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Energy crisis in Baltic cod and co.: How eutrophication and climate change alter food webs in the Baltic Sea

The eastern Baltic cod stock is in crisis since years. Despite historically low fishing pressure, it is not recovering. A conclusive explanation for this is still lacking. Scientists from the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde and the Thünen Institute of Baltic Sea Fisheries now proved for the first time that the food web for cod has lengthened in Baltic Sea regions with large-scale blooms of filamentous blue-green algae, which increasingly occur due to eutrophication and climate change.

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Traces of Stone Age hunter-gatherers discovered in the Baltic Sea

In 2021, geologists discovered an unusual row of stones, almost 1 km long, at the bottom of Mecklenburg Bight. The site is located around 10 kilometres off Rerik in 21 metres water depth. The approximately 1,500 stones are aligned so regularly that a natural origin seems unlikely. A team of researchers from different disciplines now concluded, that Stone Age hunter-gatherers likely built this structure around 11,000 years ago to hunt reindeer. The finding represents the first discovery of a Stone Age hunting structure in the Baltic Sea region.

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Strong saltwater inflow into the Baltic Sea detected

A large influx of saltwater into the south-western Baltic Sea is currently being detected. The autonomous measuring station operated by the IOW at the Darss Sill has been measuring a strong inflow of salty water throughout the water column since 20.12.2023, which is a comparatively rare occurrence. Over Christmas day, it will become clear whether the inflow is similar in scale to the major saltwater intrusion in 2014. Saltwater inflows are accompanied by oxygen-rich water that could aerate oxygen-poor, deeper basins in the Baltic Sea, which in turn prevents the formation of toxic hydrogen sulphide.

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How storm surges affect the coastal marshes of the Baltic Sea – Bachelor graduate Denise Otto receives Otto Krümmel Prize 2023

September 20, 2023 / Kiel, Germany. For her bachelor's thesis, Denise Otto studied the biogeochemical effects of floods on the soils of a coastal marsh. Today, the young scientist receives the Otto Krümmel Award 2023 in Kiel. Endowed with 1,500 euros, the prize is awarded annually by the “Society to Support GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel” for outstanding bachelor theses in marine research.

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CO2 removal with the help of the ocean: New brochure provides background knowledge for urgent climate policy decisions

In recent decades, the world’s ocean has absorbed around 25 percent of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, thus significantly slowing down climate change. This natural climate service of the ocean could be boosted systematically by enhancing the CO2 uptake of the sea through human action. Relevant methods and the respective research are outlined in the brochure now published by the research mission CDRmare “Marine Carbon Sinks in Decarbonisation Pathways” of the German Alliance for Marine Research (DAM).

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New IOW research programme 2024 – 2033: “Perspectives of Coastal Seas”

Coastal seas with their habitat and species diversity as well as their ecosystem services are of paramount importance for our planet and human well-being. They are, however, under enormous pressure from pollution, habitat destruction and climate change. With a special focus on the Baltic Sea, the IOW's research programme “Perspectives of Coastal Seas” launched in 2024 provides new impulses for understanding, protecting and managing these vital marine ecosystems for the benefit of nature and humans. Marine observation is being strengthened by innovative methods and the Baltic Sea long-term monitoring program is substantially extended northwards; as a new tool, so-called “Baltic Challenges” make it possible to react quickly to newly emerging research topics.

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