New special issue of AMBIO: future state of the Baltic Sea marine environment

The research project ECOSUPPORT focused on how the marine environment in the Baltic Sea might change due to the combined impact of climate change and nutrient discharge. Some of the project’s findings are presented in the new issue of AMBIO from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

The Baltic Sea is sensitive to environmental pressure. Today it is seriously affected by eutrophication with resulting large summer-time blooms of cyanobacteria and oxygen depletion in the deep areas. The BONUS program-funded research project ECOSUPPORT was coordinated by the research department at SMHI and included eleven research institutions from seven Baltic Sea countries, during 2009-2011.

The project studied how the Baltic Sea marine environment has developed under the impact of increased anthropogenic pressure, from the 1850s up until today. Scenarios for the future state of the Baltic Sea (until year 2100) were based on scenarios for global climate change from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Nutrient load scenarios were conducted including the implementation of the HELCOM convention’s Baltic Sea Action Plan.

Support for decision makers

The project developed a tool based on state-of-the art models to visualize the effect of abatements under the impact of climate change. The tool provides decision support for policy makers.

The project showed that the increased mean air temperature and increased precipitation in the Baltic Sea region have an impact on the marine environment that most likely will act to enhance the eutrophication. Therefore the project concludes that it will be of even more importance to implement nutrient load reductions to the Baltic Sea.
 

AMBIOs specialnummer om ECOSUPPORT

Read more about the results from ECOSUPPORT

Climate change increases eutrophication in the Baltic Sea(18 January 2012)