October 26, 2021

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What awaits the Baltic Sea?  Scientists have no doubts

What awaits the Baltic Sea? Scientists have no doubts

  • The biggest problems, partly due to the fact that the Baltic Sea is an inland sea, is progressing in eutrophication, as well as decreasing water oxygenation and the separation of the sweet and salt layers.
  • Another inevitable change that all coastal residents will have to contend with is rising sea levels. This process is already progressing, and it is happening faster and faster
  • There are many indications that the Baltic Sea will be less welcoming to tourists and many animal species. Even those we recognize today as a symbol of the Baltic Sea will simply disappear
  • More such information can be found on the home page of Onet.pl

The article is an excerpt from the multimedia reportage “Bałtyk”, in which we present the problems facing the sea. The article was created as part of an action #Litzjee Planeta See it all!

The Baltic Sea will change. This global message is conveyed to us by every scientist we ask about the future of our sea. The subject of discussion is the exact direction and degree of these changes. Even under the most catastrophic scenario, it would still be home to many organisms, although its diversity may decline and existing species will be largely replaced by entirely new ones.

The biggest problems, partly due to the fact that the Baltic Sea is an inland sea, are the gradual eutrophication, as well as the decrease in water oxygenation and the separation of the sweet and saline layers. Scientists have no doubt that these processes will intensify. There is not much to say that the changes will go backwards.

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This, in turn, would alter the conditions in our sea waters and render them inhospitable to some of the organisms known to us. A good example is one of the symbols of the Baltic Sea, the cod. Some microorganisms, including cyanobacteria, will feel better, as their blooms can be more annoying than before.

rapid warming

Another inevitable change that all coastal residents will have to contend with is rising sea levels. This process is already progressing and it is happening faster and faster. While this is disastrous news for the smallest number of city dwellers, one of the effects of sea level rise could be positive. – If the sea is higher, it may paradoxically reduce the problem of anaerobic areas, because there will necessarily be an increase in water exchange with the North Sea – says Dr. Peter Margonsky.

However, the other effects of climate change will not be good. As the northern hemisphere warms faster than the southern hemisphere, both mean sea temperature and precipitation are increasing. This, in turn, exacerbates the problem of water stratification. as a professor. Jacek Piskozub of the Institute of Oceanography of the Polish Academy of Sciences, climate change in the Baltic Sea is progressing twice as fast as the global average.

Looking at a map of the Baltic Sea, we realize how far the northern tip extends. This is the region of the Arctic Circle, so it’s no wonder that part of the Baltic Sea freezes over during the winter. But the average size of the ice sheet is decreasing, which has a secondary effect on the climate around the sea – in winter we notice less frost, and snowmelt accelerates. As the temperature rises more, this process will of course accelerate. as a professor. Marcin Węsławski, Director of IO PAN We will not be able to stop these changes.

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green problem

Cyanobacteria are a major concern regarding the change in the biodiversity of the Baltic Sea. No wonder these blue-green microorganisms are a symbol of a pampered holiday, and inaccessible bathing areas. But there are more risks associated with the reproduction of megacyanobacteria.

Some species produce toxins that are dangerous to humans and animals. In addition, dead cells of cyanobacteria sink to the bottom, and their decomposition contributes to an increase in anaerobic zones in the sea. This, in turn, can cause secondary harm to other marine organisms, leading to their death. As this process progresses, we will have increasing periods when the sea becomes unfit for recreational use and its biodiversity is increasingly threatened.

Why do cyanobacteria appear so often? The formation of inflorescence is favored by the influx of nutrients into the sea, increased temperature and insufficient mixing of water. According to the maps prepared by the Commission for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea, the largest amount of nutrients flows into the Baltic Sea from the Polish part of the watershed area. So we have a lot of room for improvement.

Fight for the Baltic Sea

What can we do so that these unfavorable changes do not occur, and the Baltic Sea remains exactly the beloved sea we know and have been visiting extensively for years? Unfortunately not much. As scientists have noted, the sea is a huge ecosystem that we can and should protect, but we simply won’t stop so many changes. Even with the use of modern and expensive technologies, conditions in the Baltic Sea will depend on many factors. We have no influence on some of them.

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So what will the Baltic Sea look like in decades? There are many indications that it will be less hospitable to tourists and to many animal species. Even those we recognize today as a symbol of the Baltic Sea will simply disappear. In addition, the water level and temperature will rise. We can also prepare ourselves for more frequent periods of prolonged rain along the coast.

Does this vision mean that we should give up and let go of the inevitable? In any case! Some of the changes are progressing largely due to our daily activities and the removal of the Baltic Sea problem to the background. With the involvement of all countries in the region and common and real actions, the changes will slow.

Do you want to speak with the authors? Type: [email protected]; [email protected], [email protected]

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