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The sea ice is getting thinner
Date:9/13/2007

This release is available in German.

The sea-ice is getting thinner - A closer look at the climate and ecosystem of the Arctic Ocean Bremerhaven, September 13, 2007. Large areas of the Arctic sea-ice are only one metre thick this year, equating to an approximate 50 percent thinning as compared to the year 2001. These are the initial results from the latest Alfred-Wegener-Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association lead expedition to the North Polar Sea. 50 scientists have been on board the Research ship- Polarstern for two and a half months, their main aim; to carry out research on the sea-ice areas in the central Arctic. Amongst other things, they have found out that not only the ocean currents are changing, but community structures in the Arctic are also altering. Autonomous measuring-buoys have been placed out, and they will contribute valuable data, also after the expedition is finished, to the study of the environmental changes occurring in this region.

The ice cover in the North Polar Sea is dwindling, the ocean and the atmosphere are becoming steadily warmer, the ocean currents are changing said chief scientist Dr Ursula Schauer, from the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research part of the Helmholtz community, when commenting on the latest results from the current expedition. She is currently in the Arctic, underway with 50 Scientists from Germany, Russia, Finland, the Netherlands, Spain, the USA, Switzerland, Japan, France and China, where they are investigating ocean and sea-ice conditions.

We are in the midst of phase of dramatic change in the Arctic, and the International Polar Year 2007/08 offers us a unique opportunity to study this dwindling ocean in collaboration with international researchers said Schauer. Oceanographers on board the research ship Polarstern are investigating the composition
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Contact: Dr. Angelika Dummermuth
Angelika.Dummermuth@awi.de
49-471-483-11742
Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research
Source:Eurekalert

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