Coastal oceans in the highly dynamic boundary area between the terrestrial and oceanic realms are exposed to considerable external forcing by natural phenomena and human intervention. Particularly, semi-enclosed intra continental coastal seas with the reduced water renewal, such as the Baltic Sea, are most vulnerable to the human component. Due to the uncertainties in differentiating the impact of climate variability from anthropogenic disturbances the future reaction of coastal ecosystems to increased stress and to counter-measures is not predictable at present.
The Baltic Sea System Study (BASYS) aims at reducing these uncertainties in a multi-disciplinary project with 8 scientific subprojects: Pelagic processes, Lateral transport, Nearshore processes, Atmospheric load, Climate impact, Environmental record in the sediments, Systems analysis and modelling and Mesoscale physics. The 3 major objectives of the project are: - to improve the quantification of past and present fluxes
- to further the understanding of the susceptibility of the Baltic Sea toexternal forcing
- to achieve a sound scientific basis for the understanding of future changes. The work of BASYS encompasses retrospective aspects by studying the sedimentary record, long-term time series and hindcasting models as well process oriented studies on important system components like vertical and lateral fluxes, food web structure and their regulation by mesoscale physical phenomena. The 4 major working tasks are:
- assessment of time scales of significant changes and limits of complexityfor prediction
- translation of lateral and vertical gradients into mass balances - estimation of the sediment recording capacity in relation to lateral transporand pelagic-benthic coupling
- differentiation between natural and anthropogenic external forcing byunderstanding the preindustrial variability of the ecosystem. The various subsystems of the Baltic Sea are highly variable in their biogeochemical behaviour. The field work cover representative site and results are upscaled to basin and larger scales by various model approaches. The combination between process oriented work, assembling of historical data, modelling and the geological record will allow for robust testing for predictive capability and for development of generic strategies in coastal ecosystem research.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
80 953 Gdansk
221 00 Lund
106 91 Stockholm
2169 Salaspils 1
71 412 Szczecin