FAZ-Blog: PIK climate scientists on expedition to the Antarctic

01/23/2017 - The researchers Ricarda Winkelmann and Ronja Reese from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) recently departed for their expedition to Antarctica with the research vessel "Polarstern" of the Alfred Wegener Institute. Over the next few weeks, they will report regularly on their expedition, ice and climate change in a blog on FAZ.net. Usually, the two mathematicians at PIK work with numerical models and computer simulations. In the next few weeks, however, they will be collecting data on the Antarctic sea ice to learn more about the sensitivity of the gigantic ice masses of the ice continent.
FAZ-Blog: PIK climate scientists on expedition to the Antarctic
The "Polarstern" starts to the Antarctic (Photo: Alfred Wegener Institute / Nina Machner)

"Global warming - triggered by greenhouse gases from burning coal, oil and gas in our industrialised economy - affects even the remotest corners of the planet. What happens in the Antarctic, however, is due to the effects on sea levels of great significance for Hamburg, New York and Shanghai," the two scientists write in their first blog article. During the expedition they will record data about the expanding and melting of ice floes using salt and light harps newly developed by the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology - in other words, they will investigate how salt content, temperature and ice thickness change over time.

Data like this is essential for climate research. By satellite these data are then directly transmitted to the scientists' computers at the Potsdam Institute, even when the Polarstern has long since left the Southern Ocean. The Polarstern with its 118 m is Germany's largest research vessel and icebreaker and supply ship at the same time an. Since 1982 it is in the service of the Alfred Wegener Institute en route in the Arctic and Antarctic. The Polarstern is currently on its way to the Antarctic with around 50 researchers from all over the world on board.

Weblink to the FAZ-Blog (in German): http://blogs.faz.net/antarktis/2018/01/22/aufbruch-ins-eis-17/

Video about the climate scientists Ricarda Winkelmann and Ronja Reese (in German): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZ1Vy4d-ptg

Weblink to the weekly reports of Polarstern (in German): https://www.awi.de/nc/en/expedition/ships/polarstern/weekly-reports-rv-polarstern.html

Interested in more science blogs? Stefan Rahmstorf, co-chair of research domain Earth System Analysis at PIK, is blogging frequently. He is one of the founders of the  science blog RealClimate in English and the German blog KlimaLounge.