1 December 2015, Uppsala, Sweden
Global temperature increases: an alarming scenario for the Baltic Sea
Prior to the opening of the 2015 UN Conference on Climate Change, Coalition Clean Baltic (CCB) calls for immediate climate change mitigation and adaptation measures in the Baltic Sea Region, based on the findings of a new CCB report released today.
The report presents alarming predicted consequences of temperature increase scenarios on Baltic Sea marine biodiversity. Estimated impact of a 4-degree C increase would represent a catastrophic scenario, resulting in adverse ecosystem changes for the Baltic Sea. Even a 2-degree increase impacts are so serious that policy actions must safeguard that this temperature level is never reached and only a maximum increase of less than 1.5 degrees should be set as acceptable.
Environmental changes in the Baltic Sea
Based on the IPPC indications of 2 to 4 degrees C increases within the period of 2100-2200, the CCB report indicates that human-induced warming will cause drastic changes at all trophic levels and components of the Baltic Sea ecosystem. In addition to increased temperature and sea level, salinity is expected to drop and so will the oxygen levels of deep-water areas. As a result, the biodiversity of the Baltic Sea will change and gradually diminish, including loss of important habitats and species, and decreases of many fish stocks. These changes will happen even during a status quo situation, and it is very unlikely that future ecosystems will be able to adapt unaided by human activities.
Duly taken, implemented and enforced mitigation measures will reduce the speed of change even though our knowledge of the full role of the ocean in climate is still lacking.
- Direct climate change mitigation measures primarily include a phasing-out all fossil fuel emissions, and a phasing-in of a 100% renewable energy future with sustainable energy access for all.
- Indirect climate change adaptation measures should focus a. on further reduction of nutrient losses and recycling of nutrients, regulating fisheries below Maximum Sustainable Yield and preserving a coherent network of Marine Protected Areas.
Baltic Sea countries should jointly take legally binding decisions so that the Baltic Sea region contributes to mitigation of the climate change environmental impacts, both regionally and globally.
The full version of compiled policy recommendations is available on the CCB website.
About Coalition Clean Baltic:
CCB is an environmental NGO network that unites 19 organizations from Belarus, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Denmark, Ukraine and Sweden and represents over 1% of the Baltic Sea catchment population, as its members. The main goal of CCB is to promote the protection and improvement of the Baltic Sea environment and natural resources. Through its work CCB engages people to become part of the solution instead of part of the problem.
The study was performed with a co-funding provided by EU Life and AirClim Secretariat.
Mikhail Durkin, Coalition Clean Baltic,