Monday, May 31, 2010

Climate change to increase salinity in Baltic sea

Climate change and warmer temperatures are likely to increase salinity in the Baltic sea which could lead to major changes for the Baltic's sensitive ecosystems. The researchers from the University of Gothenburg have discovered that warmer temperatures as the result of climate change will likely reduce river runoff to the Baltic sea, and increase salinity in the Baltic Sea.

Scientists fear that increased salinity is likely to have extremely negative impact on sensitive life in this area, because Baltic is a unique ecosystem that contains both marine and freshwater species.

Even the tiny changes in salinity of Baltic sea could have major impact on these sensitive ecosystems because balance between salt and freshwater is very delicate, and needs to be maintained that way.

A saltier sea will no doubt benefit certain animal and plant species while doing great damage to other plants and animals, which could upset the entire ecosystem as it will break the delicate balance of these sensitive ecosystems.

Scientists also believe that there will be major regional differences at Baltic. Daniel Hansson, researcher at the Department of Geosciences said that "more freshwater runs off in the northern Baltic and Gulf of Finland when it's warmer, while the opposite occurs in the southern Baltic. The reason for this is that a warmer climate leads to increased rainfall in the north and east and less rainfall in the south. The decrease in the south is greater than the increase in the north, which means that overall the water will be saltier.

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