Alfred Wegener Institut

As the Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, the Alfred Wegener Institute is primarily active in the cold and temperate regions of the world. Working together with numerous national and international partners, we are actively involved in unravelling the complex processes at work in the “Earth System”. Our planet is undergoing fundamental climate change; the polar regions and the oceans, which play central roles in the global climate system, are in flux. How will planet Earth evolve? Do the phenomena we’re observing represent short-term fluctuations or long-term trends? Polar and marine research has always been a fascinating scientific challenge; today it is also research into the future.

Facts and figures

Year Established 1980
Total Number of Staff 1207
Number of Academic Staff 443
Number of Students 218
Focus Areas

The research programme "Marine, Coastal and Polar Systems” pools the scientific expertise of the AWI in regard to all geo-scientific, biological and climatological research themes in the Polar Regions, the Arctic Ocean and the Coastal and Shelf Sea Regions of the North Sea. The subtitle of the research programme "Polar regions And Coasts in the changing Earth System" (PACES II) refers to activities of observing, analysing, modelling and predicting natural variations and anthropogenic impacts on the Earth System. The research programme focuses on four topics which are subdivided in three to six work packages. Within these topics and work packages, scientists of the three disciplines geo- bio- and climate sciences work complementarily together on interdisciplinary themes:

-Changes and variability in Arctic and Antarctic

-Fragile coasts and shelf sea

-The earth system from a polar perspective: Data, modelling and synthesis

-Bridging research and society - products, tools and climate services

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