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Information on:

 The current status of Arctic sea ice

Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI)

The Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) is Germany's leading institute for polar and marine research. The Institute’s research mission is to improve the understanding of ocean-ice-atmosphere interactions, the animal and plant kingdoms of the Arctic and Antarctic, and the evolution of the polar continents and seas. Given the major role played by these regions within the Earth’s climate system, global change is a central focus of the research effort at AWI. AWI researchers conduct surveys and numerical simulations related to oceanic circulation, transport of substances and energy in the polar seas and the polar atmosphere, and to the influence of these processes on the global climate system. AWI coordinates polar research in Germany and provides both the necessary equipment and the essential logistic back up for polar expeditions. It operates research vessels, airplanes, and land stations in the Arctic and Antarctic. The AWI has 780 employees and a total budget of 100 million Euro in 2005.


Tasks attributed: The Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research is co-leader of WP1 and will contribute with an assessment of existing and upcoming climate scenario calculations regarding the future development of ocean, sea ice, and near surface atmosphere in the Arctic domain. Furthermore, AWI will conduct dedicated high-resolution ocean-sea ice model calculations to downscale climate model results for sensitive regions like the Canadian Archipelago and the Siberian shelf seas. In collaboration with OASys, AWI will set up a system for probabilistic seasonal ocean-sea ice forecasts based on the NAOSIM/NAOSIMDAS model system.


Principal Investigator:

Dr. Rüdiger Gerdes is a senior scientist in AWI’s climate sciences division and professor of oceanography at Jacobs University Bremen. He is the head of the sea ice physics section at AWI. He has been PI in several EU projects (VEINS, ASOF-N, CONVECTION, DAMOCLES, Intas NORDIC SEAS) and German national projects, including STORM, High-resolution community climate change simulations. He is also PI in the Arctic Ocean Model Intercomparison Project and a long time member of the CLIVAR working group on ocean model development. Prof. Gerdes is co-editor of a recent AGU monograph on “The Nordic Seas: An Integrated Perspective” and has authored or co-authored more than 60 papers in the peer-review literature. He has over 20 years of experience in ocean, sea ice, and coupled modelling. The AWI model hierarchy NAOSIM was developed in his working group.