With the return of the Polarstern, the largest Arctic expedition of all times has come to a successful end. For more than a year, the German research icebreaker travelled in 5 cruise legs with more than 400 people from 20 countries to investigate the epicentre of climate change more precisely than ever before. At the end of the expedition, which cost around 140 million euros, the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), came to a positive conclusion: despite all the unforeseeable difficulties, it had succeeded in advancing knowledge about the Earth’s climate system and its changes by a decisive step.
From Leipzig’s point of view, the complex project was also successful: all 7 participants from the Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research (TROPOS) and the Leipzig University are back in good health and with valuable climate data. Two measurement programmes that are central to research into