IOW Logo


BACC II report: Up-date on Baltic Sea climate change research

In April 2015, the Second Assessment of Climate Change for the Baltic Sea Basin (BACC II) was published by the BACC II Author Team. IOW researchers also contributed significantly.

BACC II report

The Baltic Earth Assessment of Climate Change (BACC) in the Baltic Sea region is an effort to establish what scientifically legitimized knowledge about climate change and its impacts is available for the Baltic Sea catchment. Observed past and projected future changes in atmospheric, hydrological, and oceanographic conditions are assessed, as well as the observed and potential impacts on the natural and socio-economic environments. The recently published BACC II report (Springer Open, 501 pages, ISBN-10: 3319160052, ISBN-13: 978-3319160054) is a comprehensive follow-up of the first BACC assessment from 2008. More than 180 researchers from 12 countries contributed in various functions to this peer-reviewed assessment, covering various disciplines related to climate research and related impacts. It offers new and updated scientific findings, which include climate changes since the last glaciation (approx. 12,000 years ago), changes in the recent past (the last 200 years), climate projections up until 2100 using state-of-the-art regional climate models and an assessment of climate-change and other anthropogenic impacts on terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems. There are new chapters on sea-level rise, coastal erosion and impacts on urban areas. A new set of chapters deals with possible causes of regional climate change along with the global effects of increased greenhouse gas concentrations, namely atmospheric aerosols and land-cover change.

Also for the first time the BACC II report provides a comprehensive chapter on human impact on the marine biogeochemistry in the Baltic Sea, which was coordinated by lead author Bernd Schneider, expert for marine chemistry at Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde (IOW). While in general the evidence collected and presented in this book shows that there is a clear signal of regional climate change impact on many terrestrial and marine parameters causing respective ecosystem adjustments, no clear climate change signal could be detected for the biogeochemical fluxes and transformations in the Baltic Sea. “This does not mean that we have not detected any anthropogenic changes in the biogeochemical matter cycles over the last 200 years. On the contrary,” comments Bernd Schneider. “The observed changes driven by eutrophication and marine acidification caused by human activities, however, are so prominent that any possible climate driven changes have been blanketed.” Still, the IOW scientist believes that the chapter on biogeochemistry is an important facet of the whole BACC II synopsis: “The report provides a vast body of knowledge targeted not only at the scientific community but also at policy makers. Therefore any evidence on problematic human impact is an important part of this comprehensive scientific assessment of the Baltic Sea.”

BACC II is a project of the Baltic Earth research network and contributes to the World Climate Research Programme.

More Information on the BACC II project:

Contact to Marine Biogeochemistry lead author:
Dr. Bernd Schneider | Section Marine Chemistry
Phone: +49 (381) 5197-320 | Fax: +49 (381) 5197-302

Publisher Information on the BACC II report provided by Springer Open, including video

Go back