As polar researchers, we have the privilege of working in unique habitats. The Arctic can be breathtaking: where else can you see the rugged glacial fjords of Greenland and Spitsbergen, polar bears gracefully striding across ice floes, or the stark contrasts produced by warm waters from the subtropics and Arctic cold fronts? Antarctic expeditions on board the research icebreaker Polarstern take us to the stormy seas of the “Furious Fifties” and “Screaming Sixties” and to the majestic silence of the ice-covered ocean and tabular icebergs drifting by in one of the region’s least touched by the hand of man.
This issue will offer you glimpses into how this fascination and our own curiosity drive our work. Join us for aerial sea-ice measurements above the Arctic, drilling trips to the second-largest ice shelf in the Antarctic, or learn how our mathematicians are developing new climate-modelling methods. In the process, you’ll also get an impression of how many puzzle pieces it takes to arrive at a comprehensive picture of the diverse physical processes involved in climate at the Earth’s poles.