Aarhus University Seal

Climate change in the Baltic Sea region: A summary

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperReviewResearchpeer-review

DOI

  • H. E. Markus Meier, Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research, Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute
  • ,
  • Madline Kniebusch, Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research
  • ,
  • Christian Dieterich, Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute
  • ,
  • Matthias Gröger, Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research
  • ,
  • Eduardo Zorita, Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht - Centre for Materials and Coastal Research
  • ,
  • Ragnar Elmgren, Stockholm University
  • ,
  • Kai Myrberg, Finnish Environment Institute, Klaipeda University
  • ,
  • Markus P. Ahola, Swedish Museum of Natural History
  • ,
  • Alena Bartosova, Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute
  • ,
  • Erik Bonsdorff, Åbo Akademi University
  • ,
  • Florian Börgel, Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research
  • ,
  • Rene Capell, Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute
  • ,
  • Ida Carlén, Coalition Clean Baltic
  • ,
  • Thomas Carlund, Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute
  • ,
  • Jacob Carstensen
  • Ole B. Christensen, Danish Meteorological Institute
  • ,
  • Volker Dierschke, Gavia EcoResearch
  • ,
  • Claudia Frauen, Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research, Deutsches Klimarechenzentrum
  • ,
  • Morten Frederiksen
  • Elie Gaget, University of Turku, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg
  • ,
  • Anders Galatius
  • Jari J. Haapala, Finnish Meteorological Institute
  • ,
  • Antti Halkka, University of Helsinki
  • ,
  • Gustaf Hugelius, Stockholm University
  • ,
  • Birgit Hünicke, Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht - Centre for Materials and Coastal Research
  • ,
  • Jaak Jaagus, University of Tartu
  • ,
  • Mart Jüssi, ProMare
  • ,
  • Jukka Käyhkö, University of Turku
  • ,
  • Nina Kirchner, Stockholm University
  • ,
  • Erik Kjellström, Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute
  • ,
  • Karol Kulinski, Institute of Oceanology of the Polish Academy of Sciences
  • ,
  • Andreas Lehmann, Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel
  • ,
  • Göran Lindström, Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute
  • ,
  • Wilhelm May, Lund University
  • ,
  • Paul A. Miller, Lund University
  • ,
  • Volker Mohrholz, Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research
  • ,
  • Bärbel Müller-Karulis, Stockholm University
  • ,
  • Diego Pavón-Jordán, Norwegian Institute for Nature Research
  • ,
  • Markus Quante, Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht - Centre for Materials and Coastal Research
  • ,
  • Marcus Reckermann, Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht - Centre for Materials and Coastal Research
  • ,
  • Anna Rutgersson, Uppsala University
  • ,
  • Oleg P. Savchuk, Stockholm University
  • ,
  • Martin Stendel, Danish Meteorological Institute
  • ,
  • Laura Tuomi, Finnish Meteorological Institute
  • ,
  • Markku Viitasalo, Finnish Environment Institute
  • ,
  • Ralf Weisse, Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht - Centre for Materials and Coastal Research
  • ,
  • Wenyan Zhang, Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht - Centre for Materials and Coastal Research

Based on the Baltic Earth Assessment Reports of this thematic issue in Earth System Dynamics and recent peer-reviewed literature, current knowledge of the effects of global warming on past and future changes in climate of the Baltic Sea region is summarised and assessed. The study is an update of the Second Assessment of Climate Change (BACC II) published in 2015 and focuses on the atmosphere, land, cryosphere, ocean, sediments, and the terrestrial and marine biosphere. Based on the summaries of the recent knowledge gained in palaeo-, historical, and future regional climate research, we find that the main conclusions from earlier assessments still remain valid. However, new long-term, homogenous observational records, for example, for Scandinavian glacier inventories, sea-level-driven saltwater inflows, so-called Major Baltic Inflows, and phytoplankton species distribution, and new scenario simulations with improved models, for example, for glaciers, lake ice, and marine food web, have become available. In many cases, uncertainties can now be better estimated than before because more models were included in the ensembles, especially for the Baltic Sea. With the help of coupled models, feedbacks between several components of the Earth system have been studied, and multiple driver studies were performed, e.g. projections of the food web that include fisheries, eutrophication, and climate change. New datasets and projections have led to a revised understanding of changes in some variables such as salinity. Furthermore, it has become evident that natural variability, in particular for the ocean on multidecadal timescales, is greater than previously estimated, challenging our ability to detect observed and projected changes in climate. In this context, the first palaeoclimate simulations regionalised for the Baltic Sea region are instructive. Hence, estimated uncertainties for the projections of many variables increased. In addition to the well-known influence of the North Atlantic Oscillation, it was found that also other low-frequency modes of internal variability, such as the Atlantic Multidecadal Variability, have profound effects on the climate of the Baltic Sea region. Challenges were also identified, such as the systematic discrepancy between future cloudiness trends in global and regional models and the difficulty of confidently attributing large observed changes in marine ecosystems to climate change. Finally, we compare our results with other coastal sea assessments, such as the North Sea Region Climate Change Assessment (NOSCCA), and find that the effects of climate change on the Baltic Sea differ from those on the North Sea, since Baltic Sea oceanography and ecosystems are very different from other coastal seas such as the North Sea. While the North Sea dynamics are dominated by tides, the Baltic Sea is characterised by brackish water, a perennial vertical stratification in the southern subbasins, and a seasonal sea ice cover in the northern subbasins.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEarth System Dynamics
Volume13
Issue1
Pages (from-to)457-593
Number of pages137
ISSN2190-4979
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2022

See relations at Aarhus University Citationformats

ID: 264088353