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Thawing Permafrost is Shaping the Global Climate

A new publication and interactive map summarise the current state of knowledge on the risks posed by permafrost soils – and call for decisive action

[Translate to English:] Eisreiche Permafrostböden auf Bol'shoy Lyakhovsky, Neusibirische Inseln
[29. June 2022]  How is climate change affecting the permanently frozen soils of the Arctic? What will the consequences be for the global climate, human beings, and ecosystems? And what can be done to stop it? In the journal Frontiers in Environmental Science, a team of experts led by Benjamin Abbott from Brigham Young University, USA and Jens Strauss from the Alfred Wegener Institute in Potsdam summarise the current state of knowledge on these questions. In addition, an AWI group led by Moritz Langer has now created an interactive map of the past and future of permafrost.

Polarstern Expedition to the Arctic Ice

Research icebreaker departs for a process study in the marginal ice zone north of Svalbard and glacier research off Greenland

[Translate to English:] Polarstern in Bremerhaven
[28. June 2022]  Das Forschungsschiff Polarstern bricht heute zu einer gut siebenwöchigen Fahrt in die Arktis auf, wo mit dem Sommer die jährliche Meereisschmelze eingesetzt hat. Die sommerliche Ausdehnung des Meereises ist in den vergangenen 40 Jahren um 40 Prozent zurückgegangen – eine der sichtbarsten Folgen des Klimawandels. Wie Wärmeflüsse und Wasserschichtung im Ozean sowie die Eiseigenschaften die Meereisschmelze kontrollieren und miteinander wechselwirken, wird das Forschungsteam in der Meereisrandzone untersuchen.

Scientific Consulting

5th Anniversary of the German Arctic Office

This year, the Alfred Wegener Institute’s competence centre for information and political consulting on all aspects of the Arctic is celebrating its fifth anniversary

[Translate to English:] Floe Map
[16. June 2022]  The Arctic as a hotspot of climate change has become a topic of growing geopolitical and commercial interest over the past several years. What happens in the Arctic doesn’t stay in the Arctic – the effects of changes taking place near the North Pole can be felt around the globe. This also extends to the political and economic level: the retreating ice offers unprecedented access to the region for tourism, trade and natural resource exploration, raising new geopolitical and geostrategic questions, while also necessitating action and cooperation. The German Arctic Office helps the actors involved find answers to these questions and promotes communication between basic research and political decision-makers. This year, the Office is celebrating its fifth anniversary. …

The Southern Ocean as never seen before

A new map shows the seabed of the Southern Ocean in unprecedented detail

[Translate to English:] Bathymetrische Karte Südlicher Ozean
[07. June 2022]  The features of the ocean floor help determine how water masses and ocean currents move and how they affect our climate. Biodiversity is also influenced by seafloor landforms. Accordingly, having as precise information on the seafloor topography as possible is indispensable for oceanographic and climate research - and now available in a new map.

Polarstern II: German Bundestag greenlights the construction of new icebreaker

The next step for the construction of AWI’s new research vessel: an EU-wide competition, in which shipyards can apply for participation in the procurement procedure

Polarstern winter experiment
[03. June 2022]  The Research Vessel Polarstern has been underway in the Arctic and Antarctic for 40 years now. To ensure this research is also possible in the future, and at the highest scientific and technological level, the BMBF has enabled the AWI to coordinate construction of a modern, high-performance and sustainable successor to the Polarstern, and to announce a corresponding call for tenders. Now that the federal budget for 2022 was approved by the German Bundestag, the construction procurement procedure for Polarstern II can begin.