German Norwegian Ocean Forum
Sustainable oceans as a shared responsibility
From the Arctic to the North Sea: this year’s German Norwegian Ocean Forum was held in Bremen’s Übersee Museum. The spotlight topic of the symposium, which was jointly organised by the AWI, Innovation Norway, and the Royal Norwegian Embassy, was ‘The sustainable future of our oceans’. AWI Director Antje Boetius moderated the event.
The future challenges for our global oceans and their economic prospects: these were the main topics that the invited speakers discussed. Norway’s Ambassador to Germany, Petter Ølberg, gave the opening address, which was followed by two impulse talks: by Dr Regine Dube from Germany’s Federal Ministry of the Environment and by Jens Frølich Holte, State Secretary at Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Antje Boetius, Director of the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, subsequently moderated the first scientific portion of the event. In his talk, Prof Michael Schulz from the MARUM Center for Marine Environmental Sciences explained the respective effects that global warming of two degrees and three degrees could have on the Gulf Stream.
In turn, AWI researcher Dr Melanie Bergmann reported on her analysis of marine litter. As she related, the ocean floor can now be described as a ‘depot’, since the highest concentration of plastic can be found there. Further, plastic consumption on the part of marine organisms is already a dramatic problem: they are already ingesting plastic and the toxic substances it contains, as well as pathogens, often with fatal consequences. At the same time, the ultimate fate of 99% of marine litter remains unknown.