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Press Release Archive


Energy crisis in Baltic cod and co.: How eutrophication and climate change alter food webs in the Baltic Sea

The eastern Baltic cod stock is in crisis since years. Despite historically low fishing pressure, it is not recovering. A conclusive explanation for this is still lacking. Scientists from the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde and the Thünen Institute of Baltic Sea Fisheries now proved for the first time that the food web for cod has lengthened in Baltic Sea regions with large-scale blooms of filamentous blue-green algae, which increasingly occur due to eutrophication and climate change.


From knowledge to action: “10 Must Knows” as a guide to preserving biodiversity

From as yet undiscovered biodiversity to resilient forests and the impact of food consumption on nature: 64 experts have now published their knowledge and recommendations in the form of “10 Must Knows from Biodiversity Science” for 2024. The Leibniz Research Network Biodiversity's new report provides policymakers and society with concrete ways to effectively conserve and sustainably use biodiversity at the local, national, and European levels and thereby also mitigate climate change.


Traces of Stone Age hunter-gatherers discovered in the Baltic Sea

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.


Strong saltwater inflow into the Baltic Sea detected

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.


How storm surges affect the coastal marshes of the Baltic Sea – Bachelor graduate Denise Otto receives Otto Krümmel Prize 2023

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.


CO2 removal with the help of the ocean: New brochure provides background knowledge for urgent climate policy decisions

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).


Model simulations find the cause of unusually high temperatures at the bottom of the Bornholm Sea

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.


The Baltic Sea Climate under the Influence of the Atlantic: New Findings on a "Long Distance Relationship”

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.


Baltic Sea region: New state of the art reports on climate and Earth system research

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.


Oliver Zielinski becomes new IOW director

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).