Human impacts and their interactions in the Baltic Sea region

Reckermann, Marcus, Omstedt, Anders, Soomere, Tarmo, Aigars, Juris, Akhtar, Naveed, Bełdowska, Magdalena, Bełdowski, Jacek, Cronin, Tom, Czub, Michał, Eero, Margit, Hyytiäinen, Kari Petri, Jalkanen, Jukka Pekka, Kiessling, Anders, Kjellström, Erik, Kuliński, Karol, Larsén, Xiaoli Guo, McCrackin, Michelle, Meier, H.E.Markus, Oberbeckmann, Sonja, Parnell, Kevin, Pons-Seres De Brauwer, Cristian, Poska, Anneli, Saarinen, Jarkko, Szymczycha, Beata, Undeman, Emma, Wörman, Anders, and Zorita, Eduardo (2022) Human impacts and their interactions in the Baltic Sea region. Earth System Dynamics, 13 (1).

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Abstract

Coastal environments, in particular heavily populated semi-enclosed marginal seas and coasts like the Baltic Sea region, are strongly affected by human activities. A multitude of human impacts, including climate change, affect 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, and 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. 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.

Item ID: 71501
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2190-4987
Copyright Information: © Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Date Deposited: 18 Apr 2022 21:47
FoR Codes: 37 EARTH SCIENCES > 3709 Physical geography and environmental geoscience > 370999 Physical geography and environmental geoscience not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1802 Coastal and estuarine systems and management > 180299 Coastal and estuarine systems and management not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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