Berlin (dpa) – During the one-year “Mosaic” expedition of the German research vessel “Polarstern” in the Central Arctic, the ice receded faster than ever since records began. In the summer of 2020, the ice only covered half the surface it had decades ago, said Markus Rex of the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) in Berlin, who was then at the helm of the expedition and made an assessment. provisional eight months after the end of the expedition.
At the same time, the ice was only half as thick as it was almost 130 years ago. In the fall of 2020, the ice sheet also closed much later than ever. “The long ice-free period in the summer allowed the ocean to absorb and store large amounts of heat,” Rex said.
The “Polarstern” had sailed for the Arctic from Bremerhaven in September 2019 and returned in October 2020. For ten months, the ship drifted across the docked Arctic Ocean to a huge layer of ice. . This allowed scientists to measure and document the entire ice cycle from freezing to melting for the first time. They hope that the data they have obtained will provide an important insight into the Arctic Ocean and global climate change.
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