Nature Climate Change article: Connecting the Seas of Norden

Connecting Seas of Norden 
Citation : Nature Climate Change 5, 89–92 (2015), doi:10.1038/nclimate2471 Published online: 28 January 2015

Edited extract from beginning of excellent article

The Nordic Seas are highly sensitive to environmental change and have been extensively monitored and studied across a broad range of marine disciplines. For these reasons, the Nordic seas may serve as a pilot area for integrated policy development in response to ongoing climate change. The northern high-latitude seas and their coastal waters are among the most sensitive to climate change on Earth. Salinity, temperature and oxygen gradients will become steeper, wind patterns will shift, and the rapid increase in atmospheric CO2 will continue to acidify the ocean. The critical question — not only for scientists across all disciplines, but also for policymakers and society in general — is how the combination of all these stressors will impact the interdependent ecosystems as well as the social systems within this region.

Figure 1: The seas of Norden represent widely different water masses that are now undergoing far-reaching changes. Large salinity gradients can be observed both in an east–west and north–south direction. The seas of Norden are currently becoming fresher due to changes in inflow from the Atlantic Ocean13, but also due to increased run-off, especially in the Arctic Ocean. Many predictions suggest a continued freshening and warming of surface waters in this region, which are changing the physical preconditions for key ecosystems. Note that the Baltic Sea has water masses with salinity that goes down below 5‰. 1, Baltic Sea; 2, North Sea; 3, Greenland Sea; 4, Norwegian Sea; 5, Barents Sea. Salinity data comes from the Norwegian Iceland Seas Experiment (NISE)14 and the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES)15. See ref. 13 for an in-depth explanation of salinity changes. Figure courtesy of Kjetil Våge, University of Bergen.

The seas of Norden represent widely different water masses that are now undergoing far-reaching changes.

2nd Policy Forum on climate change adaptation in the Baltic Sea Region

10 –11 December 2012, Stockholm, Sweden

The conference will be the second out of three high-level Policy Fora on climate change adaptation in the Baltic Sea Region. The Forum continues the working process that was started at the 1st Policy Forum during “Baltic Sea Days” in Berlin, Germany in April 2012. It will focus on the further development of the first draft of the macro-regional climate change adaptation strategy for the BSR. Special emphasis will be given to interactive working sessions on the expected sectoral impact of climate change on agriculture, biodiversity, spatial planning and civil security in the BSR.

Participants of the 2nd Policy Forum will be high level policy makers and representatives from relevant national ministries, the European Commission, international and regional organizations and academic institutions in the field of climate change and adaptation from across the Baltic Sea Region.

The EUSBSR strategy, EUSBSR, http://www.balticsea-region-strategy.eu/ calls for the development of a “regional climate change adaptation strategy at the level of the Baltic Sea Region” which would provide a useful framework for strengthening co-operation and sharing information across the region on this issue. The project BaltAdapt (www.baltadapt.eu) funded by the Baltic Sea Region Programme 2007-2013, was developed as a response to this priority in the EUSBSR. Today, BaltAdapt partners and networks are on their way to develop a proposal for a Baltic Sea Region-wide climate change adaptation strategy, focussing on the sea itself and its coastline.

Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Registration and latest agenda: www.cbss.org/Environment/events

Seminar fee: free of charge

Conference language: English

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