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  • 1. Conley, Daniel J.
    et al.
    Bjorck, Svante
    Bonsdorff, Erik
    Carstensen, Jacob
    Destouni, Georgia
    Gustafsson, Bo G.
    Hietanen, Susanna
    Kortekaas, Marloes
    Kuosa, Harri
    Meier, Markus
    SMHI, Research Department, Oceanography.
    Mueller-Karulis, Baerbel
    Nordberg, Kjell
    Norkko, Alf
    Nuernberg, Gertrud
    Pitkanen, Heikki
    Rabalais, Nancy N.
    Rosenberg, Rutger
    Savchuk, Oleg P.
    Slomp, Caroline P.
    Voss, Maren
    Wulff, Fredrik
    Zillen, Lovisa
    Hypoxia-Related Processes in the Baltic Sea2009In: Environmental Science and Technology, ISSN 0013-936X, E-ISSN 1520-5851, Vol. 43, no 10, p. 3412-3420Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Hypoxia, a growing worldwide problem, has been intermittently present in the modern Baltic Sea since its formation ca. 8000 cal. yr BP. However, both the spatial extent and intensity of hypoxia have increased with anthropogenic eutrophication due to nutrient inputs. Physical processes, which control stratification and the renewal of oxygen in bottom waters, are important constraints on the formation and maintenance of hypoxia. Climate controlled inflows of saline water from the North Sea through the Danish Straits is a critical controlling factor governing the spatial extent and duration of hypoxia. Hypoxia regulates the biogeochemical cycles of both phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) in the water column and sediments. Significant amounts of P are currently released from sediments, an order of magnitude larger than anthropogenic inputs. The Baltic Sea is unique for coastal marine ecosystems experiencing N losses in hypoxic waters below the halocline. Although benthic communities in the Baltic Sea are naturally constrained by salinity gradients, hypoxia has resulted in habitat loss over vast areas and the elimination of benthic fauna, and has severely disrupted benthic food webs. Nutrient load reductions are needed to reduce the extent, severity, and effects of hypoxia.

  • 2. Gustafsson, Bo G.
    et al.
    Schenk, Frederik
    Blenckner, Thorsten
    Eilola, Kari
    SMHI, Research Department, Oceanography.
    Meier, Markus
    SMHI, Research Department, Oceanography.
    Muller-Karulis, Barbel
    Neumann, Thomas
    Ruoho-Airola, Tuija
    Savchuk, Oleg P.
    Zorita, Eduardo
    Reconstructing the Development of Baltic Sea Eutrophication 1850-20062012In: Ambio, ISSN 0044-7447, E-ISSN 1654-7209, Vol. 41, no 6, p. 534-548Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A comprehensive reconstruction of the Baltic Sea state from 1850 to 2006 is presented: driving forces are reconstructed and the evolution of the hydrography and biogeochemical cycles is simulated using the model BALTSEM. Driven by high resolution atmospheric forcing fields (HiResAFF), BALTSEM reproduces dynamics of salinity, temperature, and maximum ice extent. Nutrient loads have been increasing with a noteworthy acceleration from the 1950s until peak values around 1980 followed by a decrease continuing up to present. BALTSEM shows a delayed response to the massive load increase with most eutrophic conditions occurring only at the end of the simulation. This is accompanied by an intensification of the pelagic cycling driven by a shift from spring to summer primary production. The simulation indicates that no improvement in water quality of the Baltic Sea compared to its present state can be expected from the decrease in nutrient loads in recent decades.

  • 3.
    Meier, Markus
    et al.
    SMHI, Research Department, Oceanography.
    Andersson, Helén
    SMHI, Research Department, Oceanography.
    Arheimer, Berit
    SMHI, Research Department, Hydrology.
    Blenckner, Thorsten
    Chubarenko, Boris
    Donnelly, Chantal
    SMHI, Research Department, Hydrology.
    Eilola, Kari
    SMHI, Research Department, Oceanography.
    Gustafsson, Bo G.
    Hansson, Anders
    Havenhand, Jonathan
    Höglund, Anders
    SMHI, Research Department, Oceanography.
    Kuznetsov, Ivan
    MacKenzie, Brian R.
    Muller-Karulis, Barbel
    Neumann, Thomas
    Niiranen, Susa
    Piwowarczyk, Joanna
    Raudsepp, Urmas
    Reckermann, Marcus
    Ruoho-Airola, Tuija
    Savchuk, Oleg P.
    Schenk, Frederik
    Schimanke, Semjon
    SMHI, Research Department, Oceanography.
    Vali, Germo
    Weslawski, Jan-Marcin
    Zorita, Eduardo
    Comparing reconstructed past variations and future projections of the Baltic Sea ecosystem-first results from multi-model ensemble simulations2012In: Environmental Research Letters, ISSN 1748-9326, E-ISSN 1748-9326, Vol. 7, no 3, article id 034005Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Multi-model ensemble simulations for the marine biogeochemistry and food web of the Baltic Sea were performed for the period 1850-2098, and projected changes in the future climate were compared with the past climate environment. For the past period 1850-2006, atmospheric, hydrological and nutrient forcings were reconstructed, based on historical measurements. For the future period 1961-2098, scenario simulations were driven by regionalized global general circulation model (GCM) data and forced by various future greenhouse gas emission and air-and riverborne nutrient load scenarios (ranging from a pessimistic 'business-as-usual' to the most optimistic case). To estimate uncertainties, different models for the various parts of the Earth system were applied. Assuming the IPCC greenhouse gas emission scenarios A1B or A2, we found that water temperatures at the end of this century may be higher and salinities and oxygen concentrations may be lower than ever measured since 1850. There is also a tendency of increased eutrophication in the future, depending on the nutrient load scenario. Although cod biomass is mainly controlled by fishing mortality, climate change together with eutrophication may result in a biomass decline during the latter part of this century, even when combined with lower fishing pressure. Despite considerable shortcomings of state-of-the-art models, this study suggests that the future Baltic Sea ecosystem may unprecedentedly change compared to the past 150 yr. As stakeholders today pay only little attention to adaptation and mitigation strategies, more information is needed to raise public awareness of the possible impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems.

