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More precise sensors to identify ocean acidification in the Baltic Sea


The new European project PINBAL aims at the development of a spectrophotometric pH-measurement system for monitoring in the Baltic Sea

Today the European project PINBAL started with a kick-off meeting at the Leibniz Institute of Baltic Sea Research in Warnemünde (IOW).

The four participating partners of the project met to organize the next steps for project implementation. Beside the IOW, which is also responsible for the project coordination, the University of Gothenburg, the Institute of Oceanology in Sopot and the enterprise CONTROS Systems and Solution participate in PINBAL.

Since the beginning of the industrial era a considerable part of the increasing CO2 emissions dissolved into the ocean. As a result the pH value of the World´s Ocean has been decreased by 0.1. The International Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) considers the pH value to be decreased from 8.1 today to 7.7 in 2100 with severe consequences for the marine environment if the CO2 production follows a “business as usual” scheme.

For the Baltic Sea with its variable salinity, high concentrations of organic substances and the occurrence of hydrogen sulfide in the deep waters there are no suitable measuring methods up to day, to detect longtime variations. The PINBAL project group wants to bridge this gap.

Beside the monitoring demands, there is a strong interest of basic research, too, in such a development of a highly precise measuring method for the determination of the pH value in order to improve the option for investigating the Baltic Sea carbon dioxide turnovers.

Gregor Rehder, project coordinator and marine chemist at the IOW, describes the aims of the project. ”We want to develop a reliable and highly precise system to be deployed on so called voluntary observing ships (VOS).”

In recent years these VOS – cargo ships or ferries – have been equipped with automated measurement and sampling systems to create an efficient monitoring system for environmental parameters in surface waters of the Baltic Sea. They shall be the carrier of the future development as well.

PINBAL will receive funding for the next three years from BONUS (Art 185) funded jointly from the European Union’s Seventh Programme for research, technological development and demonstration, and from Baltic Sea national funding institutions. 


Prof. Dr. Gregor Rehder, Department of Marine Chemistry, Leibniz-Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde (IOW), (Phone: +49 381 / 5197 336, Email:

Dr. Barbara Hentzsch, Public Relation, IOW (Phone: +49 381 / 5197 102, Email:

Nils Ehrenberg, Public Relation, IOW (Phone: +49 381 / 5197 106, Email:

Dipl.-Phys. Peer Fietzek, CONTROS Systems & Solutions

Prof. Dr. Leif Anderson, University of Gothenburg

Dr. Karol Kulinski, Institute for Oceanology, Polish Academy of Science, Sopot

The IOW is a member of the Leibniz Association to which 89 research institutes and scientific infrastructure facilities for research currently belong. The focus of the Leibniz Institutes ranges from Natural, Engineering and Environmental Science to Economic, Social, and Space Sciences and to the humanities. The institutes are jointly financed at the state and national levels. The Leibniz Institutes employ a total of 17.200 people, of whom 8.200 are scientists, of which 3.300 are junior scientists. The total budget of the Institutes is more than 1.5 billion Euros. Third-party funds amount to approximately € 330 million per year.

Dr. Barbara Hentzsch | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
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