Summer School in Cape Town
Curious about iceSummer School in Cape Town
What effects does climate change have on the ice masses in the marginal ice zone of the Antarctic and on which topics are currently being researched in the Antarctic? In order to answer these and other questions about the Antarctic and to give students from different countries the opportunity to better study the conditions in the Antarctic, an international Summer School was held at the UCT Cape Town from 22-28 January. Students and lecturers from the University of Duisburg-Essen were among the participants. The event was organized in cooperation between the University of Uppsala and the University of Cape Town.
The progress of climate change in the Arctic is widely reported in the media. Everybody knows the pictures of ice masses breaking and falling into the water at the North Pole, but what is the situation in the southern hemisphere? The Summer School in Cape Town gave 22 participants the opportunity to get to the bottom of these and other questions. The students had the opportunity to compare the differences in conditions between the Arctic and Antarctic. Over five days, insights were provided into important topics that are necessary to understand the marginal ice zone of the Antarctic. The Marginal Ice Zone is the transition between the open ocean and a closed ice cover. Topics included climate models, the interaction of ocean, ice and atmosphere, large and small scale simulations of sea ice dynamics, sea ice growth, predictions of iron development and algae growth. The different thematic blocks made it clear that these cannot be considered in isolation from each other, as each thematic area has complex interactions with the others. After the theories of the different areas were presented in the morning, in the afternoon there was the opportunity to do research on small projects. A highlight was the Hands-on in the polar laboratory of the University of Cape Town. The students measured temperature profiles and the elasticity modulus of the ice samples. The determined modulus of elasticity, which indicates the stiffness of a material, is necessary, among other things, to assess and simulate large ice fields in Antarctica. The Summer School builds on the existing cooperation between the participating universities, in the context of which researchers from the University of Duisburg-Essen have already participated twice in expeditions to the marginal ice zone of Antarctica. "We are pleased about the good cooperation with the University of Cape Town", said Professor of the Institute of Mechanics, Jörg Schröder. His colleague and head of the Institute of Materials Science Doru C. Lupascu added: "The Summer School offered students and lecturers the opportunity to intensively exchange views on Antarctic research across the continents".