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A “model message” to decision-makers: Continued nutrient reduction measures will reduce “dead zones” in the end

Oxygen deficiency zones in the Baltic Sea 1850-2098; red colours = O2 concentration below 2ml/l, where no higher life is possible.
Please click on image for animated model of the development of oxygen deficiency zones in the Baltic Sea 1850-2098 (Animation: IOW + SMHI / C. Dieterich, M. Meier, M. Gröger)

A team of climate modellers used an extensive multi-model ensemble to investigate the effects of climate change on the “dead zones” of the Baltic Sea. They showed that a reduction in the size of these areas can be achieved by 2100 if nutrient discharges are consistently reduced – despite climate change. Until then, however, the simulated changes are still within the range of natural variability, which – the authors also showed – represents the greatest uncertainty of future scenarios for the time being. For individual Baltic Sea regions, they determined an earlier visibility of changes than in others. They recommend intensifying observations there.

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