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

and circulation of the water masses, physical characteristics of sea-ice and transport of biological and geochemical components in ice and seawater. Sea-ice ecosystems in the seawater and on the ocean floor will also be a focus of investigations. Scientists will take sediments from the ocean floor in order to reconstruct the climatic history of the surrounding continents.

Oceanographic measuring buoys were set out in all regions of the Arctic ocean for the first time during this International Polar Year. They are able to drift freely in the Arctic Ocean whilst collecting data on currents, temperature, and salt content of the seawater. The buoys will continuously collect data over and send them back to the scientists via satellite. In addition, the deployment of a new titanium measuring system which allows contamination free sample collection of trace elements for the first time due to its high effectiveness. These studies will take place within the context of different research projects, all taking place during the International Polar Year: SPACE (Synoptic Pan-Arctic Climate and Environment Study), iAOOS (Integrated Arctic Ocean Observing System) and GEOTRACES (Trace Elements in the Arctic). At the same time, a large component of the work is supported by the European Union Program DAMOCLES (Developing Arctic Modelling and Observing Capabilities for Long-term Environment Studies). Further information on this project can be found on the German contribution to the International Polar Year website (www.polarjahr.de).

Changes in Sea-Ice

The thickness of the arctic sea-ice has decreased since 1979, and at the moment measures about a metre in diameter in the central Arctic Basin. In addition, oceanographers have found a particularly high concentration of melt-water in the ocean and a large number of melt-ponds. These data, collected from on board the Polarstern, and also from helicopter flights a
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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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