Echoes from the past: a healthy Baltic Sea requires more effort

Ambio. 2014 Feb;43(1):60-8. doi: 10.1007/s13280-013-0477-4.


Integrated sediment multiproxy studies and modeling were used to reconstruct past changes in the Baltic Sea ecosystem. Results of natural changes over the past 6000 years in the Baltic Sea ecosystem suggest that forecasted climate warming might enhance environmental problems of the Baltic Sea. Integrated modeling and sediment proxy studies reveal increased sea surface temperatures and expanded seafloor anoxia (in deep basins) during earlier natural warm climate phases, such as the Medieval Climate Anomaly. Under future IPCC scenarios of global warming, there is likely no improvement of bottom water conditions in the Baltic Sea. Thus, the measures already designed to produce a healthier Baltic Sea are insufficient in the long term. The interactions between climate change and anthropogenic impacts on the Baltic Sea should be considered in management, implementation of policy strategies in the Baltic Sea environmental issues, and adaptation to future climate change.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Baltic States
  • Climate Change*
  • Ecosystem*
  • Geologic Sediments
  • Oceans and Seas