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 NASA sees the end of ex-Tropical Cyclone 02W
21.04.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht New research unlocks forests' potential in climate change mitigation
21.04.2017 | Clemson University

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

Im Focus: Quantum-physical Model System

Computer-assisted methods aid Heidelberg physicists in reproducing experiment with ultracold atoms

Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...

Im Focus: Glacier bacteria’s contribution to carbon cycling

Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.

A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New quantum liquid crystals may play role in future of computers

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A promising target for kidney fibrosis

21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine

Light rays from a supernova bent by the curvature of space-time around a galaxy

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>