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The Greenland Ice Sheet is the largest continuous inland ice mass in the northern hemisphere, with an area of around 1.7 million sqkm and a thickness of up to 3000 m. What role does the Greenland ice sheet play in the climate system? How fast does the ice move and change, what is the role of the atmosphere and the interaction with the ocean? These are questions addressed within the national collaborative project GROCE (Greenland Ice Sheet Ocean Interaction) which has been funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research since 2017.


8 December 2021, online meeting

The 18th Arctic Dialogue was held on 8 December 2021 as a virtual meeting. The focus of the meeting, which was jointly organized with the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), was on collaboration with indigenous partners.

The publication about the ways of life Indigenous Peoples lead in the Arctic is the result of a collaborative project between the Saami Council and the German Arctic Office. It describes how Arctic Indigenous Peoples use Indigenous Knowledge as a generationally refined way of knowing to ensure the vivid development of cultures and livelihoods and how Indigenous Peoples have traditionally developed circular governance systems that sustainably care for the environment instead of dominating it.

31 May 2021, online meeting

The 17th Arctic Dialogue was held on 31 May 2021 as a virtual meeting. The main focus was on short reports of the institutions participating in the dialogue forum.

20 May 2021, Reykjavik

At the Arctic Council Ministerial on 20 May 2021, the Icelandic Chairmanship presented its achievements and handed the baton over to the Russian Federation, chairing the Council for the next two years. Germany has observer status on the Arctic Council and Foreign Minister Maas presented a video message.

8-9 May 2021, Tokyo

Following the first Arctic Science Ministerial in Washington 2016 and the second conference in Berlin 2018, the Third Arctic Science Ministerial was held in Tokyo in May 2021 as a hybrid meeting, organized jointly by Japan and Iceland. The most important outcome is a Joint Statement of Ministers, guiding the future international cooperation in Arctic research.

28 April 2021, Online

Once per year, the Federal Foreign Office and the German Arctic Office are jointly organizing a meeting with the German experts in the Working Groups and Expert Groups of the Arctic Council. The last meeting was held on 28 April 2021.

April 2021, Potsdam

Tourism in the Arctic and Antarctic has increased noticeably, especially in the last two decades. Our new Fact Sheet provides answers to the questions: how is tourism in the Arctic and Antarctic regulated, what makes the polar regions attractive as tourist destinations, what types of tourism are there in the Arctic and Antarctic and what are the impacts of polar tourism.

24 November 2020, Online

The Arctic Office and the Federal Foreign Office have jointly organized a virtual workshop with EU Ambassador Michael Mann, focusing on the process, aims and priorities of the new EU Arctic Strategy. The objectives of the workshop were to initiate an exchange with Michael Mann and to provide input to the EU Arctic Strategy from a German perspective.

23 November 2020, Online

The Arctic Office of the AWI and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) jointly organized a virtual seminar on 23 November 2020. The directors of the two institutes, Prof. Antje Boetius and Prof. Johan Rockström, presented keynote lectures on “Global Impacts of a Warming Arctic” and answered questions from the audience.

23 November 2020, Online

The 16th Arctic Dialogue was jointly organized by the Arctic Office and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) as a virtual meeting on 23 November 2020. The focus of the meeting was on Arctic research activities of AWI and PIK which were highlighted in two presentations: Prof. Stefan Rahmstorf (PIK) presented a research update addressing global impacts of Arctic climate change. Prof. Markus Rex provided a summary of the AWI coordinated MOSAiC Expedition which recently returned to Germany after one full year in the Arctic. 

November 2020, Potsdam

The Arctic island group Svalbard is a climate hotspot and an important centre for international and German polar research. Not least the 100th anniversary of the Svalbard Treaty, which regulates Norwegian sovereignty and the protection and use rights over the archipelago, and the many years of research by the Alfred Wegener Institute together with the French polar research institute IPEV in Ny-Ålesund are the reason for the present fact sheet.

August 2020, Potsdam

What is the geopolitical framework of the polar regions? Which socio-economic aspects are important in the polar regions and why is the Arctic warming faster than the Antarctic? These and other questions are addressed in our new Fact Sheet that was jointly prepared with AWI´s Climate Office.

15 June 2020, Online

The German Arctic Office at the Alfred Wegener Institute invited for the 15th Arctic Dialogue on the 15 June 2020.

32 participants joint the meeting to discuss measures to implement the German and EU Arctic guidelines as well as contributions from German polar and marine research as part of MARE:N to the most pressing social challenges in the Arctic.

