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3rd Baltic Earth Conference
Earth system changes and Baltic Sea coasts
Jastarnia, Hel peninsula, Poland
1 - 5 June 2020




A joint HELCOM-Baltic Earth expert network for climate change in the Baltic Sea region

HELCOM had been an important stakeholder of the BACC I and BACC II books. The BACC material relevant for HELCOM had been summarized by HELCOM and published as dedicated HELCOM Thematic Assessments in 2007 and 2013, respectively.

After these two reports, HELCOM is now following a new strategy regarding the assessment and communication of climate change issues in the Baltic Sea region. The primary goal of the HELCOM climate change activities is the production of a concise "Baltic Sea climate change fact sheet": "This fact sheets will contain a consensus view by the regions climate experts on parameters, both biotic and abiotic, identified as of relevance to the policy process."

The process by which this fact sheet will be produced is to bring together a group of experts in climate change issues in the Baltic Sea region. This joint Expert Network on Climate Change (EN CLIME) by HELCOM and Baltic Earth will assist in the production of the comprehensive fact sheet by providing the relevant knowledge. EN CLIME will largely draw its information on BACC, BACC II and the Baltic Earth Assessment Reports (BEAR). Thus, there is a close collaboration between the climate related work on the BEAR and the production of the HELCOM climate fact sheet.

EN CLIME is divided into the sub-categories sea level and wind extremes, carbon and nutrient cycles, water cycle, energy cycle. For each category, the expert team elaborates draft key messages, which are then iterated and discussed to arrive at a set of agreed key messages for the fact sheet. Chairpersons of EN CLIME are Clarisse Kehler Siebert (Swedish Environment Protection Agency) and Markus Meier (Leibniz Institute of Baltic Sea Research and Baltic Earth Science Steering Group chairman). The process is coordinated by Jannica Haldin on behalf of HELCOM.

Energy Cycle

  • Temperature (air) and heat waves
  • Temperature (sea) and heat waves
  • Large Scale Atmospheric Circulation (e.g air pressure, AMO, NAO)
  • Sea ice and extreme events
  • Solar radiation and cloudiness

Water Cycle

  • Salinity and saltwater inflows
  • Stratification and ocean circulation (incl. large scale marine processes e.g. spring/fall circulation)
  • Precipitation and extreme events
  • Run-off and extreme events

Carbon and Nutrient Cycles

  • Changes in carbonate chemistry (incl. air-sea exchange of CO2)
  • Riverine nutrient loads and atmospheric deposition (incl. dissolved organic matter and nutrients)
  • Pelagic habitats (incl. phytoplankton and zooplankton community structure, spring blooms, functional traits etc.)
  • Acidification
  • Oxygen concentration and hypoxia

Sea level and wind extremes

  • Sea level and sea level extremes, e.g. storm surges
  • Wind and wind extremes (storms)
  • Waves and extreme events
  • Sediment transportation

Draft structure of HELCOM climate change work (pdf)

Draft structure HELCOM climate fact sheets (pdf)

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Last update of this page: 21 June 2019