Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New report consolidates knowledge on climate change in the Baltic Sea region

12.05.2015

The International Baltic Eath Secretariat at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht coordinates international science report on climate change in the Baltic Sea region

The Second Assessment of Climate Change for the Baltic Sea Basin (BACC II), a recently published report, serves as a revision and expansion of the 2008 edition of the BACC book.


Swedish west-archipelago near Marstrand

“The current publication for the Baltic Sea area is a regional variant on the global report published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC),” says Prof. Hans von Storch, Director of the Institute of Coastal Research at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht and initiator of the report.

The comprehensive scientific survey includes work from 141 scientists from twelve countries. The project team was coordinated by the International Baltic Earth Secretariat at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht and consists of meteorologists, hydrologists, oceanographers and biologists.
Warming continues

The current study takes into consideration observed climate changes for approximately the last two hundred years as well as possible changes that might occur by the year 2100. These projections are obtained from computer models. Warming air temperature in the Baltic Sea region has already been verified based on measurements, but the increase is seasonally and regionally different.

The most drastic recorded increase in warming to have occurred in the northern Baltic Sea region was 1.5 degrees Celsius between 1871 and 2011 during the spring seasons. This number is well above the global warming estimates of up to one degree Celsius documented in the last IPCC report.

Computer simulations show that air temperatures in the Baltic Sea region at the end of this century, compared to today, could rise by around four to eight degrees Celsius in winter and around 1.5 to four degrees in summer – depending on the model. The simulations indicate a possible rise in surface temperatures of approximately two degrees Celsius for Baltic Sea waters—and up to four degrees Celsius in the northern Baltic Sea basins.

This milder climate would therefore lead to a possible decrease in Baltic Sea ice cover by fifty to eighty percent. A general increase in precipitation is expected, particularly in winter and a decrease of up to forty percent could occur on the southern coasts in summer. A precise forecast, however, is impossible due to the range of variations between the various models.

The sea level rise in the Baltic Sea is closely coupled to the global sea level. This means a possible rise of approximately thirty to eighty centimetres in the Baltic Sea region by the end of the century. This rise is superimposed, however, by geological subsidence and uplift processes. Expected rises on the southern coasts (Germany, Poland) are expected to similarly reflect that of global predictions, but this rise is partly compensated for in the northern region by natural uplift of the landmass. Estimates from computer models, however, must be treated with caution. “Climate scenarios are plausible but are often simplified descriptions of possible futures. They are not definite forecasts," warns Hans von Storch.

Marine and land ecosystems react to changes

In addition to warming Baltic Sea waters, the expected reduction in salinity would have a considerable impact on Baltic Sea flora and fauna. The entire ecosystem, from bacteria to commercial fish species such as cod, would be affected. Scientists cannot, however, currently determine without a doubt if, and to what extent, salinity will decrease in the Baltic Sea. Oxygen-free zones are expected to expand in some deep Baltic Sea basins due to continuing eutrophication combined with warming.

Land vegetation would likely become more lush due to higher temperatures and increased CO2 availability. Spring might also arrive earlier. Plant growth could be limited however, particularly in heavily utilised agricultural areas in the southern parts of the region due to a possible increase in aridity. “The observed changes in the ecosystems can be attributed to an interwoven network of causes, of which climate change is only one,” says Dr. Marcus Reckermann, Director of the International Baltic Earth Secretariat at the HZG. He adds: “The scientific challenge is to untangle this network.”

Cooperation with HELCOM and contribution to other reports

As in 2008, the results of the latest publication also form the basis of the report by the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission (HELCOM). “HELCOM is the interface between science and environmental policy of the Baltic Sea nations, and the BACC report plays an important role in informing this policy,” says Marcus Reckermann. Further reports on regional climate change include the Hamburg Climate Report published in 2011 (established within the CLISAP Excellency Cluster at the University of Hamburg) and NOSCCA (North Sea Region Climate Change Assessment), a report to be released in 2016, which is also coordinated at the HZG and concerns the North Sea region.

he second BACC report, which has now been published, will be presented at the international "European Climate Change Adaptation Conference” (ECCA 2015) on the 14th of May in Copenhagen, where a panel of esteemed scientists and stakeholders will discuss the results.

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.hzg.de/public_relations_media/news/058989/index.php.en

Dr. Torsten Fischer | Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht - Zentrum für Material- und Küstenforschung

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Predicting eruptions using satellites and math
28.06.2017 | Frontiers

nachricht NASA sees quick development of Hurricane Dora
27.06.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supersensitive through quantum entanglement

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy under real ambient pressure conditions

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Mice provide insight into genetics of autism spectrum disorders

28.06.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>