The Arctic is warming – and more than twice as quickly as the rest of the planet. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a region where the effects of climate change are more apparent. But will there soon truly be no more sea ice there in the summer? Why is damage amounting to billions of euros now arising in the Arctic infrastructure? And what will all of these changes mean for life at our latitudes? Day after day, experts at the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) collect tremendous amounts of data and use advanced climate models to find the answers to these questions. Their mission is to painstakingly investigate and understand climate changes in the polar regions, so as to be able to make accurate forecasts concerning the future development of our climate.

A new magazine on climate research in the polar regions now gathers their latest findings. In fifteen articles, readers will learn how researchers arrive at this important data, and what it tells us about our planet’s future. They’ll find reliable information on how research expeditions into the ice, laboratory tests and climate models all contribute to our grasp of the climate. In addition, the researchers explain what drives them to return to the polar regions time and time again. And complex topics like rising sea levels are visualised with the aid of infographics. Among others, you can read about:

  • Which islands and coastlines will still be inhabitable in the future? The answer largely depends on how rapidly the ice masses in Greenland and the Antarctic continue to melt. Accordingly, AWI researchers are using satellites to closely monitor the state of these ice sheets.
  • With the help of underwater recorders, AWI scientists are investigating the unique soundscape of the Southern Ocean. The recorded sounds can tell us when and where to find whales and seals – information that is important e.g. for the establishment and supervision of Marine Protected Areas. However, not all of the sounds they pick up are created by animals.
  • Last year an iceberg seven times the size of Berlin calved off from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in the Antarctic. What happened next? When such a colossal iceberg drifts through the Southern Ocean, its course is hardly random. Join us for a talk about cracking ice, sliding giants and a lonely wanderer by the name of A68.

The magazine can be downloaded here.

News piece in AWI homepage.