again? Winter measurements show thin sea ice in the Laptev Sea, pointing to early and large scale summer melt

[08. June 2012] 

The North-East Passage, the sea route along the North coast of Rus-sia, is expected to be free of ice early again this summer. The forecast was made by sea ice physi-cists of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Associa-tion based on a series of measurement flights over the Laptev Sea, a marginal sea of the Arctic Ocean. Amongs experts the shelf sea is known as an “ice factory” of Arctic sea ice. At the end of last winter the researchers discovered large areas of thin ice not being thick enough to withstand the summer melt.


Press release

Environmental Prize for Permafrost Researcher

[11. May 2012] 


Press release

Climate scientists discover new weak point of the Antarctic ice sheet

[09. May 2012] 

The Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf fringing the Weddell Sea, Antarctica, may start to melt rapidly in this century and no longer act as a barrier for ice streams draining the Antarctic Ice Sheet. These predictions are made by climate researchers of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association in the coming issue of the British science magazine “Nature“. They refute the widespread assumption that ice shelves in the Weddell Sea would not be affected by the direct influences of global warming due to the peripheral location of the Sea.


Press release

Open for viewing again for the first time since 2008 – “Open Ship“ on the research icebreaker Polarstern on 3 June 2012

[08. May 2012] 

The research icebreaker Polarstern will be returning from the Antarctic to Bremerhaven on 16 May. The world known research ship will be prepared in the docks for the coming summer expedition to the North Polar Sea. Following a stop in the homeport of Bremerhaven, Polarstern will celebrate its 30th birthday in the expanse of the Antarctic Ocean.


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