Titled Assessment of Climate Change for the Baltic Sea Basin (BACC), the book published by Springer-Verlag presents the first comprehensive survey of past and possible future climate change in the region, which extends over 13 countries around the Baltic Sea in northern and mid-Europe. One of the key findings is that air temperatures in the Baltic Sea basin could rise by up to five degrees Celsius from now to 2100. More than 80 scientists from 13 European countries were involved in this interdisciplinary project, which has been coordinated by the GKSS Research Centre in Geesthacht, Germany. BACC is a regional assessment comparable to the IPCC report on global climate change, says the coordinator of the project, Professor Hans von Storch, who heads the Institute for Coastal Research at GKSS.
Warming is already under way
The scientists conclude that air temperatures in the Baltic Sea basin have already risen over the past century, increasing by approximately 1C in the northern areas of the Baltic Sea basin and by around 0.7 C in the southern areas. Consequently, the warming is larger than the global mean temperature increase of 0.75 C reported by the IPCC.
Scenarios for the end of this century
Meteorologists, hydrologists, biologists and oceanographers worked together to establish scenarios of climate development in the Baltic Sea basin for the period up to 2100. The results also include the possible impact of climate change on terrestrial, marine and freshwater ecosystems.
If adequate climate mitigation measures are not put in place by the global community, air temperatures could rise by 4-6 C in northern areas such as Sweden, Finland and Western Russia, or by 3-5 C in the southern areas such as Poland and Northern Germany. Water surface temperature in the Baltic Sea could increase by 2-4 C. Higher water temperatures and decreased salinity would have a great impact on the Baltic Seas flora and fauna, affecting the
|Contact: Dr. Torsten Fischer|
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres