© Hector Fellow Academy
12. July 2021
Sympo­sium 2021: Record­ing available

On July 8, this year's Hector Fellow Academy Sympo­sium was broad­cast live from Bremen, Germany

The event titled "Expedi­tions into the Unknown" gave an insight into two very differ­ent fasci­nat­ing habitats that are isolated, but where the dramatic conse­quences of climate change are already very recog­niz­able: Deep Sea and Arctic.

In her lecture, Prof. Dr. Antje Boetius (Profes­sor at the Univer­sity of Bremen and Direc­tor of the Alfred Wegener Insti­tute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research in Bremer­haven) dived into the diver­sity of life forms and seascapes hiding in the deep sea and explored the functions this hardly explored world has for the earth and life.

In the lecture by Prof. Dr. Markus Rex (head of the Arctic expedi­tion MOSAiC and the depart­ment of atmos­pheric physics at the Alfred Wegener Insti­tute), the journey contin­ued above the water surface into one of the coldest regions on earth: His lecture reported on the largest Arctic expedi­tion to date, MOSAiC. In October 2019, the research icebreaker Polarstern allowed itself to be frozen solid in the Arctic sea ice, in order to drift through the central Arctic for an entire year using only the force of natural ice drift. The results are fasci­nat­ing, but also fright­en­ing, as they already reveal the conse­quences of climate change.

Despite dealing with threat­en­ing prospects, the core message of the evening was an optimistic one that empha­sized the need for action. Markus Rex pleaded for using the "short window of oppor­tu­nity to still save the Arctic summer ice" to prevent fatal chains of events in the climate system. Antje Boetius stressed the impor­tance of joint action: "Only cohesion will get us further. Sharing knowl­edge and looking ahead to conquer the future. That would be my wish."

Science journal­ist and televi­sion presen­ter Dirk Steffens, who has won several awards for his science, nature and travel formats, moder­ated the event.

Please note that Prof. Dr. Rex's lecture is only avail­able until July 16, 2021.