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Press Archives

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.

07.09.2020

Marine fungi in focus: Excellent young researcher starts Emmy Noether group at IOW

On August 01, 2020, Isabell Klawonn, Ph.D., who is specialised in microbial interactions and element fluxes in marine ecosystems, started working at the IOW. She will establish a new research group at the institute to investigate the largely unknown role of marine fungi, aided by the prestigious Emmy Noether Programme for outstanding young researchers, which is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).

11.08.2020

Time traveling with biomarkers: Baltic Sea sediment archives reveal frequency of “blue-green algae” since 1860

Researchers from Warnemünde and La Jolla, California, have succeeded for the first time in reconstructing the history of blue-green algae blooms in the central Baltic Sea over the last 160 years by using biomarkers and a well-dated sediment core. This way, they extended the period, for which information on the frequency of blooms was previously available, well into the past. In the international journal “Biogeosciences” they discuss possible causes for the fluctuations they detected.

04.08.2020

To end the eutrophication of the Baltic Sea: Do the measures show effects?

Between 1995 and 2014, river discharges of the two main drivers of eutrophication, nitrogen and phosphorus, were significantly reduced in the western Baltic Sea. But are these measures also having an effect in the open Baltic Sea? The marine chemists of the IOW have not yet found any clearly discernible changes there. In a recently published study, they report on a method they used to track the fate of nutrients from river mouths into the Baltic Sea.

16.07.2020

Evaluation: Leibniz Association praises the IOW’s performance and recommends expansion of research with additional funds

The Leibniz Association senate concluded the regular evaluation of the IOW with a very positive assessment and recommends that the federal and state governments continue their joint funding of the institute. It states that the IOW has successfully advanced its scientific profile, focusing both on the unique ecosystem of the Baltic Sea and on more global issues such as climate change impacts, marine litter and biodiversity. The senate strongly supports the plan to expand the institute's technical and methodological spectrum through an additional 2 million euros per year in order to conduct more research on shallow coastal waters.

19.06.2020

Our “top athletes” on the seafloor: Hediste diversicolor, Arctica islandica, Echinocardium cordatum, Amphiura filiformis

A comparative study in four sea regions (German Baltic Sea, German North Sea, Belgian part of the North Sea and Eastern Channel) identified the organisms behind these Latin names as the most important actors in wide areas of the North Sea and the Baltic Sea in terms of bioturbation. They ensure that the bottom is supplied with oxygen, which triggers a chain of other vital processes. In different environments, only the ranking within this group changes. An international team led by the Warnemünde biologists Mayya Gogina and Michael Zettler now published the results. Using maps of the bioturbation potential, they defined areas of high ecosystem service particularly worthy of protection.