Alfred Wegener Institute News

Participants at The Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 project regional mapping meeting for the Atlantic and Indian Oceans gathered in Palisades, New York. (Photo: The Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed)

First Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project Meeting

Group (ASMIWG).With the goal of mapping the entirety of the world’s ocean floor by 2030, The Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project divides responsibility for data assembly and coordination in different areas of the ocean between four Regional Centers. These centers are located at The Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), Germany, covering the Southern Ocean; The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), New Zealand, covering the South and West Pacific Ocean; The Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, USA, covering the Atlantic and Indian Oceans; and Stockholm University

Participants at the first Arctic, Antarctic & North Pacific mapping meeting for The Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project, held at Stockholm University, October 8-10 (Image: The Nippon Foundation / GEBCO)

Seabed 2030 Meeting Held in Stockholm

Dorschel, who leads the RDACC covering the Southern Ocean.With the goal of mapping the entirety of the world’s ocean floor by 2030, The Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project divides responsibility for different areas of the ocean between four RDACCs. These centers are located at The Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), Germany, covering the Southern Ocean; The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), Wellington, New Zealand, covering the South and West Pacific Ocean; The Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, U.S., covering the Atlantic and Indian Oceans; and

The amphipod Epimeria cornigera has been known for a long time. Biologists have now discovered and descibed a new relative. (Photo: Alfred-Wegener-Institut / Jan Beermann

New Species Found in the North Sea

Experts from the Alfred Wegener Institute and the Universities of Oldenburg and Potsdam, Germany have confirmed the existence of a new cryptic amphipod species in the North Sea.For the first time for the description of a new species, they used a level of mitogenomic information, which was normally applied in other areas of genetics. The discovery of Epimeria frankei was now published in the journal Scientific Reports. In the future, this level of molecular information could revolutionize biodiversity research.Reports of "new species" in the North Sea, usually relate to animals or algae that

Autonomous underwater vehicle Boaty McBoatface (Photo: NOC)

Boaty McBoatface Completes First Antarctic Mission

Filchner Ice Shelf System (FISS) Project – a collaboration involving leading U.K. research institutions including the NOC, British Antarctic Survey (BAS), Met Office Hadley Center, University College London, University of Exeter and Oxford University, and international partners including Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), and University of Bergen (UiB). The AUV plays a critical role in the project that aims to investigate and describe the current state of the complex atmosphere-ice-ocean system.Boaty spent a total of 51 hours under the Antarctic ice, traveling 108km over the duration of the deployment

Ocean surface currents around the world. (NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio)

The Evolution of Ocean Models

deal with issues of resolution i.e. the geographical scale at which a model runs - where the smaller your grid resolution is, the better your representation of the ocean.   According to Professor Sergey Danilov, who works on ocean model development at the Climate Dynamics Division of the Alfred Wegener Institute, Bremerhaven, Germany, the main challenge has always been to make the models reproduce the water mass characteristics and circulation that we observe in the real ocean.   “Motions at small spatial and temporal scales cannot be modeled and are therefore parameterized,”

AWI sea-ice physicists have ericted an ice camp to investigate melt ponds on Arctic sea ice. (Photo Alfred-Wegener-Institut  Mar Fernandez)

Threat from wandering greenhouse gas

, it can also become trapped in the sea ice that forms in these coastal waters. As a result, the gas can be transported thousands of kilometres across the Arctic Ocean and released in a completely different region months later. This phenomenon is the subject of an article by researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute, published in the current issue of the online journal Scientific Reports. Although this interaction between methane, ocean and ice has a significant influence on climate change, to date it has not been reflected in climate models. In August 2011, the icebreaker Polarstern from the Alfred

The Sentinel HR high-resolution seismic streamer (Image: Sercel)

Sercel Sells High-res Streamer System to AWI Research Institute

CGG announced that Sercel has sold one of its new Sentinel HR high-resolution solid streamers to the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), a German research foundation specializing in polar and marine research in the Arctic and Antarctic.   AWI will use the Sentinel HR on research projects it is conducting to record critical data about the relationship between geological activity and ecosystems in order to gain a better understanding of the Earth’s system.    Launched in 2017, Sentinel HR is the latest member of Sercel’s Sentinel solid streamer family. With a close channel

Map FRAM (Graphic Thomas Soltwedel)

Litter Levels in the Arctic Depths On the Rise

The Arctic has a serious litter problem: in just ten years, the concentration of marine litter at a deep-sea station in the Arctic Ocean has risen 20-fold. This was recently reported in a study by researchers at the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI). Plastic bags, glass shards and fishing nets: despite its location, far from any urban areas, the amount of litter in the depths of the Arctic Ocean continues to rise, posing a serious threat to its fragile ecosystem. Since 2002, AWI researchers have been documenting the amount of litter at two stations of

Photo: Alfred-Wegener-Institut/Jaroslav Obu

Retreating Arctic Coasts Cause Drastic Changes

year at some locations. The earth masses removed in this process increasingly blur the shallow water areas and release nutrients and pollutants. Yet, the consequences of these processes on life in the coastal zone and on traditional fishing grounds are virtually unknown. Scientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) urge to focus our attention on  the ecological consequences of coastal erosion in the January issue of the journal Nature Climate Change. According to the scientists, an interdisciplinary research program is required, and must involve

Spotting the Zooplankton Observatory near Heligoland from the ship Neuwerk. (Photo Alfred Wegener Institute)

Researchers Develop Underwater Observatory

The vastness of the sea and its sometimes harsh conditions often pose a challenge to marine researchers. In the North Sea near Heligoland, scientists from the Thünen Institute for Sea Fishing, the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) and the Helmholtz Center Geesthacht (HZG) have now installed an extraordinary device: an optical-acoustic underwater observatory. It is capable of capturing and automatically identifying the smallest marine life underwater - around the clock and even under conditions where no research ship can leave the port. Microscopically small creatures, fish larvae, jellyfish as

Tandem L is the name of a new satellite radar system Photo Alfred Wegener Institute

New Satellite Technology Boosts Glacier Research

Researchers are developing a unique radar, which could allow a view of Earth's ice sheets Bremerhaven, November 4, 2016. Scientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute are developing with experts from the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) a new satellite measurement method for the observation from space of the large ice masses of Greenland and the Antarctic. "Tandem L" is the name of a new satellite radar system, Which launched in the year 2022 Could Provide urgently needed data Concerning the shrinkage of the ice sheets in Both hemispheres. Concerning the construction of the radar and the

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