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Aktuelle Beiträge

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Summer sea-ice extent still retreating – minimum in sight

13 September 2018
“We are approaching this year’s minimum sea-ice extent in the Arctic, and this summer the ice concentration has descreased to its lowest value since observations started, in 1979,” according to Professor Christian Haas, Head of the Sea Ice Physics Section at the AWI. The absolute minimum will probably be 4,4 ± 0.1 million km2. “Due to uncertainties resulting from the different analysis methods, there can be slight discrepencies between the values from different data centres.” Read more here…

AWI ice thickness measurements shed light on the causes of the low ice concentration northeast of Greenland

30 August 2018
The ice north of Greenland is particularly thick, several years old and is mainly formed on the Russian continental shelf. The Transpolar Drift – which acts like a transarctic conveyor belt – transports the sea ice over a few years to the coast of Greenland. Here, the landward drift compresses the pack ice, creating the compact ice cover typical for the region. The following explains which processes are responsible for the formation of ice-free zones north of Greenland in summer, and why the ice concentration was particularly low this year. Read more here…

Arctic sea-ice extent rapidly approaching its summertime minimum

22 August 2018
After the sea-ice extent in the Arctic showed a moderate loss, hovering in the lower portion of the double standard deviation range from the long-term average with in the first half of July, the retreat significantly accelerated in the second half of the month. In terms of the monthly average, July 2018 was characterised by a higher sea-ice extent than last year in the Pacific sector (Chukchi Sea and East Siberian Sea), but a significantly lower extent in the Atlantic sector. More here…

AWI team reaches the North Pole

16 August 2018
It may come as a surprise, but due to this year’s ice conditions, the Swedish icebreaker Oden had serious difficulties penetrating to the North Pole. The Oden first hit the edge of the ice at 82 °N. “We’re very curious to see how the dense ice in the region has affected the ice thickness and the algae livening in the ice,” reports Christian Katlein from on board the icebreaker. More here…

The days are getting longer, the seasonal sea-ice extent is still on the rise – the status quo of Antarctic sea ice

7 August 2018
The maximum sea-ice extent around the Antarctic continent has by no means already been reached. Nevertheless, over the past few months the area of sea ice has grown by an average of 0.1 million km2 per day, a higher rate than has been observed in the past several years. Read more about the actual Antarctic sea ice situation here...

Regional seasonal forecasts of sea-ice conditions as an indicator for the navigability of Arctic passages

27 July 2018
Can we already provide reliable forecasts for the navigability of the Northern Sea Routes on a timeframe of several months, to enable shipping with the lowest possible risk? These and other questions are being explored by the sea-ice modelling group at the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI). Read more here...