Human impacts and their interactions in the Baltic Sea region
- 1International Baltic Earth Secretariat, Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon, Max-Planck-Str. 1, 21502 Geesthacht, Germany
- 2Departement of Marine Sciences, Box 461, 405 30 Göteborg, Sweden
- 3Department of Cybernetics, School of Science, Tallinn University of Technology, Ehitajate tee 5, 19086 Tallinn, Estonia
- 4Estonian Academy of Sciences, Kohtu 6, 10130 Tallinn, Estonia
- 5Latvian Institute of Aquatic Ecology, Voleru iela 4, 1007, Rīga, Latvia
- 6Institute of Coastal Systems – Analysis and Modeling, Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon, Max-Planck-Str. 1, 21502 Geesthacht, Germany
- 7Institute of Oceanography, University of Gdansk, Pilsudskiego 46, 81-378 Gdynia, Poland
- 8Institute of Oceanology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Marine Chemistry and Biochemistry Department, Powstańców Warszawy 55, 81-712 Sopot, Poland
- 9DTU Wind Energy Department, Frederiksborgvej 399, Bygning 115, rum S40, 4000 Roskilde, Denmark
- 10Institute of Oceanology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Marine Ecology Department, Powstańców Warszawy 55, 81-712 Sopot, Poland
- 11Technical University of Denmark, National Institute of Aquatic Resources, Kemitorvet, Building 201, 2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark
- 12Department of Economics and Management, P.O. Box 27, 00014 University of Helsinki, Finland
- 13Finnish Meteorological Institute, Erik Palménin aukio 1, 00560 Helsinki, Finland
- 14Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Animal Nutrition and Management; Aquaculture, Box 7024, 750 07 Uppsala, Sweden
- 15Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, Rossby Centre, 601 76 Norrköping, Sweden
- 16Baltic Sea Centre, Baltic Nest Institute, Stockholm University, 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
- 17Department of Physical Oceanography and Instrumentation, Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde, Rostock, 18119, Germany
- 18Research and Development Department, Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, Norrköping, 601 76, Sweden
- 19Biological Oceanography, Environmental Microbiology, Leibniz-Institute for Baltic Sea Research, Seestrasse 15, 18119 Rostock, Germany
- 20Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science, Lund University, Sölvegatan 12, 223 62 Lund, Sweden
- 21Department of Geology, Tallinn University of Technology, Ehitajate tee 5, 19086 Tallinn Estonia
- 22Geography Research Unit, P.O.Box 8000, 90014 University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
- 23School of Tourism and Hospitality, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
- 24KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
Abstract. Coastal environments, in particular heavily populated semi-enclosed marginal seas and coasts like the Baltic Sea region, are stongly affected by human activities. A multitude of human impacts, including climate change, affects the different compartments of the environment, and these effects interact with each other.
As part of the Baltic Earth Assessment Reports (BEAR), we present an inventory and discussion of different human-induced factors and processes affecting the environment of the Baltic Sea region, and their interrelations. Some are naturally occurring and modified by human activities (i.e. climate change, coastal processes, hypoxia, acidification, submarine groundwater discharges, marine ecosystems, non-indigenous species, land use and land cover), some are completely human-induced (i.e. agriculture, aquaculture, fisheries, river regulations, offshore wind farms, shipping, chemical contamination, dumped warfare agents, marine litter and microplastics, tourism, coastal management), and they are all interrelated to different degrees.
We present a general description and analysis of the state of knowledge on these interrelations. Our main insight is that climate change has an overarching, integrating impact on all of the other factors and can be interpreted as a background effect, which has different implications for the other factors. Impacts on the environment and the human sphere can be roughly allocated to anthropogenic drivers such as food production, energy production, transport, industry and economy.
We conclude that a sound management and regulation of human activities must be implemented in order to use and keep the environments and ecosystems of the Baltic Sea region sustainably in a good shape. This must balance the human needs, which exert tremendous pressures on the systems, as humans are the overwhelming driving force for almost all changes we see. The findings from this inventory of available information and analysis of the different factors and their interactions in the Baltic Sea region can largely be transferred to other comparable marginal and coastal seas in the world.
Marcus Reckermann et al.
Marcus Reckermann et al.
Marcus Reckermann et al.
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