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25.05.2012 | Greenland's current loss of ice mass

25.05.2012|Potsdam:
The Greenland ice sheet continues to lose mass and thus contributes at about 0.7 millimeters per year to the currently observed sea level change of about 3 mm per year. This trend increases each year by a further 0.07 millimeters per year. The pattern and temporal nature of loss is complex. The mass loss is largest in southwest and northwest Greenland; the respective contributions of melting, iceberg calving and fluctuations in snow accumulation differing considerably. This result has been published by an international research group led by the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences in the latest issue of Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 1 June 2012. The result was made possible by a new comparison of three different types of satellite observations: measurements of the change in gravity by changes in ice mass with the satellite pair GRACE, height variation with the laser altimeter on the NASA satellite ICESat and determination of the difference between the accumulation of regional atmospheric models and the glacier discharge, as measured by satellite radar data.

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09.05.2012 | Tons of equipment for nanograms of science

09.05.2012|Potsdam:
On Wednesday, 9th May 2012, a special truck with air suspension will load a 1 ton heavy secondary ion mass spectrometer (SIMS) of the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences which will then transport it to the Helmholtz Centre Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR). This event marks the beginning of a close cooperation between the two Helmholtz sister institutions in Potsdam and Dresden, which will also in future include other Helmholtz research centres and universities.

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06.05.2012 | Climatic effects of a solar minimum

06.05.2012|Potsdam:
An abrupt cooling in Europe together with an increase in humidity and particularly in windiness coincided with a sustained reduction in solar activity 2800 years ago. Scientists from the German Research Centre for Geosciences GFZ in collaboration with Swedish and Dutch colleagues provide evidence for a direct solar-climate linkage on centennial timescales. Using the most modern methodological approach, they analysed sediments from Lake Meerfelder Maar, a maar lake in the Eifel/Germany, to determine annual variations in climate proxies and solar activity.

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24.04.2012 | Rapid tsunami warning by means of GPS

24.04.2012|Potsdam:
For submarine earthquakes that can generate tsunamis, the warning time for nearby coastal areas is very short. Using high-precision analysis of GPS data from the Fukushima earthquake of 11 March 2011, scientists at the German Research Centre for Geosciences GFZ showed that, in principle, the earthquake magnitude and the spatial distribution can be determined in just over three minutes, allowing for a rapid and detailed tsunami early warning.

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17.03.2012 | Gravity is climate

17.03.2012|Potsdam:
How much ice is Greenland is really losing? - Movement in the Earth's mantle? - Enough water for all? For the first time, the melting of glaciers in Greenland could now be measured with high accuracy from space. Just in time for the tenth anniversary of the twin satellites GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) a sharp image has surface, which also renders the spatial distribution of the glacial melt more precisely. The Greenland ice shield had to cope with up to 240 gigatons of mass loss per year between 2002 and 2011. This corresponds to a sea level rise of about 0.7 mm per year.

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13.01.2012 | Drilling around the globe

13.01.2012|Potsdam:
On 15 January the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program ICDP heads into a new year. About a dozen proposals for drilling projects to explore our planet have been filed for the year 2012. The topics cover a wide range of research projects, ranging from earthquake research through paleao -climate research to the exploration of natural resources. The planned drill sites span the globe, from Iceland to South Africa.

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04.01.2012 | Flipped from head to toe: 100 years of continental drift theory

04.01.2012|Potsdam:
Exactly 100 years ago, on 6 January 1912, Alfred Wegener presented his theory of continental drift to the public for the first time. At a meeting of the Geological Association in Frankfurt's Senckenberg Museum, he revealed his thoughts on the supercontinent Pangaea, which broke apart and whose individual parts now drift across the earth as today's continents. In 1915, he published his book "The Origin of Continents and Oceans". Its third edition in 1922 was translated into the languages of the world and today is considered the foundation stone of plate tectonics.

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