At the moment, the GFZ is also working on new methods for data evaluation, primarily with the help of computer simulations.

At the moment, the GFZ is also working on new methods for data evaluation, primarily with the help of computer simulations.

Scientists have been able to prove with various studies that over 80 percent of all unrest states – this is what the researchers call it when magma collects or moves underground – does not lead to an eruption. Conversely, this means that less than 20 percent actually end up in volcanic eruptions. It is crucial for the researchers to find out why a volcano often calms down again. Only then are more precise early warnings possible.

The projects at the GFZ are about examining these processes in detail and developing methods for early warning. The researchers are faced with major problems: they often cannot get close to volcanoes; Ash often blocks the view of a volcano, falling rocks and pyroclastic currents – hot, glowing clouds that shoot down the slopes – quickly become life-threatening. For this reason, measuring methods from a safe distance in particular are now to be developed – be it from space or from unmanned drones.

Thanks to such data, the geoscientists want to recognize the harbingers of approaching volcanic eruptions in the future and determine the hazard potential during eruptions. At the moment, the GFZ is also working on new methods for data evaluation, primarily with the help of computer simulations. “The aim is to obtain the most detailed image possible of the earth and the changes in the substructure of volcanoes and to develop improved forecast models,” says Torsten Dahm, head of the Earthquake and Volcano Physics Section. Since Etna is one of the best-observed volcanoes in the world, Dahm assumes that the population can be warned of a dangerous eruption in good time.

Nevertheless, Etna is difficult to predict because the nature of its eruptions – sometimes with leisurely flowing lava, sometimes with violent explosions – is very diverse, emphasizes Walter. says the researcher. One reason is the sheer number of volcanoes: there are 1,500 active volcanoes worldwide. Many countries lack the know-how and the technology. After decades without a particular incident, it is often forgotten that a volcanic hazard persists – for example, the Icelandic Eyjafjallajökull, one of the most headline-grabbing volcanoes of the past few years, which erupted in 2010 after almost 200 years of dormancy.

The economic consequences cannot be precisely quantified to this day. The big impact of the relatively small volcano was surprising. Here, too, it was reinforced by the fact that magma hit ice and water. Above the volcano there is a glacier that melted ice, huge amounts of water evaporated and tore small ash particles up explosively. The volcanic ash clouds were hurled up to 10,000 meters high into the atmosphere and spread over an area of ​​over seven million square biology essay writing services

Strong winds could blow them far into Europe, which made the researchers all the more alarmed when signs increased in 2014 that an eruption was imminent at the Icelandic volcano Bardarbunga. Here, too, a phreatic explosion was likely, there is a mighty glacier, much thicker than at Eyjafjallajökull. In fact, the largest volcanic eruption in Europe ever recorded by modern monitoring systems: At around two cubic kilometers, its volume was around ten times larger than that of Eyjafjallajökull. At the Bardarbunga, an eruption under the glacier, hidden under up to 800 meters thick layers of ice, was first announced. The fact that the events of 2010 did not repeat itself was due to the fact that the magma did not rise perpendicular to the glacier, but horizontally formed a crevice that formed moved away from the ice sheet and headed north for 45 kilometers. Using computer simulations, the GFZ researchers were able to show that there was a direct connection: where the magma erupted, the ice sheet subsided.

The fact that the magma erupted next to the ice did not lead to the dreaded magma-water interaction as with Eyjafjallajökull. The fact that the ash cloud remained comparatively small, although the volume of the eruption was enormous, was initially interpreted as a lucky coincidence. However, recent studies show that such long movements of magma can be explained by the stress field in the earth’s crust. Now it is important to incorporate these findings into future forecast models. For further reading:, asc “It is the largest Arctic research expedition of all time: the icebreaker” “Polarstern” “is frozen in the ice Drifting through the Arctic Ocean for a year. The researchers on board want to understand the role the Arctic is playing in climate change. And they know: They don’t have a second chance for this expedition. Only a few dozen scientists live in Ny-Ålesund, Norway on that March day , one of the northernmost villages in the world, when a man was floating in the icy cold water in the fjord.

As if carried by a magic hand, his body remains on the surface. The man in the water is the Potsdam atmospheric researcher Markus Rex from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research (AWI). When he first came to this village on Spitsbergen 27 years ago, the fjord in which it now lies was still a landscape of ice and snow.

Rex often crossed them on skis or a snowmobile. But the fjord has not frozen over for about ten years. Expedition leader Markus Rex. (Photo: Alfred-Wegener-Institut / Esther Horvath (CC-BY 4.0)) After a few minutes, Markus Rex suddenly rowed his arms to the shore and dragged ashore. He enthusiastically approaches the group that has been watching him the whole time: “” It is, “” he shouts, “” This is the perfect survival suit for our expedition “” For what they are going to be they need the best equipment: wherever they want to go, the temperatures are much lower and the winds are much stronger.

On the evening of September 20th they will set sail with the icebreaker “Polarstern”. Your destination is the central Arctic.

There the ship will drift frozen in the ice along the North Pole for a year. Around 100 people from 17 nations will be on board, and the crew changes roughly every two months. The ship is transformed into a mobile polar station, powered solely by the force of nature of the sea ice. (Photo: Alfred Wegener Institute / Martin Künsting) “” The Arctic is the epicenter of global warming.

