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The work of the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) concerns the ocean-ice-atmosphere system and the communities and geological history of the Polar Regions. The main page has links to AWI research, general information, Click and Learn educational pages for children (with notable sections on sea-ice and animal migrations), and information on the Institutes Ships and Stations. The majority of the site explores the four main research branches - Pelagic Ecosystems, Climate Systems, Benthic Ecosystems, and Geosystems - through project descriptions, progress reports, and an abundance of scientific visualizations. The Pelagic Ecosystems division studies such topics as global carbon cycles, sea ice dynamics, vertical particle fluxes in the Polar Regions, plankton phylogeny, genetics of toxic algae, marine bacteria, anthropogenic chemical tracers, biogeochemical cycles, biooptics, and diatom ecology. Researchers in the Climate Systems division conduct surveys and derive models relating to oceanic and polar circulation patterns and their influence on global climate. Of particular interest to them are stratospheric ozone, tropospheric aerosols, and natural climate variability. The Benthic Ecosystems division concerns itself with ecological, physiological and ecotoxicological topics in coastal and shelf waters. Central themes are coastal ecosystem dynamics, biodiversity, population dynamics, macroalgae, biological indicator systems, ion regulation and metabolism, and toxic damage and carcinogenesis. Researchers in the Geosystems division study processes of deposition and geological transformation in the oceans, periglacial and permafrost dynamics, paleolimnology, bathymetry, marine bio-geochemical cycles, and polar paleoclimatology. Lastly are three additional multidisciplinary workgroups: the Deep Sea Research Group; the Solar Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation Group; and the Carbon Group.
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