More DW Blogs DW.COM


Climate Change in the Arctic & around the globe

10 years French-German Arctic Station

The Awipev station in the “Blue House”, Ny Alesund

Congratulations to the team of the joint French-German Arctic research station in Ny Alesund, Svalbard. It is ten years since the German polar authority AWI (Alfred-Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research) and its French counterpart IPEV (Institut Polaire Paul Emile Victor) joined forces at the world’s northernmost research base.

The station was my first Arctic destination in 2007, so it has a special significance for me. During the IPY, I was involved in an international radio cooperation to report on polar science, which was how the Ice Blog was born.

Photo gallery from Ny Alesund, “From Pole to Pole”.

AWIPEV is the biggest of the research stations in Ny Alesund, and takes up to 150 scientists from France and Germany in the course of a year.

Equipment to measure ocean acidification await loading to Greenpeace ship Esperanza at Ny Alesund, 2010

Esperanza docked at Ny Alesund to pick up the “mesocosms” to monitor ocean acidification

I visited again in 2010 with a team looking at ocean acidification. Their equipment was transported up by the Greenpeace ship Esperanza, a “first” in terms of cooperation between scientists funded by the EU’s EPOCA programme and the environment group. Greenpeace offered the ship to help out when none of the scientific research vessels was available for the project.

The station has also just been the first to be officially approved by the climate data network GRUAN. Not a terribly attractive acronym, but definitely easier to say/write than the whole title: Global Climate Observing System Reference Upper Air Network. Basically, the idea is to standardize and the measurement of climate parameters around the world so that the figures are really comparable. It was initiated by the World Meteorological Organization, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, UNESCO, UNEP and the International Council for Science.

Keep up the good work everyone up there at AWIPEV.





April 29, 2013 | 2:55 pm