Fields of Research and Research Focus

SMHIs oceanographic unit carries out research on the oceans role in nearly all aspects of human’s life. The main focus is set on the Baltic Sea, the North Sea and the Arctic, which together form one of the most complex and vulnerable oceanographic regions in the world.

The ocean research unit encompasses basic research as well as applied science with direct societal relevance. The outcome of the research enables SMHI to provide services directly to the public, but are also creating new knowledge directly applicable by other research groups or by the society.

The forecast of sea ice extension, of sea level high stands along the Swedish coast, as well as the potential for harmful algae and oxygen depletion in the deep Baltic Sea are examples of services that have been provided.

Another priority is to investigate the impact of anthropogenic influences in the Baltic Sea and North Sea region. The expected global warming, the threat of ongoing eutrophication as well as the intensive economic exploitation make this region highly vulnerable to climatic changes.

Being a global phenomenon with a large stochastic component, changes far remote from the region of interest can have large impact on local climate.  The focus for the research is therefore not only on Sweden and Europe. We also carry out research in the Arctic, the Black Sea, the Siberian shelves, and on global climate.

The research unit follows a comprehensive approach that combines the use of numerical models and direct oceanographic measurements. The model hierarchy encompasses models of differing complexity for the physical and ecosystem conditions from near the coast up to the open ocean. There is a continuously model development, and provided model and observational data sets are frequently used by a broad interdisciplinary and international the scientific community.