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Saving the Baltic Sea: Geo-engineering efforts to mix oxygen into the Deep Baltic should be abandoned, expert says

Date:
June 28, 2012
Source:
Lund University
Summary:
Over the last decade, an average of 60,000 square kilometers of the Baltic Sea bottom has suffered from hypoxia without enough oxygen to support its normal ecosystem. Several large-scale geoengineering interventions are currently on the table as proposed solutions to this problem. Researchers are calling for geoengineering efforts that mix oxygen into the Deep Baltic to be abandoned.

Geo-engineering efforts to mix oxygen into the Deep Baltic should be abandoned. Over the last decade, an average of 60,000 km2 of the Baltic Sea bottom has suffered from hypoxia without enough oxygen to support its normal ecosystem. Several large-scale geo-engineering interventions are currently on the table as proposed solutions to this problem. Researchers from Lund University are calling for geo-engineering efforts that mix oxygen into the Deep Baltic to be abandoned.

In the June 28 edition of Nature, researchers warn of the unforeseen effects of geo-engineering to relieve the lack of oxygen in bottom waters. "Such radical remediation measures promise impressive improvements in water quality on short time scales. They are popular and politically attractive, but they are also potentially dangerous," says Daniel Conley a researcher at Lund University.

Yet geo-engineering schemes are moving forwards. The Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management has announced a plan to build a demonstration wind-turbine-driven pump in the southern Baltic. This is a significant change in current policy to reduce nutrients to the Baltic Sea.

"We are on the pathway to a healthier marine ecosystem. We have scientific knowledge, an active monitoring and assessment program, political organizations in place such as HELCOM, and the countries have agreed upon targets to reduce nutrients in the Baltic Sea Action Plan. We need to let that process work," says Daniel Conley.

"Countries from around the Baltic Sea must immediately implement the national reductions for nutrients that have been agreed upon in the Baltic Sea Action Plan. If actions are postponed further, the situation in the Baltic Sea will continue to worsen," he added.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Lund University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Daniel J. Conley. Ecology: Save the Baltic Sea. Nature, 2012; 486 (7404): 463 DOI: 10.1038/486463a

Cite This Page:

Lund University. "Saving the Baltic Sea: Geo-engineering efforts to mix oxygen into the Deep Baltic should be abandoned, expert says." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 June 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120628145634.htm>.
Lund University. (2012, June 28). Saving the Baltic Sea: Geo-engineering efforts to mix oxygen into the Deep Baltic should be abandoned, expert says. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120628145634.htm
Lund University. "Saving the Baltic Sea: Geo-engineering efforts to mix oxygen into the Deep Baltic should be abandoned, expert says." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120628145634.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

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