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Sea grass is no patent solution for climate change

Regenerating sea grass beds in coastal waters aims at removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to fight climate change. However, tropical sea grass beds can release more carbon dioxide than they absorb. This was shown in a study by an international research team led by biogeochemist Bryce Van Dam from the Helmholtz Centre Hereon, in which also scientists from the IOW participated.

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A Threat to the Baltic Sea? Long-term development of pollution by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are widespread, highly toxic and often carcinogenic environmental pollutants. Marion Kanwischer from the IOW and her team have studied the long-term development of PAH pollution in the Baltic Sea. Although the overall contamination has eased in recent years, PAHs still pose a toxicological threat to the Baltic Sea. Traffic emissions are a major contributor to the current PAH pollution.

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The German sea shells – New publication presents an extensive documentation of mussels living in German sea areas (and beyond)

Michael L. Zettler, senior scientist at the IOW, has been researching the occurrence and living conditions of the inhabitants of the seabed of the Baltic Sea and other seas – the so-called zoobenthos – for many years. Now he has contributed his profound expertise to a monograph on the marine bivalves of Germany, thus closing, together with co-author Axel Alf, a gap in the renowned series “Die Tierwelt Deutschlands”.

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Major Baltic Inflows can cause just minor and only temporary improvements of the Baltic Sea´s state of eutrophication

With detailed analyses of water and sediment samples from the Gotland Basin, geoscientists from the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research succeeded in tracing the geochemical processes, which followed the Major Baltic Inflow in 2014/2015. Their conclusion: even very large amounts of oxygenated waters cause only small and temporary improvements of the nutrient situation in the central Baltic Sea.

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Bottom trawling in marine protected areas of the Baltic Sea: IOW launches expedition to study the impacts

On June 2, 2021, a two-week ship expedition led by the IOW will set out to marine protected areas in the Fehmarnbelt and the Oderbank. The aim of the research cruise is to carry out a comprehensive survey of the seabed’s condition, which, in addition to geophysical and geochemical properties, for the first time also includes the entire near-bottom food web – ranging from bacteria to fishes. The cruise is part of the pilot missions of the German Marine Research Alliance to investigate the impact of bottom trawling on marine protected areas in the North and the Baltic Sea.

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Focus

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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Media and public relation contact:

 

Dr. Kristin Beck
Tel.: 0381 5197 135

 

Dr. Matthias Premke-Kraus
Tel.: 0381 5197 102

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