AURORA BOREALIS: A European Research Icebreaker with Deep-Sea Drilling CapabilityThe properties of the polar oceans are currently subjects of intense scientific and environmental debate since they underlie rapid and dramatic changes. News about the shrinking of the Arctic sea-ice cover, potentially leading to an opening of sea passages to the north of North America and Eurasia, and of the calving of giant table icebergs from the of Antarctic shelves are examples of these modern changes. Europe has a particular interest in understanding the Arctic environment and its potential for change because many of its highly industrialized nations reach into high northern latitudes and because Europe is under the steady influence of, and in exchange with the Arctic environment. In addition, considerable living and non-living resources are to be found in the Arctic Ocean. Research in the polar regions can only be carried out by dedicated research vessels. Modern research vessels that are capable of penetrating into the central Arctic are rare. A new state of the art research icebreaker is therefore urgently required to fulfill the needs of European polar research. The AURORA BOREALIS will be an optimised science platform that will serve as the base for long, international and interdisciplinary year-round expeditions to the central Arctic Ocean.
AWI Organizations > Infrastructure > Operations and Research Platforms