  • 4.
    Meier, Markus
    et al.
    SMHI, Research Department, Oceanography.
    Muller-Karulis, Barbel
    Andersson, Helén
    SMHI, Research Department, Oceanography.
    Dieterich, Christian
    SMHI, Research Department, Oceanography.
    Eilola, Kari
    SMHI, Research Department, Oceanography.
    Gustafsson, Bo G.
    Höglund, Anders
    SMHI, Research Department, Oceanography.
    Hordoir, Robinson
    SMHI, Research Department, Oceanography.
    Kuznetsov, Ivan
    SMHI, Research Department, Oceanography.
    Neumann, Thomas
    Ranjbar, Zohreh
    Savchuk, Oleg P.
    Schimanke, Semjon
    SMHI, Research Department, Oceanography.
    Impact of Climate Change on Ecological Quality Indicators and Biogeochemical Fluxes in the Baltic Sea: A Multi-Model Ensemble Study2012In: Ambio, ISSN 0044-7447, E-ISSN 1654-7209, Vol. 41, no 6, p. 558-573Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Multi-model ensemble simulations using three coupled physical-biogeochemical models were performed to calculate the combined impact of projected future climate change and plausible nutrient load changes on biogeochemical cycles in the Baltic Sea. Climate projections for 1961-2099 were combined with four nutrient load scenarios ranging from a pessimistic business-as-usual to a more optimistic case following the Helsinki Commission's (HELCOM) Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP). The model results suggest that in a future climate, water quality, characterized by ecological quality indicators like winter nutrient, summer bottom oxygen, and annual mean phytoplankton concentrations as well as annual mean Secchi depth (water transparency), will be deteriorated compared to present conditions. In case of nutrient load reductions required by the BSAP, water quality is only slightly improved. Based on the analysis of biogeochemical fluxes, we find that in warmer and more anoxic waters, internal feedbacks could be reinforced. Increased phosphorus fluxes out of the sediments, reduced denitrification efficiency and increased nitrogen fixation may partly counteract nutrient load abatement strategies.

  • 5. Neumann, Thomas
    et al.
    Eilola, Kari
    SMHI, Research Department, Oceanography.
    Gustafsson, Bo
    Muller-Karulis, Barbel
    Kuznetsov, Ivan
    SMHI, Research Department, Oceanography.
    Meier, Markus
    SMHI, Research Department, Oceanography.
    Savchuk, Oleg P.
    Extremes of Temperature, Oxygen and Blooms in the Baltic Sea in a Changing Climate2012In: Ambio, ISSN 0044-7447, E-ISSN 1654-7209, Vol. 41, no 6, p. 574-585Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In the future, the Baltic Sea ecosystem will be impacted both by climate change and by riverine and atmospheric nutrient inputs. Multi-model ensemble simulations comprising one IPCC scenario (A1B), two global climate models, two regional climate models, and three Baltic Sea ecosystem models were performed to elucidate the combined effect of climate change and changes in nutrient inputs. This study focuses on the occurrence of extreme events in the projected future climate. Results suggest that the number of days favoring cyanobacteria blooms could increase, anoxic events may become more frequent and last longer, and salinity may tend to decrease. Nutrient load reductions following the Baltic Sea Action Plan can reduce the deterioration of oxygen conditions.

  • 6. Ruoho-Airola, Tuija
    et al.
    Eilola, Kari
    SMHI, Research Department, Oceanography.
    Savchuk, Oleg P.
    Parviainen, Maija
    Tarvainen, Virpi
    Atmospheric Nutrient Input to the Baltic Sea from 1850 to 2006: A Reconstruction from Modeling Results and Historical Data2012In: Ambio, ISSN 0044-7447, E-ISSN 1654-7209, Vol. 41, no 6, p. 549-557Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this study, a consistent basin-wise monthly time series of the atmospheric nutrient load to the Baltic Sea during 1850-2006 was compiled. Due to the lack of a long time series (1850-1960) of nutrient deposition to the Baltic Sea, the data set was compiled by combining a time series of deposition data at the Baltic Nest Institute from 1970 to 2006, published historical monitoring data and deposition estimates, as well as recent modeled Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) emission estimates. The procedure for nitrogen compounds included estimation of the deposition in a few intermediate reference years, linear interpolation between them, and the decomposition of annual deposition into a seasonal deposition pattern. As no reliable monitoring results were found for the atmospheric deposition of phosphorus during the early period of our study, we used published estimates for the temporal and spatial pattern of the phosphorus load.

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