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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. …

Powered by Methanol

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.

Arctic Circle Prize

Antje Boetius and Markus Rex accept Arctic Circle Prize

Alfred Wegener Institute and MOSAiC expedition receive award

AWI Director Antje Boetius and MOSAiC expedition leader Markus Rex on stage at the Arctic Circle Awards 2022
[17. October 2022]  The Alfred Wegener Institute and the MOSAiC research expedition were awarded the Arctic Circle Prize on Saturday, 15 October 2022 in Reykjavik. With the prize, the international organisation Arctic Circle recognises extraordinary contributions to securing a sustainable and prosperous future in the Arctic. This is the third time the prize has been awarded since 2016, previous winners being Ban Ki-moon (then Secretary General of the United Nations) and John Kerry (former US Secretary of State and US Chair of the Arctic Council).