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Latest Alfred Wegener Institute Stories

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2008-12-22 08:45:00

The idea of a white Christmas may seem magical for many of us, but spare a thought for a team of scientists forgoing the festive season to take part in a novel campaign being carried out in one of the most inhospitable regions on Earth to support ESA's ice mission CryoSat. German scientists from the Technical University of Dresden and the Alfred Wegener Institute are spending up to four months venturing out onto the vast frozen reaches of what is known as the 'blue ice' region near the...

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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...

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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...

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2008-07-10 08:45:00

Climate scientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute present their own prognosis for the first time The ice cover in the Arctic Ocean at the end of summer 2008 will lie, with almost 100 per cent probability, below that of the year 2005 "“ the year with the second lowest sea ice extent ever measured. Chances of an equally low value as in the extreme conditions of the year 2007 lie around eight per cent. Climate scientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in...

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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...