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Dear sea ice fans!

An exciting and at the same time challenging year is coming to an end, which was further marked in all respects by the effects of the worldwide Corona pandemic. Be it in everyday life, in our working or private lives, in media reporting or in everyday research. All activities continue to be influenced by the dangers and threats posed by the COVID19 virus.

It has become more evident than ever how important sound and scientifically validated knowledge and facts are in our everyday lives and how this basis determines our actions and decision-making processes. This also applies to the important issue of climate change, in addition to the fight against the Corona pandemic. With the publication of the IPPC's 6th World Climate Report, the Constitutional Court's ruling on the German government's climate law, the negotiations at the G7 summit or even the COP26 in Glasgow, it has become very clear: the measures to curb the climate crisis must be more concrete and also implemented in our everyday lives if we still want to achieve the climate goals of Paris!

With, we have continued this year keeping you comprehensively up to date and informed on the topic of sea ice development and climate change in the Polar Regions. Fortunately, the year 2021 was not marked by renewed negative records in the Arctic or Antarctic, but the ongoing changes in the Arctic and their influence on the entire climate system are becoming increasingly noticeable even in our latitudes through severe extreme events.

Therefore, we are deeply concerned continuing to inform you with interesting contributions in the coming year, to present new data products to you or to report on new scientific publications. is to be given a new look in the coming year. This will enable us to meet the requirements of a central modern information and data platform, thus fulfilling and improving the information offered as a decision-making aid for different target groups. For it is only through knowledge that we can change our actions in order to limit climate change as far as possible to a level that remains controllable despite the great efforts that need to be made.

We wish you all a peaceful Christmas, above all health, and a good start for a happy new year 2022.

Your team

Boundary-layer physicists: when perseverance pays off

19 January 2022
Optimising climate models is definitely not the ideal task for people who need to see quick results. It takes perseverance, a love for detail, and a tremendous amount of stamina, as the findings of a joint German-Russian project (POLEX) now show. In the project, experts from the Alfred Wegener Institute and their Russian peers succeeded in substantially improving the AWI’s regional climate model for the Arctic – with the help of simplified equations for simulating heat and momentum transfer in the boundary layer. Read more here...

Melting sea ice: An unsuspected domino effect

15 December 2021
Seven years ago, AWI researchers began constructing a new ocean observatory in Fram Strait, which has gathered data on the physics, chemistry and biology of the ocean round the clock – and in summer and winter alike – ever since. An analysis of the first yearly datasets yielded surprising insights into the role of sea ice for life in polar waters. Depending on where and how quickly the sea ice melts, the species makeup and the growth of plankton in the water column – and therefore the available food in the deep sea – can change. Read more here ...

Recycling Sensor Data

19 November 2021
Although satellite-based observation provides impressive spatial resolution with regard to the ice cover, when it comes to measuring ice thickness, it offers comparatively low chronological resolution (weekly and monthly means) and is prone to certain inaccuracies. As such, further improving the analysis and interpretation of satellite data calls for direct and local ice-thickness measurements, gathered over periods that are as long as possible. Read more here ...

DriftStories from the MOSAiC expedition through the Central Arctic

You can read the online version of the introduction here.
In addition, you can download the complete booklet as a PDF here or request a printed copy free of charge by mailing us at

Real time course plot R.V. Polarstern
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