Latest Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research Stories

2010-08-20 09:53:38

The extent of the sea ice in the Arctic will reach its annual minimum in September. Forecasts indicate that it will not be as low as in 2007, the year of the smallest area covered by sea ice since satellites started recording such data. Nevertheless, sea ice physicists at the Alfred Wegener Institute are concerned about the long-term equilibrium in the Arctic Ocean. They have indications that the mass of sea ice is dwindling because its thickness is declining. To substantiate this, they are...

2010-07-29 17:01:42

Autonomous underwater vehicle of the Alfred Wegener Institute dives under the Arctic ice for the first time The Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association for the first time sent its Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) on an under-ice mission at about 79° North. The four-metre-long, torpedo shaped underwater vehicle was deployed from the research icebreaker Polarstern under heavy pack ice. The vehicle was subsequently recovered by helicopter. "We...

2010-06-24 14:01:31

Researchers from German Alfred Wegener Institute and KlimaCampus present forecasts on September minimum A critical minimum for Arctic sea ice can also be expected for late summer 2010. Scientists from the German "Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association (AWI)" in Bremerhaven and from "KlimaCampus" of the University of Hamburg have now published their projections in the current Sea Ice Outlook. The online publication compares the forecasts on ice...

2010-05-09 07:31:35

Scientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute present first results of a new measurement method in Antarctica Currently the yearly General Assembly of the European Geological Union takes place in Vienna, Austria. Dr. Olaf Eisen from the German Alfred Wegener Institute presents results from an environmentally friendly measurement method that he and his colleagues used on an Antarctic ice-shelf for the first time in early 2010. It supplies data that are input to models for the ice mass balance...

2008-10-31 11:34:47

Researchers in Germany and Canada reported on Thursday that climate change could effect the global food chain by supporting animals with short life spans rather than their larger long-lived predators. Researchers noted that animals showed widely differing "thermal windows" -- a range of temperatures in which they best feed, grow and reproduce, meaning that global warming would have a varying effect on each species. "Climate change will favor species with wide thermal windows, short life...

2008-08-28 10:10:00

Following last summer's record minimum ice cover in the Arctic, current observations from ESA's Envisat satellite suggest that the extent of polar sea-ice may again shrink to a level very close to that of last year. Envisat observations from mid-August depict that a new record of low sea-ice coverage could be reached in a matter of weeks. This animation is a series of mosaics of the Arctic Ocean created from images acquired between early June and mid-August 2008 from the Advanced...

2008-08-11 10:45:00

The German Research Vessel Polarstern had to prove its ice breaking capabilities in Arctic waters to gain data on two series of long-term research measurements. After working in regions up to latitude 82° N, Polarstern of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association entered port in Reykjavik (Iceland) on August 10th. "This year, we had to cope with exceptional heavy ice coverage", says chief scientist Prof. Gerhard Kattner. The sea ice covered...

2008-04-21 09:00:00

RV Polarstern finished first Antarctic field season within the International Polar YearThe Antarctic deep sea gets colder, which might stimulate the circulation of the oceanic water masses. This is the first result of the Polarstern expedition of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association that has just ended in Punta Arenas/Chile. At the same time satellite images from the Antarctic summer have shown the largest sea-ice extent on record. In the...

2008-02-05 12:50:00

Federal research minister aboard the research icebreaker PolarsternIn the Southern Ocean, large quantities of surface-drifting plankton algae are able to significantly reduce the carbon dioxide content of the surface waters, which can affect the global carbon dioxide cycle. This is one of the results from an Antarctic expedition which has just drawn to a close in Cape Town on February 4, and which was led by the Alfred Wegener Institute, part of the Helmholtz Association. On February 5, an...

2007-01-24 09:34:04

Under the former Larsen ice shelf east of the Antarctic Peninsula, deep-sea sea cucumbers and stalked feather stars were ubiquitously found in shallow waters. These animals usually inhabit far greater water depths. The main aim of the current Polarstern expedition to Antarctica is the investigation of marine ecosystems under the former Larsen ice shelf. This "white spot" with regard to biodiversity research gave rise to the following questions: What kind of life actually existed under the...

Word of the Day
  • In music, a work for a keyboard-instrument, like the pianoforte or organ, originally intended to utilize and display varieties of touch: but the term has been extended so as to include many irregular works, similar to the prelude, the fantasia, and the improvisation.
This word is Italian in origin, coming from the feminine past participle of 'toccare,' to touch.