Global Warming Threatens the Baltic Sea

23.01.2008
Algae growth in the Baltic Sea is accelerating and the seal population is falling. These are just two of consequences of global warming faced by the Baltic Sea, according to a new Finnish/Swedish research report.
Climate change will have a major impact on conditions in the Baltic according the new report. The most obvious consequences will be less ice and less salt content in the water. Less salt and changing algae will also alter conditions for plants and other life forms, including the economically important fish stocks.

During the summer, these changes may lead to excessive algae. Some calculations suggest that global warming will prolong the vegetative period by up to 90 days.

Changes in algae may affect the whole fabric of nutrition and, therefore, all the other plant and animal species. Climate change may also affects seals, especially if the lack of ice cuts down the size of their breeding grounds. Bird species which currently spend the winter at the Baltic may also be forced to stick to more northerly regions.

The warnings are contained in the report "Assessment of Climate Change for the Baltic Sea Basin" by Finland‘s Environmental Administration, the Finnish Meteorological Institute, the Finnish Institute of Marine Research, Åbo Akademi University and the University of Helsinki.


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