Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The dawn of a new era in polar research

25.02.2009
Germany has a new research station in the permanent ice of the Antarctic - the Neumayer Station III. Over the next twenty-five to thirty years, the station will be used primarily to gather data on weather and climate around the South Pole.

The new Antarctic station is the German contribution to international research into the climate and the Antarctic. If offers scientists working in the polar region the most modern technology available. "Neumayer III is a masterpiece of engineering and a laboratory that offers hitherto unprecedented opportunities," declared Federal Education Minister Annette Schavan in Berlin. She officially opened the polar station via a live link.

"Today the images we see must speak for themselves," she stated, in view of the impressive motifs crossing the screen. Even the many superlatives that could have been used on this day would have failed to do justice to the true achievement. The new research station is a masterpiece of engineering and a high point in German polar research, she said. "This day marks the dawn of a new era for scientists working in the polar ice."

Neumayer III is, as the name indicates, the third station in the Neumayer series. The stations are used primarily for long-term weather and climate observation. These observations then support research projects, such as IPCC analyses, by supplying data about the Antarctic region. Using the latest technology, scientists can conduct meteorological observations, measure environmental radiation, record changes in the Earth's magnetic field and in the atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases. The station can accommodate up to 40 scientists at any time.

Movements in the ice
With a planned service life of between twenty-five and thirty years, the new station is expected to operate for significantly longer than its predecessors, thanks primarily to a radically new construction. While the Neumayer Stations I and II were built using a "tube" design, the new station stands on stilts. Little by little the old stations sank deeper and deeper into the snow and were deformed by self ice movement. Neumayer II has already sunk twelve metres into the ice.

Neumayer III, by contrast, can pull itself out of the ice, explained Professor Jürgen Mlynek, President of the Helmholtz Association. The station stands on hydraulic stilts, which allow the station to move upwards with the ice. The stilts are freed one after another from the ice, the holes refilled, and the stilts lowered again.

The articulated stilts also make it possible to offset any movements of the foundations in the ice. Distortions are caused by the different rates of growth in the various layers. The station is, after all, built on the ice and not on land.

A focus on climate research
Professor Peter Lemke, Head of the Climate Sciences Research Division at the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), believes that the latest findings in the field of climate research will make the station increasingly important.

"Neumayer III is the key precondition to allowing us to guarantee the infrastructure needed by top research scientists in Germany," concurred Annette Schavan.

The 40 million euros that the new station has cost are a good investment then, in line with the government's High-Tech Strategy for Germany. The federal government has put up 90 percent of this sum, with the remaining 10 percent shared between the states of Bremen, Schleswig-Holstein and Brandenburg.

Contact
German Press and Information Office
http://eng.bundesregierung.de/Dorotheenstr. 84
D-10117 Berlin
Tel.: 03018 272 - 0
Fax: 03018 272 - 2555
E-Mail: InternetPost@bundesregierung.de

| German Press Office
Further information:
http://www.kooperation-international.de
http://eng.bundesregierung.de/

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Turning the Climate Tide by 2020
29.06.2017 | Potsdam-Institut für Klimafolgenforschung

nachricht Predicting eruptions using satellites and math
28.06.2017 | Frontiers

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making Waves

Computer scientists use wave packet theory to develop realistic, detailed water wave simulations in real time. Their results will be presented at this year’s SIGGRAPH conference.

Think about the last time you were at a lake, river, or the ocean. Remember the ripples of the water, the waves crashing against the rocks, the wake following...

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Nanostructures taste the rainbow

29.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New technique unveils 'matrix' inside tissues and tumors

29.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Cystic fibrosis alters the structure of mucus in airways

29.06.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>