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This page contains latest news regarding the institute. Some entries are only available in German.


Submesoscale dynamics in the heart of the Baltic Sea: High-resolution model reveals new insights

With the help of highly resolved realistic model simulations physicists at the IOW have succeeded in depicting the so-called submesoscale dynamics in the Eastern Gotland Basin – the deepest of the large basins of the central Baltic Sea. Thus, the researchers gained the opportunity to investigate these highly dynamic phenomena, which – although being known for decades through satellite images – are up to now only scarcely studied and poorly understood because of their small size and short-lived nature.

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

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. For individual Baltic Sea regions, they determined an earlier visibility of changes than in others. They recommend intensifying observations there.

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Microplastic pollution of the Baltic Sea: New insights into behaviour, sinks and reduction measures

In order to assess the impact of microplastics on the oceans, it is necessary to know their quantity and their behaviour in the sea. So far, this knowledge is still incomplete because of a high analytical effort and high costs. For the Baltic Sea, comprehensive calculations of microplastics emissions are now available for urban pathways. Together with 3D-model simulations they provide new insights into transport, behaviour and deposition of microplastics in the marine environment.

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Home run for the RV Maria S. Merian: Research vessel sets off towards the Baltic Sea ice for the “Deep Baltic” mission

From February 25 to March 23, 2021, a team of physicists and geologists from Warnemünde, Kiel and Szczecin will be underway in the northern Baltic Sea to investigate the dynamics of winterly deep water circulation. Besides recording the current hydrodynamic conditions near and under the sea ice of the Gulf of Bothnia, the program includes sedimentological and geophysical studies to investigate sediment erosion and deposition characteristics induced by deep-water movement. A further aim is to reconstruct the history of deep water circulation in the northern Baltic Sea during Holocene climate variations recorded in older sediments.

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In search of the “Golden Spike”: On the role of microplastics in defining the Anthropocene

In a recently published discussion paper, Juliana Ivar do Sul and Matthias Labrenz, environmental scientists at the IOW, focus on the topic of microplastics from a geological perspective. They discuss whether the omnipresent plastic particles could be used to identify the beginning of a new, not-yet formalised geological epoch, the Anthropocene, in geo-archives such as sediment cores. Moreover, microplastics could be used at a suitable location to establish the so called Golden Spike, which, by definition, is used in geology to document the beginning of an epoch, period or era.

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IOW operations during corona

IOW has adapted its operations to the current Corona situation as follows:

Many of our staff still work from home. Therefore, the best way to reach us is by telephone or e-mail.

In particular, we ask service providers or suppliers to contact their respective client at the IOW by either phone or e-mail. We ask for your patience in case of any delays in processing.

Access to the building for guests and students is only possible with explicit permission and by registration of contact details. In all public spaces of the IOW, the established distance and hygiene rules continue to apply, such as the wearing of protective medical masks.

The IOW maintains the right to reintroduce mandatory testing of visitors or to prohibit access altogether if the situation deteriorates. The institute management will announce this here.

Still, please feel free to contact us any time:

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Contact persons in all matters of press and public relation at the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research are


Dr. Kristin Beck
Tel.: 0381 5197 135


Dr. Barbara Hentzsch
Tel.: 0381 5197 102

Satellite image of the month

Satellite image of the month
Mean Sea Surface Temperature of Baltic Sea on 25.03.2019 produced from data of NOAA- and MetOp weather satellites.

read more in  >> satellite images