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Press Archives

21.10.2021

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.

12.08.2021

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”.

15.07.2021

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.

01.06.2021

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.

19.05.2021

Vibrios and climate change: Can nature-based methods mitigate the potential threat in the Baltic Sea?

Vibrio bacteria, including species that are harmful to humans, are a natural component of Baltic Sea plankton. As a consequence of climate change, they may become more common due to rising water temperatures and thus an increasing health risk. The BaltVib project, coordinated by the IOW, is investigating whether certain plant and animal communities such as seagrass and mussel beds naturally reduce near shore Vibrio abundance and how this effect can be supported through actively shaping the marine environment.

03.05.2021

Travelling back in time to study phytoplankton of the past to explore the future of the Baltic Sea: PHYTOARK goes live

Climate change threatens marine biodiversity and thereby the stability of entire marine ecosystems. For phytoplankton, the impact of these changes can already be detected. By using state-of-the-art palaeoecology and biodiversity research methods, the new PHYTOARK research network will look back into 8,000 years of phytoplankton history archived in Baltic Sea sediments, to reconstruct responses to past changes of the environment due to climate fluctuations. The insights will be used to improve the assessment of impacts of present and future climate change.

12.04.2021

The Amazon and the sea: Expedition investigates matter fluxes and food webs in the world’s largest river plume

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.

10.03.2021

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.

04.03.2021

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.

25.02.2021

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.