An entire year trapped in the Arctic ice

MOSAiC - Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate

It could be the largest-scale Arctic research expedition of all time: In September 2019, the German research icebreaker Polarstern departed from Tromsø (Norway) and, once it had reached its destination, will spend the next year drifting through the Arctic Ocean, trapped in the ice. A total of 600 people, who will be supplied by other icebreakers and aircraft, will participate in the expedition – and several times that number of researchers will subsequently use the data gathered to take climate and ecosystem research to the next level. More than 70 research institutions from 20 countries are involved in the expedition. The mission is spearheaded by the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI).

Read more about the expedition on the MOSAiC website. 

News

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.

Climate Change makes Arctic Ozone Loss Worse

Arctic

Climate Change makes Arctic Ozone Loss Worse

In spring 2020, the MOSAiC expedition documented an unparalleled loss of ozone in the Arctic stratosphere. As an evaluation of meteorological data and model-based simulations by the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) now indicates, ozone depletion in the Arctic polar vortex could intensify by the end of the century unless global greenhouse gases are rapidly and systematically reduced.

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.