May 2020, Potsdam

Who owns the Arctic? What role does Germany play in the Arctic? These and more questions will be answered in the new fact sheet of the German Arctic Office. Here you will get an overview about the legal system in the arctic region and the governance structures. 

February 2020, Potsdam

The workshop “Raising awareness and building capacity for science-based policy-making” in October 2019 aimed to provide training to early career researchers in science-policy communication. A workshop report is now available - answering the questions "How to define and reach your audience?", "How to translate your message?" and "How to design science to address stakeholder‘s/societal needs?".

15 January 2020, Potsdam

This session was focused on the communication of scientific findings to policy-makers and the dialogue between scientists and policy-makers that is required to identify policy needs and policy-relevant questions. The session was opened with a keynote presentation, followed by a panel discussion including scientists and policy-makers from Germany and the UK.

27 November 2019, Berlin

The German Arctic Office at the Alfred Wegener Institute in cooperation with the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy invited for the 14th Arctic Dialogue on the 27 November 2019.

Fifty participants jont the meeting focusing on economic activitites in the Arctic, as well as the contents of research in this area and the techonolgy transfer at the AWI.

7 November 2019, Berlin

We invite you to the symposium taking place on 7 November 2019. This half-day Symposium will present an overview of more than two decades of joint Russian-German research in the Arctic and provide an outlook into the future.

8-9 October 2019, Reykjavik, Iceland

The workshop "Raising awareness and building capacity for science-based policy-making" is organized by the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists, the German Arctic Office at the Alfred Wegener Institute and the Icelandic Center for Research, in cooperation with the German Embassy in Reykjavik and supported by the German Foreign Office. Application deadline is 31 May.

21 August 2019, Berlin

The Federal Government publishes Guidelines for the German Arctic Policy. Seven Federal Ministries developed the guidelines under the auspices of the Federal Foreign Office. Main topics are climate and environmental protection, the peaceful use and international cooperation, sustainable exploitation, as well as the support of indigenous' rights and the expansion of Arctic research.

5 June 2019, Berlin

In May 2019, the Chair of the Arctic Council was transferred from Finland to Iceland. To inform the German Arctic interested parties, the Arctic Office of the Alfred Wegener Institute has jointly organized a symposium with the Finnish and Icelandic embassies and the Foreign Office.

5 June 2019, Berlin

On 5 June the 13th Arctic Dialogue brings together German scientists and policymakers, focusing on research cooperations in the Arctic. The meeting was held in the Nordic Embassies in Berlin.

3 June 2019, Berlin, Germany

Marine expeditions have always filled the public imagination with discoveries and technological exploits. Nowadays, they play a crucial role in the understanding of climate change and of its effects on our ecosystems. This seminar aims at highlighting three major expeditions that call for a sustainable development and spread a message in favor of the protection of the oceans and of the climate.

7 May 2019, Rovaniemi, Finland


The Arctic Council Ministers met in Rovaniemi (Finland) on 7 May 2019 and passed the chairmanship of the Council from Finland to Iceland. For the first time in the history of the Arctic Council, the Arctic States could not agree on a joint “Ministerial Declaration”.

7 May 2019, Helsinki, Finland

"Continuing to pay close attention to the Arctic is necessary because what happens in the Arctic has direct consequences for the rest of the world", concluded the Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and highlighted the importance of international dialogue on a regular basis. The Munich Security Conference organized this Roundtable on Arctic Security. The German Arctic Office took part in this meeting.

26 April 2019, Bremen, Germany

We are pleased to invite you to the German Norwegian Ocean Forum 2019 (GNOF19) on Friday 26 April 2019 at 10 AM at the Übersee-Museum in Bremen.  

10 April, St. Petersburg, Russia

In April 3,600 participants joined the International Arctic Forum in St. Petersburg that focussed on topics of the Russian Arctic. The German Arctic Office was also part of the conference and gave an interview after the event.

20 February 2019, Potsdam, Germany

On 20 February the indigenous researcher Jocelyn Joe-Strack visited Potsdam to present her perspective on the contribution of indigenous knowledge to science at the seminar on Climate Change in the Arctic: How Indigenous Knowledge and Science Can Help.

20 February 2019


Albert Einstein Science Park
Alfred-Wegener-Institute A45
14473 Potsdam

January 2019, Massachusetts, USA

The "Agreement on Enhancing International Arctic Scientific Cooperation" is the third binding legal agreement among all eight Arctic States since 2011. The agreement was discussed during a dialogue panel about “Supporting Implementation of the Arctic Science Agreement” at the “Arctic Circle Assembly 2018”. The opening interventions of the panellists were now published in the Science Diplomacy Action.

