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Fact sheet on climate change and its impacts in the Baltic Sea region

Cover of the Climate Change in the Baltic Sea 2021 Fact Sheet

How does climate change affect the Baltic Sea and what are its possible impacts on the marine environment? The international research network Baltic Earth and the Helsinki Commission for the protection of the Baltic Sea marine environment, HELCOM, published a synopsis of current research results from about 100 researchers from the entire Baltic Sea region in the form of a compact fact sheet, which is available for download.


Climate Change in the Baltic Sea 2021 Fact Sheet

Information for decision-makers and for the general public
The comprehensive, but in the presentation very compact and readily understandable fact sheet summarises the earlier Baltic Sea climate reports from BalticEarth network, which are regional counterparts to the global IPCC report, and it further builds on this material with updated information on the relevant parameters.

“The fact sheet Climate Change in the Baltic Sea is primarily aimed at political decision makers and other stakeholders. It provides them with a science-based overview of how climate change is currently affecting the Baltic Sea and what we can expect for the future,” explains Markus Meier from the IOW and chairman of the Baltic Earth steering group, who, as a leading expert on climate change in the Baltic Sea region, developed the fact sheet together with an international group of experts.“But also interested citizens can use the fact sheet to get information on the subject,” adds Marcus Reckermann, head of the international Baltic Earth Secretariat at the Helmholtz Center Hereon.

Water temperatures and sea level rise, ice cover decreases

As evident trends, the fact sheet shows that water temperature and sea level in the Baltic Sea have been rising markedly for several decades now and will continue to do so until the end of the century. In addition, by that time, the Baltic Sea is expected to be mostly ice-free during normal winters – a change with far-reaching consequences for the marine ecosystem as well as for climatic feedback effects.

In total, the fact sheet contains information about 34 parameters. Ranging from air and water temperature to marine and coastal ecosystem services, these are grouped into several categories: energy cycle, water cycle, carbon and nutrient cycles, sea level and wind, biota and ecosystems, human activities, and services. Furthermore, an important part of the information provided by the fact sheet are assessments of confidence levels, a measure of how certain - based on current research facts - the experts can be about the various predictions.

Around 100 scientists from the entire Baltic Sea region especially formed an expert network to develop the climate change fact sheet. The plan is to provide an update every seven years.

For questions about the 2021 fact sheet "Climate Change in the Baltic Sea" please contact:
Prof. Dr. Markus Meier | | Phone: +49(0)381 – 5197 456

IOW press contacts:
Dr. Kristin Beck | | Phone: +49(0)381 – 5197 135
Dr.Barbara Hentzsch | | Phone: +49(0)381 – 5197 102

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