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Can Arctic ‘ice management’ combat climate change?

Modelling

Can Arctic ‘ice management’ combat climate change?

According to a much-debated geo-engineering approach, both sea-ice retreat and global warming could be slowed by using millions of wind-powered pumps, drifting in the sea ice, to promote ice formation during the Arctic winter. AWI researchers have now, for the first time, tested the concept using a complex climate model and published their findings in the journal Earth’s Future. Their verdict is sobering: though the approach could potentially put off ice-free Arctic summers for a few more decades, beyond the Arctic the massive campaign wouldn’t produce any meaningful cooling effect.

A fortress of ice and snow

MOSAiC Expedition

A fortress of ice and snow

After only a few days of searching, experts from the MOSAiC expedition have now found a suitable ice floe, where they will set up the research camp for their one-year-long drift through the Arctic Ocean. Consequently, one of the most important milestones in the expedition has been reached ahead of schedule, and before the Polar Night falls. Nevertheless, the search, which involved satellite imagery, two icebreakers, helicopter flights and scouting missions on the surface of the ice, was an enormous challenge – partly because, after the warm summer, there were very few sufficiently thick floes in the expedition’s start

Anniversary in the far north

AWI-Hausgarten

Anniversary in the far north

20 years ago, scientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) laid the “foundation stone” for a unique long-term observatory in the partly ice-covered Fram Strait between Greenland and Svalbard, which they call their HAUSGARTEN. The deep-sea observatory is the first, and still the only one of its kind for year-round physical, chemical and biological observations in a polar region. Here researchers investigate how a polar marine ecosystem alters in a period of global change.