The European Commission, the Republic of Finland and the Federal Republic of Germany are organizing the 2nd Arctic Science Ministerial (ASM2) in Berlin (Germany) on 25-26 October 2018 in Berlin. On behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the Arctic Office is supporting the organizers in the preparation of the Ministerial, in particular the Arctic Science Forum, with regards to the scientific contents.

December 2018, Potsdam

Before the new year is approaching, we want to present our team for 2019. As Heike Midleja is on parental leave, Lisa Grosfeld joined our team at the German Arctic Office. She takes over Heikes responsibilities and project management tasks.

21 November 2018, Berlin, Germany

Twice a year, the German Arctic Office, in cooperation with a host Ministry, organizes the Arctic Dialog covering current issues related to policy and research in the Arctic. The 12th Arctic Dialog, focusing on environmental protection in the Arctic, was held at the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety in Berlin on 21 November 2018. (-short report in German only-)

1-2 November 2018, Rovaniemi

At the Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting on 5-6 May 2019, Iceland will talk over the Chairmanship of the Arctic Council from Finland. Iceland´s Preliminary Chairmanship Program “Together Towards a Sustainable Arctic” was presented at the Arctic Council Senior Arctic Officials meeting in Rovaniemi, Finland on 1-2 November 2018.

25 - 26 October 2018, Berlin, Germany

The second Arctic Science Ministerial (ASM2) was organized by the European Commission, the Republic of Finland and the Federal Republic of Germany on 25-26 October 2018 in Berlin (Germany). On behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the German Arctic Office supported the organizers in the preparations of the Ministerial with regards to the scientific contents and designed in particular the Arctic Science Forum.

October 2018, Reykjavik
December 2018, Seoul

The Arctic Circle is the largest network of international dialogue and cooperation on the future of the Arctic. The German Arctic Office participated in the 2018 Assembly in Reykjavik (Iceland) and the Forum in Seoul (Korea) and contributed to the program.

October 2018, St. Petersburg

The anniversary was celebrated with a scientific symposium and a festschrift summarizing the history of 20 years of Russian-German LENA Expeditions and providing colorful insights into individual expeditions and research findings.

The Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF), the biodiversity working group of the Arctic Council, in partnership with the Ministry of the Environment, Finland, is organizing the Arctic Biodiversity Congress 2018 to promote the conservation and sustainable use of Arctic biodiversity. The Congress is relevant to all who wish to make specific and significant contributions to the conservation of Arctic biodiversity through dialogue among scientists, Indigenous peoples, policy-makers, government officials, industry, students, and civil society. The Congress will take place in Rovaniemi, Finland on 9-12 October 2018.

26 June 2018, Berlin, Germany

Twice a year, the German Arctic Office, in cooperation with a host Ministry, organizes the Arctic Dialog covering current issues related to policy and research in the Arctic. Representatives of relevant German Federal Ministries, research institutes and NGO’s attend the meetings. The 11th Arctic Dialog, focusing on Arctic Security, was held at the Federal Ministry of Defence in Berlin on 26 June 2018.

(-short report in German only-)

POLAR2018 was a joint event of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) and the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC). The SCAR meetings, the Arctic Science Summit Week (ASSW) and the Open Science Conference were hosted by the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL) under the patronage of the Swiss Committee on Polar and High Altitude Research.

31 January - 1 February 2018, Hannover

The Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) organized in cooperation with the German Arctic Office at the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, the Institute of Advanced Sustainability Studies e.V. and the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel a Workshop on „Geoscientific Contributions for a Better Understanding of the Arctic System".

Arctic Frontiers is an international arena on sustainable development in the Arctic. The conference addresses the management of opportunities and challenges to achieve viable economic growth with societal and environmental sustainability. Arctic Frontiers brings academia, government and business together to create a firmer foundation for decision-making and sustainable economic development in the Arctic.

"Arctic Strategies 2017" offers an overview and an introduction to the Arctic strategies of the member and observer states of the Arctic Council. This introduction was commissioned in partnership with the German Arctic Office. The policy paper is a scientific publication, the opinions expressed in the paper are the author's own and do not reflect the view of the German Arctic Office.

The ArcticNet Network of Centres of Excellence is organizing the International Arctic Change 2017 Conference, which will bring together leading Arctic researchers, graduate students, Northern community representatives, government and industry partners and stakeholders from all fields. With over 1500 participants expected to attend, Arctic Change 2017 will be one of the largest trans-sectoral international Arctic research conferences ever held in Canada.

The Arctic Circle Assembly, the largest annual international gathering on the Arctic, took place in Reykjavik (Iceland) on 13-15 October 2017. The German Arctic Office participated in the Assembly and contributed to a number of events and sessions.