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Spotlight

Microplastics in the Sea

Alarming news about the growing littering of the seas and the omnipresence of microplastics trigger the public concern. Marine scientists are working with special emphasis to answer open questions related to this highly topical environmental issue. At the IOW, we investigate

• whether microplastics might serve as an ideal transportation vehicle for pathogenic germs

• how methods to determine microplastics, which today are still very time-consuming, can be improved

• which are the sources and pathways of microplastics into the sea.

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Baltic Sea ‘dead zone’ development, 1969 – 2015: IOW publishes detailed map material based on long-term data

Oxygen minimum zones caused by intense microbial degradation processes of organic matter are a characteristic feature of the Baltic Sea. The hostile living conditions of these so-called ‘dead zones’ become even more pronounced, when toxic hydrogen sulphide is produced by bacterial activity. To visualise the spatial and temporal distribution and dynamics of these areas, IOW now has published in the 100th issue of its journal “Marine Science Reports” a unique collection of over 250 maps covering data of more than four decades.

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The „Altona Declaration“: German coastal research presents future concept

42 German research institutions together with numerous stakeholders intensively cooperated over a two-year period to develop a research agenda for the coming decade. Highlight of the agenda process was the symposium “Coast 2025” in April 2015 in Hamburg-Altona. On October 6, the resulting “Altona Declaration” was presented to representatives of the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) in Berlin.

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BACC II report: Up-date on Baltic Sea climate change research

In April 2015, the Second Assessment of Climate Change for the Baltic Sea Basin (BACC II) was published by the BACC II Author Team chaired by the International Baltic Earth (former BALTEX) Secretariat at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht. IOW researchers also contributed significantly.

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Record setting 2014

On the basis of a 25 year series of daily satellite data on the Baltic Sea´s sea surface temperate (SST), the year 2014 develops to be the warmest of this period. In the Western Baltic Sea all mean monthly values exceeded the long-term average values by 1 – 3 °C.

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Geschichtsbuch Meeresboden

In den Sedimenten der Ostsee schlummert ein wahrer Schatz aus Informationen über die Vergangenheit des "Meeres vor unserer Haustür".

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