Project: Consequences of climate change in a Baltic Sea bay exposed to 50 years of warming
Today, there is little knowledge of the consequences of global warming on Baltic Sea ecosystems and aquatic environments globally. The aim of the project is to study the communities of bacteria and plankton in bays that have been heated over a long period of time to understand how climate change will affect the Baltic Sea.
Facts about the project
Project name Consequences of climate change in a Baltic Sea bay exposed to 50 years of warming Project manager Mark Dophson Other project members Laura Seidel, Samuel Hylander, Anders Forsman, Marcelo Ketzer, Linnaeus University Participating organizations Linnaeus University Financier Formas Timetable From 2017-04-01 to 2023-12-31 Subject Microbiology (Department of Biology and Environmental Science, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences) Research group Systems Biology of Microorganisms Research Group
More about the project
Today, there is little knowledge of the consequences global warming for Baltic Sea ecosystems and global aquatic environments. For instance, will the changes be so extensive that they become permanent and the ecosystems cannot return to what we consider as normal? This is a unique project that studies ecological and evolutionary aspects of climate change in Baltic Sea coastal waters. The aim of the project is to study the communities of bacteria and plankton in bays that have been heated over a long period of time to understand how climate change will affect the Baltic Sea. By studying a variety of organisms, combining new methods and knowledge from several research areas, the project can describe a realistic scenario for the future development of the Baltic Sea.
How is the species composition affected by the ability of organisms and individual species to adapt to rising temperatures?
How does 50 years of heating affect biochemical processes and greenhouse gas emissions?
Will the changes be permanent or will they return to their original state if the temperature drops again?
We will study processes in a bay that has been heated for 50 years by cooling water from nuclear reactors and compare with an unaffected bay. Long-term observations and field experiments where sediment is heated locally will be followed up with laboratory experiments. Both chemical and biological processes in the bottom sediment and the water column will be studied, such as greenhouse gas emissions and bacterial degradation processes.
Global warming is expected to affect species distribution and diversity, ecosystem productivity and the interaction between biological and physical factors. As for other aquatic environments, we know very little about how climate change will affect the Baltic Sea. Through its unique design, this project has the ability to generate new knowledge and to develop realistic scenarios for the future of the Baltic Sea, as well as to contribute to general knowledge about how climate change affects aquatic environments in general.