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The formation of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet was very different than previously believed

AWI experts confirm the delayed spread of the ice sheet 35 million years ago

[Translate to English:] Eisberg in der Pine Island Bucht
[21. February 2022]  Roughly 35 million years ago, Earth cooled rapidly. At roughly the same time, the Drake Passage formed between South America and the Antarctic, paving the way for the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. Thanks to these two factors, Antarctica was soon completely covered in ice. As a study from the Alfred Wegener Institute now shows, this massive glaciation was delayed in at least one region.

MOSAiC Expedition

Fish and squid found in the Central Arctic Ocean

Scientists detect unexpected species under the Arctic ice

[Translate to English:] Fisching
[18. February 2022]  Single individuals of Atlantic cod and squid occur much further north than previously expected. Scientists participating in the international MOSAiC expedition with research icebreaker Polarstern  have found fish and squid in deep water in the middle of the Arctic Ocean. The results from Stockholm University, the Alfred Wegener Institute and colleagues in the European Fisheries Inventory in the Central Arctic Ocean (EFICA) Consortium are published today  in the scientific journal Science Advances.

Construction Begins on the BLUEHOUSE HELGOLAND

In 2024, a new permanent exhibition on marine research will open on Helgoland

[Translate to English:] Entwürfe für das Bluehouse Helgoland
[18. February 2022]  Construction will soon begin on Helgoland’s next attraction: in spring, work will begin on the BLUEHOUSE HELGOLAND. From 2024, visitors can expect a unique exhibition covering everything from the history of the North Sea to the future of marine research. At the heart of the exhibition is an 80,000-litre aquarium showcasing Helgoland’s underwater world. The project has received ca. 20 million euros of funding from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the State of Schleswig-Holstein and the Municipality of Helgoland. The exhibition was designed by the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), which will also operate the facility.


Beyond EPICA: First cores lifted from deep Antarctic ice

After two months at an average of minus 40 degrees Celsius, the first stage in the search for 1.5-million-year-old ice has been successfully completed

Aerial view of the Little Dome C camp
[17. February 2022]  What was the climate like thousands or even millions of years ago? The deep ice in Antarctica could provide answers: It contains information about temperature development and the composition of the atmosphere of the past. An international research team aims to decode this information in the Beyond EPICA-Oldest Ice project, with a drill core containing climate data from the last 1.5 million years. At the end of January, the project team successfully completed the first campaign and lifted the first cores. Scientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute were instrumental in the planning and also on site.


Giant sponge gardens discovered on seamounts in the Arctic deep sea

Sponges grow in large numbers and to impressive size on the peaks of extinct underwater volcanoes

Rich and densely populated ecosystem on the peaks of extinct underwater volcanoes in the Arctic deep sea
[08. February 2022]  Auf den Gipfeln von Seebergen im zentralen Arktischen Ozean, einem der nährstoffärmsten Meere der Erde, gedeihen riesige Schwammgärten. Die Schwämme ernähren sich scheinbar von den Überresten ausgestorbener Tiere. Mikroorganismen helfen ihnen dabei, dieses Material als Nahrungs- und Energiequelle zu nutzen.