In 2021, geologists discovered an unusual row of stones, almost 1 km long, at the bottom of Mecklenburg Bight. The site is located around 10 kilometres off Rerik in 21 metres water depth. The approximately 1,500 stones are aligned so regularly that a natural origin seems unlikely. A team of researchers from different disciplines now concluded, that Stone Age hunter-gatherers likely built this structure around 11,000 years ago to hunt reindeer. The finding represents the first discovery of a Stone Age hunting structure in the Baltic Sea region.
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A large influx of saltwater into the south-western Baltic Sea is currently being detected. The autonomous measuring station operated by the IOW at the Darss Sill has been measuring a strong inflow of salty water throughout the water column since 20.12.2023, which is a comparatively rare occurrence. Over Christmas day, it will become clear whether the inflow is similar in scale to the major saltwater intrusion in 2014. Saltwater inflows are accompanied by oxygen-rich water that could aerate oxygen-poor, deeper basins in the Baltic Sea, which in turn prevents the formation of toxic hydrogen sulphide.
September 20, 2023 / Kiel, Germany. For her bachelor's thesis, Denise Otto studied the biogeochemical effects of floods on the soils of a coastal marsh. Today, the young scientist receives the Otto Krümmel Award 2023 in Kiel. Endowed with 1,500 euros, the prize is awarded annually by the “Society to Support GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel” for outstanding bachelor theses in marine research.
In recent decades, the world’s ocean has absorbed around 25 percent of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, thus significantly slowing down climate change. This natural climate service of the ocean could be boosted systematically by enhancing the CO2 uptake of the sea through human action. Relevant methods and the respective research are outlined in the brochure now published by the research mission CDRmare “Marine Carbon Sinks in Decarbonisation Pathways” of the German Alliance for Marine Research (DAM).
The water temperature at the bottom of the Bornholm Basin in the central Baltic Sea has risen faster in recent decades than at the surface. Warnemünde researchers have now been able to explain this unusual development with a temporal shift in the exchange of water between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. This leads - in addition to the rapid temperature increase in the surface water, which can be observed everywhere in the Baltic Sea and is due to global warming – to a temperature increase in the deep water, too. The research results have now been published in the renowned journal Geophysical Research Letters.
From water temperature to the regional hydrological cycle: the working group "Dynamics of Regional Climate Systems" at the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde has recently succeeded, with the help of regional climate models and the statistical analysis of long-term observations, in identifying a strong influence of the Atlantic on the Baltic Sea region behind the signal of climate change. For this purpose, they investigated the effects of the Atlantic Multidecadal Variability, a periodic variation of the surface water temperature of the North Atlantic, on the Baltic Sea. The results have now been published in the renowned journal npj Climate and Atmospheric Science.
The comprehensive collection of articles recently published in the international journal Earth System Dynamics documents the current state of knowledge of climate and Earth system research in the Baltic Sea region. The spectrum of topics ranges from the ecosystems of the Baltic Sea, to the influence of humans on the environment, to a detailed inventory of current knowledge on climate change and its impact, as well as the reliability of future scenarios.
On March 1, 2023, Oliver Zielinski becomes the new director of the IOW. The expert in environmental physics of aquatic ecosystems and intelligent technologies previously was Professor of Marine Sensor Systems at Oldenburg University, where he founded the Centre for Marine Sensor Systems at the Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment (ICBM) as well as the Competence Center “Artificial Intelligence for Environment and Sustainability” at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI).
Worldwide, research is warning that it will soon be impossible to curb man-made climate change to a point where the internationally agreed climate targets can be met. Even a drastic reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions implemented immediately is no longer sufficient, but will have to be supplemented by additional removal of CO2 from the atmosphere. This is the background for the 2nd annual conference of the research mission CDRmare of the German Marine Research Alliance (DAM), which starts today in Stralsund.
Ship exhausts generated over the heavily trafficked Baltic Sea affect the marine environment and human health. Within the “PlumeBaSe”* project, researchers from the IOW, the University of Rostock and the Charles University in Prague are now investigating how the emitted pollutants spread above and in the sea, how they change in the air and in the water, and what can be inferred from this for improved exhaust gas cleaning.