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Press Archives

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.

17.02.2021

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.

27.01.2021

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.

14.12.2020

First-time detection of glyphosate in the sea: IOW develops new method and successfully applies it to Baltic Sea samples

Glyphosate is one of the world’s most widely used weed killers. The disputed herbicide, which is suspected to be carcinogenic among other things, gets transported from the on-land application areas into rivers, which wash it into the sea. So far it was unclear, however, how much can be found in marine environments, because glyphosate and its metabolite aminomethylphosphonic acid could not be measured in saltwater due to methodological reasons. Marisa Wirth from the IOW has now developed a new method, with which both substances can reliably be measured in seawater and for the first time was able to detect glyphosate and AMPA in the Baltic Sea.

10.11.2020

Regional consequences of last glacial climate fluctuations in ultra-high resolution with the help of climate indicators

Using a sediment core from the Black Sea, Warnemünde geologists reconstructed together with an international team how the transition into the Greenland Interstadial 10 (GI10), a climate warming 41,000 years ago, affected the Black Sea region over the course of decades. The in-depth study was made possible by a precise synchronization with the ice cores and high resolution multi-proxy analyses. Since this detailed paleo study covers time scales comparable to those of the recent global warming, it contributes to the understanding of relevant processes.

23.09.2020

The long arm of the Atlantic: How the climate of Northern Europe is influenced from afar

Climate researchers at the IOW for the first time were able to show with the help of statistical analyses, how fluctuations in the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) affected the meteorological phenomenon of the North Atlantic Oscillation in the course of the last millennium. They also could establish a link between AMO and climate variables in the Baltic Sea region, such as the spread of sea ice, surface water temperature or river inflow.