Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-2021-13
https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-2021-13

  06 Apr 2021

06 Apr 2021

Natural Hazards and Extreme Events in the Baltic Sea region

Anna Rutgersson1,2, Erik Kjellström3,4, Jari Haapala5, Martin Stendel6, Irina Danilovich7, Martin Drews8, Kirsti Jylhä5, Pentti Kujala9, Xiaoli Guo Larsén10, Kirsten Halsnæs8, Ilari Lehtonen5, Anna Luomaranta5, Erik Nilsson1,2, Taru Olsson5, Jani Särkkä5, Laura Tuomi5, and Norbert Wasmund11 Anna Rutgersson et al.
  • 1Department of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
  • 2Centre of Natural Hazards and Disaster Science, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
  • 3Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, Norrköping, Sweden
  • 4Department of Meteorology and the Bolin Centre, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 5Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland
  • 6Danish Meteorological Institute, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 7Institute for Nature Management, National Academy of Sciences, Minsk, Belarus
  • 8Department of Technology, Management and Economics, Technical University of Denmark, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark
  • 9Aalto University, Espoo, Finland
  • 10Wind Energy Department, Technical University of Denmark, Roskilde, Denmark
  • 11Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research, Warnemünde, Germany

Abstract. A natural hazard is a naturally occurring extreme event with a negative effect on people and society or the environment. Natural hazards may have severe implications for human life and they can potentially generate economic losses and damage ecosystems. A better understanding of their major causes, probability of occurrence, and consequences enables society to be better prepared and to save human lives and to invest in adaptation options. Natural Hazards related to climate change are identified as one of the Grand Challenges in the Baltic Sea region. We here summarise existing knowledge of extreme events in the Baltic Sea region with the focus on past 200 years, as well as future climate scenarios. The events considered here are the major hydro-meteorological events in the region and include wind storms, extreme waves, high and low sea level, ice ridging, heavy precipitation, sea-effect snowfall, river floods, heat waves, ice seasons, and drought. We also address some ecological extremes and implications of extreme events for society (phytoplankton blooms, forest fires, coastal flooding, offshore infrastructures, and shipping). Significant knowledge gaps are identified, including the response of large scale atmospheric circulation to climate change, but also concerning specific events, for example, occurrences of marine heat waves and small-scale variability of precipitation. Suggestions for future research includes further development of high-resolution Earth System models, and the potential use of methodologies for data analysis (statistical methods and machine learning). With respect to expected impact of climate change, changes are expected for sea-level, extreme precipitation, heat waves and phytoplankton blooms (increase) and cold spells and severe ice winters (decrease). For some extremes (drying, river flooding and extreme waves) the change depends on the area and time period studies.

Anna Rutgersson et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on esd-2021-13', Anonymous Referee #1, 13 May 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Anna Rutgersson, 26 Jul 2021
  • RC2: 'Review of esd-2021-13', Anonymous Referee #2, 25 May 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Anna Rutgersson, 26 Jul 2021

Anna Rutgersson et al.

Anna Rutgersson et al.

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Short summary
A natural hazard is a naturally occurring extreme event with a negative effect on people, society or environment. Events considered are major events in the region including wind storms, extreme waves, high and low sea level, ice ridging, heavy precipitation, sea-effect snowfall, river floods, heat waves, ice seasons, and drought. Increase is expected for sea-level, extreme precipitation, heat waves and phytoplankton blooms and a decrease for cold spells and severe ice winters.
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