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Earth System Dynamics
Article . 2022
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Earth System Dynamics (ESD)
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Climate change in the Baltic Sea region: a summary

Authors: H. E. M. Meier; H. E. M. Meier; M. Kniebusch; C. Dieterich; M. Gröger; E. Zorita; R. Elmgren; +46 Authors

Climate change in the Baltic Sea region: a summary

Abstract

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.

Peer reviewed

Countries
Sweden, Norway, Germany, Lithuania, Austria, Finland
Subjects by Vocabulary

Microsoft Academic Graph classification: Cryosphere geography.geographical_feature_category Biosphere Oceanography Climate change Effects of global warming Paleoclimatology Sea ice Marine ecosystem geography North Atlantic oscillation Environmental science

Keywords

:Environmental engineering: 610 [VDP], :Miljøteknologi: 610 [VDP], Storm-track sensitivity, Acid-base system, QE500-639.5, Oceanografi, hydrologi och vattenresurser, Klimatforskning, Oceanography, Hydrology and Water Resources, ilmasto, QE1-996.5, Q, scenarios, Geology, history, lämpeneminen, 1171 Geosciences, future, Climate Research, Diurnal temperature-range, warming, Baltic Sea, Science, historia, ilmastovaikutukset, Net primary production, Long-term changes, climate, Herring clupea-harengus, merialueet, Large-volume changes, North-atlantic oscillation, Nemo-nordic 1.0, sea areas, climatic effects, skenaariot, Dynamic and structural geology, Dissolved organic-carbon, Itämeri, General Earth and Planetary Sciences, tulevaisuus

218 references, page 1 of 22

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Mauri, A., Davis, B. A. S., Collins, P. M., and Kaplan, J. O.: The climate of Europe during the Holocene: a gridded pollen-based reconstruction and its multi-proxy evaluation, Quaternary Sci. Rev., 112, 109-127, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2015.01.013, 2015.

McClelland, J. W., Holmes, R. M., Peterson, B. J., and Stieglitz, M.: Increasing river discharge in the Eurasian Arctic: Consideration of dams, permafrost thaw, and fires as potential agents of change, J. Geophys. Res-Atmos., 109, https://doi.org/10.1029/2004JD004583, 2004.

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McGlade, J. M.: 12 The North Sea Large Marine Ecosystem, in: Large Marine Ecosystems, edited by: Sherman, K., and Skjoldal, H. R., Elsevier, 339-412, https://doi.org/10.1016/S1570-0461(02)80064-7, 2002.

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Meehl, G. A., Senior, C. A., Eyring, V., Flato, G., Lamarque, J.-F., Stouffer, R. J., Taylor, K. E., and Schlund, M.: Context for interpreting equilibrium climate sensitivity and transient climate response from the CMIP6 Earth system models, Sci. Adv., 6, eaba1981, https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aba1981, 2020. [OpenAIRE]

Meier, H. E. M.: Regional ocean climate simulations with a 3D ice-ocean model for the Baltic Sea. Part 2: results for sea ice, Clim. Dyn., 19, 255-266, https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-001-0225-5, 2002.

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Meier, H. E. M., and Kauker, F.: Modeling decadal variability of the Baltic Sea: 2. Role of freshwater inflow and large-scale atmospheric circulation for salinity, J. Geophys. Res-Oceans, 108, https://doi.org/10.1029/2003JC001799, 2003. [OpenAIRE]

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    Top 1%
    influence
    This indicator reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
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    This indicator reflects the initial momentum of an article directly after its publication, based on the underlying citation network.
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citations
This is an alternative to the "Influence" indicator, which also reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
BIP!Citations provided by BIP!
popularity
This indicator reflects the "current" impact/attention (the "hype") of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network.
BIP!Popularity provided by BIP!
influence
This indicator reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
BIP!Influence provided by BIP!
impulse
This indicator reflects the initial momentum of an article directly after its publication, based on the underlying citation network.
BIP!Impulse provided by BIP!
73
Top 1%
Top 10%
Top 1%
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