Oceanographic regional climate projections for the Baltic Sea until 2100
H. E. Markus Meier, Christian Dieterich, Matthias Gröger, Cyril Dutheil, Florian Börgel, Kseniia Safonova, Ole B. Christensen, Erik Kjellström
Earth System Dynamics
Abstract. The Baltic Sea, located in northern Europe, is a semi-enclosed, shallow and tideless sea with seasonal sea-ice cover in its northern sub-basins. Its long water residence time contributes to oxygen depletion in the bottom water of its southern sub-basins. In this study, recently performed scenario simulations for the Baltic Sea including marine biogeochemistry were analysed and compared with earlier published projections. Specifically, dynamical downscaling using a regionally coupled
... mosphere–ocean climate model was used to regionalise four global Earth system models. However, as the regional climate model does not include components representing terrestrial and marine biogeochemistry, an additional catchment and a coupled physical–biogeochemical model for the Baltic Sea were included. The scenario simulations take the impact of various global sea level rise scenarios into account. According to the projections, compared to the present climate, higher water temperatures, a shallower mixed layer with a sharper thermocline during summer, less sea-ice cover and greater mixing in the northern Baltic Sea during winter can be expected. Both the frequency and the duration of marine heat waves will increase significantly, in particular in the coastal zone of the southern Baltic Sea (except in regions with frequent upwellings). Nonetheless, due to the uncertainties in the projections regarding regional winds, the water cycle and the global sea level rise, robust and statistically significant salinity changes could not be identified. The impact of a changing climate on biogeochemical cycling is predicted to be considerable but still smaller than that of plausible nutrient input changes. Implementing the proposed Baltic Sea Action Plan, a nutrient input abatement plan for the entire catchment area, would result in a significantly improved ecological status of the Baltic Sea, including reductions in the size of the hypoxic area also in a future climate, which in turn would increase the resilience of the Baltic Sea against anticipated climate change. While our findings regarding changes in heat-cycle variables mainly confirm earlier scenario simulations, they differ substantially from earlier projections of salinity and biogeochemical cycles, due to differences in experimental setups and in input scenarios for bioavailable nutrients.