But unfortunately we don’t know very well what that will mean for us in the future, “says Rex. “This is because we hardly have any observations from the central Arctic, and almost none at all from winter.” “Rex is leading the Mosaic expedition, which brings a modern research icebreaker close to the North Pole in winter for the first time. The climate processes there are a piece of the puzzle that researchers are missing in order to make better predictions about global climate change. “” What climate change happens in the Arctic does not stay in the Arctic. It is also the big kitchen for our weather in Central Europe, “” he says. It is uncertain exactly where the ice drift will lead the ship. But one thing is already clear today: there will be no other comparable expedition. “We are probably the last generation to experience an Arctic all year round,” says Rex. “If things continue like this, in the second half of the century we can sail with a dinghy from the Port of Hamburg to the North Pole and open a bottle of champagne there.” “It should hardly stop with sailing dinghies: the first container ships are already crossing the Northeast Passage today on the way between Europe and Asia.

Another world is emerging at the North Pole, the conquering of which was previously unsuccessful, and nobody knows exactly how rapid warming will affect the ecosystem and the climate. In Ny-Ålesund, the group is meanwhile testing the construction of a gigantic tent, which is supposed to house a tethered balloon on the expedition. Verena Mohaupt is there. The physicist belongs to the generation of polar researchers who only know the fjord on the edge of the village as open water. Many of the threads of expedition logistics come together here, she selected a number of pieces of equipment, made plans, wrote manuals and organized training courses. “” When I had just accepted this job, I met Markus Rex for dinner in Bremerhaven, “” she recalls. “” At that time I hardly got to eat, instead the sides of my block filled up. “” She noted terms such as fuel depot and evacuation routes, as well as the names Fedorov, Makarov, Oden and Xuelong II – these are the names of the four icebreakers that supply the expedition and the participants should exchange.

At the end of the evening it was clear to her that she would be dealing with a logistical choreography that she had never seen the central Arctic before. A small research town on the ice was to be built around the “Polarstern” (Photo: Alfred Wegner Institute / Stephan Schön, Sächsische Zeitung) She always has to plan for unforeseen things: “” We can only decide a lot on site. “” By this place she means an ice floe, which at the beginning of the expedition is around 130 degrees east and 85 degrees Will be north. As soon as the expedition leader clears a place where the ship can be frozen and the captain puts the engines in idle, the most exciting part of the project begins. Within a few days, the scientists set up a small research city on the ice. It will be a constant race against time, because soon after arrival the sun hardly rises above the horizon until it finally gives way to the polar night. “” Everyone will have to help during construction.

We then drill holes, lay paths, pitch tents and lay power lines, “” says Mohaupt. Even today there is a kind of city map that suggests what will happen on the ice. Measurement stations are to rise up within a radius of several hundred meters around the ship. In winter there is even a runway on the ice, and the “Polarstern” becomes the starting point for research flights. The icebreaker becomes the center of a network of autonomous measuring stations that are up to 50 kilometers away. The Bremerhaven sea ice physicist Marcel Nicolaus designed the research camp on the drawing board.

A precise division of the area is crucial, he says. “” If no one stuck to certain paths and areas, we would no longer have any unused areas by summer at the latest “” – and untouched ice is important for research. In addition, there should be areas around the ship that are not illuminated so that biologists can examine the behavior of living beings in the dark, free from light pollution. Winter at the North Pole – it hardly gets any rougher. But the researchers are prepared for it. (Photo: Alfred Wegener Institute / Stefan Hendricks) The working conditions are getting tough. All participants trained under at least somewhat comparable conditions.

60 of them were on a course in Finland for two weeks – at the end of March, when the temperatures on the beach on the island of Hailoutu fell below minus 20 degrees Celsius. The program follows a strict routine: every morning after breakfast, participants go out on the nearby sea ice. As in an extensive circuit training session, they work through various stations: driving a snowmobile, measuring ice thickness, sawing ice holes and pulling ice cores. “” The participants in Finland not only learned a lot about working on the ice, “” says Marcel Nicolaus with certainty. “This is where the expedition really started for many.” “From that moment on, Mosaic was more than just reading tables, plans and e-mails. The questions the researchers want to pursue during the expedition are closely related connected. How exactly is the sea ice formed?

What happens when the ice layer tears open and the comparatively warm ocean water comes into contact with extremely cold air? What does the polar night do to the ecosystem before explosive new life emerges under the ice in spring? “Because we are looking at the bigger picture, this expedition will provide answers to one of the most important questions of our time – namely why the Arctic is a driver of global warming”, is how Markus Rex sums up the enormous claim The expedition starts on September 9th, it remains to be seen what the years of preparation have brought and how their plans will prove themselves in the relentless arctic reality.

Verena Mohaupt will know on the “” Polarstern “” loaded to the stop that the equipment – come what may – has to be sufficient for the next few months. A little later, Marcel Nicolaus will see from the railing what the ice camp has in common with his first sketches on calculation paper. And Markus Rex?

Perhaps he will write in his log that mankind has never been so close to deciphering the riddles of the central Arctic. Read more: This article first appeared on Source:, Sebastian Grote / “A look inside the quantum computer at Forschungszentrum Jülich. (Photo: FZ Jülich / Ralf-Uwe Limbach) They are supposed to raise the information age to a new level: Qubits. The tiny units are at the heart of quantum computers and at the same time have a wide range of uses. In Germany, too, people are working on the new technology.

The possibilities seem promising. The list of hoped-for miracles is long: a sensor that detects groundwater from orbit. A cap that reads minds. A computer that solves a task within minutes that even the largest supercomputers would need decades to complete.

All of this should be possible in the future thanks to quantum technology. Experts agree that it has what it takes to change everyday life. The human imagination quickly reaches its limits when it comes to effects from quantum physics. And yet: physicists can control individual atoms, electrons or light particles in their laboratories so precisely that super-fast computers, extremely precise sensors and secure communication channels can be built on them. The quantum computer is the most ambitious goal. It should be able to do everything that a normal computer can – only much faster.

Its strength arises from the “” qubit “”. Today’s computers use the so-called bit as the smallest processing unit. This can only have the value 0 and 1 in each case.