For the first time, a German has taken part in a Russian drift expedition and has explored the atmosphere above the central Arctic during the polar night.
Jürgen Graeser, a member of the Potsdam Research Unit of the Alfred-Wegener-Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association, has just returned home to Germany. As a member of the Russian expedition NP 35 (35. North Pole Drift Expedition), which consisted of 21 persons, he has spent seven months on a drifting ice floe in the Arctic.
The 49-year-old scientific technician has gained observational data from a region, which is normally inaccessible during the Arctic winter and therefore widely unexplored. Ascends with a tethered balloon up to an altitude of 400 metres as well as balloon borne sensor ascends up to an altitude of 30 kilometres provided data which will contribute to ameliorate existing climate models for the Arctic.
In spite of its importance for the global climate system, the Arctic is still a blank on the data map. Up to now, continuous measuring in the atmosphere above the Arctic Ocean is missing. "We are not able to develop any reliable climate scenarios without disposing of data series with high temporal and local resolutions about the Arctic winter. The data which Jürgen Graeser has obtained in the course of the NP 35 expedition are unique, and they are apt to considerably diminish the still existing uncertainties in our climate models" said Prof. Dr. Klaus Dethloff, project leader at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research.Russian-German co-operation
Notes for Editors:
Your contact persons at the Research Unit Potsdam of the Alfred Wegener Institute are Jürgen Graeser (Tel: +49 (0)331/288-2111; e-mail: Juergen.Graeser@awi.de), Prof. Dr Klaus Dethloff (Tel: +49 (0)331/288-2104; e-mail: Klaus.Dethloff@awi.de), Dr Marion Maturilli (Tel: +49 (0)331/288-2166; e-mail: Marion.Maturilli@awi.de), Dr Annette Rinke (Tel: +49 (0)331/288-2130; e-mail: Annette.Rinke@awi.de) and Dr Markus Rex (Tel: +49 (0)331/288-2127; e-mail: Markus.Rex@awi.de).
Your contact person about the polar aircraft Polar 5 is Dr Andreas Herber (Tel: +49 (0)471/4831-1489; e-mail: Andreas.Herber@awi.de).
Your contact persons at the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute AARI in St. Petersburg are Dr Vladimir Sokolov (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Dr Alexander Makstahs (email@example.com, Tel: 007 812 352 3081).
Your contact person in the public relations department of the Alfred Wegener Institute is Dr Susanne Diederich (Tel: ++49-471-4831-1376, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) conducts research in the Arctic, Antarctic and in oceans of mid and high latitudes. The AWI coordinates polar research in Germany, and provides important infrastructure, such as the research icebreaker Polarstern and stations in the Arctic and Antarctic, for international science organisations. The AWI is one of 15 research centres of the 'Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft' (Helmholtz Association), the largest scientific organisation in Germany.
In the International Polar Year more than 50,000 scientists from over 60 countries investigate the polar regions. It is their aim to investigate the role of the Arctic and the Antarctic with regard to the Earth's climate and ecosystems. Germany has very good preconditions for research in the Arctic and in the Antarctic, having the worldwide most efficient research icebreaker Polarstern, several polar stations and two polar planes. In particular, Germany can contribute to the key issues: polar regions and climate change, shifting continents, venture into unknown regions, and development of innovative technologies.
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