Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Mathematical model may result in better environment measures for the Baltic

25.10.2010
Eutrophication of the Baltic Sea has clear negative effects, such as dead bottoms and massive blooms of cyanobacteria. But high plankton production can also have positive effects on acidification. Researchers at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have shown that it is possible to work out the aggregate effects of various environmental measures.

“The environmental state of the Baltic Sea is affected by many different processes at the same time and on several different time scales. Mathematical models are the only tools that can determine the relative significance of such processes.

I have helped develop a mathematical model for the marine systems of the Baltic Sea. Modelling tools of this type can and should make a contribution as a basis for decisions on environmental measures in the area,” says Erik Gustafsson at the Department of Earth Sciences of the University of Gothenburg.

Since 1960 an average of 50 000 square kilometres of the deep water of the Baltic Sea has been characterised by a condition in which the level of oxygen is so low that higher life forms either abandon the area or suffocate. The area of oxygen-poor regions can vary significantly from year to year, but more than 100 years of measurements show that significantly better conditions prevailed overall in the deep water during the first half of the last century.

Oxygen conditions are governed both by natural processes and by human impact. Because of strong salinity stratification and limited water exchange through the narrow Danish straits, a large part of the deep water of the Baltic Sea is isolated for periods of time. At the same time, oxygen is consumed due to the decomposition of organic matter. As a result of human activities, the quantity of organic matter increased sharply during the second half of the 20th century.

“The overarching question in my thesis concerns the extent to which the deterioration in the environmental state of the Baltic Sea can be linked to changes in climate and to what extent the increased input of nutrients has influenced the situation.”

Model results show that natural variations in climate are of great significance for the oxygen status of the deep water of the Baltic Sea over a time scale of decades. On the other hand, no clear effect can be observed over longer time scales. The marked deterioration in oxygen conditions in the deep water during the 20th century is instead largely due to our inputs of nutrients to the sea.

In addition to the physical, chemical and biological processes which are crucial among other things for the plankton dynamics of the area, Gustafsson has included the marine carbon system in his model.

“This means that it is now possible to calculate long-term variations in acidity in the sea. My model thus makes it possible to compare future positive effects of reduced nutrient inputs to the damping effect of eutrophication on acidification. This is an important issue, as the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is expected to increase during the 21st century, and a sharply lowered pH may be of crucial significance to the ecosystem,” says Gustafsson.

For more information, please contact: 
Erik Gustafsson
Tel.: +46 (0)31 - 786 2877
E-mail: 
erikg@gvc.gu.se

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://hdl.handle.net/2077/22777

Further reports about: Baltic Sea Gothenburg biological process deep water sea snails

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Global threat to primates concerns us all
19.01.2017 | Deutsches Primatenzentrum GmbH - Leibniz-Institut für Primatenforschung

nachricht Reducing household waste with less energy
18.01.2017 | FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz-Institut für Informationsinfrastruktur GmbH

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>