News

Annual sea ice minimum in the Arctic

Arctic Ocean

Annual sea ice minimum in the Arctic

The sea ice extent in the Arctic Ocean reached its annual minimum of 4.81 million square kilometres on 12 September 2021. As such, the 2021 Arctic sea-ice minimum comes in at 12th place on the negative list for absolute values. Sea ice extent in September is one of the strongest signs of climate change, experts pointed out in the recently published 6th Assessment Report of Working Group I of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It has declined by about 40 per cent over the last four decades.

Virtual research lab for MOSAiC data

Project M-VRE

Virtual research lab for MOSAiC data

Researchers around the globe should have access to the valuable data from the MOSAiC expedition. In order to rapidly make user-friendly access to this information possible, the Alfred Wegener Institute, together with the DKRZ Hamburg and the DLR Jena, will develop a series of analytical tools that will allow initially researchers, and subsequently the general public, to access and work with the Arctic data online. The project has received ca. 2 million euros of funding from Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Heat from Below: How the Ocean is Wearing Down the Arctic Sea Ice

Arctic Ocean

Heat from Below: How the Ocean is Wearing Down the Arctic Sea Ice

The influx of warmer water masses from the North Atlantic into the European marginal seas of the Arctic Ocean plays a significant role in the marked decrease in sea-ice growth, especially in winter. Sea-ice physicists from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), together with researchers from the US and Russia, now present evidence for this in two new studies, which show that heat from the Atlantic has hindered ice growth in the Barents and Kara Seas for years.